Head, Shoulder and Back Pain
A common medical problem
The complaint of low Back Pain is among the most common medical problems. The good news is that most episodes of back pain resolve, and usually within a few weeks. Unfortunately, Back Pain can be among the most difficult and frustrating problems for patients and their doctors.
Understanding the cause of your Back Pain is the key to proper treatment. Because Back Pain is sometimes difficult to treat, a better understanding of the causes of this problem will assist patients in their recovery from back pain.
Causes of Back Pain
There are a variety of causes for back pain:
- Lumbar Muscle Strain – the most common cause of low back pain. Patients may or may not remember the initial event that triggered their muscle spasm, but the good news is that most episodes of back pain from muscle strains resolve completely within a few weeks.
- Ruptured Disc – a ruptured intervertebral disc, also called a herniated disc, is another common cause of back pain. How to treat the back pain from a herniated disc depends on the particular individual and situation.
- Discogenic Back Pain – thought to be a common cause of low back pain, Discogenic Back Pain is the result of damage to the intervertabral disc, but without disc herniation.
- Spinal Stenosis – a major cause of back pain in the aging population. As we age, the spinal canal can become constricted, due in part to arthritis and other conditions. If the spinal canal becomes too tight, back pain can be the result.
- Lumbar Spine Arthritis – most commonly affects joints such as the knees and fingers. However, arthritis can affect any joint in the body, including the small joints of the spine. Arthritis of the spine can cause back pain with movement.
- Spondylolisthesis – causes back pain because adjacent vertebra become unstable and begin to “slip.”
- Osteoporosis – the cause of a number of orthopedic problems and generalized discomfort. Back pain from osteoporosis is most commonly related to compression fractures of the vertebra. Osteoporosis causes weak bones and can lead to these fractures.
Back Pain Treatment
The most frustrating aspect in treatment of back pain is that there is no “magic bullet.” Most individuals recover completely by simply avoiding strain to their spine. Patients often find help from ice, heat, and medications. If the basic steps do not alleviate back pain, the next step is to seek medical evaluation. Depending on the symptoms and the length of the problem, your physician can properly organize a treatment schedule.
When do I need to go to my doctor for back pain?
As stated previously, most episodes of back pain last a few days, and have completely resolved within a few weeks. If you have new back pain, you should contact your doctor to see if you need further evaluation.