A large number of adult individuals would likely suffer from back pain than from any other bodily pains in their lifetime. In fact, 9 out of 10 Americans are said to have chronic back pains. A chronic back pain may be caused by several different reasons and may last depending on the severity of the underlying condition. Two of the symptoms for chronic back pains are lumbar strain and spinal stenosis.
The lumbar strain is one of the common symptoms for chronic back pains. It is a result of overexerting the lower back in heavy physical activities. Lumbar strain usually involves the stretching of the muscles in the lower parts of the back. People with lumbar strain may find it impossible to stand or even sit for long periods of time due to painful muscle spasms.
Another symptom for chronic back pain is spinal stenosis. It is quite more severe than the common lumbar strain and may result to pains not limited to the back but ones that spread down to the hips, the legs, and feet. It may also result to a loss of bladder and bowel control. Spinal stenosis is actually the compression of the spinal canal, which result to the contraction of the spinal nerves as well. While spinal stenosis may be an accompanying warning sign for other spinal disorders like osteoporosis, it is normally a condition that occurs with aging.
There is also a condition called referred pain wherein the pain you feel in a certain area of your body is an indirect result of a symptom not associated at all with that body part. This can happen to chronic back pains as well. Sometimes, what you think as plain back pain is actually a result of a more severe underlying cause such as appendicitis, kidney trouble, and the most common urinary tract infection. You should be cautious of referred pain since you cannot be too sure whether the pain you are feeling is a result of simple muscle pain or something more worse.
Second to the common cold, chronic back pain is the most common cause for visits to the doctors by individuals who daily engage in demanding physical activities. Aside from overexertion of the back muscles, other risk factors for chronic back pain are obesity, lack of exercise, lack of adequate sleep due to a poor mattress, and too much smoking and alcohol consumption.
Back pains are typically non-life threatening except when it comes to a point that the underlying cause for such a condition may be other than a simple muscle spasm. As said earlier, back pains may also be an accompanying symptom for more serious medical condition that may prove fatal when left undiagnosed.