Your back is paramount to the structure and movement of your entire body. When there is pain present, it can be a signal that there is something wrong.
You may find that back pain can range from mild to severe, however, it can become difficult to execute simple, everyday tasks when you have significant pain in your back.
Don’t miss this quick guide to the function of your spine and some simple healthy habits for preventing and reducing back pain.
How Your Spine Works
Your vertebral column or spine plays a vital role in the function of your body. Its structure not only provides the rigid support to hold up your upper body and flexibility to allow for movement, but also provides the path for nerves to travel throughout your entire body.
Your vertebral column travels from just below your skull all the way to your pelvis. It is made up of bones called vertebrae and intervertebral discs which provide cushioning. This cushioning allows your spine to be flexible which in turn assists with the movement of your upper body while absorbing shock.
Your vertebrae and intervertebral discs also provide protection for your incredibly sensitive spinal cord and nerve roots.
The nerve fibers that make up your spinal cord, nerves, and nerve roots are the highway for signals to be sent to your brain. You should always pay attention to pain as it is your first line of defense against further injury.
Common Causes of Back Pain Related to Your Spine
According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, one of the most common medical issues among Americans is back pain. They also view acute pain in your back as the most common type of pain that you may experience.
However, depending on the cause of your back pain, you may experience chronic pain if a mechanical issue or medical condition is left untreated.
Mechanical issues in your back can cause serious issues including pain. These mechanical issues include:
Tears in the intervertebral discs
Injuries including strains, sprains, fractures
Muscle stiffness and/or tenseness
Medical conditions may also be having an effect on your spine. Arthritis, spinal stenosis, infection, and fibromyalgia are a few that can have a severe impact on your spinal health.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis of the spine. They also speculate that osteoarthritis could contribute to the development of spinal stenosis, a condition that leads to a narrowing of your spinal canal which can compress your spinal cord causing pain, numbness, tingling, weakness, or even paralysis in some cases.
One of the simplest methods of preventing back pain is to establish and maintain good posture. Maintaining proper posture should keep your spine in alignment and help it deal with the forces of everyday life. This is an effective way to help prolong the health of your spine so that you do not develop preventable medical conditions associated with poor posture or extreme strain on your spine.
You should also consider the amount of exercise that you are doing. Regular physical activity can help improve the strength and health of your spine and the muscles that surround it. It can also improve circulation of nutrient and oxygen rich blood as well as the exchange of vital fluid such as synovia, which is the viscous lubricant that is found inside of your joints.
Make sure to speak with your doctor in order to get a proper diagnosis and treatment regarding your back pain. This should also allow you to formulate a plan of action together that can help you combat the problem at hand.