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Back pain doesn’t have to be forever

Back pain is a commonly reported issue and can be caused by a range of factors. It can be mildly uncomfortable all the way through to debilitating and degenerative. Worst of all, back pain all-too-often stops people from being able to do the day-to-day things they love.

Whatever the causes and no matter the pain you’re in, back pain can be treated.

As experts in back pain, like those at Lushington Chiropractic Clinic Eastbourne can attest, fixing back issues isn’t always quick and it certainly isn’t easy. Instead, it typically takes a combination of ongoing treatment and typically an exercise plan to improve flexibility and mobility.

What is back pain?

Back pain is discomfort or pain in the back. It is most common in the lower back, but it can also affect the thoracic spine and reach all the way up to the neck.

Back pain can be caused by an injury or trauma, repetitive strain, disease, or just the muscular issues that are commonly associated with a sedentary lifestyle.

Symptoms of back pain

When it comes to the symptoms of back pain, there is quite a range. It depends on the kind of back pain you have and what is causing it. The most commonly reported symptoms are:

  • Shooting, burning or aching in the back that does not go away and may return even after using home remedies like ice packs and painkillers
  • Tightness or stiffness after sitting or lying down in one position for a longer period of time
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Weakness in the lower extremities, including legs

How do I know if my back pain is serious?

While most acute muscular back pain will clear itself up in a few weeks or months through rest, there may be some kinds of back pain that do not go away without treatment. This kind of back pain may require more expert attention.

If your back pain lasts longer than a week, it may be time to speak to a health professional, particularly if the issue is worsening. As remote working and time in front of a computer screen increases among the population, degenerative back issues are on the increase.

Some kinds of back pain are chronic, but they can be treated and made more manageable through medications and physical therapy.

How do you know if back pain is muscular?

Knowing the kind of back pain, you’re experiencing may be the best way to know how to treat it. This means knowing whether your back pain is muscular or not.

Though there is a crossover between the symptoms of muscular and spinal back pain, there are some distinguishable features of each. For spinal back pain you will likely experience:

  • Pain during rest
  • Pain with movement
  • Radiating pain
  • Dull, aching, or sharp pains
  • Electric pain
  • Weakness in lower extremities

For muscular pain, you will likely experience:

  • Pain with movement
  • Muscle tightness
  • Dull, aching, or sharp pains
  • Localized pain

As you can see, there are some crossovers, but you should be able to tell the difference and treat in a more targeted way.

How long is too long for back pain?

As previously discussed, back pain can go away on its own in a few weeks or months, but if the pain has lasted longer than a week and is beginning to impact your daily lifestyle then it is often advisable to seek advice from your GP, a chiropractor or physiotherapist.

If you are unsure of how you injured your back or what is causing the pain, but it has lasted longer than a few months, then you may need to seek expert advice to find out the underlying causes.

And lastly, if back pain is no longer isolated to your back then it is time to seek medical help.

What is the most common cause of back pain?

Back pain is very common and there are a number of reasons for it. Some of the most common causes of back pain are things that can be changed. These include:

  • Improper lifting of heavy items i.e., not lifting with the legs and instead of lifting too heavy a weight with a curved back
  • Lack of exercise, causing weakness in the back
  • Age
  • Psychological conditions – some people with depression and anxiety are more likely to have back problems
  • Smoking, likely because it can induce coughing

As well as causes that can be changed, there are some conditions that can cause back pain too. These include:

  • A slipped disc
  • Sciatica
  • Arthritis
  • Osteoporosis

How do I fix my back pain?

Back pain doesn’t have to be forever but fixing it typically involves a combination of treatments.

First and foremost, a trained clinician like a chiropractor will be able to help ease the problem, loosen the muscles and ensure spinal alignment through manual therapy and adjustments.

Typically, a chiropractor will also prescribe a number of other treatments to use at home between sessions. These include:

  • Exercise programs – To strengthen the back, improve flexibility, and aid mobility
  • Hot and cold packs – Depending on the kind of pain, hot or cold packs can help to reduce pain and swelling in the back
  • Painkillers – Over-the-counter medications like paracetamol and ibuprofen can be used to reduce pain and inflammation caused by back pain

A chiropractor will be able to assess the pain you’re experiencing and work out the best way to treat it. Treatment programs may differ depending on the nature of the condition, your age, and your physical ability.

Final thoughts

Back pain doesn’t have to be forever and there are many different treatment options to try out. From home remedies like ice packs and painkillers to physical therapy, chiropractic adjustments, and rehabilitation programs.

Back pain may also be made better by lifestyle changes and by working hard to avoid long periods of sitting or lying in the same position. Staying mobile and exercising regularly can help to maintain good back health and keep chronic pain at bay.