Large percentages of Americans experience back pain and low back pain. The onset of low back pain has a tendency to go up with age, up to fifty percent of those over 60 years old. This pain sends its messages down one or both buttocks or legs beginning in the lower back and spreads along the sciatic nerve down the back of the thigh and length of the legs.
The most usual back pain is work related and is a very expensive cost factor in worker’s compensation claims. More costly than any other physical disorder, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, low back pain will inflict most adults during their life span.
Pain is most often centered in the lower back, and is present in two types: acute, and chronic. The acute form comes quickly and is profound. This is often associated with some sort of physical activity and over exertion or incorrect body stance. The pain as a rule, lasts only a short period.
On the other hand, chronic pain continues in a repetitious manner. Any sort of motion can activate the pain, and it stays relentlessly.
The lower back bears much of the body’s weight. The soundness of the vertebra and intervertebral disks are the framework of the lower back. Over a period, many will experience injury to their backs. The back is a complex structure of bone ligaments and muscles, with major nerves disks and joints, and if misused, can fail. Disks can be ruptured, ligaments can sprain, and muscles can be strained.
Often these injuries are caused by accidents or sports-related incidents, however, oddly enough at times, routine and simple movements can result in pain. Psychological issues as well as arthritis, congenital problems, bad posture, and overweight, can be the origin of back pain. A certain cause of back pain can be pinpointed in only a few people. X-rays only clarify a few of the symptoms described by the patient.
Gladly for most individuals, medication will work to curb pain and uneasiness. Unfortunately, drugs can carry with them side effects and must be considered. Over the counter drugs can benefit, such as:
Check with your doctor or pharacist about possible side effects.
Prescription medications may be used to reduce intense pain; your physician may prescribe:
- Oxycodone-release (Oxycontin)
- Acetaminophen with codeine
- Meperidine (Demerol)
Immobility or bed rest has been found to benefit less than continuing with normal activities along with exercise to strengthen the back. Exercises increase the ability to be physically mobile, along with strengthening the muscles and improving disks’ stability. A day of rest in the early stages may profit by lessening the pain initially by inactivity.
All other treatments should be exhausted before surgery is considered. This is a consensus by most physicians today. Surgery is contemplated for specific conditions such as degenerative disk disease to stabilize or fuse the spine. Some devices used are intervertebral body fusion, an anterior spinal implant, and a posterior spinal implant.
Implants such as spinal cord stimulation devices can help in controlling chronic pain. Electrically stimulated, the spinal cord receives an ongoing flow of electric pulsation.
Chinese Healing Procedures (acupuncture)
This treatment consists of the use of needles placed at a particular area of the body. Each needle is cataloged correctly and the FDA requires excellent construction of the needles. Acupuncture has been classified as a medical device for general use and must be used by trained professionals.
Our nation is becoming more open-minded concerning alternative medicine. Nonetheless, it is difficult to determine the exact value of acupuncture, as back pain often leaves unexpectedly. It is then, hard to decide if in fact, it is the treatment or a spontaneous response as normal.
The conclusion is that back pain is caused by many underlying conditions and may need more than one form of treatment to be successful.