According to the Mayo Clinic, USA, approximately 80% of all Americans will certainly suffer from low back pain at least once in their life. Looking at this data, we can clearly see that back pain is one of a very common problems that ails people. Such is the effect of this ailment that it is considered as one of the common reasons for absence from work or visiting the doctor. As per the records of the NHS (National Health Service), UK; backache is the primary cause of work-related absence in the United Kingdom. Although back pain may be painful and may cause some discomfort, it is usually not serious. Back pain ails every individual belonging to any age-group, however, it significantly affects those falling in the age bracket of 35 years onwards. Pain in the upper back is caused due to disorders of the aorta, tumours in the chest and inflammation of the spine. Back pain, on the other hand, is associated with the combined working of our bones, muscles and ligaments. Pain in the lower back may be linked to numerous reasons. These may include the discs between the vertebrae, lower back muscles, ligaments around the spine and discs, bony lumbar spine, spinal cord and nerves, abdomen & pelvic internal organs and the skin around the lumbar area.
What are the factors causing back pain?
Listed below are the factors that may act as a catalyst in causing back pain:
Diagnosing back pain
A back-pain is easily diagnosed by a doctor, after consulting the patient and carrying out a physical examination, which may or may not include imaging scans. In case the pain persists for too long, further tests may be recommended. Following are the tests used to determine the cause of back pain:
In majority of cases the pain subsides by itself by observing simple precautions and taking care of oneself, hence, no medical help is required. Resting proves effective in minimizing back pain.
Usually back pain is segmented into two categories:
1. Acute back pain
2. Chronic back pain
If home treatments do not prove effective in reducing backache, the doctor may recommend the following:
|Medication||NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) including Codeine, hydrocodone or narcotics|
|Physiotherapy||Includes steps like|
|Cortisone Injections||In case the aforementioned therapies do not prove effective enough or if the pain reaches down to the patient's legs, cortisone may be injected into the epidural space. Cortisone is an anti-inflammatory drug that helps minimise inflammation around the nerve roots.|
|Surgeries||In case of persistent pain and nerve compression, surgery is recommended. Examples of surgical procedures includes:|
It is very important to prevent back pain so as to lead a normal and healthy life. Following are some steps that should be taken to prevent backaches:
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