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A girl having back pain

What Causes Back Pain in Young Adults?

Low back pain is not often considered to be a potential problem among young adults. So when back pain strikes at a young age, it comes as a surprise and a source of confusion as to the cause. In our youth, we may think we are indestructible, but it is not uncommon for back pain to appear in our twenties and thirties.

Most often, back pain experienced at a young age is the result of overly strenuous exercising, a job that requires lifting objects that are too heavy, or a sudden awkward movement such as bending over to pick up a toddler. This type of back pain is usually due to Back Strain.

What Is a Back Strain?

Back Strain can be extremely painful and will unexpectedly put your life on hold. Treatment can consist of standard practices such as alternating ice and heat on the areas of injury, taking anti-inflammatories and doing non-rigorous, specific stretches or lower back relaxation techniques.

A strain is a stretching or tearing of muscle or tendon, which is a fibrous cord of tissue that connects muscles to bones. A Back Strain is often signified by a dull ache in the back when walking or standing. There may also be a feeling of stiffness in your back when bending, feeling sore in specific areas that are also tender to the touch, or pain in a localized area that does not mimic sciatica, which causes radiating pain in the legs.

Juvenile Degenerative Disc Disease

Another cause of back pain is Degenerative Disc Disease, a condition that can present itself early in adulthood, often referred to as Juvenile Degenerative Disc Disease. Studies indicate that Lumbar Degenerative Disc Disease in the lower spine is due to the common “teenage slouch”. Vertebrae in the back are cushioned by doughnut-shaped, gel-like pillows, called discs. With Degenerative Disc Disease, these “pillows” break down, bringing on sudden pain with movement such as standing up from a sitting position. The pain may feel as if the bone is scraping on bone within the spine. Muscle spasms can also occur, as well as sciatica, pain which radiates from the buttocks down one or both legs.

This discomfort can become worse with long periods of sitting, it may last weeks or months and is often quite intense. There are many treatment options for Degenerative Disc Disease, which will vary according to the severity of the patient’s condition.

Back Pain Injury

Finally, trauma or an injury can be the cause of back pain in an otherwise strong and healthy young adult. There are two main types of back injuries. Spondylolisthesis is described as slipping of the vertebra and occurs at the base of the spine. A fracture of the vertebra, referred to Spondylolysis, can cause for the vertebra to slip backward, forward or over a bone. A hard fall can and often does result in this type of injury, causing a severe compression of vertebrae. The resulting bulge can radically irritate surrounding nerves, resulting in pain, numbness or weakness in the extremities. Consulting with a spine specialist is your best solution, to identify the extent of the problem.

Cervical Radiculopathy is one of the most common diagnosis for a back injury, where compression of the cervical vertebrae results from a disturbed nerve. This injury will manifest itself by causing pain and weakness or loss of feeling in the arms, neck, or shoulders; areas closest to the damaged nerve. Cervical Radiculopathy can be treated through physical therapy, medication and in some cases surgery may be necessary to alleviate the pressure.

Visit Spine Vue in Dallas or Allen, TX today!

If you are experiencing any back pain, it is important that you meet with a specialist to pinpoint the problem and diagnose it accordingly. You should never disregard back pain as it can be an indicator of a serious, but treatable condition. Contact Spine Vue today for an evaluation to find out the reason for your back pain.