Back pain that wont go away: 5 signs your back pain might be an emergency | Back and Spine | Orthopaedics and Rehab
The Back Injury That Won’t Go Away
Published on May 11, 2020
The numbers don’t lie – back pain is one of the most commonly reported reasons for missed work. For anyone who has dealt with or managed chronic back pain from an injury, they understand why. The aching, radiating pain that sets up shop from many common back conditions can make it difficult to complete simple tasks and get quality rest, let alone commute into work and focus once you’re there.
When these symptoms compound over time and don’t go away, it can be the cause of some major life changes – and not the positive kinds. Perhaps what started as a seemingly small back strain has only picked up momentum as time has passed. Has surgery or other invasive methods begun to look like your only answer for relief? When should you look into disability? Where the heck do you go from here?
If you’ve found yourself struggling with severe back pain that feels never-ending or chronic, we know just how scary this can feel. This article is for you. Read on as we dive a bit deeper into the most common types of back conditions that can cause chronic pain after injury, basic back health exercises you can do at home, plus treatment options— including when it’s appropriate to explore the disability option.
Common Back Conditions
A crucial component to understanding your back pain is a proper diagnosis; this means working with a medical professional. If you’re experiencing ongoing back pain, do your body a favor and consult with a physician as soon as you can. Knowledge is power! And, in this case, it’s also how you figure out the best plan of action to treat not only your symptoms but the root cause of your pain.
Common conditions that can lead to chronic back pain include:
Tingling, pain, feelings of numbness, and muscle weakness in the back. These are all symptoms of spinal stenosis, and if this is indeed your diagnosis, these symptoms oftentimes get worse as time passes.
So, what is spinal stenosis anyway? Let’s get technical for a minute: spinal stenosis is the diagnosis for a narrowing of spaces within your spine. This narrowing then puts pressure on the nerves that travel up and down the spine, hence the feelings of tingling and numbness. It’s caused most often by wear-and-tear over time, although a herniated disc can also contribute to this diagnosis.
Did you know that osteoarthritis is the most common arthritis worldwide?
Similar to spinal stenosis, it is most commonly a wear-and-tear diagnosis, resulting from damage that has occurred over time. Osteoarthritis symptoms set-in when the cartilage that acts as a protective barrier and cushion at the ends of your bones wears down – and, trust us, that bone-on-bone feeling isn’t too pleasant. Patients with osteoarthritis most commonly feel symptoms in their spine, hands, knees, hips, and feet, although it can affect almost any joint.
Disc Injuries: Degenerative Or Herniated
Disc injuries can also be the cause of stubborn back pain. You see, the vertebrae that stack to make up our spine all have small pads between them, called “discs.” They serve as little shock absorbers to help protect our spine during day-to-day and dynamic movement. These discs are made up of a tougher outer cartilage ring and a softer, gel-like center.
When a disc herniates, the soft-center portion is pushed through the outer cartilage edge. A degenerative disc, on the other hand, is one that becomes worn down over time. In both situations, the breakdown of these shock absorbers can mean significant back pain.
A fracture never feels exactly pleasant, but fractures within the spine can be especially painful. Compression fractures in your vertebrae happen when the bones weaken to the point of crumbling. These fractures not only induce pain, but can also contribute to poor posture, and more of a hunched carry of your upper body.
Sciatica is another common cause of back pain. The sciatic nerve branches from your lower back extends down through your hips and buttocks, and down your legs. So, when this nerve becomes pinched, (a herniated disc or an abnormal bone growth on your vertebrae can do the trick) it can shoot pain from your lower back, all the way down your legs. Yikes. Sciatic nerve pain can feel achy or sharp, and sometimes like an electric shock.
Can I Treat My Injury At Home?
We’ll preface this section by saying that we implore you to work with a medical professional if you’re experiencing ongoing back pain. And, you should always be sure to pass any new exercises their way first, to make sure that they’re appropriate for your specific injury.
That said, home care and treatment can help to improve general back health, increase mobility, and decrease inflammation.
