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Back Pain: Cause and Effect

Jul 19, 2008
Each day, countless people throughout the world contend with back pain of different types and severity. The reasons for back pain are not always straightforward. Your backbone is the hub for all your movements, in addition to being the core of your nervous system. A pinched nerve in your lower back can impact every part of your lower body.

Finding the cause of your back pain is very important. Finding the needle in the haystack, as it were, is key to finding effective treatments for your back pain.

There are a lot of potential reasons for a back ache: a pulled muscle because of pushing yourself too hard, a herniated or otherwise injured disc, arthritis, or perhaps an underlying medical condition. These are often quite easy to handle, but in some situations a surgical procedure and continuing therapy could be called for if the condition is more severe.

Typical Causes

The garden variety case of back pain is usually due to a lumbar muscle strain - this can be caused by simply overdoing it with sports or exercise, lifting heavy weights improperly and the like. This will generally sideline you for a few days, but your back will quickly heal itself. Just use an analgesic, get some rest and use a heating pad or ice pack.

Another culprit in back pain cause is a herniated disc. Spinal discs are like pillows that sit between the vertebrae; they are your back?s shock absorbers. Though very elastic and soft during the younger years, studies have shown that discs become more rigid as a person ages. You may have the heart and spirit of someone half your age, but your back knows the truth. Your discs are more fragile past forty years of age, and very susceptible to injury.

Osteoporosis is a major cause of back pain in older women and men. Women especially experience calcium loss as they age. Their bones become thin and brittle, and can break with even minimal impact. This condition is quite different from arthritis, wherein the cartilage between the bone joints is worn away. Rather, the bones lose their strength and their ability to support the body?s weight.

A number of physicians equate back pain with an iceberg - you can see the tip, but don't know the extent of what lies underneath. To head off more damage after you feel some back pain, visit your physician to get some x-rays and tests. Once you figure out the source of your back pain, a course of treatment can be started promptly.
About the Author
Kim Archer knows what it's like to suffer from chronic back pain. She is a regular contributor to Cure Your Back Pain, a great information source on causes and treatments of back pain.
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