Nearly 80% of all citizens in the United States will be affected be some kind of neck or lower back pain in their lives. That’s eight out of every people in America — a huge number! So why is it that so many Americans are chronically plagued with this type of persistent pain?
Part of it could have a lot to do with simple injuries. From workers’ construction sites to recreational sports fields, every place where physical labor is taking place poses a risk for lower back or neck pain just around the corner. Athletes in particular are at a high risk of suffering some kind of large injury that can cause spondylolysis, a small stress fracture affecting a lower vertebra in the back. There’s also sciatica, a grouping of symptoms that can occur when one of five spinal nerve roots is compressed or irritated in some way.
One of the most common injuries to the lower back is a herniated disc, which can cause significant pain and may even require special surgery to correct it. Herniated disc surgery isn’t all that common, though, and is sometimes treated as a last resort if physical therapy and other non-surgical options are not successful. Spine surgery is used primarily to treat conditions like meningitis, spinal cord compression, stenosis and severe trauma, tumor removal and others.
What a lot of people don’t know about back problems is that not all of them are due to some kind of spinal issue, and most certainly don’t require some kind of spine surgery. There’s a very powerful medical condition that eventually overtakes every single person on the planet, and it’s known as aging. If you’ve been diagnoses with degenerative disc disease, you’re likely just getting older. Your body is beginning to work less fluidly as it used to.
Here’s some more important food for thought. The human spine is S-shaped, which means a traditional flat mattress can sometimes cause areas where the spine simply isn’t supported at all. These gaps can end up causing chronic back pain for individuals and can inhibit sleep at night, leading to more pain in the future because of a lack of rest. As you can see, not every lower back pain episode is symptomatic of some kind of larger problem that requires immediate spine surgery. In fact, in most cases, you’re just going through the motions.
Of course, that’s not to say that frequent severe pain shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you think there might be a big problem when it comes to your back, talk your doctors about it. In today’s modern medical landscape, you’ll likely know for sure very quickly. In the meantime, try to take it easy. After all, stress is no good for your back, either. Refernce materials.