Back pain is the second most common type of pain in adults (the most common being headaches).
In the U.S., it is reported that over 59 million people have reported recent episode of back pain and about 80% of all people will have back pain at some time, or the other.
By far, the most common cause of back pain is muscle strain.
The back muscles can usually heal themselves within a couple of weeks, but the pain can be intense and debilitating.
Other common sources of back pain include disc problems, such as degenerative disc disease or a lumbar disc herniation, many types of fractures, such as spondylolisthesis or an osteoporotic fracture, osteoarthritis, or weight gain.
Other less common causes include cauda equine syndrome, spinal infections, epidural abscesses, vertebral osteomyelitis, and transverse myelitis.
Certainly, if one is injured or feel numbness, weakness, or tingling in the legs, the rule of engagement is always to call one’s doctor.
That said, some easy self-help includes:
Ice and/or Heat
On the other hand, some preventive tips include:
Make sure you have a comfortable mattress
Sleep either on your side or your back, using pillows for support
Don’t jump out of bed but ease out
Make sure you have the right seating in your car
Don’t slump when sitting
Use the right form and technique to bend, lift, and reach
Barbara Greene, Readers Bureau, Fellow
Edited by Jesus Chan
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