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Understanding Back Pain

find a DoctorBack pain is experienced by millions of people annually, and it is caused by a wide range of different reasons. Many people think it is simply caused by old age or a weak body, but, in reality, those are only a fraction of the amount of issues that cause back pain. With some, back problem are hereditary or are born with it. With others, these pains come from activities and strenuous actions that a person chooses to make, ultimately risking their body and having to deal with such issues.

What are the Causes of Back Pain?

There are four main factors that cause severe back pain. Aging plays a massive role in back problems due to the body naturally deteriorating after time. This causes problems, such as Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD), and breaks down cartilage, potentially causing bulging discs and damaged nerves. Aging is part of life and there is no real cure for back pains caused by aging. However, there are therapeutic and non-invasive ways to relieve that pain and feel more comfortable.

Injuries are another reason for back pain. Many times athletes, manual labor workers, and other people who tend to be overly active injure themselves more easily than those who are less active. Injuries to the spine can cause lingering, chronic back pain, and, often times, surgery might be recommended.

Spinal pain is also caused by hereditary or acquired conditions. Some people are born with diseases such as scoliosis or hereditary arthritis. Conversely, some women endure severe back and neck pain during their 9 month pregnancy. Many of these issues cause fractures and sprains in the spinal column that lead to both acute and chronic back and neck pain.

Finally, one of the least causes for back pains is tumors and infections. While tumors and infections can cause back pain, it is very uncommon, but can still affect a person by causing inflammation by “suffocating” or tightening the disc or vertebra, resulting in a restriction of movement.

How is Back Pain Treated?

Back pain treatments differ depending on the location of the focal point of the pain. Massages, heat pads, and nuerostimulation (stimulating the nerves) can release tension and relax muscles, temporarily easing pain. Other treatments include injections of steroids, muscle relaxers, and light exercise. In any case, consult a physician at the start of back pain, as it’s residual effects can be costly, both physically and financially, if it is not immediately taken care of.

 

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Best Sleeping Positions for Back Pain

If you are suffering from back pain, you know how difficult it can be to get a comfortable night's sleep and to awake without experiencing pain or stiffness. Many different factors can influence your sleep quality, but one of the most crucial elements is your sleep position. Some are better than others for combating discomfort and getting proper recuperative rest. Sleeping on Your Back Some sleepers swear by this position, while others actively avoid it. Nevertheless, many people prefer this sleep position or find themselves in it when they wake. To make the best of back sleeping, you should consider placing a pillow underneath your head and neck and another underneath your knees to relieve pressure on the back. The posture places the back in its most natural, aligned positioning. This can also help with cramping; however, for those who snore, this position is likely to exacerbate the condition. Sleeping on Your Side One of the most popular sleep positions, side sleeping is good for reducing back strain. Placing a pillow between your knees or thighs can help reduce pressure on the hips and other joints. A full sized body pillow is less likely to slip out during the night and can be very comfortable. If you tend to roll one hip forward, you should use caution and try to avoid doing so, because it can increase both lower back and hip pain. This position can also help with sinus pressure; however, those with shoulder pain may find it markedly less comfortable. To alleviate that, switch sides during the night when possible. Sleeping on Your Stomach Not a highly recommended position, but one that makes many people feel more secure as they drift off to sleep, stomach sleeping is a more challenging sleep option for those with back pain. The answer is to sleep with a pillow beneath your pelvis and abdomen, easing the curve of the spine. You may want to forego resting your head on a pillow in this position. For those with some types of degenerative disc disease or paracentral disc herniation, stomach sleeping may help, but otherwise, if possible, you may wish to give up this position, as it offers few benefits beyond potential psychological comfort. If you have tried all of these positions and are still having back pain issues, contact us for more information and potential solutions for your pain and sleep quality issues.


Note: The information on this Web site is provided as general health guidelines and may not be applicable to your particular health condition. Your individual health status and any required medical treatments can only be properly addressed by a professional healthcare provider of your choice. Remember: There is no adequate substitution for a personal consultation with your physician. Neither BPF Specialty Hospital, or any of their affiliates, nor any contributors shall have any liability for the content or any errors or omissions in the information provided by this Web site.