I suffer from back pain!
Let's divide our whole spine or commonly called backbone into 3 parts:
Our mid backs consists of thoracic vertebras and lower back of lumbar and sacral vertebras. It also has intervertebral disc in between the vertebras, spinal nerves popping out of the vertebras, ligaments and muscles.
Low back pain is very common. But have you ever thought why?
Low back carries the weight of our upper body also acts as a midway bridge with the pelvis to connect with the lower body.
So which structure causes the back pain?
Well any injury or imbalance in the structure will cause back pain. Pain itself is the first signal our body gives to us that something is wrong inside .But most of us don't listen to it ,right ?until it is very severe . We generally pop in some painkillers believing it will relive our pain. In some cases it does for some time and then later on say after a few days, weeks or months we get the pain again.
What triggers the back pain?
· Work habits
· Lifting heavy weights in a wrong way
· Sudden jerk
· Degenerative changes with old age
We talked about the back and factors causing it, but how to identify of the back pain we are having is caused by back pain ? Let's discuss some common signs or indications of back pain
· Pain in and around the area. It might be a dull ache increasing or decreasing during few activities like bending forward, sitting for long time, standing, turning, sleeping or while working
· Shooting sensation down the leg. This might be due to a nerve pinching between the vertebras causing pain going down the leg
· Swelling in and around the back
· Difficulty urinating
· Numbness in legs
· Slipping of footwear
Overall we can divide back pain as musculoskeletal and neurological
Musculoskeletal means caused my muscle imbalance, muscle injury or muscle tears or bony changes
Neurological means caused my nerve getting pinched or compressed causing the symptoms discussed as above.
Back pain can be acute, sub-acute or chronic .
Acute back pain is self-limiting and usually lasts for 3 weeks. This type of pain might recover on its own as the tissue heals.
Sub-acute back pain lasts for 3 weeks to 3 months .This will require a check-up with orthopaedic and medications with physical therapy.
Chronic back pain lasts for more than 3 months and might not subside with immediate medications. This type will take time to recover and will require some investigations.
So what do we do when we get back pain?
Well, don’t ignore it. Immediately rush to your nearby orthopaedic doctor for consultation.
People are generally very apprehensive about visiting an orthopaedic for back pain. But it's still wise to seek experts opinion where based on the clinical presentation your orthopaedic could further refer for blood tests, physical therapy or scan to plan a management for your back pain.