Up to 90 percent of Americans suffer from back pain of some sort at one point in their life, and 50 percent will have more than one incident during their life. Roughly fifty million dollars is spent each year by sufferers of back pain, most of which did not find any specific cause of the pain.
In terms of visits to the hospital and doctors, back pain ranks in at number one, and is the second most common reason for missed days at work, number one being the common cold. In terms of neurologic pain, it comes in at number two behind headaches. As can be seen, it is a lot more common than people believe, and as such, a major problem suffered by people.
Most health care professionals will label acute back pain as back pain suffered for less than one month, and chronic back pain if the pain lasts longer than three months. Although for 90 percent of sufferers, this pain will decrease dramatically within 2 month, regardless of the treatment administered.
Some of the most common causes of back pain include:
- Injury or disease to the bones, nerves or muscles of the spine.
- Injuries to the muscles in the spinal area lead to less support for the back, and this increases the strain put on the spine itself, cause pain for the person.
- Pain from organs situated near the abdomen, such as kidneys, bladder and ovaries.
Pain suffered from these organs can be passed on to the back.
- Pregnancy, due to the stretching of the ligaments in the pelvic area
Increased weight situated near the spine creates strain on the muscles and bones in the spinal area, which the body is not used to.
- Nerve root impingement, such as sciatica
Pain suffered tends to be sharp, and generally affects a precise area, and can cause numbness in specific parts of the legs.
- Often tumors may cause back pain.