By Corey Lewis, CPT, CSCS
Do you often feel a sharp pain shooting down your back? Does your neck hurt when you move? Do you encounter stiffness, tingling sensations, or numbness around your back or neck region? If yes, then it’s an indication that you suffer from neck and back pain.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), musculoskeletal conditions include conditions that affect the spine, joints, bones, muscles, and multiple body systems. These types of musculoskeletal conditions are quite painful and may dampen your day, as they prevent you from going about your normal daily activities. Worse still, they may become life-threatening if not nipped in the bud.
The key to living a healthy life devoid of these musculoskeletal problems is to identify and treat the underlying causes. In this article, I take a look at the causes and how to treat these musculoskeletal problems.
Back pain can be severe, mild, dull, or even disabling pain. This often restricts movement and disrupts the normal functioning of the body, as well as your quality of life. There are two types of neck and back pain: acute and chronic. A neck or back pain that occurs suddenly (perhaps due to an injury) is called acute pain. It comes on suddenly and may leave just as quickly, and it usually doesn’t last more than six weeks.
However, a neck or back pain that lasts more than three months is referred to as chronic pain. This type of pain is less common than acute pain.
There are several symptoms associated with back pain, including the following:
Back pain can be caused by a number of reasons, including the following:
Most back pains often disappear after days or weeks of rest and some back pain relief exercises. However, back pain is a complex condition, and the level of pain differs from person to person. Back pain remedies include:
A doctor may recommend one of the following medications:
To treat your neck and back pain, you can engage a physiotherapist. They will apply various treatment options such as muscle-release techniques, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, and heat therapy to your soft tissues and back muscles. This reduces the pain.
Upon improvement of the pain, the therapist can then introduce some exercises that will increase your flexibility, strengthen your abdominal and back muscles, and also improve your posture. Additionally, there are massage therapy benefits you get to enjoy when you engage the services of a physiotherapist.
Neck pain occurs in the region of the cervical vertebrae of the neck. This type of pain can leave your neck vulnerable to injury.
The symptoms associated with neck pain include:
The neck supports the weight of the head, so it is vulnerable to conditions and injuries that can cause pain. These pains are often caused by:
Treating neck pain will depend on its cause. However, general treatment options include:
You can also apply some self-care measures, some of which include:
Alternatively, treatments such as nerve block (which decreases the pain from the affected area) and acupuncture can also be administered.
A life free of neck and back pain is possible; it starts with identifying the causes and administering proper treatment. Different types and degrees of pain require different treatment methods, and you should seek the advice of a doctor to identify and treat the underlying cause of your pain. But I hope that the tips I shared in this article will set you on a path to becoming pain-free.