Back pain is a very common complaint. … Pain in the lower back may be linked to the bony lumbar spine, discs between the vertebrae, ligaments around the spine and discs, spinal cord and nerves, lower back muscles, abdomen, and pelvic internal organs, and the skin around the lumbar area.
Upper Back Pain
What is the cause of back pain?
Repeated heavy lifting or a sudden awkward movement may strain back muscles and spinal ligaments. If you’re in poor physical condition, constant strain on your back may cause painful muscle spasms. Bulging or ruptured disks. Disks act as cushions between the bones (vertebrae) in your spine.
Mid Back Pain
Low Back Pain
What causes muscle spasms in the lower back? Heavy lifting is a common cause of back spasms. Any activity that puts excessive strain on the muscles and ligaments in the lower back can cause an injury. … A ruptured or bulging disk in the vertebrae may also pressure a nerve, which can result in back pain.
Heavy lifting is a common cause of back spasms. Any activity that puts excessive strain on the muscles and ligaments in the lower back can cause an injury. … A ruptured or bulging disk in the vertebrae may also pressure a nerve, which can result in back pain.
Causes of back pain
The human back is composed of a complex structure of muscles, ligaments, tendons, disks, and bones – the segments of our spine are cushioned with cartilage-like pads called disks. Problems with any of these components can lead to back pain. In some cases of back pain, its cause is never found. Problems with the spine such as osteoporosis can lead to back pain.
Strain – the most common causes of back pain are:
- Strained muscles
- Strained ligaments
- A muscle spasm
Things that can lead to strains or spasms include:
- Lifting something improperly
- Lifting something that is too heavy
- The result of abrupt and awkward movements
Back pain is a very common complaint. According to the Mayo Clinic, approximately 80% of all Americans will have low back pain at least once in their lives.
Back pain is a common reason for absence from work and doctor visits. Although back pain may be painful and uncomfortable, it is not usually serious.
Even though back pain can affect people of any age, it is significantly more common among adults aged between 35 and 55 years. Experts say that back pain is associated with the way our bones, muscles, and ligaments in our backs work and connect together.
Pain in the lower back may be linked to the bony lumbar spine, discs between the vertebrae, ligaments around the spine and discs, spinal cord and nerves, lower back muscles, abdomen, and pelvic internal organs, and the skin around the lumbar area. Pain in the upper back may be due to disorders of the aorta, tumors in the chest, and spine inflammation.
Structural problems – the following structural problems may also result in back pain:
- Ruptured disks – each vertebra in our spine is cushioned by disks. If the disk ruptures there will be more pressure on a nerve, resulting in back pain.
- Bulging disks – in much the same way as ruptured disks, a bulging disk can result in more pressure on a nerve.
- Sciatica – a sharp and shooting pain that travels through the buttock and down the back of the leg, caused by a bulging or herniated disc pressing on a nerve.
- Arthritis – patients with osteoarthritis commonly experience problems with the joints in the hips, lower back, knees, and hands. In some cases, spinal stenosis can develop, which is the term used to describe when the space around the spinal cord narrows.
- Abnormal curvature of the spine – if the spine curves in an unusual way the patient is more likely to experience back pain. An example is scoliosis, a condition in which the spine curves to the side.
- Osteoporosis – bones, including the vertebrae of the spine, become brittle and porous, making compression fractures more likely.
Below are some other causes of back pain:
- Cauda equina syndrome – the cauda equine is a bundle of spinal nerve roots that arise from the lower end of the spinal cord. People with cauda equine syndrome feel a dull pain in the lower back and upper buttocks, as well as analgesia (lack of feeling) in the buttocks, genitalia, and thigh. There are sometimes bowel and bladder function disturbances.
- Cancer of the spine – a tumor located on the spine may press against a nerve, resulting in back pain.
- Infection of the spine – if the patient has an elevated body temperature (fever) as well as a tender warm area on the back, it could be caused by an infection of the spine.
- Other infections – pelvic inflammatory disease (females), bladder, or kidney infections may also lead to back pain.
- Sleep disorders – individuals with sleep disorders are more likely to experience back pain, compared to others.
- Shingles – an infection that can affect the nerves may lead to back pain, depending on the nerves affected.
- Bad mattress – if a mattress does not support specific parts of the body and keep the spine straight, there is a greater risk of developing back pain.
Everyday activities or poor posture.
Back pain can also be the result of some everyday activity or poor posture. Examples include: Adopting a very hunched sitting position when using computers can result in increased back and shoulder problems over time.
- Bending awkwardly
- Pushing something
- Pulling something
- Carrying something
- Lifting something
- Standing for long periods
- Bending down for long periods
- Muscle tension
- Straining the neck forward, such as when driving or using a computer
- Long driving sessions without a break, even when not hunched
A risk factor is something that increases the likelihood of developing a condition or disease. For example, obesity significantly raises the risk of developing diabetes type 2. Therefore, obesity is a risk factor for diabetes type 2.
The following factors are linked to a higher risk of developing low back pain:
- A mentally stressful job
- Pregnancy – pregnant women are much more likely to get back pain
- A sedentary lifestyle
- Age – older adults are more susceptible than young adults or children
- Gender – back pain is more common among females than males
- Obesity and overweight
- Strenuous physical exercise (especially if not done properly)
- Strenuous physical work.
