Worldwide, more than 25 million people suffer from chronic back pain, according to the American Academy of Neurosurgery and Orthopedics.
Back pain can occur at any level of the back, but the most common location is in the lower back, which does not surprise us, given that it supports much of the body weight.
However, back pain can also occur in the middle part of the back or even in the upper part, but it can also originate in other areas, such as the groin, which suggests problems with the testicles or ovaries.
Back pain is defined as acute when it lasts for less than a month, while pain that persists for more than 3 months is considered chronic pain.
- Back pain is one of the most common forms of pain
- Causes of back pain
- Prevention is better than cure
Back pain is one of the most common forms of pain
Back pain is one of the most common forms of pain described because, unlike other conditions such as high blood pressure, it is a symptom that can have multiple causes.
Although there are some differences between ethnic groups in the prevalence of back pain, the main differences are age and gender.
Causes of back pain
When we think of all the possible causes of back pain, it is no surprise that it affects so many people.
Muscle and ligament strains are responsible for most problems with the lower back. Also, structural problems such as disc conditions, arthritis, osteoporosis and spinal disorders can cause back pain.
There are other risk factors that increase the chances of developing back pain, such as: stressful jobs, strenuous physical activity, inactive jobs, smoking, obesity, anxiety or depression.
In addition to all these things, there are some factors over which we have little or no control: women are more prone to have back pain, especially during pregnancy, with back pain being more common as they get older.
Men, on the other hand, have a lower prevalence of back pain, but it is more severe, they have more back pain related to physical activity.
As we age, there is a tendency to suffer from back pain related to degenerative diseases: the destruction of structures in the spine, such as vertebrae or discs that act as shock absorbers between the vertebrae, while in the young population there is a predominance of back pain. back caused by rheumatoid arthritis.
Prevention is better than cure
There are a variety of treatments for back pain, but there are also a number of things that anyone can apply to prevent it. Good fitness, regular exercise and maintaining a normal body weight help maintain the health of the spine and osteo-articular system.
Also, the more we learn how to stand up, sit up and lift weights as correctly as possible in terms of spine health, the sooner we will see improvements in back pain.
Another positive aspect is that people with back pain rarely require surgery, and in most cases can be treated with analgesic and anti-inflammatory drugs, accompanied by a few days of rest, followed by moderate exercise. Treatment for more serious back pain ranges from alternative therapies such as acupuncture, massage, to medication and, in the most severe cases, even surgery.
What we can do to avoid back pain is to exercise (walk, swim, moderate intensity aerobic activities), strengthen our muscle strength and flexibility, maintain a normal body weight, and among the most It is important to stop smoking (smoking reduces blood flow to the lower spine, which prevents nutrients from reaching the intervertebral discs in this region).