All of us experience physical pain of some sort at various times in our lives. There’s headache pain. Neck pain. Foot pain of various types. Pain in our knees. Pain in our wrists or hands. Pain in our fingers. Arthritis pain in general. Tennis elbow. Shin splints. Bruised shins. Occasional pain in our stomachs.
The worst pain of all? Most likely, most people would say back pain because of how debilitating it can be, even preventing us from getting out of bed at times. If you’ve ever bent way forward to pick up something, say a large package that really isn’t that heavy, and suddenly you can’t straighten back up all the way, that’s when you know you are in trouble.
Back pain – and there are different kinds – is a rather common condition that can be accompanied by burning, tingling, dull pain, or sharp pain, such as that which can “assault” the lower back with pain that possibly radiates down to the legs, per livestrong.com. The causes of low-back pain can include muscle spasms or strains, a herniated disk or degenerative disk disease linked to osteoarthritis and osteoporosis.
Back Pain Symptoms
Some back pain is self-inflicted; they can be the result of carelessness (lifting with your back instead of your legs), bad habits like bad posture or extended period of sleeping on a bad mattress. Improper conditioning or techniques when it comes to playing sports (such as playing a Thanksgiving Day game of touch football when you haven’t touched a football in three years). Here are some of the symptoms of back pain, per webmd.com:
- Constant ache or stiffness somewhere along the spine, from the base of the neck to the tailbone
- Sharp, localized pain in the neck, upper back, or lower back, typically the result of lifting that heavy box or old-fashioned monstrosity TV headed to Craigslist, or some other type of intense activity
- Chronic ache in the middle or lower back after long periods of sitting or standing
- Back pain that radiates down from the lower back to the buttocks and continuing on down through the hamstrings (in back of the thighs) and into the calves and toes
- Inability to stand upright without experiencing muscle spasms or pain in the lower back.
- Also, per mayoclinic.com, there can be muscle aches, an actual shooting or stabbing pain, or limited range of motion or flexibility of the back.
If such pain persists for a matter of days or weeks – and if accompanied by conditions such as a fever, numbness, tingling, a burning sensation or problems controlling your bladder or bowels, it’s time for you to see a doctor.
Back Risk Factors
No one, and we mean no one, is immune to back pain – no human being, that is. But we can have a part in lowering our risk of developing back pain or suffering an injury that leaves us hunched over and in desperate search of a comfortable position on the sofa or when in bed trying to find enough relief to get some sleep. Here are some risk factors, per Mayo Clinic, some of which we can control, some of which we can’t:
- Age. Once we hit the 30-40 age range, we become more susceptible to back pain.
- Lack of exercise. Weakened back muscles not being used is begging trouble.
- Being overweight. The excess pounds put excess strain on the back.
- Diseases. Arthritis, for instance.
- Improper lifting techniques. Use your legs.
- Mental health. People with depression or prone to anxiety appear to have a greater risk of back pain, per Mayo Clinic.
- Smoking. Oh, yes, this is a factor – it can prevent the proper delivery of nutrients to your back.
Treatment of Back Pain with Supplements
Back pain issues can not only mean a trip – or several trips – to a doctor or specialist (such as a chiropractor); it also can mean loss of work days, where short-term disability followed by longer-term disability can mean a loss of income, besides dealing with the pain itself and the inconvenience from loss of mobility.
One of the best and most-effective ways for dealing with back pain is taking preventative measures to lower the risk of back injury/pain – to include smarter lifestyle choices and a well-structured exercise and conditioning program – and nutritional supplements can be a big part of that. Following are several supplements that can help ward off back pain. Taking these don’t mean you can suddenly be Atlas holding the world on your shoulders, but lifting that box or package should be more of a snap:
- Glucosamine and chondroitin. Both of these compounds are available naturally in the body – glucosamine as part of the fluid surrounding joints and chondroitin as a component of the cartilage around joints, per everydayhealth.com. Back-pain patients have been using these two substances with some documented success, and they can often be found combined in a single supplement such as some products offered at Wonder Labs, to help treat chronic-pain conditions.
- Vitamin D. A vitamin D deficiency could be contributing to back pain. Per everydayhealth.com, a study published in the journal Pain Physician several years ago showed a link between D deficiency with lumbar spinal stenosis, an affliction accompanied by lower-back pain.
- Omega-3’s. These can help ward off pain thanks to their anti-inflammatory properties.
- Turmeric. Another supplement with robust anti-inflammatory capabilities.