HEALTH : Know more about back pain

Back pain is of many types and can be a symptom of a number of different problems, ranging from a minor injury like a strained muscle to a major injury like a slipped disc, and even a few serious conditions such as cancer. Back pain is extremely common, and affect everyone.
Get a massage to relax your back muscles. (Net photo)
Get a massage to relax your back muscles. (Net photo)

Back pain is of many types and can be a symptom of a number of different problems, ranging from a minor injury like a strained muscle to a major injury like a slipped disc, and even a few serious conditions such as cancer. Back pain is extremely common, and affect everyone.

Back pain is itself a symptom and not a disease. It is an indication that something is wrong either with some part of the spine, or with the nerves and muscles in the back.

Back pain symptoms vary greatly in location and the type of pain, and these factors help diagnose the underlying cause of the symptoms. Back pain can sometimes radiate to other parts of the body, affecting the neck or other parts of the body.

The pain can be dull or sharp, and sometimes the affected area can also feel slightly warm. Back pain can sometimes cause weakness and numbness.

Causes

There are several different causes of back pain, some of which are the result of temporary stress or trauma, and some indicating a structural problem or a degenerative condition.

Strains; the most common causes of back pain are things such as maintaining an awkward position for too long, making sudden awkward movements, overusing the back muscles, bad posture, lifting heavy weights improperly. All of these can strain the muscles and ligaments in the back, causing pain that lasts till the affected parts have recovered.

Injury or cumulative damage: One common cause of back pain, a slipped disc in which part of an inter-vertebral disc bulges out from the spine, compressing nerves and causing terrible pain. This is usually the result of suddenly lifting things with the back bent.

In addition, like any other bone, the bones in the spine can also get fractured as a result of trauma.

Degenerative conditions: Conditions such as arthritis and osteoporosis affect the bones and joints, and the spine is no exception.

Psychological problems: It may be surprising to know that depression and stress can sometimes cause back pain even in cases where no other problem can be detected.

Other causes: in rare cases, cancer can affect the spine or the nerves in the spine. Infection can also occur, causing inflammation and other problems.
Treatment

The treatment for back pain depends on the cause. In general however, you can use the following home remedies for back pain.

Apply a hot or cold compress using a hot water bottle or an ice pack.  A hot bath also usually helps. If possible, you should sit in a warm tub for a few minutes. Exercise in order to strengthen the back muscles. Simple stretching exercises are also useful, both when you have a back ache and on a regular basis.

Try to relax and get enough rest to avoid both mental stress and physical strain on your back.

If possible, get a massage. This does not have to be by a professional, a family member can do it equally well as long as they do not use excessive force.

Preferably this should be done using massage oil such as eucalyptus oil. Excellent oil is mustard oil in which a little garlic has been fried.

Vitamin C and calcium supplements may help, but consult the doctor before doing this.

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