Back pain is one of the most common ailments today; in fact, four out of five people in the US will experience it at least once in their life. That number may even increase in the future due to the aging of our population and the increasing amount of obesity. Back pain is one of the most common reasons people go to the doctor and is second only to the common cold as a cause for missing work.
The cause often determines the type of pain experienced. Most acute back pain is caused by an injury or trauma such as a car accident, a sports injury, lifting or straining at work or around the house. Sprains and strains from sudden twisting movements, improper lifting or a fall can all result in back pain.
• Pain in the lumbar region (the lower back) is the most common and it may appear suddenly as a sharp, stabbing pain that causes extreme discomfort.
• A dull, persistent, nagging back ache may appear after hours of working in the garden or shoveling snow.
• Pain that radiates down the front, side or back of leg.
• It may be accompanied by tingling, numbness, and weakness of the affected limb.
• Back pain may worsen with activity but may also be aggravated by sitting for prolonged periods, such as on a long plane flight or car trip.
• There may also be an inability to stand erect and walking may become difficult.
Some physicians say chronic back pain is discomfort that persists three months or more. It is often progressive and the cause can be difficult to determine. Acute back pain is usually of shorter duration and often occurs after an injury or trauma. Try a Fort Lauderdale Chiropractor.
The back is an intricate structure made up of bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and discs, which are the tough cartilage pads that cushion the vertebrae, which make up the spine. Back pain results from problems with any of these component parts.
Physical Conditions That May Cause Back Pain
• Arthritis in the spine can cause pressure on the nerve roots or cause narrowing of the spinal canal and pressure on the spinal cord.
• Spondylolisthesis occurs when one or more vertebra slip forward, out of place, causing pressure on nerves, creating back pain.
• Herniated or bulging disc is a intervertebral disc that is being compressed and pushed out of its position between the vertebrae. This makes pressure on the sciatic nerve or other nerve roots.
• Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine to one side.
• Spinal Stenosis is a narrowing of the foramen, the opening in each vertebrae thrugh which the spinal cord runs. Narrowing causes pressure on the cord, resulting in pain.
• Degenerative Disc Disease occurs when the intervertebral discs become compressed, flatten and allow pressure on the roots of spinal nerves.
• Osteoporosis results in brittle bones and compression fractures of the vertebrae.
• Fibromyalgia is characterized by pain and tenderness over trigger points, one of which is in the lower back.
• Pregnancy causes back discomfort and sciatica type pain.
Less Common Conditions That Can Cause Back Pain
• Endometriosis is a condition in which endometrium tissue grows outside the uterus on other organs, often causing low back pain.
• Kidney stones or kidney infections often cause severe back pain.
• Cauda Equina Syndrome is a serious neurological problem due to pressure from a disc on the lower portion of the spinal cord and spinal nerve roots.
• Cancer of the spine causes severe back pain.
• Bone infection in the spine causes pain.
• Stress has been blamed for some episodes of both acute and chronic back pain.
Many episodes of back pain can be avoided by using proper body mechanics and, often, simple home treatment and time will see a back heal within a few weeks. Treatment is varied but based on common sense. Those whose pain is due to a more serious injury or physical condition will find there are many methods of treatment and steps that can be taken to avoid further episodes. Surgery is usually needed only in the most serious cases. Brought to you by the Spinal Decompression experts at US Spinecare