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Treating back injuries and back pain

Posted by Andrea Hamel

January 27, 2016 at 1:13 PM

Back Pain: causes and treatment

treating back injuries and back pain

Causes

There are many types of back pain ranging from acute pain (sharp piercing episodes of pain) to chronic (dull to intense ache).  Tingling, numbness, and weakness may also accompany back pain.  There are four different characterizations of the spinal vertebrae: cervical (7 vertebrae), thoracic (12 vertebrae), lumbar (5 vertebrae), and sacral (sacrum and coccyx).  Back pain usually involves one of these sections, most commonly the lower back (lumbar), however, it is possible to have pain in multiple areas.

There are various sources of back pain including:

  • Muscle pain (strains or spasms of the muscles around the spine and back)
  • Joint pain (injuries or stresses associated with the joints between vertebrae in the spine)
  • Spinal disc herniation
  • Degenerative joint disease
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Cancer
  • Fractures
  • Trauma to the back
  • Various inflammatory diseases
  • Sciatica
  • Pregnancy

Other conditions involving internal organs (for example, gall bladder, kidneys, or pancreas) may also present with back pain, usually in the lumbar and thoracic regions.

Diagnoses of the above conditions involve the use of various methods including: X-ray, computed topography (CT) scan, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) among others.

Treatment

The main treatment for the various types of back pain most commonly involves pain management.  The following are different types of pain management available:

  • Medication (NSAIDs, anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxers)
  • Physical therapy
  • Stretching and exercise
  • Massage Therapy
  • Chiropractic therapy
  • Heat and cold therapy

For certain conditions, surgery is necessary, for example:

  • Spinal stenosis
  • Spinal disc herniation
  • Fractures
  • Some cancers

Surgery is generally used as a last resort after all other pain management has failed.

For more information on back pain and treatment please contact us.

Topics: back pain, back injury

    

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