Everyone will, at some point in their life, suffer with acute back pain in their neck, upper back, lower back or tailbone. It costs the United States billions of dollars medical treatment and missed work days. In this regard, it is second only to the common cold!
A whole complex network of nerves, muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints interconnect in the spine. The large nerves going to the arms and legs emanated from the spine, and this is one of the reasons why back pain can often be felt in those extremities.
Why does it occur?
There are various reasons for the onset of back pain. The most common reasons are general wear and tear as the body ages, lack of tone in the muscles along the spine, bad posture or trauma. Some women may suffer with a nagging pain in the lower back during pregnancy due to their increasing weight and change of posture.
How do I know if it is serious?
There are several warning signs that the spine has been seriously injured, and these are:
• Weakness in the legs, which progressively deteriorates
• Impairment or loss of control of bladder or bowels
• Severe, constant nagging pain
If you suffer from intense and/or continuous pain as outlined above, be sure to get to your physician, as soon as possible.
How is it treated?
The goal when treating back pain is to reduce the extreme discomfort as quickly as possible, and help the patient return to normality. Surgery is an option, but it is usually only required in less than 10% of cases, and often in the long term, there is decline in the benefits of surgery. Other options like physical/massage therapy and exercise have a better long term effect. Painkillers, muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatory drugs can be used as a short term palliative method of treatment.
Who can treat BACK PAIN?
In severe cases, a physician will refer you to a specialist Orthopedist for a more exact assessment. Minor Back pain is usually treated by exercise and massage therapy by a physical therapist working in conjunction with the physician.