Back pain is a common occurrence nowadays and is exacerbated even more by our recent tendencies to lead a sedentary life, spending several hours sitting at a desk. Chances are that you have already experienced or will experience back pain at some point in your life. Statistics show that in the UK alone the prevalence of back pain in the general population can be as high as 60%.
The back is a large surface that is connected to many spinal nerve endings that branch out of spinal cord, which passes through the spinal column – a bony structure that supports our torso and helps hold our upper body upright.
Because of the load that our spine has to carry, in many cases it can easily become injured and lead to back pain, stiffness, muscle strain, reduced range of motion, and other symptoms. These can vary depending on the region of the spine that is affected.
For example, apart from the pain itself, other symptoms that may accompany lower back pain include hip pain, leg pain and walking problems.
That being said, the three major regions of the spine are the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine regions.
The cervical spine corresponds to the vertebrae C1-C7, and it is the top region of the spine, that includes the neck and upper back.
Some of the spinal issues that most often affect this region include neck pain, herniated discs, nerve root pinching, spinal stenosis, headaches, shoulder pain, and forward head posture (poor posture that can lead to pain).
The lowermost portion of the spine is the lumbar spine region, corresponding to the lower back. It comprises 5 vertebrae, L1-L5.
What are the causes and risk factors of spinal problems and pain?
Back problems and disorders tend to be caused by genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors. These can include:
- Genetic factors. Some people can either be born with a spinal deformity, or their genetic makeup places them at a higher risk of developing back problems.
- Heavy lifting, whether it is part of a person’s occupation, gym training programme, or other activities can increase a person’s risk of back injury. This can affect not only the muscles, but also the bones and nerves of the spine as well.
- Poor posture that constitutes either sitting down for long periods of time, sleeping on a mattress that does not support your back, or sleeping in an unfavourable condition can damage your spine.
- Ageing brings about changes in the structure of our spine, which is subject to the wear and tear process that occurs due to the constant use of our spine throughout our lives. The bones and spinal discs can wear out and the spine can become compressed or suffer from various degenerative diseases.
- Being overweight can also lead to back problems as the excess weight that one has to carry places increased pressure on the back.
- Weak muscles constitute another factor that may lead to back pain. Muscles of the back as well as core muscles support the spinal column in holding our spine upright. As such, strong muscles are required for a healthy back.
- Lack of physical activity, which can be associated with the aforementioned two points, can have the spine muscles become weaker, and thus increase one’s chances of developing back problems.
Back problems, regarding of the region where they occur, are typically treated in the following ways:
- Resting and allowing your spine to heal. In many cases, back pain is temporary and can go away on its own without any treatment, provided that it is protected from any additional stresses.
- Using a heat pack or an ice pack to soothe a sore region of the back, especially if inflammation has occurred.
- Physical therapy may often be among the first options to address back problems, as it is a non-invasive method that is based on mobilising your spine and increasing its range of motion.
- Medication in the form of tables or injections may sometimes be offered for temporary pain management while a different treatment method (that addresses the source of the pain) is being employed.
- Muscle relaxants, where you back or neck pain is accompanied by muscle spasms.
- Massages can also help relieve pain along the back but are not necessarily a viable long-term solution.
- Surgery may sometimes be an option, but only in rare cases where more conservative and non-invasive treatment options have proven unsuccessful or if a serious problem (such as a tumour or compression of the spinal cord) has occurred.
However, given that most back pains are not caused by life-threatening conditions, the best solution is to address the pain naturally and from its source. Since a majority of back and neck problems are caused by compression of the spine, reversing this process through spinal decompression therapy is recommended. You can easily achieve this and reclaim the health of your spine by using the Spinal Backrack.
What Is the Spinal Backrack?
Benefits of Spinal Decompression with the Backrack
To better understand why spinal decompression is probably the best solution to treat back pain, it is best to learn how spinal compression affects the spine and leads to various types of back pain, regardless of the region of the back that is affected.
Spinal compression is a process where your vertebrae (bones that make up the spinal column) become squashed. When this happens, they can put pressure on spinal discs, causing them to crack and the inner disc contents to bulge out through that crack, impinging on nearby nerve roots. This can trigger local pain receptors and create the sensation of pain.
That being said, to treat back pain, or any pain caused by back problems, it is important to address the compression of the spine, as this is the root of the pain.
In addition to the pain, compression of the spine can also alter its structure, shortening or even deforming it, leading to more problems.