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6 Common Causes of Low Back Pain and 5 Ways to Treat Them



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An estimated 29 percent of Americans (that’s about 96 million people) have it backache every year the cause of back pain remains a mystery to many people.

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7;s probably due in part to the fact that back pain has so many possible underlying causes, but it’s also because many people prefer to use over-the-counter pain relievers rather than working on finding the real cause of their back pain. And that is a shame, because often back pain can be solved with a few simple efforts.

If you suffer from back pain, the solution may be easier than you think. Learn how to get rid of back pain through stretching, exercise, and other drug-free treatments.

Read more: 8 simple exercises to relieve wrist, neck and back pain at your desk

What Causes Low Back Pain?

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The first step to relieve back pain is to determine the cause.

Sedentary life

Lack of physical activity leads to poor mobility, posture misalignment, and weak muscles, all of which contribute to back pain in different ways.

  • Poor Mobility: Tight muscles in your glutes and legs pull on your lumbar spine, creating an excessive lumbar curve (lordosis). Tight shoulder and upper back muscles also pull your spine out of alignment.
  • Posture Problems: If you sit a lot, you may have adopted poor postures such as slumped shoulders, a protruding neck, and an arched lower back. These posture problems can all lead to back pain.
  • Weak muscles: Weak muscles, especially the trunk, hips, glutes, and back muscles, don’t support your spine as well as it should. This leads to misalignment of the spine and consequently lower back pain.

Sleeping position

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Sometimes back pain is the result of funky sleeping positions. If you wake up with severe back pain that gets better during the day, it may be time for a new one mattress or pillow in addition to your natural sleeping position

Muscle injuries

Strains (pulled muscles or tendons) and sprains (torn ligaments) are often associated with lower back pain. Both types of injuries occur when you push your body beyond its normal range of motion or lift loads that are heavier than you can handle.

Joint inflammation

Inflamed joints, especially lumbar vertebrae and hip joints, can cause severe lower back pain. Joint inflammation can be the result of normal wear and tear (arthritis) or injury.

Spinal cord injuries and disorders

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Sometimes low back pain is directly related to a spinal condition or injury, such as:

  • Herniated disc: an intervertebral disc injury that occurs when the gelatinous interior of a disc protrudes through a tear in the disc’s outer layer
  • Spinal stenosis: narrowing of the spine
  • Spondylitis: inflammation of joints between vertebrae
  • Spondylosis: a degenerative spinal condition that can cause loss of normal spinal function
  • Degenerative Disc Disease: osteoporosis (bone degeneration) of the spine

Sciatica

Your sciatic nerve runs from your lower back all the way through your legs. Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve is compressed or irritated, and it sends pain through your hips and legs. Sciatica pain often feels like a shock in response to sneezing and coughing, or sitting or standing up too quickly.

Drug-free treatments for low back pain

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Percussive therapy is a drug-free treatment for back pain.

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It’s common to use an over-the-counter pain reliever or even ask a doctor for a prescription to treat a sore back. Pain relievers have their place, but you may be able to find back pain relief with these drug-free treatment options.

Corrective exercise

Many people avoid exercise when their back hurts, assuming exercise makes it worse. In the case of injuries, this is the case if you are not careful. But exercise is actually an effective antidote for back pain

Weak muscles – especially weak core, glute, and back muscles – don’t support your spine as well as it should. The result: nagging chronic back pain. Corrective exercises target those weak muscle groups and correct postural abnormalities to relieve pain.

Low-impact workouts such as swimming, water aerobics and recumbent bicycles also keep your back healthy and strong.

Stretch and mobilize

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Often rooted in inflexibilityback pain can go away with consistent and targeted stretching.

Tight hips, quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes contribute to low back pain because of the way these tight muscles pull on your spine. They can cause chronic postural abnormalities and muscle imbalances that cause pain in seemingly disconnected areas – your back is the main one.

To attempt stretch your hips, quads and hamstrings every night before bed. Throw in a few soft seated spine twists if the movement isn’t causing pain. If you exercise consistently, you may notice that your back pain is less severe.

Read more: Trainers say you should never try these stretches

Heat and cold therapy

For temporary relief from back pain, try one heating pad or cold compressCold reduces inflammation and narrows blood flow, while heat relaxes muscles and dilates blood vessels. Both can treat back pain, depending on the cause. A good rule of thumb to remember is that heat is best for pain and pain common cold works best with injuries.

Read more: Freezing your ass can lessen your anxiety

TENS therapy

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TENS units such as the Omron Available can temporarily relieve chronic pain.

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Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) is a type of therapy that stimulates nerves in pain sites. Using electrodes placed on your skin, a TENS device sends out gentle electrical signals that mask or intercept the pain signals your body sends to your brain.

Read more: Non-Drug Chronic Pain Relief: 8 Products to Try

Massage

Massage therapy relieves musculoskeletal pain muscle knots and adhesions. It also promotes increased blood flow, which helps deliver more oxygen and nutrients to tight muscles. If your back pain is the result of an injury, massage may not be the best option for you. Talk to your doctor if you are unsure.

If you love massages but can’t afford the cost of a massage per week, consider investing in one percussive massage gun. There are lots of low to moderately priced options nowadays, and a one-time investment can replicate the benefits from traditional massage therapy. To treat back pain with percussive massage, start on the lowest setting of your device and slowly increase the pressure if you think you can handle it.

Read more: Theragun: How to use for sprains, strains and damaged veins

The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to be health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care practitioner if you have any questions about a medical condition or health goals.


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