Back pain is something unavoidable especially for bikers like me. I often hear other bikers complain about back pain after hours of riding. And the pain normally varies in severity as well as the area of the back being affected. Back pain can affect the lower, middle or upper back.
It is estimated that around 60 percent of adults will experience lower back pain at any point of their life. Lower left back pain is actually more common that lower right back pain. Aside from pain or aching, other associated symptoms include difficulty in movement which is made worse by standing or walking, pain that moves down to the groin area, buttocks and thigh, muscle spasms, and local soreness when touched.
There are many possible causes for lower back pain and treatment varies depending on the cause. One of them is lower back strain wherein the group of muscles and ligaments providing movement and support for the spinal column is stretched too far or is overused during physical activities. Excessive bending, twisting, lifting heavy objects as well as accidents like falling may also cause lower back pain. Pregnancy as well as obesity also contributes to the strain in the lower back. Apart from that, there are underlying health problems which may also cause pain in the lower back, such as osteoarthritis which is common among older people. Other less common causes are herniated disc, sciatica, kidney stone or kidney infection and spinal stenosis among others.
There are basic practices that can help you prevent lower back pain. These include observing proper posture while standing or sitting down and avoiding slumping and slouching. However, if you already are suffering from lower back pain, home treatment is possible unless you experience sudden abdominal pain, fever or chilling, rapid loss of strength, weight loss, and difficulty in bowel control. In these cases, you might experience a serious life-threatening condition that needs immediate medical attention.
Upper and Middle Back Pain
Pain in the upper and middle back is not as common as lower back pain. It normally occurs from the base of the neck up to the bottom of the rib cage. The upper and middle back which is also called the thoracic spine is composed on 12 vertebrae which are attached to the rib cage. It also has discs separating each vertebra and absorbs shock as you move. Also, it has ligaments and muscles responsible for holding the spine together. Overuse to these muscles as well as injury and strain to the discs and ligaments would normally initiate pain in the upper and middle back. Common causes include poor posture, herniated disc, osteoarthritis, myofascial pain, and in rare cases, cancer or gallbladder disease.
Other symptoms that a person with upper or middle back pain may experience include burning, sharp or dull pain, and muscle stiffness of tightness. Other than these symptoms, if you also experience weakness in your arms or legs, a tingling sensation or numbness in arms, belly, or chest, and loss of bladder or bowel control, visit your doctor immediately for medical attention.
A back problem is something we should not neglect. It may be a common condition but it also needs treatment to avoid further complications. If you are constantly experiencing back pain after riding your bike, it would be good to have your condition checked to identify your health problem and so that proper treatment may be administered.