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Common Causes of Back Pain and Effective, Natural Methods for Treating It
Back pain is a fairly widespread malady, with nearly everyone experiencing it at least once or twice in their lives. At any given moment, roughly 25% of the population reports a recent bout of back pain, while 8% of adults suffer from persistent or chronic pain.
The causes of back pain, as well as the areas that can be affected, are numerous, and while persistent pain should be checked by a doctor, mild to moderate, and even chronic pain that isn’t linked to more serious conditions can frequently be effectively treated at home.
What Causes Back Pain?
Back pain generally falls into three categories.
- Axial pain can vary from sharp to dull, throbbing or not. It can come and go or it can be persistent. What’s consistent is that it occurs in a specific spot or location on the back. Axial pain is commonly caused by simple muscle strain, but facet joint problems and annular tears in intervertebral discs can also be involved.
- Referred pain is generally caused indirectly, which means the location where the pain is experienced can move around and vary in intensity. Because the back is served by a wide, interconnected network of nerves, issues in one area can “refer” pain to another area. There are a number of conditions that can cause referred pain. Visiting a doctor is the best way to get an accurate diagnosis.
- Radicular pain is caused by compression and or inflammation in the back that puts pressure on a spinal nerve root. This sort of back pain is generally a shooting, searing experience that can make its way down into the legs. Radicular pain is most commonly caused by spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, or a herniated disc.
It’s also possible that the pain being experienced isn’t back pain at all but is instead caused by some sort of organ distress. Irregular back pain, particularly pain that can’t be explained by a recent strain or injury should be discussed with your doctor.
What Natural Methods Exist for Treating Back Pain?
Pain with a known cause, like muscle strain, can be treated with simple rest and an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Ice packs are frequently helpful, as well, as is the direct application of heat. If the pain is chronic, switching to a firmer mattress can help.
Exercise is recommended, particularly as a way to avoid future attacks. The focus should be on exercises that help strengthen the core. Developing the abdominals and the muscles in the back helps to better support the spin. It also reduces the chance that these muscle groups will be overly-stressed during routine exercise. Pilates, yoga, and aquatic therapies are all good choices.
Treating the nerves that carry pain messages to the brain is an excellent, drug-free way to reduce the experience of back pain as well. A TENS machine, which stands for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, relieves back pain using directed, low-voltage electrical current, applied directly to the affected area.
These devices, which can be purchased from Caremax among other suppliers, are thought to interrupt the transmission of pain signals to the brain, thus reducing or eliminating the experience of back pain. They provide effective pain relief with no side effects.
Caremax sells some of the best, more intuitive TENS devices on the market. If you suffer from occasional or chronic back pain and are looking to replace drugs or need an additional treatment option to compliment your current regimen, TENS machines from Caremax are an affordable solution.