Back pain is one of the most common reasons people go to the doctor or miss work, and it is a leading cause of disability worldwide. Most people have back pain at least once. It can result from injury, activity and some medical conditions. Back pain can affect people of any age, for different reasons. As people get older, the chance of developing lower back pain increases, due to factors such as previous occupation and degenerative disk disease. Lower back pain may be linked to the bony lumbar spine, discs between the vertebrae, ligaments around the spine and discs, spinal cord and nerves, lower back muscles, abdominal and pelvic internal organs, and the skin around the lumbar area. Pain in the upper back may be due to disorders of the aorta, tumours in the chest, and spine inflammation.
Causes of Back Pain
The human back is composed of a complex structure of muscles, ligaments, tendons, disks, and bones, which work together to support the body and enable us to move around. The segments of the spine are cushioned with cartilage-like pads called disks. Problems with any of these components can lead to back pain. In some cases of back pain, its cause remains unclear. Damage can result from strain, medical conditions, among others.
Conditions commonly linked to back pain include:
Muscle or ligament strain: Repeated heavy lifting or a sudden awkward movement can strain back muscles and spinal ligaments.
Bulging or ruptured disks: Disks act as cushions between the bones (vertebrae) in your spine.
Arthritis: Osteoarthritis can affect the lower back. In some cases, arthritis in the spine can lead to a narrowing of the space around the spinal cord, a condition called spinal stenosis.
Skeletal irregularities: A condition in which your spine curves to the side (scoliosis) also can lead to back pain, but generally not until middle age.
Osteoporosis: Your spine’s vertebrae can develop compression fractures if your bones become porous and brittle.
Symptoms of Back Pain
The main symptom of back pain is an ache or pain anywhere in the back, and sometimes down to the buttocks and legs. Some back issues can cause pain in other parts of the body, depending on the nerves affected.
Signs and symptoms of back pain can include:
- Muscle ache
- Shooting or stabbing pain
- Pain that radiates down your leg
- Pain that worsens with bending, lifting, standing or walking
- Pain that improves with reclining
The symptoms of back pain, if due to strain or misuse, are usually short-lived but can last for days or weeks. Back pain is chronic when symptoms have been present for longer than three months.
Most acute back pain gets better with a few weeks of home treatment. For acute back pain, over-the-counter pain relievers and the use of heat might be all you need.
Treatment for Back Pain
Home treatments: Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relief medication, usually nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can relieve discomfort. Applying a hot compress or an ice pack to the painful area may also reduce pain.
Medical treatment: If home treatments do not relieve back pain medication, physical therapy, or both will be recommended.
Medication: These require close monitoring by the Doctor. In some cases, muscle relaxants may be used. Antidepressants may be prescribed, but research is ongoing as to their effectiveness, and the evidence is conflicting
Physical therapy: As the pain improves, the physical therapist may introduce some flexibility and strength exercises for the back and abdominal muscles.
Lower back pain is a universal human experience. Pain here can be intense and is one of the top causes of missed work. When it doesn’t, there are effective treatments. To know further, contact Medisys Hospital, a growing super speciality hospital in Hyderabad. They aid in improving patients health. You will get the best treatment according to your symptoms.