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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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Basic Anatomy of the Spine

Spinal Pain To understand spinal pain, we need to understand the basic anatomy of the spine. The spine is composed of strong bones, large muscles, flexible tendons and sensitive nerves. The spine is designed to be very strong and flexible, protecting our nerve endings while at the same time providing great mobility. You can experience spinal pain when the spine's nerves are irritated, the muscles are strained, injury or a slipped disk. We will have a brief overview of the anatomy of the spine to help target the source of your pain. The cervical spine. This is your neck area. The cervical spine is comprised of seven bones and supports our heads and protects the nerves that connect the brain to the rest of the body. Pain in this area is usually associated with strained muscles or ligaments from stress or other minor injuries. Common pain does not usually require medical attention and can be alleviated with acetaminophen and ice or heat. If your pain lasts longer than two weeks or is accompanied by arm pain, numbness or tingling, this is an anatomical problem and could be signs of a herniated disk. The thoracic spine. The upper back is composed of 12 bones that attach to the rib cage, providing stability and support. There is very little ability for mobility in this area of the back. The thoracic spine is designed for protection of the vital organs in this area of the body. Injuries to this part of the spine are very rare, but extreme muscle strain could cause pain in this area. If you are suffering an injury to this area of the spine, contact a doctor immediately. The lumbar spine. The lumbar spine, also known as the lower back, carries the weight of our upper bodies. This area of the spine is the most frequently injured. The upper disks of the lumbar spine are prone to wear and tear, thus a concern for osteoarthritis, while the lower disks are more likely to herniate. Though a cause for concern in later years of life, the lumbar spine mostly is a source of pain caused by muscle strain. The sacral region. This is the bottom of the spine, a single bone shaped like a triangle that connects the spine to the lower half of our bodies. Pain in this area is more common among women and is usually prone to bruising. Become Pain Free is the area's most diverse, comprehensive network of physicians whose sole purpose is to relieve every patient's pain. Call us today for an appointment - (214) 396-3647 or (888) 373-3720


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.