Eight out of ten adults will suffer from back pain at some point in their lives, especially after age 40. Back pain is one of the most common health complaints, second only to headache. Although back pain can affect any area of the spine, it most often occurs in the lower back or lumbar region.
There are many potential causes of back pain. Those with active lifestyles may experience back pain due to sprains, strain, or overexertion. Those with sedentary lifestyles may experience back pain because of lack of exercise or general weakness. Obesity is associated with back pain, as are bone diseases (notably osteoporotic fracture) and metastatic cancers. Degenerative spinal disorders are those associated with aging, “wear and tear,” and certain conditions, such as arthritis. Back pain may also occur owing to a spinal deformity.
Some of the most common conditions associated with back pain include:
- Degenerative disc disease
- Herniated disc
- Spinal osteoarthritis (spondylosis)
- Spinal stenosis
- Vertebral compression fracture
Back pain can be acute or chronic.
- Acute back painoccurs suddenly, but the episode is generally limited to a few weeks. The accompanying pain can be severe.
- Chronic back painis generally defined as back pain that lasts for more than 3 months. With chronic back pain, the condition may progressively worsen, although the pain is usually not as intense as the pain associated with an acute episode. In fact, patients who transition from acute back pain to chronic back pain may notice that the type of pain they experience changes. Chronic pain is often more diffuse.
- Subacute back painis back pain that has lasted more than a few weeks but is not yet chronic.
Back pain can be caused by any number of factors, including injury, exertion, accident, or disease. When there is no apparent cause or underlying pathology involved, it is referred to as non-specific back pain. If back pain can be attributed to a specific condition, e.g., herniated disc, it is described assecondary back pain.
Pain intensity associated with back pain does not always correspond to the severity of the back problem. In other words, muscle spasms in the back can be incapacitating, but may not indicate a serious structural problem. A herniated disc, which can be a serious spinal condition, may cause very little pain. Some back problems may even occur without any pain at all.
The Neuro Spinal Hospital wants you to be aware that there are certain symptoms, which may be “red flags” for potentially serious spinal conditions. Seek medical attention promptly if you experience:
- Back pain after injury, such as a fall
- Sudden unrelenting or disabling back pain
- Back pain that travels into the arms and/or legs
- Leg numbness, tingling sensations, weakness
- Numbness and/or tingling in the region of buttocks or groin
- Back pain accompanied by fever
- Bowel or bladder dysfunction
At the Neuro Spinal Hospital, we recognize that back pain can be debilitating. Fortunately, many forms of back problems can be safely and effectively treated providing the patient gets expert medical help. Many forms of back pain can be successfully treated without surgery. On the other hand, there are many surgical advances today that mean that more and more people suffering from back pain can find complete or nearly complete relief in surgical interventions. Your team at the Neuro Spinal Hospital will discuss the most appropriate treatment options for your back pain.
Treatments of back pain may include:
- Physical therapy
- Pain medication
- Anti-inflammatory medication
- Injections to reduce pain and inflammation
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Specially designed exercise programmes
The prognosis for back pain is highly individualised and depends on the individual patient, the cause of his or her back pain, how long it has lasted, its severity, and other health conditions. However, back pain can be treated and most patients will obtain relief from treatment, sometimes complete relief. The Neuro Spinal Hospital offers the most advanced back paint treatment options to its patients.
Back pain may be associated with hereditary conditions, so there may sometimes be genetic factors involved in back pain. Other risks for back pain include accident, stress to or overexertion of the back, accident or injury, sedentary lifestyle, obesity, advancing age, and degenerative conditions, such as arthritis.
Back pain can impair quality of life, limit mobility, and cause considerable suffering and reduce productivity. Although back pain is common, it requires expert diagnosis because many things can cause or contribute to back pain. Once back pain is accurately diagnosed, there are often many treatment options. The Neuro Spinal Hospital is dedicated to the fast, accurate, and expert diagnosis and treatment of back pain, using leading-edge technology and advanced techniques. Neuro Spinal Hospital works with individual patients to find the best treatment options for maximum relief.