Back pain is nothing new to most people. In fact, depending on age and the kind of job one has, back pain can sometimes be constant. There are, in fact, many different types of back pain, with the most frequent being muscular back pain. In fact, statistics indicate that at least 85 percent of adults will suffer from muscular back pain at some point in time.
The causes of muscular back pain can generally be traced to some sudden movement that pulls or contorts the back muscles. When this happens the muscles can become strained or torn resulting in pain. A simple task like stretching too much or incorrectly can result in muscular back pain.
Causes of Muscular Back Pain
There are two basic types muscular back pain, namely back muscle sprain and back muscle strain. Sprains occur when ligaments are torn due to falling or other trauma that causes a misalignment of joints and therefore muscles. Strains, also called lumbar strains, on the other hand, affect tendons and muscles. They result from overuse of a muscle by stretching too much or putting the body into an unnatural position.
Muscular back pain tends to affect the lower and middle back more often than it does the upper back. This may be due to more strain being placed on the lower back with activities such as sitting, lifting heavy objects and jumping.
Back muscles can also become fatigued from underuse. This happens when one position is held for too long. Moving around or shifting position can prevent this from happening. If the muscles are tense, they are more susceptible to damage. As such, it is a good idea to manage stress properly. Also, when muscles such as those in the back are weak they are more easily overloaded. This overloading of the muscles by pulling or lifting a heavy object can result in back strain
Other common and preventable causes of muscular back pain include lifting heavy objects incorrectly. Bending over to lift a heavy object places excess stress on back muscles. Maintaining poor posture can also lead to back aches.
Treatment of Muscular Back Pain
While this type of back pain is rarely serious, the discomfort can be excruciating. While there are no special kinds of treatment that specifically target muscular back pain, much can be done to eliminate the ache. In many cases no medical attention is needed for muscular back pain.
Success with pain management for this condition has been had with the application of ice packs, heat or even a massage. If the pain is intense, painkillers, either over-the-counter or prescription may also be used. Exercise such as walking is sometimes recommended for mild muscular back pain. Sometimes muscle relaxants are given to help the muscles to loosen up and ease the pain.
Luckily, most muscular back pain will diminish over a few weeks. Back pain that is persistent or does not respond to treatment could indicate something serious.