Signs and symptoms
A symptom is something that the patient feels and reports, while a sign is something other people, such as the doctor detect. For example, pain may be a symptom while a rash may be a sign.
The main symptom of back pain is, as the name suggests, an ache or pain anywhere on the back, and sometimes all the way down to the buttocks and legs. Some back issues can cause pain in other parts of the body, depending on the nerves affected.
In most cases, signs, and symptoms clear up on their own within a short period.
If any of the following signs or symptoms accompany back pain, people should see their doctor:
- Weight loss
- Elevated body temperature (fever)
- Inflammation (swelling) of the back
- Persistent back pain – lying down or resting does not help
- Pain in the legs
- Pain reaches the knees
- A recent injury, blow, or trauma to your back
- Urinary incontinence – you pee unintentionally (even small amounts)
- Difficulty urinating – passing urine is hard
- Fecal incontinence – you lose your bowel control (you poo unintentionally)
- Numbness around the genitals
- Numbness around the anus
- Numbness in the buttocks
According to the British National Health Service (NHS), the following groups of people should seek medical advice if they experience back pain:
- People aged less than 20 and more than 55 years
- Patients who have been taking steroids for a few months
- Drug abusers
- Patients with cancer
- Patients who have had cancer
- Patients with depressed immune systems
Benefits of Deep Tissue Massage for back pain
- Treats Chronic Back Pain.
- Helps Lower High Blood Pressure.
- Reduces Stress, Anxiety, and Muscle Tension.
- Breaks Up, Scar Tissue.
- Improves Athletic Recovery and Performance.
- Can Help with Labor Pain and Delivery.
- Reduces Arthritis Symptoms.
- Finding a Trained Deep Tissue Massage Therapist:
Massage therapy is becoming more widely accepted in the medical community as a credible treatment for many types of back pain and/or as an adjunct to other medical treatments. Research shows that massage therapy has several potential health benefits for back pain sufferers, including:
- Increased blood flow and circulation, which brings needed nutrition to muscles and tissues. This aids in the recovery of muscle soreness from physical activity or soft tissue injury (such as muscle strain).
- Decreased tension in the muscles. This muscle relaxation can improve flexibility, reduce pain caused by tight muscles, and even improve sleep.
- Increased endorphin levels–the “feel good” chemicals in the brain. This mood enhancer can ease depression and anxiety, which can help reduce pain and speed recovery–particularly important for those suffering from chronic back or neck problems.
What’s the Bottom Line?
How much do we know about massage?
A lot of research on the effects of massage therapy has been carried out.
What do we know about the effectiveness of massage?
While often preliminary or conflicting, there is scientific evidence that massage may help with back pain and may improve the quality of life for people with depression, cancer, and HIV/AIDS.
What do we know about the safety of massage?
Massage therapy appears to have few risks if it’s used appropriately and provided by a trained massage professional.
What is Deep Tissue Massage and what to expect?
Deep tissue massage is a massage that is designed to get into the connective tissue of the body, rather than just the surface muscles. As a massage therapist when I perform deep tissue I use a variety of techniques to deeply penetrate the muscles and fascia, loosening them and releasing tension. Most clients have a more intense experience with a deep tissue massage, but also feel that it is more beneficial because it addresses deep-seated muscle pains. Deep tissue is beneficial when undertaken on a regular basis so that I can work together with the client to correct long term problems, relax the body, and prevent injury.
To get a truly good deep tissue massage you need to find someone who specializes in deep tissue, like Nicola. Most spas have several massage therapists who can offer a basic deep tissue massage integrating a number of techniques and styles customized for your body for maximum impact. Experiment by trying several deep tissue massage therapists to find the one that is the right fit for you and your body.
One of the defining differences between deep tissue and regular massage is the use of tools. A standard massage usually only involves the hands and lower arms of the therapist. During a deep tissue, however, I use elbows and fingers for deep, penetrating work in the muscle. A deep tissue massage also tends to be very slow, and I will use long, flowing strokes to ease in and out of the muscle. Going in too quickly can cause the muscle to tense up, which is not the desired reaction. I also maintain firm pressure at trouble spots for several minutes to achieve muscle release before moving on to the next area of the body.
Deep tissue massage is designed to relieve severe tension in the muscle and the connective tissue or fascia. This type of massage focuses on the muscles located below the surface of the top muscles. Deep tissue massage is often recommended for individuals who experience consistent pain, are involved in heavy physical activity, such as athletes, and patients who have sustained physical injury. It is also not uncommon for receivers of Deep Tissue Massage to have their pain replaced with a new muscle ache for a day or two. Deep tissue work varies greatly. What one calls deep tissue another will call light. When receiving deep tissue work it is important to communicate what you are feeling.
When you go to get a deep tissue massage, you should talk with the therapist about any issues you might have and like to see addressed during your massage. I am happy to concentrate on a single body part for an entire massage to achieve lasting results and in fact, half of my clients want just that! It is also important to communicate with me about pain; The massage may be intense, but if a client starts to feel pain, he or she should communicate that immediately. I work on a scale of 1 – 10, where 7 is on your comfortability edge for that day and 10 is very uncomfortable pain. A lot of my clients take the deep tissue pain or even like the pain in order to get the quickest results for their body type. At the end of the session, lots of water should be consumed to help the body express the toxins released during the massage. You will probably be sore for a few days after the intense deep tissue treatment but that’s normal. Remember that ice is your friend.
*Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider.
Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.
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