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Back Pain


Back Pain

Back Pain

During our lives, 8 out of 10 of us will experience back pain.  Usually some tension, stiffness or ache is felt in your back. The lower back is usually the most affected part. The region along the spine from neck to hip also bears the brunt.  Poor sitting position, bending, incorrect lifting technique or awkward sitting and standing posture can all trigger the pain.

No serious disease is generally responsible for back pain. In the majority of cases it usually disappears in about 3 months. Resting for more than a day or two is likely to worsen it. Remaining active and taking painkillers can bring it under control.

It is now generally agreed that inactivity is actually bad for  back pain.  Walking and performing other routine tasks quickens recovery. Cold or hot compression packs aid in easing off the pain. These can be purchased from pharmacies but can also be improvised using hot water bottles or frozen veggie packs.

Maintaining a positive mental state is also very beneficial. Remaining cheerful despite the pain is a potent form of medicine. It is scientifically proven  that a depressed state slows down the rate of recovery.

Causes of Back Pain

Ruptured Disc: A Rupture in the in-vertebral disc is usually responsible for back pain. This condition is also known as a herniated disc. Herniated disc treatment varies for different individuals and situations.

Discogenic Back Pain: This condition is commonly perceived to cause backache. When the in-vertebral discs suffer damage, it results in discogenic back complications. This back injury does not involve disc herniation. A disco-gram is an important tool in the diagnosis of discogenic backache.

Back Pain

Back Pain

Lumbar Muscle Strain: Muscles strains are considered the most common cause of lower  back pain.  The precise actions that trigger the muscle spasm may not be straight forward for some patients. Most back problems will however resolve totally within some weeks.

Spinal Stenosis: This condition is responsible for back pain among the elderly. Arthritis and other conditions can cause constriction in the spinal canal during the aging process. Pain in the back is generated from a spinal canal that becomes excessively tight.

Lumbar Spine Arthritis: The joints most commonly affected by arthritis include the knees and fingers. Nevertheless all joint in the body is susceptible to arthritis. This includes the tiny joints found on the spine. When arthritis affects your spine health, any movement can result in back pain.

Spondylitis: Back complications arise when the adjacent vertebra start slipping after getting destabilized. This condition usually results from the decline of normal stabilizing structures found in the spinal column. This decline is usually due to degenerative changes that can create back problems if the spine gets very unstable.

Osteoporosis: Certain orthopedic complications and general discomfort can be as a result of osteoporosis. Vertebral compression fractures are usually associated with back pain due to osteoporosis. Osteoporosis weakens the bones and can cause these fractures.

Understanding Back Pain Symptoms

Back Pain

Back Pain

Pain in the lower back or lumbosacral area is the basic symptom of low back pain. The pain may be felt in the side front and back of your leg or remain in the low back. Some activities may aggravate your condition including sitting for an extended duration during a long car drive.

If you experience weakness or numbness in your leg it may be due to compression or injury to your first sacral nerve. Nerve supply reaches your leg from a compressed nerve. Inability to plantar flex your foot usually originates from injured nerves. This means not being able to extend your foot downward or stand on your toes.

In case your fifth lumbar nerve is injured, it results in inability to lift up your big toe. Studies indicate that 70 to 85 percent of the population will have backache at one time in their lives. Fortunately the majority of sufferers will receive lasting relief within a few weeks or months.

Back problems that persists beyond 3 months may indicate much severe conditions. These may include a sciatica herniated disc, degenerative disc disease and spinal stenosis. A specialist should carry out a comprehensive diagnosis before embarking on any treatment.

Acute back pain appears suddenly and will usually stay on for a few days or weeks. The majority of cases will resolve even without medication though they may be long lasting. The symptoms generally include a dull persistent ache or a sharp abrupt pain.

Many conditions will be frustrating to both the patients and their doctors. A proper understanding of your symptoms is the first step to successful back pain treatment. In case new back pain is reported, further evaluation by your doctor is recommended.

Prevention and Treatment of Back Pain

Using the correct lifting technique and avoiding excess pressure upon your back goes along way in preventing backache. Adopting the right posture when sitting and standing is also beneficial. Engaging in activities such as swimming walking and dancing helps a lot in keeping you free from  back pain. It is also advisable to improve your flexibility through activities like stretching, Pilates and aerobics.

Back Pain

Back Pain

In many cases, the  back pain  will disappear on its own even without seeing a doctor. If the pain is difficult to cope with or you have worries about your back, then see your general practitioner. Manual therapy, physiotherapy and osteopathy are some options that can be taken at the onset of the pain.

Back pain can be frustrating especially because there is no pill or tablet that cures the problem overnight. Many patients will simply recover by avoiding strain to their back or spine. Medication, heat and ice treatments offer relief to many patients. Back pain  is usually considered chronic if it lasts for more than 3 months.

Fever, inexplicable weight loss, pain that worsens nocturnally, swelling around the back, loss of control over bladder and bowel movement are the red flag symptoms. A more serious condition than normal back pain could accompany these symptoms. These symptoms should prompt you to see your doctor as soon as possible.

Normally, the duration of your condition and your specific symptoms will determine your treatment plan. There are various treatment options that could be recommended. Some available options include:

Alternative treatments: Many back conditions will respond well to alternative medicine. This mode of treatment has been gaining popularity over the years, just as conventional medicine. It has been successful due to its safety and effectiveness.

Non Surgical Treatment: The first line of attack in combating back complications always rests on non surgical options. Rest, heat/ ice treatments, medications,  back pain exercises and other treatments all have good chances of relieving your symptoms. However, when all these options have been exploited without success, doctors will consider spinal surgery.

Spine Surgery:  This is the ultimate treatment option used when everything else has failed. However some conditions will require surgery right from the onset. Your doctor should be in a better position to advise you on back pain conditions that may require surgery.

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