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All you need to know about Back pain

Definition

Back pain, discomfort, or sometimes debilitating suffering associated with an injury or some other affliction of the back, the posterior (rear) portion of the body that extends from the shoulders to the hips. Back pain is a ubiquitous complaint and a leading cause of disability worldwide.

It can result from injury, activity, and some medical conditions. Back pain can affect people of any age, for different reasons. As people get older, the chance of developing trusted Source lower back pain increases, due to factors such as previous occupation and degenerative disk disease.

Lower back pain may be linked to the bony lumbar spine, discs between the vertebrae, ligaments around the spine and discs, spinal cord and nerves, lower back muscles, abdominal and pelvic internal organs, and the skin around the lumbar area.

Pain in the upper back may be due to disorders of the aorta, tumors in the chest, and spine inflammation.

 

Risk factors

  • Occupational activities
  • Pregnancy
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Poor physical fitness
  • Older age
  • Obesity and excess weight
  • Smoking
  • Strenuous physical exercise or work, especially if done incorrectly
  • Genetic factors
  • Medical conditions, such as arthritis and cancer

Symptoms

The main symptom of back pain is an ache or pain anywhere in the back, and sometimes down to the buttocks and legs.

Some back issues can cause pain in other parts of the body, depending on the nerves affected.

The pain often goes away without treatment, but if it occurs with any of the following people should see their doctor:

  • weight loss
  • fever
  • inflammation or swelling on the back
  • persistent back pain was lying down or resting does not help
  • pain down the legs
  • pain that reaches below the knees recent injury, blow, or trauma to the back
  • urinary incontinence
  • difficulty urinating
  • fecal incontinence, or loss of control over bowel movements
  • numbness around the genitals
  • numbness around the anus
  • numbness around the buttocks

Treatment:

 

1-Physiotherapy

Exercise is the foundation of chronic back pain treatment. It’s one of the first treatments you should try under the guidance of your physician and spine physical therapist. However, the same set of exercises doesn’t work for everyone. The exercises have to be tailored to your specific symptoms and condition. Maintaining the exercise routine at home is also a big part of success.

Physical therapy for chronic back pain may include:

    • Retraining your posture
    • Testing the limits of pain tolerance
    • Stretching and flexibility exercises
    • Aerobic exercises
    • Core strengthening

2-Mindfulness and Meditation

Chronic back pain is straining both physically and emotionally. To manage the frustration, irritability, depression, and other psychological aspects of dealing with chronic pain, you may get referred to a rehabilitation psychologist. This specialist may recommend meditation, yoga, tai chi, and other cognitive and relaxation strategies to keep your mind from focusing on pain

3-Diet

Some diets are highly inflammatory, especially those high in trans fats, refined sugars, and processed foods. Consult with your doctor to see if your diet could be contributing to your chronic back pain and how you could change it. Maintaining a healthy weight could also help lessen your back pain by reducing the pressure on your spine.

 

  4-Lifestyle Modifications

When you have chronic pain, it’s important to accept your limitations and adapt. “Listen to your body and learn to pace yourself”. Take a break when mowing the lawn or make several trips when carrying groceries. Take note of the activities that worsen your pain and avoid them if possible. Not only could this help your back feel better, but it could also prevent the underlying condition from advancing. Another important lifestyle changes to try is giving up smoking. Nicotine is scientifically known to accentuate pain and delay healing.

 5-Injection-based Treatments

Nerve blocks, epidural steroid injections, nerve ablations, and other types of injection-based procedures are available for chronic back pain. They are used when the source of the pain is known and can sometimes help rule out certain causes if the treatment doesn’t work. Injections may stop or lessen pain for a certain period but are not intended as long-term solutions and shouldn’t be used in isolation.

6-Alternative Treatments

Acupuncture, massage, dry needling, biofeedback therapy, and other nonsurgical spine treatments can also make a difference for chronic back pain. Talk to your spine specialist about alternative treatments that could benefit you.

 7-Pharmacologic Treatments

Analgesics, anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants, and other medications can be used to help control chronic back pain. However, most come with unwanted side effects and are not intended for prolonged use.

“Opioid medications generally shouldn’t be used as the first, the only, or the long-term line of treatment for chronic back pain”. Many of them are addictive and don’t address the underlying cause of your pain. Opioids should be prescribed only after a thorough exam by a specialist and if other drugs have failed to provide relief. If you find yourself relying on opioids to get through the day, it may be time to seek a second opinion.