Back Pain is one of the most prompting reasons to visit a doctor or missing work. Nearly eight out of ten people suffer from back pain in their life time, and that’s a huge number. Back pain can cause severe health issues and can lead to permanent disability. Unfortunately, there are many myths around back pain, and hence diagnosis and treatment can be misconstrued. See a professional if you are experiencing neck pain.
What causes back pain?
Although it ‘s hard to exactly point out the cause of back pain, there can be different categories such as mechanical, injuries, infections, tumor or acquired disorders.
- Mechanical: These involve how the spine works. Fractures, herniated discs, spinal degeneration, spondylolisthesis, sciatica are few conditions of mechanical back pain.
- Injuries: This is caused due to injury to the ligaments or spinal injury to the muscles involved with the spine. Fractures can cause from osteoarthritis which causes bones weakening. Back pain can also cause an accident.
- Acquired Disorders : These can cause from disorders since birth such as abnormal curvature of the spine. Arthritis, spinal stenosis, musculoskeletal pain syndrome such as fibromyalgia which can lead to fractures.
- Infection/tumor: Two examples are Discitis (infection in the disc), Osteomyelitis (inflammation or infection of the vertebrae).
How is back pain diagnosed
Your doctor may need minute details for proper treatment. Details including how the severity of the pain, how the pain started, if anything makes pain worse or is it constant pain and also you will be required to go through some diagnostic tests.
Some of the common tests used to diagnose back pain are x-rays, bone scans, MRIs. Urine or blood tests may also be required to check for any infection. If the pain is due to a nerve disorder, you may have to undergo electromyography – electrical impulses of nerves to see the response of the nerves.
Treatment varies depending on the severity and the type of the injury. Rest is the common form of treatment for the minor injury. At times heat can be applied to promote blood circulation which relieves pain. If there is swelling, a cold pack can decrease the swelling. Some of the over the counter drugs can also aid the situation like Motrin, Tylenol, Aspirin.
If the pain is chronic, and another generic treatment has failed, your doctor may refer you to pain specialists. New advances in the treatment include epidural nerve block (steroid into the epidural space, anti inflammatory, injection of anesthetic) to provide long term pain relief.
Other treatments include acupuncture treatment, breathing technique, basic stretching exercise, chiropractic adjustments, massage, yoga, and pilates to help relieve pain and stress.
Aquatic water therapy can help those suffering from chronic low back pain.
How can back pain be prevented?
- With few lifestyle changes, you can avoid risk of back injury or back pain
- Exercise such as swimming, walking, biking strengthens back.
- Avoid high heels
Sit in a chair with good lumbar support. Sit straight and keep both feet flat on the floor. Back pain can be difficult but there are precautions, and you can take care of your back to eliminate the risk of maintaining good posture, educating yourself and taking prompt action and consult a doctor in case of severe situations.