Back Pain Treatment
The back is a complex combination of bones (vertebrae), discs, muscles, tendons, and ligaments that provides support, mobility, and balance for the entire body, as well as protection for the spinal cord and nerves. Daily loads and wear over time make the back susceptible to injury and other conditions that lead to pain. Genetic factors also play an important role in spinal deterioration. Back pain is the second most common reason for a visit to a physician in the United States, and 70 to 85 percent of people have significant back pain at some point in their life.
Types of Back Pain
Back Pain can be described as acute or chronic. Acute back pain is commonly described as sharp and severe; it tends to come on suddenly but also improve with time and short-term conservative treatment, such as medication, exercise, physical therapy or rest. Chronic back pain is typically over 12 weeks in duration and is commonly described as a deep, aching, dull or burning pain. Chronic pain generally arises over time as the body ages and as the back is subjected to the wear and tear of daily living. Chronic pain can also be approached with conservative, nonoperative measures, though it tends to last a long time and may not respond as well to conservative care.
Many sudden attacks of acute back pain are the result of overstretched muscles (strains) or ligaments (sprains). The pain may be most severe immediately after injury, or it may worsen gradually over a few hours. In most instances, back pain as a result of strain or sprain can be resolved following a conservative course of treatment – usually within two to six weeks – provided there are no serious underlying medical conditions.
People suffering from chronic pain may be experiencing mechanical pain, which means that a specific part of their spine, such as a disc, a ligament, or a joint is damaged and is not working correctly. Examples of problems that lead to mechanical pain include degenerative disc disease, spondylolisthesis, spinal stenosis, herniated discs and facet joint degeneration.
Causes of Back Pain
Causes of back pain consist of fractures (including those due to osteoporosis, or thinning of the bone), developmental disorders of the back such as scoliosis and kyphosis, inflammatory and infectious disorders, and tumors. Patients should consult a physician if they are experiencing back pain as a result of a physical trauma to the spine, if they are experiencing numbness in, or having difficulty moving, their extremities, or if they experience bladder control loss or impairment.
Acute back pain treatment often consists of physical therapy or epidural steroid injections initially. If these treatments fail, surgery may be offered. Chronic back pain responds less well to physical therapy and epidural steroid injections but these treatments may still be indicated depending on the problem being treated.
Relieve Back Pain
If you are plagued by acute or chronic back pain contact our Houston neurosurgeons today at the Texas Spine & Neurosurgery Center – 281-313-0031. Our philosophy is to try to treat patients conservatively if at all possible. We are committed to uncovering the source of your back pain and finding a specific back pain treatment plan for you so you can start living your life again.