Dr. Diego Guerrero, FL, has identified five common causes of back pain in women. Here are ways to treat these issues and how you can prevent future back pain.
- Muscle or ligament strain is one of the most common reasons for back pain in women. It affects all ages and is caused by strenuous lifting. Other causes may be pregnancy or sports-related activities.
Treatment: Physical therapy, rest, limited activity and the application of ice/heat.
- Arthritis affects the joints in our spine and is common in women over age 50.
Treatment: Physical therapy, aqua therapy and medication. It is also important to keep a healthy diet.
- Osteoporosis compression fracture can occur when bone thinning affects the vertebrae. This is common for women age 60 and up.
Treatment: Physical therapy and/or a back brace. Surgery is suggested for more severe cases.
- Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal that causes severe back pain, common in women over age 60.
Treatment: Physical therapy, pain medication and injections. If the spinal stenosis is severe, surgery is suggested; however 90 percent of people with spinal stenosis do not require surgery.
- A herniated disk is a disk in the spine that protrudes into nerves in the spinal canal causing pain to radiate into the legs.
Treatment: Physical therapy and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Only 10 percent of people with a herniated disk require surgery.
Some general tips to prevent back pain and injuries include:
- • When doing heavy lifting, bend from the knees and use your core muscles.
- • Do things in increments instead of all at once. Lift 10 pounds at a time instead of 30-40 pounds all at once.
- • Maintain a healthy lifestyle. A well balanced, low cholesterol, low sodium diet is suggested.
- • Exercise! Running, walking and biking are all back-friendly activities.
Source: www.floridahospital.com; Kayla Burton; December 11, 2013.