What's the Cause of All Your Back Pain?

If you suffer from backpain, you are not alone.  Government statistics show that almost 4 of 5 adults have some type of back pain during their lifetime, and the condition is the number one reason for lost productivity at work.

Some of the conditions that cause backpain and may require a physician’s treatment are discussed below.

A bulging disc, also known as a herniated or ruptured disc, can cause backpain due to the disc being under pressure.  Over time, the discs will weaken, and the cartilage can be pushed into the spinal cord and nerve root which causes pain.

Sciatica also causes back pain.  This is a condition in which a ruptured disc puts pressure on the sciatic nerve.  The pressure results in a burning pain that shoots down through the buttocks and down the leg.  In some cases, it reaches down as far as the foot.  The nerve can be pinched between the bone and disc, causing some numbness in the leg.  Sciatica can also be caused from a cyst, tumor or natural degeneration of the nerve root. 

Osteoporosis can cause back pain.  This is a bone disease in which the density in the bones is decreased.  The bones become brittle and very fragile.  Women tend to get this four times more than men do. 

Fibromyalgia is a disorder that can cause backpain.  This disorder is characterized by tender points, fatigue and musculoskeletal pain in the back, hips, shoulders, spine and neck. 

These are the more common reasons people experience backpain.

Many causes of back pain go undiagnosed as well.  Several tests can be performed by a doctor to try to conclude a diagnosis.  X-rays, CAT scans, MRI’s, myelograms, electromyograms and discography can be performed to properly diagnose the cause of back pain.  Because it is so difficult to diagnose, back pain can be hard to treat.  For most people, rest and anti-inflammatory medications are recommended.  For pain that is more severe, a physician may prescribe a strong muscle relaxant drug. 

Rest can be one of the biggest aids in treating back pain.  The patient should lie in a position that allows the lower back to be straightened out.  A pillow under the knees can be used, and it is recommended that the patient use a very firm mattress.

Often times, physical therapy is recommended for back pain as well as massage treatments, exercise and applying heat.  If the patient has to be hospitalized, traction can be used which stretches the spine gently.  If the pack pain persists, or if other symptoms are present such as a fever, you should always consult your physician immediately.


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