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Backache (lumbago) is a very common term used very often nowadays, the reason being abnormal posture, trauma, lack of exercise and unhealthy sleeping patterns. In olden days backache was a sign of aging, because the word was only used by grandparents, but today it’s quite too common.
If your school going child complaints of backache due to heavy school bag, you might complain of the same while having busy working hours and your spouse might say that he/she cannot sit for long hours in front of the laptop because of back discomfort.
The reason for backache is usually a bad posture. Your spine has a normal “S” shaped curvature which balances your whole body right from the globe of your head up till your hip joint, continuing with attachments with your lower limb.
In between it keeps your body in position, also supporting a number of organs, systems, channels of circulation and even your ribs. So, a bad posture no matter how small it may be can have an adverse effect in your normal spine curvature resulting in pain initially followed by malfunctioning of various systems in your body.
A very simple example can be stated here now. Suppose you have busy hours in your office everyday and you have the habit of keeping all your currency coins and bills in your wallet. You keep the wallet in the pocket of your pants all the time and forget to empty the bills or coins out of the wallet sitting on them for long hours.
As days pass by, this abnormal posture will give you an aching pain in your body unable to differentiate where it is actually situated. Sleeping on thick soft beds or mattresses might make you feel warm and cozy but can slowly take away your sleep due to backache.
What all can cause my back to ache?
The most common cause for backache comes from your musculoskeletal system. It is usually of mechanical origin. As abnormal posture has been discussed above, the second reason is trauma. Here trauma does not always indicate major accidents. A very simple sprain by lifting a bucket full of water can hinder the normalcy of your spine. Inter-vertebral disc herniation or its degeneration is a major reason. Degeneration can take place in the facet joints too.
When the pain is of muscular origin, it may also be due to muscle spasm or myo-facial syndromes. Another reason being those related to the nerve pathologies usually found to occur as a result of degeneration or nerve compression, similar condition can be found due to traction also.
Referred pain from other systems:
Referred pain is the pain that occurs in one part or system, whereas the pathology lying in another one, the reason being that they happen to arise from the same embryological bud. One such example is those of the gastrointestinal system. If you are constipated for a couple of days, the first thing that would disturb you would be an unexplained backache. Genitourinary system ailments like renal calculus or kidney stones can give you severe loin to groin pain making you so restless that it even steals your sleep.
You are likely to have a hurting back if infections are present in your bladder or anywhere in your urinary system and also in case your reproductive system isn’t keeping well like in diseases like prostitis, dysmenorrheal etc. even your cardiovascular system may warn you in the form of a backache.
Lumbago can occur in other cases also like infections (apart from those previously explained), benign tumors, neoplasm, or inflammatory conditions, be it to your bones, disc or to any part of your body.
What should I do in case I get a backache and how can I prevent it?
The first thing you have got to keep in mind is that your spine has a normal curvature and to maintain it in the right way lies within you. Adopting healthy measures and postures for your spine can solve this problem to a great extent.
If you are leading a healthy life style and still get affected by a bad aching back, your first duty is to find out the reason behind it. In most cases you will have to go for a clinical diagnosis and take appropriate treatment, the sooner the better. Always keep in mind that you are not allowed to ignore a hurting back, because the reason can range from a simple muscle spasm upto a life threatening developing malignant tumor!