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Understanding Back Pain

find a DoctorBack pain is experienced by millions of people annually, and it is caused by a wide range of different reasons. Many people think it is simply caused by old age or a weak body, but, in reality, those are only a fraction of the amount of issues that cause back pain. With some, back problem are hereditary or are born with it. With others, these pains come from activities and strenuous actions that a person chooses to make, ultimately risking their body and having to deal with such issues.

What are the Causes of Back Pain?

There are four main factors that cause severe back pain. Aging plays a massive role in back problems due to the body naturally deteriorating after time. This causes problems, such as Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD), and breaks down cartilage, potentially causing bulging discs and damaged nerves. Aging is part of life and there is no real cure for back pains caused by aging. However, there are therapeutic and non-invasive ways to relieve that pain and feel more comfortable.

Injuries are another reason for back pain. Many times athletes, manual labor workers, and other people who tend to be overly active injure themselves more easily than those who are less active. Injuries to the spine can cause lingering, chronic back pain, and, often times, surgery might be recommended.

Spinal pain is also caused by hereditary or acquired conditions. Some people are born with diseases such as scoliosis or hereditary arthritis. Conversely, some women endure severe back and neck pain during their 9 month pregnancy. Many of these issues cause fractures and sprains in the spinal column that lead to both acute and chronic back and neck pain.

Finally, one of the least causes for back pains is tumors and infections. While tumors and infections can cause back pain, it is very uncommon, but can still affect a person by causing inflammation by “suffocating” or tightening the disc or vertebra, resulting in a restriction of movement.

How is Back Pain Treated?

Back pain treatments differ depending on the location of the focal point of the pain. Massages, heat pads, and nuerostimulation (stimulating the nerves) can release tension and relax muscles, temporarily easing pain. Other treatments include injections of steroids, muscle relaxers, and light exercise. In any case, consult a physician at the start of back pain, as it’s residual effects can be costly, both physically and financially, if it is not immediately taken care of.


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Spinal Disc Problems

Back pain has many causes, many of which involve the discs in the spine. Discs are cushions that are located between each vertebrae that makes up the spine. Discs can deteriorate over time, possibly leading to several potential spinal disc problems. Normal Disc A normal, healthy disc provides cushioning between the bones, or vertebra, that make up the spine. A disc is round, but flattened at the top and bottom, and is flexible to provide shock absorption and act as connective tissue between vertebra. Each spinal disc is made up of a firmer collagen outer layer with a softer fiber and gelatinous center. Over time, loss of hydration may lead to discs becoming stiffer or more brittle, leading to potential problems. Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD) is not really a disease and is typically used to refer to the natural degeneration that occurs to discs over time. Loss of fluid causes discs to become thinner and stiffer. Degenerative Disc Disease may include inflammation within the inner portion of the disc or stiffening of the outer portion, resulting in micromotion instability and small cracks or tears. DDD does not always cause pain or other symptoms, but this condition may lead to the development of other spinal disc problems. Bulging Disc Due to weakening and thinning of the tough outer layer of the disc, the inner filling may press beyond its natural boundaries, forcing part of the outer layer to extend beyond its normal range, resulting in a protrusion of an area of the disc. Bulging discs typically have no symptoms, unless the protruding area presses on surrounding nerves. Herniated Disc If there are tiny cracks in the outer layer of the disc, pressure can allow some of the gelatinous fluid from the inner core to leak out of the disc and protrude into the spinal column. While it is possible that a herniated disc may have no symptoms, it is more likely because the protruding inner core is likely to press on surrounding nerves. Thinning Disc Thinning, or flattening, of spinal discs is a normal occurrence of DDD. Problems can occur if parts of the weakened disc break off and press on nerves or affect normal spinal movement. Thinning discs may allow bones in the spine to rub together, leading to pain and additional problems. Disc Degeneration with Osteophyte Formation As discs thin with DDD, less space is available between vertebrae. Osteophytes, or bone spurs, can develop to compensate for the thinning space. Osteophytes may cause no symptoms, or they may grow large enough to press on nerves. No matter what is causing your back pain, Become Pain Free has a medical specialist who will work to help you become pain-free. Make an appointment today by calling us today at (214) 396-3647 or toll-free at (888) 373-3720. The sooner you call, the quicker you can get back to living your life instead of living in pain.

Note: The information on this Web site is provided as general health guidelines and may not be applicable to your particular health condition. Your individual health status and any required medical treatments can only be properly addressed by a professional healthcare provider of your choice. Remember: There is no adequate substitution for a personal consultation with your physician. Neither BPF Specialty Hospital, or any of their affiliates, nor any contributors shall have any liability for the content or any errors or omissions in the information provided by this Web site.