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What Causes Back Pain?

Back Pain TreatmentBack pain is a pervasive ailment which is endured by almost everyone at least once in a lifetime. It can be so excruciating that it can practically immobilize the body and bring life to a standstill. Most people miss work because of this reason. But thanks to the advancement in medical science, the causes of back pain can be quickly identified and effective treatment programs planned out.

The Structure of Your Back

It is important to have an awareness of the basic structure of your back in order to understand the reasons for back pain. The back is composed of muscles, vertebrae and bones, spinal discs and a complex array of interconnecting nerves which originate from the spinal cord. There is also a canal like structure that passes through the vertebrae with nerves that transmit signals from the brain to all parts of the body. Any sort of interference or problems with either of these hard or soft tissues can trigger pain.

The intensity of pain is determined by the complexity of the condition. The sensations of pain range from mild, moderate to severe and can manifest in various forms such as dull, sharp, tingling or shooting with numbness.

Various Causes of Back Pain

Only a proper diagnosis can help determine if the patient suffers from an acute or chronic back condition. While acute back pain is short-lived and easily treatable, chronic back pain needs intensive treatment because it is not curable. Some of the most common causes of back pain are:

  • Injury
  • Ruptured disc
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Lumbar muscle strain
  • Lumbar spine arthritis
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Slipped Disk
  • Arthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Sciatica
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Pregnancy

Back Pain – Preventive Measures

Back pain can occur at any time. A person whose work puts excessive stress or strain on the back is more prone to the condition. There are a few preventive measures that can help keep pain at a minimum:

  • Regular exercise
  • Nutritious diet with proper supplements
  • Maintain a good posture (standing, sitting and lying)
  • Lifting objects the proper way
  • Sleep on Your Side
  • Living a proper lifestyle

When to Seek Medical Attention

Back pain that last just a few days can be considered serious. However, one should consult a physician if the pain continues to persist for even a short period of time. Approaching a pain management specialist is strongly advised if the following symptoms are detected:

  • Constant pain which continues to get worse
  • Pain that radiates to the legs
  • Pain with weakness of a limb
  • Pain following a traumatic injury
  • Bowel or bladder problems arising after back pain
  • Pain and weight loss with no other apparent cause

Multi-disciplinary Approach for Back Pain Treatment

Physicians have gathered that the treatment of back pain is most effective when a patient’s condition is assessed and custom treated by specialists in various fields of medicine. Hence, most multi-specialty pain management centers across the US undertake a multi-disciplinary approach for back pain treatment. An individualized treatment program for back pain may comprise of:

  • Physical Therapy
  • Hot or Cold Compresses
  • Pain Relieving Modalities such as TENS and Ultrasound
  • Pain Medication and Muscle Relaxants
  • Epidural Steroid Injections

If the condition progresses and conventional treatment proves ineffective and offer little or no relief to the patient, an orthopedist or neurosurgeon may then recommend back surgery as the last resort when other forms of treatment prove ineffective.

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