Back pain is considered to be the most common reasons for physician visits; it is the largest cause of work-related absence. Back pain is known as Lumbago and can be defined as mild to severe pain or discomfort in the area of the lower back. The pain can be acute (sudden and severe) or chronic if it has lasted more than three months.
Strains or sprains of the muscles and ligaments of the back are the most common cause of acute back pain. Injuries, degenerative diseases and Functional back pain due to imbalance are other reasons of back pain.
First of all, according to (Chambers R., 2007, p.41) “Most of the back strains and sprains occur after a sudden movement associated with bending or twisting, and lifting heavy objects”. Therefore, jobs involving lifting, carrying ,pushing, pulling, lowering and holding moving objects have a high risk of getting back pain. For instance, children with their school books or postmen who carry weight on one side may develop great back pain. P.Fysh (1995), citied in his study Back Pain in School Children that in (1994) a Scandinavian study, by Trousler identified the prevalence of back pain in a group of 1,174 school children at 51 percent was due to backpacks. This study also found significance in the risk factors like age and genders those children.
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Furthermore, back pain that results from job nature is highly reported among workers who have to left a weighty objects. According to Kincla & Davis (2009) “Carpenters and other construction workers who install drywall have high rates of strains and sprains to the low back and shoulder”(p.305). Moreover, muscle strain can occur in the back just like anywhere else in the body, and most likely to affect people in their forties, although it can happen at any age.
Straining the back muscles is characterized by sever pain and inability to move. Since strain has several impacts on the body, it can cause the muscles to overstretch or move in such a way that they sustain terrible tears. Also it might lead the tendons and the ligaments that attached the muscles to loss its elasticity, by pulling too far on a muscle, and the area around it can become inflamed which leads to muscle pain.
The second major cause of back pain is pregnancy. Usually back pain and pregnancy together. Unfortunately this type of back pain last for several weeks to few months with pregnant women. Its reasons can vary. It can be due to body changes for example, hormonal changes, or it might be due to extra weight the women may gain during the pregnancy period.
The body hormones in the pregnant woman tend to relax the ligaments and the muscles that attached to pelvic, to allow fetus and uterus growing may cause many changes in the body and back pain can be a side-effect of these changes. Also ” A difference in hormone levels can cause muscles and ligaments to become more relaxed, especially during the last few months as the body is getting ready for labour ” from (Back Pain and Pregnancy, 1999., para, no). Additional to that , the effect of the extra weight and body posture adds extra strain on the pregnant women by pulling the muscles. This means if the pregnant women is holding twins it is definitely the attraction on muscles will be great. Silva A.(2004) loudly echoed that :
The weight of the baby can result in a higher degree of curvature of the lower spine, meaning ligaments and muscles must adapt and sometimes can feel strained. The centre of gravity will be slowly changing also, keeping a firm base with feet shoulder width apart will help to counteract this ( p.34-5).
and pregnancy period may develop what know as ” Pregnancy-Related low Back Pain (PLBP), this type of Back Pain often lead to other problems with” Significant physical, psychological, and socioeconomic implications”, according to Silva(2004, p.39). In addition to that the sleep habit disturbances often associate with such pain. Beside all these effects, fear of abortion always is a pregnant women concern; related to long courses pain killer medicine is used and prescribed or worries of havening child with congenital problems.
However pregnancy back pain can be minimized and avoided, standing up straight and straight the muscle by exercise such as swimming are good example of minimizing the back pain. Although, the primary prevention is by not sitting in one position for long time, but massage therapy would be the best technique to use as it is emphasized by Silva “Therapeutic massage for low back massage is thought to provide low back pain relief by improving blood flow, reducing muscle stiffness, increasing range of motion, and raising endorphin levels in the body” (2004, p.51).
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The third major cause of back pain is related to the degenerative disk diseases in the back; as part of the natural process of growing older. In fact, it is not an actual disease thus it affect an elderly and retired people. It starts with the disk (shock absorber) that consists of the jelly and lays between the vertebras in the back bone. Over the time this disk slips out and leads the jelly inside the disk to leaks and loses its ability to absorb shocks. Pressing on the nerve and leading into sever pain that may radiate to hip and legs are the majors consequences of disk prolapsed. This problem is widely spread among young men who performer a heavy work, but it is still consider to be ageing process disease. R. Windsor (2008) stressed on this point when he stated in his article that “Low Back Pain secondary to degenerative disk disease is a condition that affects young to middle-aged persons with peak incidence at approximately 40 years also he pointed that the prevalence of disk degeneration increases with age”.
Moreover, depression, isolation and restriction in activities are effects of degenerative Disk disease. It is well documented that physical pain can lead to feelings of depression, but a new study from the University of Alberta shows the reverse can be true, as well. When Dr. Linda Carroll, a professor in a Department of Public Health Sciences, led the study that shows “Depression is a risk factor for onset of severe neck and low back pain”(2003, p.3). The study is published in the Journal Pain. Besides this, people who suffers from pack pain may tend to be isolated from others due to fear of further injury and frustration regarding their condition .
This mental status can also indirectly damage the back. “Mental stress, dissatisfaction at work, depression and distress can all play a role in back pain. These factors may re-enforce relatively minor pain signals resulting in a much more present pain sensation”(Carroll L. 2003, p.5). So, there is a strong connection between stress and back pain, when the tension created by emotional stress can give you a back pain. Also Stress causes the muscles to tighten up. The muscles may tense up so much and they go into painful spasms. Then it followed by reduce blood flow to the tissues and finally the back is less capable of tolerating even mild workload.
However, this type of back pain can be also avoided by controlling and reducing the amount of exposure to tensions and stressful life situations. Yoga is a very popular form of relaxation therapy that increases muscle strength as it calms and works out stress. In addition to that exercise is important to reducing stress, by doing early morning walk and implemented as a weekly routine in the person life. Lastly, there are almost as many ways to prevent back pain as there are bad behaviors that cause it.
Socioeconomic is another side effect of degenerative or disk diseases. People who suffers back pain have to pay a lot of medical expanses that includes physician fees which is typically high, medication cost and physiotherapy. Eventually this treatment costs are often difficult to be afforded by them. Additional to this, back pain lead to work absenteeism, statistic shown by (Parthan A. 2005, p.14) “estimated the annual loss in productivity due to back pain in the United States to be approximately $28 billion. The loss in productivity is primarily due to absenteeism from work”.
Despite previously discussed causes of back pain, there are still many reasons need to be reviewed like, injury where all the types injures results several back problems, started with strains and end with back bone fracture and never damages. ( Windsor, 2008) has written “It is commonly acknowledged that back injury is the most serious health problem experienced by most of the world’s workforce”. However, Injury results from fall, road traffic accidents, and sports injury. or even arise from direct blunt impact Objects. Any injury to the back can cause damages to surrounded soft tissue of the spine, bruised and inflamed. And also, some time damages exceed the tissue to reach the bony and nerve structure. Later on the spine becomes stiffer. These injuries may varies can be range from mild, moderate to sever. A good example of midland moderate back pain injury is strain, very treatable in its tow forms. But sever injury may lead to paralyses or even death at the injury onset.
To sum up, aside from the usual side effects of back pain, like the disturbance of your sleeping habits and the difficulty in sitting still during extended periods of time, the real concern should be addressed to the causes for back pain. Unfortunately since back muscles are the hardest working muscle group in the body, back pains are a frequent occurrence which indirectly effects it being the hardest to identify condition. It is a good investment to learn all about back pain, the causes and the side effects of back pain, and how it is prevented or if the condition is occurring, how best to relieve the effect.
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