One of the top reasons for doctor visits is back pain. Statistics show that eight out of ten people will suffer from this condition at some point in their lives. About 59 million Americans, in fact, have had a recent episode of back pain.
Causes of Back Pain
Back pain can be the result of back muscle strain from sudden movement, lifting heavy loads or poor posture. Conditions of the spine, such as lumbar herniated disc and slipped disc are mostly likely to cause pain in the lower back. Arthritis, certain types of cancer, and diseases of the kidney, such as kidney infections and kidney stones, bone loss and blood clots can all cause back pain.
The risk of having back pain is increased by the following factors:
- Aging – Back pain becomes more common as you get older. The highest occurrence of back pain is in the 40 to 60 age group. Lumbar degenerative disc diseases, spine joints degeneration, osteoarthritis and spinal stenosis are some of the common conditions associated with getting old.
- Poor physical condition – Back pain is more common among people who are not physically fit.
- Being overweight – Gaining extra weight puts stress on your back, can cause pain.
- Heredity – An arthritis condition, ankylosing spondylitis, which affects the spine has a genetic component.
How Long Does the Pain Last?
The very minor, every day type of back pain usually heals within a day or two. Some back pain persists for longer periods of time. Researchers suspect that stress and mood changes may be the reasons for this.
For a long time, it was believed that back pain will ease and heal on its own. This belief has been rebuked lately. In a recent study, it was found that back pain when left untreated, may disappear temporarily, but is most likely to return. The study showed that in more than a third of the people who experienced low back pain, the pain lasted for more than a month. 91 percent of these people who had low back pain for more than a month were with back pain still, five years later.
In another study that examined all available research on the history of low back pain, it was determined that when ignored, back pain does not go away by itself. The study revealed that low-back pain continues to torment people much longer after it is first felt.
Anyone can have back pain, for one reason or another. There is a great chance that will be among the great majority who have had episodes of back pain, some time. The best approach is to treat and prevent back pain and not ignore it. Several treatment options are available. Selecting the best approach to treat back pain will let you be pain-free soon and enjoying your normal active life.