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What Is a Back Ache?

Backache is pain that occurs in the back and it usually comes from nerves, joints, muscles, and any other part of the spine. Backache could be sudden or a constant pain. It can also remain in one part of the back or spread out to other parts. In most cases, chronic back pain spreads out to arms, hands, legs and feet. It may also present other symptoms apart from pain such as numbness and tingling. Today, backache is one of the common problems that many people complain about. For instance, in the United States this problem is the fifth main reason for regular physician visits.

Research also indicates that almost nine out of every ten adults suffer backache at one point in life. The large nerves originating in the spinal column extend to the feet and arms causing back pain to spread out to the edges. But it is important for you to understand the different aspects of backache so that you may know how to deal with the situation. This involves learning about the causes, symptoms, remedies, diet and prevention of backache. This passage is dedicated to providing you with all the necessary details that you wish to know about back pain.

What Are The Causes Of Backache?

There are numerous risk factors associated with backache. A risk factor is basically the aspect that makes a developing condition more likely. For instance, the main risk factor for a condition such as diabetes is obesity. The following risk factors are therefore directly linked to the cause of backache.

  • Mental stress

Having too much mental stress can make you experience backache. Such stress may be caused by too much pressure at your work place, financial hardships, or other medical conditions. It is therefore advisable that you reduce stress by avoiding too much work and other stressful conditions. You can also fight stress by maintaining a viable work out plan. You can also ask your doctor to offer you advice on how to deal with stress.

  • Pregnancy

Medical research has clearly indicated that pregnant women are at a high risk of experiencing backaches. This is mainly due to the increase stress around the waist, normally caused by the weight of the pregnancy. The amount of weight that an expectant mother carries in her belly may increase her chances of experiencing backache. But how do such victims deal with the pain? Well, the best solution is to engage in activities such as jogging, walking, stretching and more. You should also avoid standing or bending for long periods of time in order to reduce pressure around the waist.

  • Age

It has been medically confirmed that elderly people are more vulnerable to backache than their younger counterparts. This is mainly caused by the contraction of muscles. When muscles in the back contract, they affect the normal functioning of the spine which may result in backaches. It is advisable for elderly people to maintain a viable workout routine in order to avoid back pain and other serious conditions.

  • Obesity

Many obesity victims tend to experience frequent backaches largely due to their overweight condition. The best way to deal with such conditions is to keep your body at normal levels. Engage in effective work out programs so that you can get rid of your excess weight. It is also important to maintain a healthy diet. But you should also avoid engaging in very strenuous physical exercises because they can also turn out to be a major risk factor for backache. Just ensure that you do regular exercises and quit habits that may cause your body weight to increase such as eating fatty foods, drinking, smoking, and lack of exercises.     

What Are The Symptoms Of Backache?

Symptoms are basically feelings that a patient can report. Signs on the other hand are things that a doctor can detect. To illustrate: pain is a symptom while rash is a sign. Therefore, the major symptom of backache is the pain that the patient feels in his or her back. In many instances, backache symptoms or signs will go away on their own after a short while. However, the following are some of the important symptoms that should force you to see a doctor immediately you spot them.

  • Weight loss

Less serious backaches are not supposed to cause drastic weight loss. So if you detect that your sudden or chronic backache is causing you to lose weight, then it is important that you contact your physician immediately. Such symptoms may be an indication of more serious medical problem.

  • Increased Body Temperature

Backache is known to increase body temperature but if the temperature goes up unrealistically, it could be a sign of more serious medical conditions such as fever. In such a case, you are supposed to contact your doctor immediately and do a thorough blood test to ascertain whether you are suffering from fever.

  • Back Inflammation

If you detect any form of inflammation on your back especially swelling, it is important to see your physician immediately. This may be an indication of an infection in your spine, which if not treated immediately may cause more serious harm. Remember that the spine is the center for your nervous system and it is infected it might lead to other serious complications such as permanent deformity. That is why you should seek immediate intervention from a qualified medical doctor whenever you detect an inflammation on your back.

