According to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), back pain affects about 31 million Americans. In addition, half of all working Americans claim to suffer back pain symptoms every year.
Despite its ordinariness, back pain is debilitating and expensive. It is second to upper-respiratory infections in terms of being the most common reason for missed work. Each year, Americans spend at least $50 billion on back pain treatments.
Sedentary people are more prone to musculoskeletal strains like back pain. This is mainly because active people generally have stronger back, leg and abdominal muscles. Obesity is another significant risk factor – excess weight can strain back muscles. Needless to say, regular exercise and a balanced diet can greatly reduce back pain.
But musculoskeletal strains are not the sole causes of back pain. Back pain is also a symptom of the following disorders:
Arthritis – A condition that leads to the inflammation of the joints. Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and ankolyzing spondylitis are the types of arthritis affecting the spine.
Herniated Disk/Ruptured Disk – This condition is a result of damage to the hard outer coating of the discs (the round portions of connective tissue that support the vertebrae). A ruptured disk leaks fluid, irritating adjacent nerves in the process.
Spinal Stenosis – A condition caused by the narrowing of the spinal canal. Narrowing of the spinal canal leads to nerve compression, which, in turn, leads to back pain, leg numbness and the loss of bladder or bowel control.
Spondylolisthesis – A condition caused by the misalignment of the spinal vertebrae. When a spinal vertebra slips out of place, the joints between the vertebrae can become enlarged. This, in turn, can result in severe back and leg pain.
Vertebral Fractures – Bone breakage caused either by trauma or osteoporosis (a disease characterized by the weakening of the bones).
Degenerative Disc Disease – Age-related breakdown of the discs between the vertebrae.
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Back Pain: Causes, Triggers, Prevention, Remedies, Myths, and the 7 Most Common Mistakes in Back Pain Treatment, will learn you everything you need to know about back pain an the way you can deal with it.
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