Back pain is a common condition and is a frequent cause of doctor’s visits, disability applications, and serious quality of life issues. When someone suffers from either acute or chronic back pain, people might have trouble going to work, attending school, or even getting out of bed in the morning. The good news is that there are plenty of treatment options available.
Does this sound familiar? If so, there are a few points that everyone should know.
Back pain is very common, but you don’t have to live with your pain!
What Are the Common Causes of Back Pain?
The vast majority of back pain develops due to mechanical issues that indicate an injury. While some people have generalized soreness due to overuse (often called paraspinal muscle tenderness), other injuries might be more serious. Some of the injuries that people might suffer include:
- A herniated disc (also called a bulging disc or a slipped disc)
- A muscle strain
- Vertebral fractures, such as compression fractures
- A ligament sprain
- A pinched nerve
There are also medical conditions that may lead to back pain as well. These include:
- Infections of the bones or spinal canal
- Spinal stenosis
- Degenerative disc disease
- The formation of cysts, such as a syrinx
Regardless of why someone suffers from back pain, there are treatment options available.
Why Do People Suffer from Back Pain?
Back pain comes in many forms, meaning that almost anyone can suffer from back pain. However, there are a few risk factors that make it more likely that someone will develop discomfort in the back. These risk factors include:
- Being overweight or obese
- Tobacco use
- Consumption of alcohol and drugs
- A poor diet
- A lack of exercise
- Repetitive movements that place stress on the back, such as bending and heavy lifting
Back pain can manifest anywhere in the body, ranging from the neck down to the pelvis. Where the pain shows up is a reflection of the injury or illness from which someone suffers.
Back pain can manifest anywhere in the body, ranging from the neck down to the pelvis.
What Are the Back Pain Treatment Options?
There are a few ways that people can manage their back pain. These include:
For those who might have suffered a muscle strain or a ligament sprain, the body needs time to heal. It might be helpful to rest for a few days; however, too much rest can cause the back to tighten up. A medical professional can help people judge the appropriate waiting period.
2. Lifestyle Changes
This is what many patients would call diet and exercise. If people are able to remove stress from their back, it will hurt less. A regular exercise routine and a healthier diet will help everyone; however, it is particularly helpful for those who might be either overweight or obese. By removing excess weight from the spine, people will feel more comfortable. A physician can help people put together a diet and exercise plan that will work for each person’s individual situation.
3. Physical Therapy
For some causes of back pain, physical therapy is effective. The goal of physical therapy is to improve the back’s strength, flexibility, and range of motion. By strengthening the muscles, tendons, and ligaments, stress will be taken away from the vertebrae and spinal cord, shifting it to the support structures. Not only does this help people with pain but it can also prevent injuries from occurring in the future.
4. Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Medications
Often shortened to NSAIDs, these are anti-inflammatory medications such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen. They can be used to reduce inflammation in the back, helping people manage their pain.
5. Prescription Medications
The mantra with back pain is to start low and go slow. This is also true with prescription medications. They can be helpful for those who suffer from acute pain; however, they are not usually used for long-term management due to the risky potential side effects.
In some cases, patients can benefit from medications, such as steroids, that are injected directly into the affected area. This can provide patients with extended pain relief.
The last option is surgery. This is commonly used for people who have suffered a herniated disc or who have suffered a compression fracture. Surgery can be effective for many people with back pain; however, these procedures are only recommended when more conservative treatment options have failed.
Contact Us Today!
These are several treatment options that we provide to patients who come to see us. At MidSouth Pain, we place the needs of our patients first. We know that your back pain is impacting your quality of life, which is why we will do everything we can to help you. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you!