Lower back pain is one of the most common issues adults face. In fact, about 23 percent of adults in the world suffer from serious chronic low back pain and more than 70 percent have reported some kind of back pain at some time in their lives.
Back pain has a high recurrence rate of up to 80 percent. Most people use therapy, medicines, and surgeries to get rid of back pain. However, the right treatment option depends on the cause of the pain. We’ll have a look at some of the most common lower back issues in adults and also highlight ways to reduce pain.
Back injuries refer to all kinds of injuries such as fractures due to a fall and slip accident or car accident. Some injuries are not very serious and the pain goes away in a few days but some can be very grave resulting in long-term damage.
You can sustain a back injury while doing something as simple as climbing up stairs. They are even common among people who workout actively as lifting excessive weight or not lifting it correctly can result in back issues. Medicine, rest, and therapy are usually used to treat back injuries.
The best way to avoid back injuries is to stay active, stretch before you perform a physical task, and be careful when doing something that requires physical strength.
Arthritis of the Spine
Arthritis is a condition that impacts the bone. While most people report arthritis in the hands, arthritis of the spine is also a common condition that refers to the gradual degeneration of the spinal joints. Called spine osteoarthritis, the condition affects about 30 percent of males and 28 percent of females aged 55–64 in the US.
More common among seniors, this condition can be very painful and stop people from performing day-to-day activities such as bending and lifting weights. The condition cannot be cured but drugs and physical therapy can be used to reduce the pain.
Sciatica is a medical condition that refers to pain that goes along the sciatic nerve, which travels from the leg to the lower back. The condition occurs when a bone or herniated disk puts pressure on the nerve resulting in numbness, pain, and inflammation.
The pain usually comes with a burning feeling and is very common in the US. It usually travels from the lower back to the leg and can come and go. The best way to reduce the risk is to stay active, maintain your posture, and use your body in a proper manner.
The condition usually resolves on its own; however, drugs, and ice and heat therapy can be used for pain relief.
Spondylolisthesis is a serious condition that impacts the back. It involves spine instability, i.e.: excessive movement of the vertebrae. The condition is similar to a herniated disc; however, the nature of the pain differs. The pain is usually constant when you have a herniated disk, whereas you usually only feel pain when you get up or walk in the case of spondylolisthesis.
The pain is felt not only in the lower back but also in the legs. Medicines can be used to control symptoms. However, TOPS is considered the best treatment of spondylolisthesis. The process involves replacing the bony and soft tissues in the area with a mechanical implant device.
A herniated disc refers to a disc that has “moved out” of its lining. The condition can be very painful and result in serious issues, including limited mobility. However, some people do not report any pain.
Also called a ruptured or slipped disc, the condition is usually a result of degenerative changes and trauma. Based on the severity of the condition, the patient may be recommended bed rest and therapy; however, the condition is known to last for up to six weeks if not treated well.
Muscle Spasms and Strains
Back spasms are common and usually occur due to poor posture, excessive pressure on the back, and sudden trauma. However, the cause is not always clear and it can also occur due to sleeping on a bad mattress or bending suddenly. The condition refers to sudden tightness in the muscles that result in pain and discomfort.
Spasms can be painful but easy to deal with. However, they can last for up to six months and keep coming back if you don’t take proper care. Over-the-counter pain medicines, heat or ice therapy, and massages can be used to control symptoms.
Spinal stenosis refers to the narrowing of the spaces in your spine resulting in excessive pressure on the spinal nerves and spinal cord. Symptoms include pain, numbness, cramping, and weakening. The condition is known to worsen with age and treatment is often necessary. Available options include surgery, medication, rest, and therapy.
Some Other Issues
There are a variety of other back issues people face. We’ll discuss some below:
- Fibromyalgia: It is a condition that impacts the joints, tendons, and muscles resulting in pain and discomfort.
- Spondylitis: It is an autoimmune disease that results in pain due to inflammation.
- Spondylosis: it is a form of arthritis that results in the loss of normal spinal structure.
Also, some people may face back pain due to other issues such as kidney infections, gastric problems, ovarian cysts, pregnancy, spinal infections, and uterine fibroids.
Whatever the cause of your lower back pain, make sure to get in touch with an expert and get it examined so that you can live a healthy and pain-free life.