  • Numb Genitals

Severe backache may cause numb genitals and even anus. However, this numbness is expected to disappear after a short while. If it persists, then it could be a sign of serious medical condition that requires doctor’s intervention. Some backache patients also complain about difficulty urinating, urinary incontinence, fecal incontinence, numb buttocks, and pain underneath the knees. These symptoms are a clear sign of infected back and you need to contact your doctor right away.

Also, reports from NHS (National Health Service) provided a list of people that should see a doctor immediately they detect pain in their backs. These include:

  • People who are less than 20 years of age
  • People who have used steroids for quite a long time
  • Drug addicts
  • Cancer patients
  • People whose immune system is low

Home Remedies For Backache

In many cases of backache, the pain disappears on it own. All you have to do is ensure that you give it careful attention. You can also use the available home treatment methods such as over the counter prescriptions and other pain relief remedies. You should also take time to rest. But also avoid resting for a long time because it may end up being counterproductive. Nonetheless, backache can be categorized in two main types: Acute and chronic. Acute backache is sudden and may persist for about three months. Chronic on the other hand is gradual and may last for more than three months. It is also known to cause long-term complications.

The problem with the above types of backaches is that they come with almost similar symptoms making it hard for a doctor to determine the actual type of backache the patient could be suffering from. Here are some common home remedies that might help with backaches. Remember, you should always consult with your physician in order to get a proper diagnosis and before trying to incorporate these home remedies yourself!

  • Peppermint- This involves using menthol based massage. Salves and teas can also be used to lessen the tension on back muscles. Peppermint oil is also used to gently rub or massage the back. In addition, drinking mint-based teas or using a heat compress relieves back ache
  • Ginger- This is one of the most readily available pain reliever and anti-inflammation herb. Ginger root is sliced into small pieces and boiled to make a simmering solution. The boiling time should not take more than 30 minutes or the aphrodisiac effect will be killed. One cup of the solution is drunk for a day.
  • Willow Bark (Salix Alba)- The white willow tree has been used as a natural relief from pain and works like aspirin. The bark has ingredient, salicin that is converted into salicylic acid in the boy. Salicylic compound has been known to reduce pain and inflammations.
  • Kava Kava (piper methysticum)- This herb has been used for centuries because of its ability to work on both the muscles and mind to relive back pain. It works effectively in large doses and 50 to 90 drops; an equivalent of 3 to 4 squirts of its tincture should be used.
  • Devil’s Claw- The Devil’s claw is an indigenous African root that has been used for pain relief dating many hundred years. If mixed with water and boiled, it is consumed or used to wash and massage the affected areas. It reduces back ache and all kinds of inflammation.
  • Arnica Montana- This is a kind of herb that is grounded and made into a cream or oily gel which is then rubbed on the affected area. Daily massage reduces back ache. It has also been made into a pill that is taken slowly by dissolving with the saliva under the tongue.

Diet For Backache

Since backache has become a common problem, it is important that you find the best preventive measure. One of the effective ways to avoid backache is to maintain a healthy diet. A balanced diet will help you to keep your back strong and healthy. It will also help to alleviate any pain that may occur. But what specific foods should you eat to keep your back strong?

  • Fatty Fish

Regular consumption of fatty fish helps to soothe backache. This type of food is very rich in vitamins and other essential minerals such as omega 3, unsaturated fats, fatty acids, and more. These fats are important in allowing smooth and sufficient blood flow. They also help to reduce any inflammations on your back.

  • Fruits and fresh vegetables

For your diet to be healthy it has to have enough fruits and vegetables. Medical research has revealed that fruits and vegetables provide enough vitamins, antioxidants, phytochemicals, and other essential minerals. These nutrients are important in reducing free radicals and inflammations on your back.

Prevention Of Backache

Prevention is always better than cure, which is why you should learn the various methods that help to prevent backache.

  • Exercises- maintain a proper workout plan so that you can build strength in your body and keep your weight down.
  • Avoid smoking- research shows that a considerable number of smokers experience backaches.
  • Avoid being overweight- overweight people are more susceptible to backaches than their normal-weight counterparts.
  • Stand in the right posture- always make sure to maintain a normal pelvic position when standing. Bending for a long time can cause severe backache.
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