Back Pain can be chronic or acute, if the pain persists for more than six weeks then that will considered as a chronic pain, which needs immediate attention of a Pain management specialist. In this blog we are going to discuss about the causes of Back pain, it’s type and management procedure.
- Poor conditioning of back & abdominal muscles
- Sprain that can be caused by sports or ligaments injury in youngsters
- Strain – muscle injury
- Poor posture
- Standing for a long period
- Sudden Fall
- Lifting heavy weights
- Bending and twisting of muscles
Cause for Acute Back Pain
80% of people experience acute back pain once in their lifetime. Recovery occurs in 90% in 2 weeks’ time. The pain will settle down with rest, having simple analgesics, applying muscle relaxants and cold packs. Acupuncture is also a good strategy to reduce the pain. Only in 10% of people does acute back pain become chronic.
Precautions to be taken
- No exercises in the acute phase.
- Do not take bed rest for more than 2 to 3 days.
- Start gentle exercises in a graded manner after 2 weeks like strengthening and stretching exercises. Consulting a good physiotherapist can help.
- Only if pain persists more than 6 weeks, then consult a specialist and an MRI may need to be done.
How to Manage Back Pain?
- Interventional pain management – spinal injection of steroids
- Non-drug treatment
- Treat associated problems such as depression, anxiety – by counselling
- Physiotherapy – to strengthen muscles & increase mobility
Let’s talk about Chronic Back Pain
What is Sciatica Pain?
This condition is due to the irritation of the sciatic nerve ( the major and large nerve that goes down the leg); the pain usually travels throughout the leg. The usual cause of sciatica is compression of the nerve by a slipped disc or spinal degeneration (L4, 5, or S1).
Signs and symptoms of Sciatica
– Moderate pain and numbness in the lower back, buttocks, and legs. (severe pain in some patients)
– Pain increases with movement
– Loss of bladder control and bowel control
Physical Therapy for Sciatica
Physical therapy for Sciatica is a boon for patients who are facing pain struggles in life. Some of the most effective physical therapy options for Sciatica include the following:
– Extension and flexion back exercises: These exercises mainly include backward and forward bending, respectively.
– Strengthening exercises: Isometric and isotonic exercises are beneficial in improving muscle strength.
– Functional retraining: This training includes the gradual reintroduction of exercises such as bending, squatting, and lifting.
– Joint mobilization: In this technique, the therapist uses the optimum amount of pressure to effectively mobilize the joint.
What is Slipped Disc Pain?
Slipped disc pain is a sharp and burning effect that is caused when a soft cushion present between the bones in the spine pushes out.
Signs & Symptoms of Slipped disc
70 to 80% of the slipped disc cases will recover in 1 year. However, these patients feel severe pain throughout the leg that decreases their mobility significantly. This requires medical intervention. You may feel:
- Pain is severe and travelling down the leg
- Numbness and tingling
- Increase in pain while coughing and sneezing
- Increase in pain on sitting, standing and walking and decreases on lying down
Are There Any Red Flags?
- History of fever or sudden loss of weight
- History of cancer
- Sudden onset of pain in elderly people
- Pain in the night
- Difficulty in passing or controlling urine
- Weakness or loss of sensation in the legs
- Any swelling on the spine
This has to be taken seriously and investigations should be done to rule out any major problem. Less than 5% of back pain is due to a serious illness.
Treatment of a Slipped Disc
Bed rest is not the answer. As far as possible, the slight movement should be done. In a sudden onset of pain, doctors’ advice that best rest should not be more than 2 to 3 days as it can be harmful. Below mentioned options can help you in relieving the pain:
- Ice packs
- Restricted activity – not more than 2 days. Encourage movement in the house
- Avoid bending, lifting weights
- Analgesics & muscle relaxants
- Anti-convulsants drugs
Interventional pain management
- Nerve root injection
- Epidural steroids
- Micro discectomy
Thus, it’s important to take the right step before the pain aggravates to a great extent. Consult Pain management specialist today if you are suffering from any one of the different types of pain.