There are several types of back problems that can affect people of various ages and genders. Typically, back problems are related to the bones, joints, connective tissue, muscles, and nerves of the back. These conditions can affect anywhere along the back, the neck, thoracic spine, lumbar spine, and sacrum down to the coccyx.
Back pain affects nearly 4 million Australians annually – that’s 16% per year. With such high figures it’s likely you will experience back pain or problems at some point in your life. It’s crucial you don’t ignore back pain, especially if you are unsure of its cause and can’t easily change your lifestyle. For more information, read on.
WHAT ARE BACK PROBLEMS?
‘Back problems’ is an umbrella term for many conditions that affect the back for several reasons. In some cases, back problems are the result of repetitive activities, in others, they result from deterioration.
Back problems include:
- Pain in the lower, middle, and upper back caused by sedentary situations or injury. This type of pain is common in people of all ages and backgrounds – it is often the result of possible posture or an uncomfortable working environment.
- Degeneration of the spine caused by wear and tear. This type of back problem is common in aging people, or those who work in labour intensive industries or sporting activities that puts strain on the back.
- Decreased range of motion otherwise known as stiffness is caused by the muscle shortening or degeneration of the disc. If you have an impact injury or arthritic condition, you may experience this type of back pain.
- Spinal cord issues due to pressure on the nerve from the disc or decreased space for the nerve caused by arthritis. Again, this condition is more common in older people, but can occur in anyone with a predisposition to the issue.
WHO SUFFERS FROM BACK PAIN?
The reality is that back pain doesn’t discriminate. It can affect anyone regardless of gender, age, or physical condition. Because back pain is caused by a range of factors and there are variants of it, the type of back pain that develops in a person can be related to lifestyle, work, or genetic influences.
However according to “self-reported data from 2017-2018 National Health Survey” (NHS). People who smoke, who are less active/physical are more prone to back issues. Also the older we get the more likely it is we are heading for back pain. The data indicates that we are more likely to become more sedentary and less physical the older we get. This in turn helps us gain extra weight which puts extra strain on our spine speeding up degeneration.
Apart from age, back pain can be caused by work and lifestyle factors or falls, injuries, motor vehicle accidents (MVA) and scar tissue. It can further be caused by genetics, scoliosis and poor muscle patterns While back pain can be caused by a number of different things the common thing remains the same it all can be very debilitating.
WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT IT?
Pain is an indication that something needs to change. Either something you are doing or something that you aren’t doing needs to take place. These things include lifestyle changes to your diet, exercise, weight control and stopping smoking, which have been shown to be beneficial to those experiencing back pain.
Chiropractors are 5 years university trained to assess and diagnose musculoskeletal problems. They may differ in their treatment protocols but their desired outcome is the same – to restore function. Regardless of the chiropractor you choose they will be capable of identifying the problem and offering an adequate solution.
Don’t leave back pain to chance. Depending on the type of pain you experience it could worsen if ignored. Conversely, if you contact a chiropractor early on, you might identify an effective treatment option that solves the issue and protects you from it in future.
Back problems can present in different ways. Some issues are caused by lifestyle choices, others by the working environment; you may also experience back problems due to old age or genetic factors. It’s important you don’t ignore the signs and symptoms of back issues and contact a chiropractor.
It is not only older people who suffer from back problems, although conditions such as arthritis can certainly exacerbate or cause back pain. However, people of any age and gender can experience back pain that requires treatment. The best treatment option for back pain can be decided by a professional chiropractor, who has at least 5 years of university training in the practice.