Everyday, patients across the country head to their physicians office and frequent emergency rooms with one common complaint; back pain. Back pain is one of the most common forms of medical complaints from patients, and is often the most difficult for medical professionals to accurately diagnosis. The term ‘back pain’ is wide spread and generic, and understanding the cause of a particular form of back pain is important to ensure you receive an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.
Lumbar Muscle Strain
Among the most common types of back pain are those associated with lumbar muscle lumbarstrain. These types of sprains can be caused by something as simple as straining your back while picking up something heavy, or can be caused by a serious incident such as falling or hurting your back while exercising. Often painful and inconvenient, the good news is that most types of lumbar muscle strain clear up on their own within just a few weeks. Common symptoms of muscle strain include pain when bending, stiffness, sore or achy muscles, and localized pain. If you experience any of these symptoms, applying ice packs regularly, combined with an over the counter anti-inflammatory medication should resolve the pain after just a few days. If your pain continues after several days, or if the pain becomes worse, it is important to seek medical attention.
Ruptured / Herniated Disc
A second form of common back problems that causes pain among patients is a ruptured disc. A ruptured disc, also called a herniated disc, is often a painful condition that causes widespread pain depending on the positioning of the herniated disc. For example, if the herniated disc is not currently pressing on a nerve, you may experience a dull ache in your lower back. In the alternative, if the herniation is pressing on a nerve, common symptoms of a herniated disc will include: numbness, pain, or weakness in the area of your body where the nerves are located. Due to the various areas of your body that may be affected by the herniated disc, it is important to seek medical attention once you begin experiencing the symptoms of a herniated disc.
Depending on your age, another common form of back problems is spinal stenosis, a medical condition that causes back pain in the aging population. Spinal stenosis is caused in part by the natural part of aging and occurs as the spinal canal becomes constricted due to arthritis and additional medical conditions. The constricting of the spinal canal causes back pain, numbness, tingling, and pain. When you begin treatment with an orthopedic doctor, there are several options your physician may recommend. Depending upon the severity of the symptoms, and whether any nerve damage is present; your doctor will most likely prescribe conservative treatments including treatment with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, treatment with analgesics, Corticosteroid injections, or Anesthetic injections. The main goal for these treatment alternatives is to reduce the pain and swelling associated with spinal stenosis treatment to avoid surgery.
Whether you are suffering from a lumbar muscle strain, a torn or ruptured disc, or a chronic case of spinal stenosis, receiving the proper medical care is extremely important to ensure that your pain will be well managed. Pain that is taken care of will lead to a healthier life and will allow you to continue on with normal activities, while reducing pain and discomfort as much as possible.
Information brought to you thanks to freelance author Sarah Smith and Grossinger Neuropain Specialists.