About Back Pain
About Back Pain
What is Back Pain?
Back pain is pain that is located anywhere on the spine. It includes the neck, the back of the thorax, and the lumbar region. Back pain can be acute or chronic. Acute back pain can last up to 1 month and is mainly due to muscle or ligamental strain. Chronic back pain is constant, but it can also be intermittent and can last for many months to many years.
Why do I get back pain?
Back pain can be due to many factors. Genetic factors such as a deformation of the spine or a spina bifida can lead to serious back pain and is best treated by an experience orthopedist surgeon. Many people can have an acute pain that is due to a herniated disc however, most of the individuals suffering from back pain have a muscle or ligament strain. Arthritis can also be a cause of back pain in older patients. Age, lack of exercise and obesity can all contribute to back pain.
Is back pain dangerous?
Back pain is often not dangerous and can be treated conservatively. Sometime a herniated disc can compress the nerve and be treated in a conservative matter. At worse this can require a surgical intervention. A herniated disk might cause a compression of the intrathecal sac where the nerves are located. This is an emergency and prompt treatment by a surgeon warranted.
How to I evaluate back pain?
Back pain always needs to be evaluated by a health care professional. A physical exam is warranted and sometime imagery such as an X-ray, a CT-Scan or an MRI scan should be done. If you have any issues with urination, a lack of perineal sensation or if you cannot suddenly move your feet properly please contact your closest emergency as this could mean that a disk is compressing your nerves. This can lead to a permanent damage if not treated promptly.
How do I treat back pain?
Back pain is best treated by a professional. Most of back pains however require conservative therapy and a referral to a physical therapist can help. Exercises to increase your flexibility, strengthen your back and abdominal muscles, and improve your posture can help. The first step is to find the cause of your back pain. If it comes from a herniated disk you will be directed to a proper spine surgeon that will access your situation and possibly offer you a surgical treatment.