Back pain is pain felt in the back that may originate from the muscles, nerves, bones, joints or other structures in the spine.Back pain is common and the largest single cause of sickness absence in the UK. Back pain affects 80% of Americans at some time in their lives. Back pain is one of the most common medical problems, affecting 8 out of 10 people at some point during their lives. It comes in many forms, from lower back pain to neck pain to sciatica. Back pain can range from a dull, constant ache to a sudden, sharp pain. Acute back pain comes on suddenly and usually lasts from a few days to a few weeks. Back pain is called chronic if it lasts for more than three months. Low back pain is not a specific disease. Rather, it is a symptom that may occur from a variety of different processes.
The symptoms of low back pain do show significant improvement within two to three months from its onset. Back pain can affect anyone, of any age, but it is more common in people between the ages of 35-55 years. Back pain that occurs after a trauma, such as a car accident or fall, should also be promptly evaluated by a medical professional to check for a fracture or other injury. Severe back pain that occurs with other signs of severe illness (e.g. fever, unexplained weight loss) may also indicate a serious underlying medical condition, such as cancer. Muscle strains (pulled muscles) are commonly identified as the cause of back pain, as are muscle imbalances. Herniated disk occurs when disk material presses on a nerve. Another cause of acute low back pain is a Meniscoid Occlusion.
Sciatica is also cause of bsck pain. This condition often occurs when a herniated disk impinges on the sciatic nerve causing sharp, shooting pain through the buttocks and back of the leg. Serious back pain can be caused by the bulging or rupture of one or more of the intervertebral discs causing the inner jelly-like material (nucleus pulposus) to press on the spinal cord or nerve roots which run next to the disc. The management goals when treating back pain are to achieve maximal reduction in pain intensity as rapidly as possible. Heat therapy is useful for back spasms or other conditions. Physical therapy and exercise, including stretching and strengthening (with specific focus on the muscles which support the spine). Massage therapy, especially acupressure or pressure point massage may be more beneficial.
Back Pain Treatment Tips
1. Bed rest is recommended for only 12 days at most.
2. Heat therapy is useful for back spasms or other conditions.
3. Medications ( paracetamol and acetaminophen) are often used to treat acute and chronic low back pain.
4. Surgery may relieve pain caused by back problems or serious musculoskeletal injuries.
5. Muscle Relaxants such as cyclobenzaprine, diazepam, carisoprodol or methocarbamol are often prescribed for severe pain.
6. Acupuncture involves the insertion of needles the width of a human hair along precise points throughout the body.
7. Epidural Steroid injections are also effective in reducing the inflammation and the treatment of back pain
8. Exercise may be the most effective way to speed recovery from low back pain and help strengthen back and abdominal muscles.