Back pain is an extremely personal experience. There are multiple causes of this type of pain and each one requires specialized attention and treatment. So, what are the various types of back pain and how many people in the U.S. are dealing with this painful experience?

In most cases, back pain can be divided between upper and lower pain. Each of these categories can be subdivided further into specific causes and conditions. Let’s look at each category a little closer.

Upper Back Pain

This type of back pain is not as common as pain in the lower back but the effects can be just as devastating for those suffering from it. Upper back pain is typically caused by either dysfunction of joints in the region or muscular irritation. Herniated or degenerated discs in this area of the back can also cause discomfort and pain. Doctors rarely discover any causes for upper back pain that require invasive therapies and it usually responds well to treatments such as exercise, chiropractic, massage therapy, and acupuncture. Very little data exists on the number of reported upper back pain incidents in the United States unless you include neck pain in the statistics.

Lower Back Pain

This form of back pain is much more common and is also a leading cause of disability throughout the world. In fact, almost half of all working adults in the United States report low back pain. Lower back pain can be caused by muscle strain, chronic conditions, injury, or a variety of degenerative conditions. In many acute cases, lower back pain is caused by the natural aging process and affects individuals between the ages of 30 and 50. Depending on the severity and cause of the condition, treatments can range from physical therapy or chiropractic adjustments to more invasive surgeries.

Have you experienced any types of back pain in recent months?

Image by ketrin1407 via Flickr

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