The Basics Of Back Pain [Symptoms, Causes, Treatment]

The basics of back pain from the experts at the American Academy of Neurological and Orthopaedic Surgeons.

The Basics OF Back Pain  [Symptoms, Causes, Treatment] - The Dream Health

What is back pain?

Back pain can be defined as pain felt anywhere along the spine. However, most back pain does not stem from a muscle or soft tissue injury. Usually, it’s a result of trauma. The most common causes of backache are muscle strain, particularly in the back, neck, or lower back, and fracture.

What are the symptoms?

The most common symptoms of back pain are:

Pain that gets worse with movement, sitting, bending, lifting, or other activity. Swelling, tenderness, or discoloration in the back. Pain in the back that radiates to the buttocks, legs, calf, thigh, or groin. Pain in the back that is more intense than usual.

What are the risks?

People who have back pain have a five times greater risk of having a serious medical condition like cancer, heart disease, or diabetes. They are also at higher risk of having a fracture.

What can be done?

You can try to relieve back pain with rest, massage, heat, or ice. For acute back pain, you can also try a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication (NSAID) like ibuprofen or naproxen. You can also try over-the-counter pain relievers, such as aspirin, acetaminophen, or aspirin. For chronic back pain, your doctor may prescribe more powerful pain medication like oxycodone. But if you’re in severe pain, you may need surgery or other treatment. Surgery can alleviate pain in the area of nerve impingement. And physical therapy may help with strengthening muscles, getting you back up on your feet, and strengthening your core.

Can other medical conditions cause back pain?

Some medical conditions can cause back pain. Those include: Fibromyalgia. Pain may be caused by muscle spasms, trigger points, stress, poor posture, or inflammation. Fibromyalgia is not a diagnosis but rather a general term used to describe chronic widespread pain. Disc herniation. This type of disc injury usually occurs when the disc is pushed out of the way by the weight of spinal muscles pushing down on it. When this happens, the disc cracks and bulges out from the vertebrae. The nerve inside of the spine may be pinched as a result. This injury usually occurs when someone who already has a bulging disc has an injury. Nerve injury. If you’ve had a disc injury or have been in a car accident, you may be at greater risk of having a nerve injury. This is when the nerve inside the spine is pinched as it passes through the spinal canal. The condition can leave you with very mild or moderate pain or severe pain. With severe pain, you may have numbness or tingling in the legs.

What causes disc herniation?

Disc herniation is fairly common. It usually occurs when the disc is damaged by an injury, bending, lifting, or straining. Sometimes, it may occur for no known reason. Although most disc herniations are not serious, they can be difficult to treat. Depending on the level of the disc, disc herniation can cause pain, numbness, and tingling in the leg. Factors that increase the risk of disc herniation: Age. Middle-aged and older adults are most likely to experience disc herniation. Stress. Discs are more likely to become displaced when there is a lot of physical or emotional stress in a person’s life. If a disc is forced out of the way, it may become stuck and not move back into its place. This can cause a problem called a slipped or herniated disc. Pain in the lower back, thighs, and legs is often not due to a slipped disc. Your injury almost always involves the sciatic nerve, which begins in the spinal canal and runs down the legs.

What can you do while you recover from disc herniation?

Once you have an injury in the back, you must be very careful to avoid doing anything that will further injure the injured area. You should also be sure to avoid repetitive movements and movements that place excessive force on your back. You should increase your physical activity slowly to avoid re-injuring your back. You should also avoid lifting heavy objects, bending, twisting, coughing, sneezing, running, and lifting or pushing heavy things. It is recommended that you limit your activities for several weeks. And when you can resume normal activities, you should do so slowly. You should wear back support, an Orthopaedic belt, or a back brace for several weeks if necessary. Certain exercises should be avoided as well.

How is back pain managed?

If back pain is caused by injury, you may want to see a physician or orthopedic specialist for evaluation and possible treatment. Several types of treatments may be used to relieve back pain. Acute back pain. Acute back pain usually responds to conservative treatment. Conservative treatment is typically all of the following: Rest. Staying in bed puts too much weight on your back and may cause pain to get worse. Over-the-counter analgesics. You may be able to get pain relief with over-the-counter medications. Heat and cold. Heat and ice treatments are common treatments for acute back pain. These treatments may help reduce swelling and reduce nerve irritation. Aerobic exercise. This type of exercise may help you get your blood and oxygen flowing and tense and relax your muscles. Aerobic exercise may improve your chances of staying in good shape, reducing your pain, and improving your overall quality of life. Relaxation techniques. Meditation, deep breathing, and other relaxation techniques may help reduce stress and pain. Psychological treatment. Social workers or psychologists can help you deal with pain and stress. They can help you to develop coping skills, such as relaxation techniques and coping strategies. Other treatments.
Other treatments include: Physical therapy. This type of treatment includes physical therapy, massage, back braces, and supports. This type of therapy helps improve muscle tone, strengthen muscles, and improve flexibility. There are no absolute rules for when surgery, physical therapy, or other treatments are needed. Your doctor will be able to tell you which treatments will help you best.

Bottom Line

In most cases, your doctor will use a combination of physical therapy, exercises, medication, and other treatments. This is all about the basics of back pain. I hope this approach helps prevent further damage to your back while improving your flexibility, strength, and endurance.

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