Persistent back pain is one of those niggling health issues that can kill the joys of living the good life. According to the Mayo Clinic, close to 80% of all Americans suffer from lower back pain at least once in their lives. Back pain is the one of the main common reasons for work-related absence in the United States a NHS (National Health Service) finding. In fact, back pain is one of the most common health issues faced by a significant portion of global population, yet most patients ignore it until it becomes a severe concern. What most people don’t realize is that delaying treatment for too long can even result in immobility for a lifetime. On the contrary, consulting a back pain specialist in early stages can not only provide back pain relief but also reverse the damage to some extent.
Back Pain Symptoms
Generally back pain symptoms range in intensity from mild to severe, and may be constant or sudden, mild or debilitating. If you notice any of the following symptoms, you are most likely undergoing some kind of lower back problem:
- Difficulty in moving, which can be severe enough to restrict movement
- Pain not only shoots down the leg but also affects the groin, buttock or upper thigh
- Dull aching sensations
- Muscle spasms, which can turn severe
- Local soreness upon touch
- Chronic or acute low back strain
- Back pain at night
Back pain can, however, carry signs of more serious damage if accompanied with other symptoms like sudden bowel and/or bladder incontinence – either difficulty passing urine or having a bowel movement, or loss of control of urination or bowel movement (cauda equina syndrome), and severe, continuous abdominal pain (abdominal aortic aneurysm).
Back Pain Causes
Back pain can be caused due to a wide range of factors, while these factors may differ with age.
For instance, adults of 30-60 years of age are more likely to experience back pain from the any change in disc space of the back bone such as lumbar disc herniation or degenerative disc disease, from a back muscle strain or other soft tissue strain. But 60+ old adults generally suffer more from pain related to joint degeneration such as osteoarthritis or spinal stenosis, or from a compression fracture. Other causes of back pain include:
- Occupational factors such as long desk jobs, sedentary lifestyle, non-ergonomic furniture, etc.
- Existing chronic conditions like Fibromyalgia, Spondylitis, etc.
- Carrying heavy bags, backpacks etc. for a prolonged period of time
- Overextended workouts, or lifting too much weights at the gym
- Wrong posture
- Inactive lifestyle
Back Pain Treatment
Back pain treatment procedures start with consulting a back pain specialist, which is followed by physical examination and assessment of health issues and your medical history. Depending on the severity of the problem and initial diagnosis, the doctor may administer a series of medical tests such as X-rays, blood tests, urine tests, MRI, CT scan, and bone scan to identify any underlying medical conditions that might be contributing to the back pain. The back pain specialist may use a combination of drugs and physical therapy to relieve your back pain. During the span of treatment, you may be advised to temporarily avoid activities like heavy lifting, prolonged sitting, or sudden bending or twisting.
With the right back pain treatment, you can easily overcome your painful condition and start living a pain-free life.