Back Pain

Back Pain

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For doctors it is important that they understand the reason of the back pain. Also the description of the pain highlights the cause and based on the same the clinicians formulate the treatment plan.

The description of the pain, affected area and related symptoms, help us understand the back pain diagnosis and plan the treatment. Given below are three different classifications of back pain:

Axial Pain:  Also called mechanical pain, axial pain may be described in a number of ways, such as sharp or dull, constant or comes and goes, etc. A muscle strain is a common cause of axial pain.

Referred Pain:  Often characterized as dull and achy, referred pain tends to move around and vary in intensity. As an example, in the lower back degenerative disc disease may cause referred pain to the hips and posterior thighs.

Radicular Pain: Often described as deep and searing pain, radicular pain follows the path of the nerve into the arm or leg and may be accompanied by numbness or weakness. This type of pain is caused by compression, inflammation and/or injury to a spinal nerve root. Other terms for radicular pain are sciatica or radiculopathy, and can be caused by conditions such as a herniated disc or spinal stenosis, or spondylolisthesis.

Main signs of back pain:

The main symptom of back pain is an ache or pain anywhere on the back which can cause to difficulty in sitting, walking and standing and sometimes this radiates to buttock, thigh and or leg. In most of the cases this pain is for short period of time.In rare cases, back pain can signal a serious medical problem. Seek immediate care if your back pain causes new bowel or bladder problems and accompanied by fever.

A common cause of back pain is injury to a muscle (strain) or ligament (sprain). Strains and sprains can occur for many reasons, including improper lifting, poor posture and lack of regular exercise. It is a most common problem that affects most of the people. It usually feels like an ache, tension or stiffness in your back. This pain can be triggered by bad posture while sitting or standing, bending awkwardly, or lifting incorrectly.

Back pain includes lower back pain, middle back pain, upper back pain or low back pain with sciatica.

It often happens because something is off in the way your spinal joints, muscles, discs, and nerves fit together and move. Being overweight may increase your risk of strains and sprains affecting your back.

Risk Factors

Any person can develop back pain and it is more common around age 30 or 40. Lack of exercise, excess weight, disease, improper lifting, Psychological conditions and smoking are some of the main factors that can lead to back pain.

When to See a Doctor

Most back pain gets better within a few weeks without treatment. If you’re very uncomfortable, you can rest in bed for a day or two, but longer than that does more harm than good and advice to visit a doctor.

Treatments & Drugs

Most acute back pain gets better with a simple home treatment like use of heat or ice on the pain area. Try light activity, such as walking and activities of daily living. If home treatments aren’t working after several weeks, your doctor might suggest stronger medications or other therapies. Surgery is rarely needed to treat back pain.