You Are What You Eat
When your body is dealing with chronic pain response, it’s best to try to get inflammation in general under control as much as possible. Your diet can actually play a big role here! Don’t worry – this doesn’t mean some intense fad diet, but rather making a concerted effort to eat more produce and real food, and less processed food. Simple enough, right?
Alternate Ice and Heat
Many people have experienced significant relief from alternating ice and heat on the affected area of the back, targeting the inflammation and thereby reducing the pain. A note of caution- always make sure there is at least a small barrier (like a thin towel) between the ice or heat source and your skin to prevent irritation.
Arms Overhead Exercise
For this exercise, try lying with your back to the floor, and both of your knees bent. Keeping your back flat against the ground, slowly lift your arms overhead in a V formation. Tap the ground overhead, and then slowly bring them back to your sides. Repeat 5-10 times.
Cat / Cow Exercise
This is a great exercise to do in the morning after waking up, and in the evening before bed. Start on your hands and knees with your back in a neutral position. Drop your belly and lift your head slowly while arching your back downwards, before reversing the motion to lift your midsection, and arch your back upwards. Try taking a deep breath in while arching down, and exhaling while arching up. Continue this motion slowly, 5-10 times.
When Is It Right To Seek Disability?
Seeking disability is admittedly one of the last resorts when dealing with a back injury; however, it can be the right move for some people who are truly unable to work. The problem is that proving disability for certain conditions can be more difficult, back pain being one of them.
If you do choose to explore disability, keep in mind that proper documentation from medical professionals is going to be key. You’ll want to demonstrate the steps that you have taken to get care to resolve your injury, including treatment, number of doctor visits, and a professional’s opinion or statement of how you are limited medically in your current state.
This is where consulting with, and obtaining notes from, a doctor who specializes in back injury and care can become even more important. Notes from a chiropractic source may speak more clearly to the ongoing nature of your back injury.
The Role Of Chiropractic In Caring For Back Injury
Chiropractic care, in general, is a great way to stay on top of overall health and wellness and can be especially crucial with back-related injuries, especially if you’re concerned about disability and/or fear it may be in your future. The gentle chiropractic adjustments of the spine, neck, and extremities help to realign your body and provide relief to your entire system. These adjustments also serve to decrease inflammation, relieve pressure, reduce nerve irritability, and ultimately allow your entire body and immune system to communicate and function better.
By working consistent chiropractic care into your routine, you’re providing a great service to your body by treating the root cause of your symptoms with a conservative care approach.
Prioritize your health. Take care of your body. Schedule your appointment online or call (334) 539-0808.
This article is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for in-person advice or care from a medical professional.
5 Reasons Your Back Injury Refuses To Heal
No one likes back injuries, but they are a huge problem for athletes. The University of Maryland estimates that five to 10 percent of all athletic injuries are related to the lower back. Back injuries have hurt or ended the careers of athletic greats such as Larry Bird, Dwight Howard and Marian Hossa.
RELATED: Reducing Low-Back Pain: What You Need to Know
A back injury can be difficult to heal, even with a full commitment to getting better, but many athletes don’t do enough to rehab. Far too often, you see people “tough it out,” which only makes things worse over the long run.
There are steps that athletes and their trainers often skip, thereby ensuring that back pain will continue to linger, along with a few things that could get you back in shape.
1. You’re not resting
You may have heard of severe back conditions such as herniated discs or pinched nerves. But most back injuries result from overusing muscles, which can lead to minor muscle strains or tears. Sports Journal observes that 97 percent of back pain in the general adult population and the majority of low back pain in college athletes is caused by “muscle strains, ligament sprains, and soft tissue contusions.”
This sort of injury requires rest to heal. This doesn’t mean you must be confined to the couch until your back gets better. In fact, you should exercise to keep your muscles strong. You can swim, walk, do yoga, and perform certain stretches to stay in shape while you rehabilitate.
