Tyler Magaha, PT, DPT, CSCSFounder/Owner Warrior Sports Physical Therapy 3316 5th Avenue Suite 300, Altoona, PA 16602

What is back pain?

Are you having trouble moving due to back pain? Have trouble sleeping, exercising, walking, or doing other everyday activities? Back pain can be debilitating, and if pain levels are high it can really inhibit you from doing the things you love. So if we were to look at back pain on a clinical level, what exactly is it?

Back pain is localized pain in the back. Symptoms can include stiffness, limited movement, buttock pain, weakness in legs, upper back pain, lower back pain, and neck pain. Back pain is a common problem, and in the most severe cases, it can leave you immobilized. So what are some of the most common causes of back pain?

What are the most common causes of back pain?

There are many common causes and contributing factors to back pain, including but not limited to: your occupation, and injury, and even possibly how you sleep. Identifying the most common causes of back pain can help to prevent it from occurring in the future!

  1. Aging:

Aging is one of the most common causes or contributing factors to back pain. Your bones and muscles do become weaker and more brittle as you age. As we continue to age, we become more susceptible to conditions such as osteoporosis and arthritis. Osteoporosis is a condition where your bones become weaker, possibly leading to an increase in back pain. Arthritis is inflammation of the joints leading to stiffness and joint pain. Both conditions typically occur at some point in the aging process and can directly cause back pain. 

  1. Injuries:

Injuries are another common cause of back pain. With heavy lifting, exercise, or sport related activities it can be easy to pull muscles or tendons leading to tightness, stiffness, and sometimes swelling. 

  1. Sleeping in Awkward Positions:

Sleeping in awkward and uncomfortable positions can lead to back pain. Poor sleeping posture can lead to pressure on your neck and spine, placing stress and pain on the joints in your spine. 

  1. Stress on the Spine: 

Stress on the spine due to bad posture or carrying heavy loads is another massive contributing factor to back pain. When back muscles have to overcompensate, it can place unnecessary stress on the spine, causing aches and pains on the spine and surrounding muscles. 

Now that we have looked into some of the most common causes of back pain, let’s explore some of the top ways you can treat back pain and get back to the activities you love!

5 Tips for Treating Back Pain Quickly:

One very important thing to remember is back pain usually goes away on its own when working on your posture and the stresses you place on your spine. Without lasting treatment, however, it is likely it will reoccur at some point in time. 

However, this will depend on the severity of the pain, where it is localized, and how you treat it. Here are 5 tips to help treat back pain quickly!

  1. Physical Therapy:

Physical therapy is a great first step to getting rid of back pain! Whether you are experiencing chronic back pain or something much less severe, seeing a physical therapist can be a great way to manage your pain! 

Physical therapists offer rehabilitation plans, exercise plans, and treatment plans to help return you to tip-top shape! 

  1. Oral Medication:

Although relying on medication as a long term solution for back pain is less than ideal, readily available oral medications from the drug store or prescription medications can help with reducing pain and inflammation. 

Pain Killing medications such as ibuprofen and tylenol can help to reduce sensory pain sensations. Anti-inflammatory medications are also helpful in reducing pain and inflammation. Make sure to discuss with a medical professional first before taking any medications. 

  1. Medicated Creams:

Similar to the oral medication option, except application is topical instead. Applying creams to sore and irritated back muscles can help to numb and reduce swelling, as well as heat or cool overworked back muscles, and block pain signals traveling to your brain. 

  1. Ice + Heat Packs:

Ice and heat pack usage is a great way to supplement treating back pain. One of the best things about them is their accessibility and easy to use nature at home! Cold packs will help to numb muscle soreness and slightly reduce inflammation, while heat packs will improve circulation, loosen tight muscles, and assist in tissue healing. 

  1. Acupuncturist, Chiropractor, or Osteopath:

These three practitioners can have helpful approaches towards helping to treat back pain. Acupuncturists can use needling techniques to block pain signals to our brains. Chiropractors use adjustments to create an endorphin response around painful joints that block pain signals to our brains. Osteopaths use soft tissue therapies to treat specific conditions like pain. 

Back Pain Prevention Going Forward:

Being preventative about caring for your back and keeping it healthy is vital-you only get one of them! So how can you help to prevent back pain and back injury?

  1. Make sure to focus on maintaining a healthy weight. This is vital for taking excessive pressure off your back.
  2. Make sure to practice good posture habits. Frequent position changes and proper form when running and lifting are important for keeping a healthy back!
  3. When lifting daily objects that are heavy (like boxes), especially from the floor, make sure to lift with your legs and maintain a relatively neutral back alignment to avoid excessive stress and strain on your back. 

Overall, it is very important to practice good back health. If you have any questions about back pain or muscle pain, be sure to seek help from a healthcare professional to ensure you are doing right by yourself!

Get In Touch With Us Today!

If you would like personal, 1:1 care or want to learn more, please contact us at (301) 676-9325 or click here (link to scheduling page). We’ll get you in touch with one of our dedicated professionals. 

At Warrior Sports Physical Therapy, your health is always front of mind! It’s our mission to help you get off the sidelines and back on your feet in the fastest and safest way possible.

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