Back and neck pain is most common among people between the ages of 18 and 64. Research indicates both conditions are common complaints at doctors’ offices. Although often soft-tissue related, they temporarily diminish mobility, which inhibits the sufferer’s daily activities. But before any treatment, there must be a diagnosis.
Below are five major causes of neck and back pain. If your condition is related to one of the following causes, inform your physician so they can determine the best path of care.
Medical professionals, especially chiropractors, see many patients following neck and back trauma. Trauma involves an impact or jolt that shifts the spine or surrounding musculoskeletal structures. The source is typically a car accident or physical sport. Most injuries are soft-tissue related.
Men and women who work in an office or retail facility often develop neck and back pain. Sitting and standing for long hours hunched over tightens back and neck muscles. The best practice is to adopt better postural habits. Regardless of a person’s height, weight and stature, a person’s posture should follow the natural curve of the spine and maintain upright and squared shoulders. If you find yourself sitting for longer periods during the day, it’s important to ensure that laptop and computer screens are at eye-level, chairs are positioned at the right height and you are sitting up straight and not hunched over a desk.
Abnormalities in bones and muscles can also cause neck and back pain. The usual culprits are bone spurs, herniated discs or scoliosis. Bone spurs are skeletal projections stemming from bones that irritate joints or other bones. Herniated discs occur when soft centers in spinal discs extend out of their exterior cases, and scoliosis is a lateral curvature of the spine. Medical care for all three vary but almost always involves a form of physical therapy or chiropractic care.
Diabetes mellitus, osteoarthritis and other debilitating diseases distort human tissue and can erode this substance. The result is the bones in the neck and back rub against each other. For most people, it’s very painful. Consequently, age plays a factor in degenerative diseases. Middle-agers and seniors develop these ailments more so than younger individuals. Since no cure exists for degenerative diseases, sufferers must adapt their lifestyles. They may need to lose weight, exercise, and avoid specific foods.
A strain occurs after neck and back muscles stretch or tear. Strenuous exercise or heavy lifting causes muscle strains. Affected regions throb and ache. Application of a cold or warm cloth helps. If inflammation or spasm occurs, more medical care is necessary.
In conclusion, the five major causes of neck and back pain—trauma, poor posture, musculoskeletal abnormalities, degenerative disease and muscle strain—effect millions. Yet in most cases, there is a solution. Seeking medical care early is a key way to reducing the chances of complication and pain.
Call us at (985) 273-5588 to book an evaluation or appointment for your neck or back pain.