RELATED: 6 Stretches to Alleviate Lower-Back Pain
But under no condition should you rush the process and try to get back in the gym as soon as possible. Avoid the exercises you did before your injury, and don’t engage in activities that could affect your spine.
2. You’re not eating right
Your body needs fuel to heal, and the right kind of fuel can heal you faster. Though back pain is often due to a muscle strain, the pain is directly caused by inflammation. So if you can eat foods that limit inflammation, your back pain should lessen.
Foods rich in omega-3 and monosaturated fats such as fish or fish oil are highly recommended to reduce inflammation, as are brightly colored plants like carrots, berries, and grapes.
In addition to anti-inflammatory foods, protein helps speed the recovery process. Above all, make sure to eat enough. You may want to eat less since you are not exercising as much, but your body needs the additional fuel as energy to heal your back injury.
3. You’re not seeing a professional
As noted, the majority of back pain comes from simple strains that heal over time. But some injuries are more severe. You could have a lumbar lordosis, a pinched nerve, or another condition that requires professional help to get better.
Going to a doctor can be difficult, and you may be tempted to tough it out. But if the pain does not abate after a few days’ rest and some Tylenol, you should see a specialist. You can find a list of additional reasons to go to a doctor here.
RELATED: 10 Ways to Fix Back Pain
4. You’re seeing the wrong kind of professional
By “professional,” I mean a licensed physician or back specialist, not a massage therapist, chiropractor or acupuncture specialist. I mean an actual doctor who can look at your back and diagnose the reasons for your pain.
Massage therapy could be beneficial; however, the Sports Journal study of one review of massage therapy “found insufficient evidence to determine efficacy of massage for acute low back pain.” It also found no evidence to prove that acupuncture was any more effective than conventional or alternative treatments.
While practitioners of those kinds of therapies could heal your back, they will not be able to diagnose what is causing the pain. And a diagnosis is necessary to ensure that you do not re-injure the affected part.
5. You’re not committed
Injuries are demoralizing, and the process of healing and rehabilitation is painful. But the more you let it drag on, the longer the pain will persist.
Motivation is a key to ensuring that you fully commit to the rehab process, and a positive mindset can help speed your the recovery process. A medical professional can diagnose your injury and recommend methods and exercises for you to heal, but it is up to you to commit to them.
Think about how well you were doing before the injury, and keep working to get better. With the right mindset, rest, and nutrition, you should be back in the gym and ready to go as soon as possible.
The Pain That Won’t Go Away
It seems like a scary word – sciatica! And for most people, it’s more than just scary. It can cause wretched pain in the body. People with sciatic pain in Kirkwood sometimes can’t even sit, stand or even walk or drive a car.
So how can one nerve cause so much pain? Maybe it’s because it is the longest nerve in the human body. The sciatic nerve runs from the lower back all the way down the back of each leg. So when something puts pressure, on the nerve, it can cause severe pain that spreads to the hip, buttocks and leg.
Chiropractic Care for Sciatica in Kirkwood MO
The purpose of a chiropractic treatment at Back to Wellness Chiropractic is to help the body heal itself based on the scientific principle that restricted spinal movement leads to pain while reducing function and performance.
The type of chiropractic therapy for sciatic nerve pain depends on the cause of the sciatica. It can be caused by age-related changes in the spine, excess body weight, occupations that require you to twist your back, carrying heavy loads, or people who are sedentary and sit for prolonged periods of time.
Depending on the cause of the sciatic pain, a chiropractor may use the following techniques to help alleviate the pain.
- Cold therapy to restrict blood flow and reduce inflammation
- Ultrasound to increase circulation and help reduce spasms and stiffness
- Tens unit to stimulate muscles by sending comfortable impulses through the skin that helps reduce or block the pain that is transmitting through the nerve endings.
- Adjustments/Manipulation to free restricted movement of the spine and restore misaligned vertebral bodies to their proper position which in return helps reduce the nerve irritability responsible for symptoms of sciatic pain.
