Back Pain - Health Center

Back Pain

By Refadoc, Posted on : Tuesday, 15 September 2015 - 10:46 am IST

Back Pain is a very common complaint all over the world. Almost 72% people all over the world have at least experienced back pain once in their life. This ailment has come to emerge as one of the biggest reasons which causes work related absence in people all over the world.

Though this ailment may be very uncomfortable and painful one for people to deal with, it is not regarded as very serious. People between the ages of 33 to 55 years are the most prone to suffer from Back Pain. Back Pain is caused due to the ill allignment of the bones, ligaments as well as the muscles of the body. 

Major Risk Factors For The Occurrence Of Back Pain:

The risk factor for any disease is something which leads to the increase in the likelihood of the development of a condition or disease in a person.

The following are some of the major risk factors which lead to the occurrence of back pain in people.

  • Doing a stressful mental job.
  • Pregnancy: Pregnant women are at the highest risk for the development of back pains.
  • A sedentary and lazy lifestyle
  • Age: Increase in the age leads to the people being more susceptible towards the development of back ache.
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Gender difference: Back pain is more common amongst females as compared to males.
  • Obesity and overweight
  • Excessive smoking
  • Very hard physical work or labor

Causes For Back Pain

The human body is an intricate structure composed of a complex system of muscles, ligaments, bones, tendons and disks. The human back primarily consists of the spinal cord which has been cushioned by cartilage like pods in order to provide structure and protect the spinal cord from the physical shocks.

However, when there arises any problems within these components, then it can lead to the occurrence of back pain.

There have been some cases in which the doctors have not been able to find the concrete cause for the occurrence of back pain.

Some of the major causes, however are as follows:

1. Strain: Due to the over excessive straining of the muscles and ligaments, this problem arises. Also, when people indulge in lifting something improperly or something which is too heavy for their own weight, it leads to the occurrence of the problem. Not only that, sometimes the strain is caused due to a muscle spasm or due to any awkward movement caused due to excessive pressure caused on the spine.

2. Structural Problems: Some of the structural problems caused in the back can also lead to the creation of back pain. They are as follows:
Rupturing of the disk: Every single vertebra in our spine is cushioned with the help of disks. However, once the disk has been ruptured, this leads to the ceasing of an excessive pressure on the nerve, causing back pain.

3. Bulging Disks: just like in the earlier case, the bulging disks too can lead to an excessive pressure on the nerves.

4. Sciatica: this is a sharp and shooting pain that travels through the buttocks and then travels down the back of the legs. This is basically caused due to the bulging or herniated disks causing excessive pressure on the nerve.
5. Arthritis: Patients who are suffering from Osteoarthritis often suffer and experience pain in their joints as well as the hips, lower back, knees as well as the hands. In some of the extreme cases a person can develop spinal stenosis, which leads to the creation of space around the spinal cord.
6. Osteoporosis: this is basically caused in the bones of a person. This also includes the vertebrae of the spine. The vertebrae tend to become brittle and porous; thus making the fractures a more likely option.
Cancer of the spine: In case there is a tumor on the spine, it may press against the nerve resulting in back pain.
7. Infection of the spine: If the patient is suffering from fever (elevation in the temperature) or is suffering from the tenderness and warmth on the back of the spine, it could be one of the major reasons for the infection of the spine, leading to back ache.
8. Shingles: This is an infection in the spine that can affect the nerves.

Signs And Symptoms Of Back Pain

A symptom is something which a person exhibits if he is suffering from a malady. In case of backache, the major symptoms are; as the name suggests, an ache or pain in the back, which may sometimes spread towards the buttocks and legs of a person.

Some of the major symptoms of back pain are as follows:

1. Loss in the body weight
2. Elevation of body temperature (Fever)
3. Inflammation of the back
4. Persistent pain in the back
5. Pain running down the legs
6. Pain below the knees
7. Urinary Incontinence – uncontrolled urination after time and again
8. Difficulty during urination
9. Faecal Incontinence
10. Numbness in the genital area
11. Numbness around the buttocks

Patients who are drug users or have been taking steroids are at a greater risk of developing back pain as compared to their counterparts. Also, patients with a low immune system as well as who suffer from cancer too can be prone towards developing back pain. Also, some of the everyday activities such as bending awkwardly as well as bending down or standing for a long period of time too can result in the occurrence of Back Pain. Not only that,  over stretching and muscle tension too can lead to the occurrence of back pain in people.

Tests and Diagnosis of Back Pain:

Most of the doctors can diagnose back pain after carrying out a physical examination of the patient.

However, in some of the cases, the doctor may recommend some tests in order to determine the disease. X rays are some of the most used means for the diagnosis of back pain. Patients who have causal underlying conditions such as suspected discs, nerve, tendons or other such problems are the ones that need an X Ray treatment for the determination of back pain. MRI and CT scans are used widely all over the world by doctors in order to get a better view regarding the determination of the state of soft tissues of a person.

Bone Scan is also used for detecting bone tumours or other causes of compression. In a bone scan, the patient receives an injection of a tracer, usually a radioactive substance in order to locate the bone problems.

EMG: Electromyography is another one of the best used ways via which the electrical impulses that are produced by the nerves can be measured and therefore, it can confirm the compression of the nerve due to spinal stenosis.

Treatment and Drugs for Back Pain:

A lot of cases of back pain are often treated with the passage of time without seeing any medical help.

However, back pain has been differentiated into two major types. They are as follows:

1. Chronic Back Ache: This kind of pain takes a long time to develop and can last over a period of three months; causing long term problems to the patient.

2. Acute Back Ache: This type of pain comes suddenly and then can persist a maximum for a period of three months.

Some of the most commonly used treatments are as follows:

Medication: Sometimes, the doctors tends to prescribe a dose of NSAID. These may contain codeine and hydrocodone prescription for a short period of time under the close monitoring of the doctors. Also, the use of tricycle antidepressants, like amitriptyline has been known to act well against back ache.

Physical Therapy: This uses the application of heat, cold and ultrasound, muscle release techniques in order to decrease the pain. Techniques to correct the posture too are introduced under physical therapy. Patients are encouraged to continue with the therapy even after they have been treated in order to avoid the relapse of the same.

Chiropractor: He is the one who treats the joints, muscle as well as the bone problems, which keeps the spine as the main focus of his treatment.

Acupuncture too has emerged out as a great treatment. It uses the insertion of needles in some specific parts of the body. This practice encourages the body to release its natural painkillers, known as endorphins in order to stimulate the nerve as well as the muscle tissue of the body.

Back Pain can be easily treated with different methods and medicines; however, timely action is required for the same in order to get the best result and quick relief.

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