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How Do You Know If Back Pain Is Muscular?
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How Do You Know If Back Pain Is Muscular?

Back pain can be caused by many things, from conditions such as lumbar stenosis to a herniated disc. However, a lot of back problems are caused by a muscle injury, such as a pull or strain. It is thought that 75-85% of Americans experience back pain at some point in their lives.

In this article, answer several questions in relation to back pain, including how do you know if back pain is muscular?

How do you know if Back Pain is Muscular? – The Symptoms

Anyone, of any age, could suffer from back pain, whether they have been injured playing sports, or developed a condition when bones in the back have deteriorated over the years.

Here are some of the symptoms of back pain that should be aware of.

  • A dull, reoccurring pain
  • Sharp, shooting pain in the lower back or buttocks
  • Your back aches
  • The pain gets worse wherever you move, particularly when bending or stretching
  • Swelling or bruising is present in the area where there is pain
  • Standing up straight is difficult
  • Spasms
  • Cramping

However, it can also be a good idea to look for the absence of symptoms when assessing whether the issue is related to a muscle injury. This can also help to determine whether this is a temporary problem or a long-term condition. 

Symptoms that could suggest the problem is more serious are:

  • A fever
  • A chill
  • Sweating at night
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Bowel and bladder issues
  • Pain that travels down the legs
  • The pain persists for a number of weeks
  • Numbness, weakness, and a tingling sensation in the legs
  • Resting does not help to ease the pain

If you have experienced any of these problems for more than a few days then it is advised to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Ignoring any of these symptoms could see the condition to worsen or result in permanent damage. 

The Causes of Back Pain

Muscle pulls and strains are obviously a common cause of back trouble and pain, but it is just one of many possible causes. If you experience any of the symptoms in the above section then you should consult your doctor who can diagnose the problem and ensure it does not worsen. 

Overusing muscles in your back can result in injured tendons and ligaments, let’s take a look at some of the possible causes of this type of injury. 

  • Aging and general wear & tear over time.
  • Not enough exercise, or an insufficient amount of warming up before exercise.
  • Being overweight
  • Bad posture, is a common problem with people who work at a desk.
  • Frequently sitting for long periods of time

Back pain can also be caused by a number of conditions that can affect the bones (vertebrae) in the spine, surrounding tissue, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and nerves.

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Stenosis
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Spondylitis
  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • A herniated disc that may have come into contact with the nerves
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Inflammatory diseases
  • Pancreatitis
  • Kidney Stones
  • Infections
  • Cancer/ Tumors

How do you treat a Pulled Muscle?

Although there is a range of treatments that can be recommended to help a pulled muscle heal quicker, prevention should always be the key focus to help avoid such an injury. 

  • Exercise to help maintain a strong core and abdominal muscles to help provide stability to your spine and back muscles.
  • Stick to a healthy diet to avoid weight gain.
  • Perform aerobics or yoga to maintain flexibility and strength in the back.
  • Focus on your posture when sitting and standing.
  • Use your legs when lifting objects as opposed to your back muscles.
  • Ensure you get suitable rest if you suffer an injury to the back.

With enough rest and gentle exercise, a muscular back problem should be resolved in several weeks. Staying idle and laying down for long periods of time is not recommended to help cure a bad back. Instead, low-strain exercises such as walking are advised to keep the muscles loose and to prevent any further damage. 

Over-the-counter, anti-inflammatory medication can help to manage pain and swelling. While heat packs and ice packs can also offer immediate pain relief. In some cases, your doctor may even recommend physical therapy to help build strength and mobility in your back. 

A pulled or strained muscle would not cause a tingling, almost electric, burning sensation like that of a nerve-related problem. An issue of this sort, possibly caused by a condition such as lumbar stenosis can be constant. Whereas, the pain from a muscle injury will likely subside when a person is laid down or resting. 

In some cases, a person may suffer from a spinal condition without even noticing any symptoms. However, in other cases, the symptoms can be very debilitating, causing constant discomfort, pain, and a lack of mobility.

Anyone suffering from a possible nerve or bone issue should arrange a consultation with their doctor who can prescribe treatment and painkillers. Following a doctor’s advice can see back conditions clear up in a few weeks or months, but if no improvement is forthcoming, surgery may be the last resort. 

Back Surgery 

There are a number of surgeries that can help cure the different types of back conditions, including discectomies, lumbar decompression surgery, and spinal fusion. The downside to this is that these surgeries, particularly spinal fusion, can cause long-term problems, even if they successfully cure a person’s back condition.

Spinal fusion can significantly hinder a person’s mobility in the back, making it difficult to bend, twist, and perform other various motions. The fused bones may also result in damage in the adjacent vertebrae further down the line.

Because of these drawbacks, many people are turning to new surgical procedures and spinal devices like the TOPS System. This stenosis and spondylolisthesis treatment implant has undergone years of studies, completely changing the world of back surgery.

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