There are things that you can do on a regular basis to help protect your back from recurring pain. Try exercising regularly, maintain proper posture, and use good body mechanics when you are lifting or twisting your back. Last but not least, schedule a regular chiropractic visit to Back to Wellness Chiropractic in Kirkwood to maintain good spinal health!
How Long Is Too Long to Suffer From Back Pain?
Nothing makes a long day even longer than having to deal with back pain. If you’re suffering from lower back pain, even simple tasks like picking up a bag of groceries can feel overwhelming.
What’s more, the cause of your lower back pain may be more complicated than the actual twisting or lifting that brought it on in the first place — and preventing future pain means getting to the source of what caused it.
“If you wait to do something about lower back pain until it’s become debilitating, you’ve waited too long,” says Dr. Hosun Hwang, spine specialist at Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital. “Most people’s back pain dissipates in about a week or two, but if your pain is long-term or chronic, it’s time to see a spine specialist.”
What causes back pain?
Lower back pain may feel like aching, burning or sharp or dull pain that fluctuates in intensity from mild to severe. It can be due to a sports injury, from twisting or lifting something heavy or from working in your yard.
Dr. Hwang says back pain can happen to anyone, but some factors can increase your risk, including:
- Age – older adults may be more susceptible to osteoarthritis and disc deterioration
- Occupation – employees in jobs requiring repetitive bending, heavy lifting or long periods of standing or sitting are more likely to suffer back pain
- Weight – excess weight adds stress to the spine and back muscles
- Activity level – having a sedentary lifestyle, as well as weak back muscles and lack of core strength, make it easier to injure your back
- Smoking habits – smoking decreases blood flow, reduces your body’s ability to heal and increases the risk of osteoporosis
“Chronic back pain may be caused by a variety of underlying conditions,” explains Dr. Hwang. “From spinal arthritis to sciatica to herniated discs, a spine specialist has the expertise needed to pinpoint the cause of your chronic back pain and develop a treatment plan that may resolve the issue or at least improve your quality of life.”
When to see a spine specialist for chronic back pain
Sometimes back pain comes on quick, and you know exactly what caused it. After some stretching, resting and pain relievers, you’ll remember to bend with your knees next time.
But, other times, people experiencing back pain are often left thinking: I don’t even remember when the pain started or what I did to cause it. The reality is that the source of you back pain may not always be evident — which can also make it hard to know when it’s time to see an expert.
Dr. Hwang says the following five signs likely indicate that it’s time to see a spine specialist for your back pain:
1. Your pain is severe. While some back pain is only mild to moderate, severe back pain is when your pain is constant, intense or gets worse when you’re resting or at night.
2. Your pain is persistent. If your back pain lasts longer than three months, it’s considered chronic and may require a tailored treatment plan.
3. Your pain isn’t isolated to your back. If your pain is traveling down your leg, you have numbness or weakness in your hips or legs, or you’re experiencing tingling in your legs and feet, it may be a sign that there’s pressure on your spine.
4. Everyday activities have become difficult. If your back pain is already affecting routine activities, don’t let it get so debilitating that it keeps you from doing things you enjoy.
5. You have other symptoms that are concerning. While rare, back pain is sometimes a sign of a serious medical condition, such as a spinal infection or spinal tumor. If your back pain is accompanied by fever, unexplained weight loss or bowel or urinary problems, tell your doctor.
If you’re experiencing any of these signs, a spine specialist can investigate the underlying cause of your back pain through imaging tests, such as X-ray, CT, MRI or myelogram. A myelogram uses contrast dye injected into the spinal canal with a CT scan to evaluate the spine. Or, your specialist may recommend an electromyography (EMG) — a test of your muscles and nerves.
“There are several ways to treat chronic back pain, including medications, physical therapy, injections and surgery — with the best treatment option usually depending on the cause and severity of your pain,” says Dr. Hwang. “We always start by using the least invasive, most effective treatment first. However, surgery may be necessary in some cases.”
Regardless of what’s causing your back pain, a spine specialist has the expertise needed to design a targeted treatment plan aimed at resolving your lower back pain and improving your quality of life.
