7 Common Back Pain Questions

Back pain affects most of us at some point in our lives. It can come on as a result of an injury, we can overexert ourselves or it can just turn up as one of those lovely side effects of aging. Whatever the case, back pain is a, well, pain. Below, some common questions about back pain answered.

Who gets back pain?

More than 80 percent of Americans experience neck and back pain. As we age, neck and back pain becomes more prevalent in our lives because our joints and bones begin to deteriorate. You are also more likely to have back pain if you are overweight.

Can my job be causing back pain?

Yes. If you have a job that requires you to lift, push or pull repeatedly while twisting your spine, you may notice an increase in back pain. You may also experience neck and back pain if you spend most of your day sitting at a desk, especially if you’re not sitting up straight.

What causes back pain?

Certain conditions and diseases such as scoliosis, osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis, foraminal stenosis and sciatica can cause back pain. Back pain can also come on as a result of degenerating or ruptured discs, spasms or tense muscles.

How can I prevent back pain?

One of the best ways to ward off back pain is to exercise every day for a minimum of 30 minutes. Strive to maintain a healthy weight. Keep your bones strong with strength-training exercises, as well as a diet that includes calcium and vitamin D. Finally, standing and sitting up straight will do wonders to keep pain away.

What’s the difference between acute and chronic back pain?

Acute is the most common type of back pain. It typically comes on quickly as the result of an injury such as falling, lifting a heavy object or playing sports. This type of pain generally goes away within six weeks. Chronic back pain lasts for more than three months.

When should I see a doctor about my back pain?

You should consult your physician if your back pain doesn’t improve with rest or if you experience persistent numbness or tingling.

When should I consider surgery to relieve my back pain?

When conservative treatments for back pain such as over-the-counter medications or physical therapy don’t work, surgery may be an option. If you have a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, a vertebral fracture or degenerative disc disease, you also may be a candidate for surgery, which can help permanently relieve your pain. Schedule an appointment with your physician to find out if you’re a candidate for back surgery.

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