Back aches are a frequent complaint in adults and can result from numerous causes. They can be pain felt in any part of the back, though the cause tends to localize the pain to certain areas, like the lower or upper back or the neck. Certain conditions can predispose one toward feeling back pain.
Certain conditions like pregnancy or being in the middle of a menstrual period can cause lower back aches. For these types, mild pain relievers may be of help, though pregnant women should seek guidance from their obstetrician prior to taking any medication, even if can be obtained over the counter. Sometimes, taking birth control pills can help women who have difficult periods to eliminate some back pain.
Obesity, or even simply carrying a few extra pounds is a common cause of back aches. Usually this is most felt in the lower back, but pain may also be felt in the neck as well. Often shedding pounds can help eliminate this type of pain.
Pain may also be caused by the positions in which one sleeps, or the kind of mattress upon which one sleeps. Usually back aches of this type can be helped through positional changes. However, positions may be hard to maintain once one is asleep.
Improper seating positions during the day may also result in back problems. Back pain caused by poor seating positions can be reduced by taking a break from sitting and stretching once an hour. As well, maintaining good posture while sitting, or using ergonomically designed chairs can ease back pain caused by improper seating.
Some back aches result from deterioration in the discs of the spine. This can cause nerves to gradually become pinched and thus make the person be in pain constantly. Herniated, or damaged discs tend to result in upper rather than lower back pain, and also may cause neck discomfort. Often surgery must be undertaken to repair the discs when possible, or to fuse the spine.
In adults who are elderly, a common cause of back aches is arthritis in the spine. This type of pain may be felt anywhere on the back and feels worse when one is just waking, and at night. Normally, gentle movement can help reduce this type of pain, especially when coupled with exercise like yoga or Tai Chi. The condition is, however, degenerative, so those affected cannot be cured.
Aging adults may also suffer from cervical stenosis, a tightening of the spinal cord that can result in significant pain. Cervical stenosis is also associated with significant pain in the neck, arms and legs. It may over time, inhibit movement.
Injury to the back can result in back aches in numerous locations. For example, a torn rotator cuff in the shoulder can cause pain not only in the shoulder but also the neck and upper back. Trauma to the back from fractures or strain can result in lower back pain.
Most doctors recommend reducing injury through regular exercise and weight loss. If we only exercise occasionally, or not at all, we will likely experience more back problems with any type of vigorous activity. Weight reduction in those who are overweight is encouraged. As well, strong abdominal muscles can be of significant help in combating lower back aches. These solutions will not eliminate all back pain, but even some elimination of back pain is a goal worth achieving.