woman with back pain

If you suffer from back pain, you’re not alone. According to a 2019 report conducted by the National Center of Health Statistics, close to 40% of adults reported experiencing some form of back pain. Unsurprisingly, those over 65 years old were determined to have the highest rate of back pain.

According to the Mayo Clinic, even though back pain manifests more frequently in older people, anyone from young children on up can develop back pain. It also points out that your back pain is not always going to have an obvious cause. For example, your back pain could be caused by repeated movement or be the result of conditions, such as arthritis and osteoporosis. It can also develop for unknown reasons.

While back pain is common, everyone will experience back pain differently, so it is not always easy to determine an anatomical cause for the pain. However, there are ways you can help your doctor get closer to determining a diagnosis and treatment.

Managing and alleviating back pain

doctor examining back pain patient

Oftentimes, describing the kind of back pain you are experiencing and where it is emanating from can help your doctor determine the nature of your condition. There are 3 main classifications for back pain: axial pain, which is typically based in 1 region; referred pain, which is dull and achy; and radicular pain, which may feel like a searing pain or an electric shock (via Spine-health).

Sometimes, back issues are mild enough that you can resolve them through simple at-home methods. For instance, MedicalNewsToday advises you to try a cold pack for sudden back pain to provide numbing relief. If your back feels stiff, you may want to apply heat to help ease discomfort. You can also try stretches; forward folds not only loosen up your back but also those tight hamstrings. For yoga fans, a few cat and cow poses or holding child’s pose can potentially help relieve back pain.

To prevent back pain in the first place, you should try to incorporate an exercise regimen into your daily routine to maintain healthy muscles. Improving your workstation for better posture and making adjustments to your bed to get better quality sleep can also help keep back pain at bay (via MedicalNewsToday).