A backache or back pain refers to pain that occurs anywhere from the hips up to the neck. Pain centered in the area from the ribs to the hips is normally referred to as lower back pain. Backaches are among the most common of all health complaints after infections like the common cold, affecting nearly ninety percent of people at some point of time in their lives.
The back consists of a complicated interplay of vertebrae of the spine, bones, muscles, and tissue. The spine is quite literally the lifeline of the body and the 24 bones of the spine or vertebrae are stacked on top of each other to form a flexible and strong center. In between the bones of the spine are tissue and cartilage, which may rupture, erode, or slip due to injury or degradation and deterioration with aging. When this happens, you will experience severe pain.
Backaches tend to build up over time and are caused by a number of factors. The two areas of the spine that are the weakest at the nape of the neck and the base of the back are the most susceptible to injury. Since, there is a symbiotic relationship between the muscles, nerves, and bones in the back, injury or discomfort in one area can have a cascading effect to other parts of the body as well.
Backaches that cause severe pain, restricting mobility should be treated very seriously as they may be indicative of a severe injury or condition that requires medical attention. Milder backaches that are simply a source of pain and discomfort, or chronic backaches can be managed to a large extent with home treatments and modifications to your lifestyle. Persistent backaches, no matter how mild, should never be neglected however.
Symptoms of Backache
It is rather impossible to miss the symptoms of a backache. Back pain can start off as small twinges and cramps in specific areas in the back and then escalate to full blown radiating pain that severely restricts any movement. Backaches can get worse with sudden jerky movements, changing positions from sitting to standing or sleeping, and even when sneezing or coughing. A backache could also involve other symptoms like a feeling of numbness in your legs or trouble while urinating or during a bowel movement. In some cases, back pain is noticeable only when moving and does not interfere with sleep, whereas in other cases, it may be a chronic pain that does not let up through the day or night.
Some symptoms of a backache include:
In most cases, a backache will resolve in just a couple of days. However, if you find yourself suffering from back pain for more than a few days or if you suffer from pain that does not respond to over-the-counter pain relief medications, it may be better to consult with a doctor to diagnose the condition properly. A doctor will be able to identify the exact source of the pain and make an accurate diagnosis with x-rays or MRIs if needed. More often than not, the pain is indicative of stress and strain, rather than any serious problem.
If you experience any of the following symptoms, contact your doctor immediately:
Causes of Backache
There are a variety of factors that can cause backaches ranging from physical to psychological. Some common causes of backache include:
Remedies for Backache
Home remedies for back pain can be extremely useful, but you should differentiate between a mild backache and one that is serious. Backache remedies can come in handy when you suffer from the occasional backache, providing some much needed relief, and facilitating a return to normalcy. While home remedies for back pain relief are useful when faced with chronic back pain as well, in such cases home treatments can only be used as a backup to conventional treatment. There are several backache remedies for pain ranging from mild to acute. These include the following:
Diet for Backache
While your diet may have no direct bearing on a backache, it does have a direct influence on your general health. Poor nutrition with a low supply of nutrients essential for skeletal and tissue health would put you at a higher risk of developing bone and joint disorders, as well as spinal problems and backaches. It is recommended that people suffering from backaches should have a balanced diet that consists of plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Raw salads, lightly steamed vegetables, fresh juices, and milk all help to improve your overall health. A healthy diet will also typically be low in foods that contain empty calories, which are high in fat and sugars, thus helping reduce weight and reducing pressure on the spine. Proteins, vitamin C, and foods high in vitamin D and calcium all help strengthen bones and muscles. Avoid all fatty, spicy, over-processed foods as well as too much tea, coffee, alcohol and tobacco. The changes to your diet should also be combined with regular exercise.
Suggestion for Backache
Some simple precautions will also help to minimize the risk of backaches and help facilitate recovery if you suffer from a backache:
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