Back pain is a common complaint, and is one of the most common reasons people go to the doctor and emergency rooms. Back pain can be classified by:
- Cervical or Upper back pain (neck pain)
- Thoracic or Middle back pain
- Lumbar or Low back pain ( This one can be complicated with Sciatica- neurological complication)
Back pain can be associated to nerve or muscular problems, disc conditions and degenerative conditions including osteoarthritis and osteoporosis. Back pain can be presented as muscle ache, shooting or stabbing pain, pain that irradiates down your leg, limited flexibility or range of motion of the back or inability to stand up straight.
Conditions commonly link to Back Pain:
- Mechanical problems: Muscle and ligament strains, muscle spasms, muscle tension,, bulging or rupture of a disc, herniated discs and injuries caused by accidents or fails.
- Acquired conditions and diseases: Skeletal irregularities as Scoliosis, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, pregnancy, kidney stones or infections, fibromyalgia, fatigue and muscle spasms.
Risk Factors you can NOT change:
- Being middle-aged or older
- Family history of back pain
- Had a back injury before
- Being pregnant
- History of back surgery
- Spine problems since birth (congenial conditions)
Risk Factors you CAN change:
- Being overweight
- Lack of exercise
- Improper lifting, bending or twisting
- Poor posture
- Being under stress
How can a Back Pain be tested and diagnosed??
- Complete Physical Exam
- Conventional X-Ray
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
- Bone Scan
- Nerve studies (electromyography)
How is Back Pain treated???
Most Back pain gradually improves with home treatment and self-care, that’s why, is recommended continue daily light activities as much as you tolerate. But if an activity increase your pain and started developing associated symptoms, it’s time to see the doctor!
Your doctor may suggest:
- Physical therapy and exercise
- Medications (pain relievers such as acetaminophen or non-steroidal anti-inflammatorydrugs, and muscle relaxants)
- Alternative Medicine( Chiropractic care, acupuncture, massage, yoga)
- Surgery ( complicated cases, least of cases)