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Article by Nikole
Everyone has had an episode of low back pain at some point of their lives. Most episodes of back pain are resolved without the afflicted doing anything about it. However there are instances that back pain seem to be chronic and the afflicted is left to his aches and pains if the back pain is not properly addressed.
What causes back pain? Back pain is sometimes hard to treat because it has many possible causes. Each symptom has to be looked into and eliminated before proceeding with the “why” of the back pain. There are many causes of back pain and some of the more common ones are the following.
Ruptured disc is also known as herniated disc. Between the spinal vertebrae are spinal discs that act as “cushions”. As one ages the spinal disc progressively loses its elasticity and therefore becomes more prone to injury. The spinal disc could rupture and is pushed outside its normal boundary within the spine causing the spinal cord and nerves to be “pinched”. More movement could cause the spinal cord and nerves to be compressed.
Discogenic low back pain is caused by damage to the intervertabral disc but without any ruptured or herniated disc. This is a degenerative disease that may not cause undue discomfort and pain at first but will tend to progress if not diagnosed early.
Lumbar muscle strains are the most common trigger of low back pain. The patient may or may have not been aware of the physical activity that could have caused the pain. The great news about this low back pain episode is the fact that muscle strains and pains eventually heal within a few short weeks and even days. However, if other symptoms aside from lower back pain are present, it is best to consult with a spinal specialist. Some symptoms to watch out for are: loss of bowel and bladder control; constant and severe back pain.
Spinal stenosis is the constriction of the spinal canal caused by aging. People who did hard labor are also prone to spinal stenosis.
Aging causes the spinal canal to be constricted due to various reasons one of which is arthritis. When the spinal canal constricts, the result is low back pain. Common symptoms are tingling sensations, pain, numbness and weakness of the arms (if stenosis is at the cervical or neck area) and the legs (if stenosis is at the lumbar or lower back area). Other causes of lower back pain are: osteoporosis; lumbar spine arthritis and spondylolisthesis.
Since most back pains will resolve on their own, when is the time to see a doctor? If back pain persists for more than a few days or if it keeps you awake at night or you experience difficulty bowel and bladder movement, or you develop fever, chills and sweating, then it is time to see a doctor.
Lower back pains are treated conservatively with therapies, steroid injections, anti-inflammatory drugs and even massages and acupuncture.
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However, if the pain persist after months of therapy then it is time to seek the medical opinion of spine surgery specialists .