Back pain is a disorder that affects the muscles, nerves, and bones of the back. It is one of the most common causes of visits to the doctor. It can be classified into the pain of the lower part of the back, the pain of the upper part or middle part of the back. However, the pain of the lower of the back is the most predominant. According to studies, about 80% of Americans have experienced back pain at one point or the other in the lives. Back pain can be due to different reasons. The majority of back pain is caused by injury, such as strains to the nerves, muscle sprains. It can also be as a result of some diseases such as cancer of the spinal cord, herniated vertebral disc, Sciatica, renal diseases, infections of the vertebral spine and so on. Back pain can be classified based on the duration of the pain. There is the acute back pain, which is when the back pain lasts for less than 6 weeks, then there is the sub-chronic lower back pain, this is when the pain lasts for between 6 to 12 weeks, and lastly, the chronic lower back pain, this is when the pain lasts for more than 12 weeks. There is some kind of back pain that might need for surgery to be done. This piece is focused on nonsurgical ways to treat back pain. However, it’s important to know the causes of back pain before going into how it can be treated.
What Are the Causes of Back Pain?
- Strains: This occurs when there is a strain of the muscles and ligaments of the lower back. It could also be as a result of engaging in activities that put excessive strain on the back. Some of the signs and symptoms of strain include pain and rigidity of the lower back. The patient might also experience spasms of the muscles of the lower back. The treatment for a strain is rest and physical therapy.
- Vertebral disc problems: Some of the most common problems of the vertebral disc include herniation or bulging of the disc. The discs of the vertebrae are prone to injury. However, this tends to occur more as one age. This is why disc injuries are more predominant in adults. Disc herniation is a condition in which the cartilage that surrounds the vertebral disc pushes into the spinal cord. This might also affect the nerve roots. In this condition, the cushion that normally sits between the vertebrae discs slips out of position, which leads to the compression and crush of the nerve root. Injury to the vertebral disc usually occurs after the individual lifts something heavy, or twists the back. Pain from the injury of the vertebral disc can last for up to 3 days before it subsides.
- Sciatica: This condition can happen with a herniated disc, especially if the disc crushes on the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the connection between the spine and the legs. This leads to painful sensation in the feet and in the legs. The patient might complain of pins and needles in the feet.
- Stenosis of the spine: This is a condition in which the spinal column becomes constricted. The narrowing of the spinal canal puts some kind of pressure on the content of the spinal column, which includes the spinal cord and the spinal nerves. This would eventually lead to the compression of the nerves and the other components of the column. The patient might experience signs and symptoms such as numbness in the leg, weakness, and cramping. It’s common for patients to feel the intensity of the pain when they exert some force on their back, especially when walking or sitting.
How Can I Reduce Inflammation in my Back?
Sometimes, back pain is caused by the swelling and inflammation of the joints in the spine. It’s advisable to consult a physician if you notice any inflammation in your back. However, here are some things to reduce the inflammation;
- Apply ice and heat therapy: One of the easiest ways to reduce inflammation in the back is to apply ice or heat to the affected part. This can be done by wrapping the ice in a cloth, such as a clean towel and placing it on the affected region. On the other hand, heat therapy is also efficient. Heat increases the flow of blood to the area, which reduces the pain signals that are being sent to the brain. Asides from this, heat therapy also relax the body and calm the mind.
- Reduce the consumption of food that could cause inflammation: There is some food that helps to reduce inflammation. Examples of this types of food include olive oil, more fish, less red meat and so on.
- Acupuncture: Acupuncture is a minimally invasive treatment that helps to reduce pain, especially in the back. This technique also increases the ability of the body to heal itself. Acupuncture is done by lying comfortably on a table, then acupoint areas are located and needles are placed. Patients do not experience any pain. The process is soothing and relaxing.
What Foods Help with Muscle Inflammation?
There are some types of food that help to reduce and eliminate inflammation. It’s best to start consuming this type of food if you notice you might be having some inflammation of the muscle. Examples of these food include;
- Olive oil: Olive oil is rich in fatty acids, especially Omega-9 fatty acids. They help to reduce inflammation. You should consider changing your normal vegetable oil for olive oil when cooking.
- Consume less red meat, and more fish
- Include nuts in your food
What Natural Remedies Reduce Inflammation?
- Bromelain: This enzyme can be found in many fruits. However, they’re abundant in pineapple. It’s a powerful anti-inflammatory agent.
- Tumeric: Tumeric looks similar to ginger. It has a strong anti-inflammatory property. It can be enjoyed as a tea.
- White Willow bark: This is the bark of the White Willow tree. It’s used for the treatment of pain and as an anti-inflammatory agent. It’s been used for this purpose for many years.
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