Did you know about 80% of adults experience low back pain at least once in their lifetime? You are not alone and its the most common problem that leads to loss of time with family, work, etc. Everyone is equally affected and it can be disabling at times. It may be caused due to multiple factors but the most common are poor body mechanics, posture, deconditioning, sedentary lifestyle, etc.
An acute back pain may last for few days or chronic back pain which is long term that last for weeks to months. The body will form compensation mechanism to deal with back pain. If left untreated the body will think its compensations are the new “normal” and will continue to compensate. Medications, injections, and sometimes surgery is the first option given to patients during an ER or MD office visit. These options will help you experience less pain but the underlying cause may still exists.
Back muscles can also develop triggers, which can be dormant or active. Sometimes the dormant triggers can become active due to various reasons. Psychosocial factors such as stress can also activate triggers.
A mechanical cause for back pain can consist of strain or sprain, disc degeneration, herniated or rupture disc, radiculopathy, sciatica, spondylolisthesis, spinal stenosis, traumatic injury, skeletal changes, scoliosis, infections, tumors, caudal equine syndrome, kidney stones, inflammation, osteoprosis, endometriosis, fibromyalgia, etc.
Understanding the risk factors can help an individual prevent back pain by being proactive and creating a safety plan. Risk factors can include age, fitness level, pregnancy, weight gain, genetics, occupation, mental health, genetics, etc.
Physical Therapy is one of the first line of treatment offered to patients to help address back pain. A physical therapist is a movement expert that can help strengthen core, restore mobility, decrease or eliminate pain with activity, improve flexibility, and promote proper posture. I hope this blog helps you understand the basics about back pain and the risk factors. Seek you your local physical therapist today and avoid unnecessary wait time, medication, injections, or even surgery.
Until next time,
Aman Dhaliwal PT, DPT
Physical Therapist in Tracy, CA