Back Pain: Causes and Treatment

A woman with back pain

What Causes Back Pain?

Back pain occurs due to a number of factors, some of which are prolonged sitting and standing. The pain can be intense, however, there are ways to combat it with simple home remedies which we will discuss in this article. But first, let`s look into the causes of back pain and other details. Some of its common causes are:

  • arthritis
  • poor quality mattress
  • improper sleep patterns
  • fever or infection
  • lifting heavy items with force
  • constant physical activity
  • sitting in a wrong posture for hours
  • hard-core gym sessions
  • smoking

Back Pain Symptoms

These are some of the common symptoms of back pain:

  • stabbing or shooting pain that sometimes gets to the legs
  • aching sensation in the lower back
  • inability to stand up straight without pain
  • decreased range of motion
  • inability to flex the back

These are severe symptoms which indicate more complicated conditions:

  • tingling, numbness or weakness in one or both legs
  • intense pain that worsens at night
  • drastic weight loss
  • loss of bowel or bladder control
  • throbbing sensation in the abdomen
  • fever

How to Diagnose Back Pain

The major way of diagnosing back pain is by doing a physical examination. During this examination, the doctor tests:

  • the spine’s range of motion
  • ability to stand and walk
  • leg strength
  • ability to detect sensations in your legs
  • reflexes

If the doctor diagnoses a more severe condition, they may need to carry out some of these tests:

  • blood and urine tests
  • x-rays of the spine
  • bone scan
  • electromyography (EMG)
  • computed tomography (CT) scan
  • magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

10 Home Remedies for Back Pain

Let`s look at 10 simple things you can do at home to treat back pain. Note that if your back pain is severe, you may need to see a doctor, as the home remedies may not give the desired level of healing. Also, in some cases, back pain may be a symptom of some other conditions which require medical attention.

Ginger Tea

A woman sipping some teaGinger tea helps soothe back pain. To make ginger tea, boil some well-cut ginger pieces in a cup of water, and add some honey if you desire. You may drink it twice a day to enjoy its pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory qualities.

Basil Tea

Basil tea is effective at treating back pain. To make basil tea, boil some basil leaves in a cup of water, and add some honey for flavor if you wish. Basil leaves contain citronellol, linalool, and eugenol, all of which soothe back pain. You may drink basil tea 2-3 times a day until the back pain stops.

Fenugreek Drink

Consuming fenugreek drink every night helps relieve back pain. Fenugreek drink is quite easy to make: simply mix a teaspoon of fenugreek powder into a glass of warm milk, and add some honey for flavor if you want. The anti-inflammatory properties of this drink have some potent healing effects, enough to combat back pain.

Turmeric and Milk Drink

You can make turmeric and milk drink by adding a teaspoon of turmeric powder into a cup of warm milk. Adding some honey to it energizes your body and adds flavor to the drink. This drink eases the intensity of back pain. Turmeric contains curcumin, a compound that combats pain. You may have some turmeric and milk drink twice a day.

Heat Pack

You may place a heat pack on the areas you feel the back pain. Due to its analgesic properties, it soothes sore muscles on the back and relieves pains and spasms.

Warm Showers

Warm water soothes and heals sore muscles in your back when you bathe with it. Adding lavender essential oil to your back after each bath speeds up the healing process.

Chamomile Tea

Chamomile tea is another effective remedy for dealing with back pain. To make this tea, add a teaspoon of chamomile in water and boil it. You may also add some honey to it for flavor. Its anti-inflammatory quality is super effective at dealing with back pain.

Pineapple Juice

A person holding a glass of pineapple juicePineapples contain an enzyme called bromelain, which possesses anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties that combat back pain. To make pineapple juice, blend some chunks of pineapple in water, and add some ice cubes to it. Drink this regularly, until you feel some relief.

Sleeping Posture

Your sleep posture may be the reason for your back pain, or it may worsen it. Same way sleep posture can be a corrective measure in dealing with back pain. Placing a pillow under your knees to support your spine may be helpful in some cases. You may also need to speak with your doctor, especially if you feel more pain when you wake up.

Back Massage

You could get a massage on aching areas of your body to alleviate pain. Using herbal oils for your massage can be super helpful.
Herbal oils such as olive, almond, and coconut have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties that can effectively treat back pain.

Tips to Prevent Back Pain

Having discussed home remedies with which you can deal with back pain, let`s see how not to have one at all. Here are helpful tips:

  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Eat healthy meals.
  • Wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes.
  • Sleep on a firm mattress.
  • Avoid prolonged inactivity.
  • Maintain healthy sitting postures at work.
  • Do some warm up before exercising or engaging in strenuous physical activities.
  • Maintain proper posture.
  • When trying to lift objects, keep them close to your body, and use your knees to lift; avoid twisting your body.
  • Smoking has negative impacts on blood flow; it also causes oxygen and nutrient deprivation, hence affects spinal tissues. Stop smoking.

Back Pain and Pregnancy

It is common to find pregnant women suffer back pain, however, they should seek medical help if the pain is unbearable. Here are two of the common reasons pregnant women experience back pains.

Weight Gain

Weight gain is unavoidable during pregnancy, however, it takes its toll on the back, and core muscles. This causes pain.

A Shift in Center of Gravity

As the fetus grows, the center of the body`s gravity moves forward. This causes the spine and back to arch in order to adjust to the change. The lower lumbar spine then suffers as a result of the stress from this adjustment.

Back Pain Facts

  • Research shows that approximately 80% of Americans will experience back problems at some point in their lives.
  • More Americans will suffer back pain, due to their lifestyle.
  • Americans spend over $50 billion annually on treating back pain.
  • About 10% of the world’s population suffers from lower back pain.
  • More adult women experience back pain than adult men.
  • 90% of acute low back pain is treated within six weeks.
  • After upper-respiratory infections, back pain is the second most common reason people visit doctors.
  • Back pain is the third most common reason for surgery.
  • The United States health care spends as much money on spinal problems as it does on cancer annually.
  • People with chronic back pain are more likely to suffer depression, anger, and psychological distress.
  • Back pain is sometimes a symptom of muscle imbalance or an underlying injury.
  • Overweight people are mostly affected by back pain.

Now That You Know…

Back pain can be excruciating. It is better prevented than combated. What lifestyle changes do you need to make to avoid back pain? Make them, and you will be glad you did.