It’s hard to describe the debilitating effects of back pain without experiencing it yourself. Otherwise simple tasks like standing up and sitting down can trigger intense bouts of pain, forcing individuals to change their daily habits. And depending on the severity of the condition, it may prevent some individuals from working (note: back pain is the leading cause of worker disability worldwide).
Whether your back pain is minor, severe or somewhere in between, there are steps you can take to regain control of your life. First and foremost, you must understand the mechanics of the spine and how it works. The average person’s back contains 33 vertebrae (7 cervical, 12 thoracic, 5 lumbar, 5 sacrum, and 4 coccyx), each of which is separated with a soft padding of cartilage. It’s not uncommon for this protective cartilage to wear down over time, resulting in bone-on-bone contact. When this occurs, even the slightest movements can cause excruciating pain.
Another common cause of back pain involves the herniation of the protective vertebral discs. These discs are rubbery in texture but contain a jelly-like interior that’s used to absorb pressure and force. When the inside begins to herniate out, though, it can reduce its effectiveness at absorbing pressure; thus, causing or contributing to back pain. This condition is called a herniated disc, referring to the herniation of the vertebral disc.
One of the first steps towards relieving back pain is to identify possible stressors. Does your job require you to constantly lift boxes or other heavy objects? If so, make sure you are bending your knees to lift rather than bending your back. Far too many people lift by arching their back over, which of course stresses the vertebrae and its protective discs. Wearing a back brace may also help, although this should only be used in situations recommended by a physician or healthcare practitioner.
You should also consider seeking the services of a professional chiropractor. Chiropractors are trained in identifying and treating a wide variety of conditions related to the spine and musculoskeletal system. Using a series of spinal manipulations, they can free pressure on the spine and its protective discs, eliminating back pain from the root.
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