What Is Back Pain?
Back pain is a common problem. It frequently results from the strain of the normal muscle. ligament or tendon and not from critical issue.
How is the back structured?
The spine, or the backbone, is one of the strongest parts of the body and gives us a great deal of flexibility and strength. It consists of 24 irregular bones, vertebrae, that sit on top of the others separated by in-between discs.
Inside the hard vertebrae, the spinal cord travels well protected, bridging the communication from the brain to the rest of the body, aided by the nervous system.
What causes back pain?
Poor posture, lack of physical training cause the back to stiffen, muscle strains and sprains.
Some specific conditions are linked with the painful back, including spondylosis, sciatica, and spinal stenosis.
- Commonly related conditions.
As you have cleverly guessed, your back pain is affected by the wear and tear of the spine. As we get older, the discs inside the spine become thinner, narrowing the gaps between the vertebrae.
The condition may be worsened at the edges of the vertebrae and facet joints by the development of bone spurs or osteophytes.
Sciatica is caused by the irritation or compression of sciatic nerve roots in the spine.
This may result in linked pain or numbness or tingling sensation in the legs. Pain travels down the leg and foot. Fortunately, 60% of people recover very quickly although in some cases it may take several months. Other rare causes of back pain.
- Bone problems such as a fracture, an infection, a tumour, inflammation such as in ankylosing spondylitis.
When Should I See My Doctor for Back Pain?
You should see your doctor if your pain is very severe or lasts for a long period and significantly affect your everyday activities.
See your doctor immediately if you have difficulty controlling or passing urine, you lose control of your bowels, you feel numbness on the area of your anus or genitals, you have weakness in your legs or are unsteady on your feet.
How Are Back Pain Problems Diagnosed?
As most cases of back pain improve by themselves, a quick examination can diagnose most back pain conditions immediately. It rarely requires additional procedures. If needed, a rheumatologist may advise an x-ray, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI scan) or computerized tomography (CT scan).
What Can I Do to Help Myself?
Paracetamol or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), a proton pump inhibitor that will help to protect the stomach.
- Physical activity.
Regular exercise helps you lose weight as this will reduce the strain on your back. Maintain a good straight posture whenever you sit at home, work or in the car. When you have to lift something, try to bend your knees and let your spine move without twisting.
- If it’s too much, you can relieve the pain and stiffness by putting a heat pack on the affected area. An ice pack, for example, a pack of frozen peas can also be helpful.
Who Should Treat Me?
If back pain is still not settled, you need to see a specialist, a rheumatologist who would advise you on specialized treatment accordingly.
Why Do Back Pains Become Chronic?
Though it may seem like the right thing to do when you’re in pain for some time, avoiding common activities and movement can cause the back muscles to become weak. Your muscle tissues will be fatigue more and become increasingly defenceless against further strain.
Bed rest for more than a couple of days is bad for you and makes it harder to get going again. Try to keep active, gradually increase your level of activity.
Lumbar Disc Injury
your spine is composed of individual Bones called vertebrae. Your vertebrae form a protective tunnel called the spinal canal which surrounds the spinal cord as it travels down the length of your spine on each side of the spinal cord spinal nerves exit the spinal canal through small bony channels called neural foramina. Your lumbar spine is the lower third of your spinal column between each vertebra a flexible pad called an intervertebral disc acts as a shock absorber for your spine. Lumbar disc pressure can increase by more than 50 percent when you change from a standing position to bending over or by more than 80% between a standing position and sitting with no back support. The intervertebral discs tough outer the ring is known as the annulus fibrosus. The soft gel-like center is called the nucleus pulposus. During a traumatic injury, your spine may lurch forward forcefully causing your vertebra to compress the front of one or more of your lumbar discs beyond normal limits. As a result, the back of your disc protrudes backward causing small tears and thinning of your annulus fibrosus. Over time your damaged annulus fibrosus may weaken and change shape, and your nucleus pulposus may dry out and lose flexibility as your intervertebral disk deteriorates your nucleus pulposus may push your annulus outward resulting in a disc bulge. Depending on its location the Bulge may push on or impinge one of your spinal nerves your spinal cord or your cauda equina which is a collection of spinal nerve roots at the end of your spinal cord. Central disc bulges protrude backward into your spinal canal. lateral disc bulges extend into your neural foramen severe lumbar disc injuries can tear your annulus fibrosus. Pressure from your vertebra may push your nucleus pulposus out of your torn annulus causing a disc herniation. A herniated lumbar disc can impinge upon your cauda equina or spinal nerves and cause symptoms such as pain numbness or weakness in one or both of your legs.
Treatments for lumbar disc injuries may include:
- Anti-inflammatory medication
- Muscle relaxants
- Ice or heat applied to the injured area
- Physical therapy
- Epidural steroid injection is given directly into the area of nerve irritation
- And in more severe cases surgery