Chronic Back Pain | Low, Mid, or Upper Back Pain that Won’t Go Away
Chronic back pain is now the leading cause of disability nationwide! It is also one of the main reasons people seek out Physical Therapy. Sometimes back pain comes from an acute injury. However, often we just stand up from our desks and feel a deep ache or a sharp twinge and wonder where it came from. There are lots of causes of chronic back pain but we wanted to point out one very likely culprit: The Quadratus Lumborum (QL) muscle. This guy can contribute to so many issues, from chronic back pain to hip pain to even seemingly unrelated symptoms like Irritable Bowel Syndrome!
Chronic Back Pain and the Quadratus Lumborum Muscle (QL)
The Quadratus Lumborum muscle runs from your spine to your hip bone. It is your deepest abdominal muscle. Its job is to stabilize your pelvis and support your core when you are upright. Have you ever had back pain but can’t pinpoint having done anything to hurt your back? Unfortunately just sitting at a desk all day can actually lead to serious back pain! When we sit for long periods, the QL muscle shortens and tightens. This really affects its ability to support the spine. Once the QL is out of whack, the muscles above and below it start straining as well. For this reason, QL issues can actually cause mid and upper back pain as well as low back pain.
Treating Chronic Back Pain from QL Dysfunction
Ok, so my whole back can hurt from this muscle. What can I do to make it better? Well, often times when people seek treatment for upper or lower back pain they start with the area that hurts. This sounds like a good idea, and often is, but if the pain and strain keep returning to that area, or worsen, that is a huge clue that the source of the problem might be elsewhere. And with a short and tight QL muscle from sitting, that is often the case. The QL is not the only muscle that can contribute to back pain of course, but it often is the first to develop problems that then affect other muscles.
At-Home Help for Chronic Back Pain
This is one of the main reasons that a standing or walking desk can be helpful for some workers, or even just setting a reminder to get up and move regularly. For cases of chronic back pain that don’t seem to resolve on their own, a skilled Physical Therapist can assess your posture and functional movement and get you on the road to QL recovery. You may discover that unexpected issues like Irritable Bowel Syndrome improve as well. Read below for more info!
If Your Teen Has Back Pain That Won’t Go Away, See A Doctor!
As we head into the last month of the school year (at least for some of us), parents start asking each other, “Hey, what is your kid doing this summer? (“Translation for non-Texans: “What sports is your child playing this summer?”)
As lots of sports parents know, summer does not always mean fun and hanging out by the swimming pool anymore. In this deeply sports-obsessed state, there is no off-season. Ever!
Back in February, spring and summer could not get here fast enough. I was looking forward to watching my 13-year-old run track, play basketball, compete in skeet shooting (Skeet? Remember, we live in Texas!), and most of all, play our summer sport favorite, 7-on-7 football.
But then our plans for a sports-filled 6 months got derailed, and since then I have been dreading having to answer that question. For a while, I didn’t even have any answer, because I didn’t know.
At least now I know. When the next smiling parent asks me what my son is doing this summer, my answer will be, “Physical Therapy.”
No, I won’t say it with a frown; I will say it with enthusiasm and encouragement. That’s because our family is going to treat PT as any other competitive sport. There will be challenges, there will be victories, and there wil likely be setbacks. I know there will be lessons learned along the way. I also pray for a short season, for once not hoping for a long run into the postseason in this new sport. Most of all, I am grateful that, at the very least, our son has finally healed to the point that he is ready to begin physical therapy.
As a parent of a child involved in competitive sports, you assume the risk of injury. Every time your child suits up and walks on the field, you realize that accidents can and will happen. Every mom breathes a sigh of relief when the final whistle blows and their kid is still vertical. We even watch for signs of the injury we cannot see, such as concussions. I quiz my son after every game to see if he knows the alphabet backwards, the Vice President’s first name, and the day of week and the year after every football game. (I am just cautious like that.)
So, I ask myself time and time again, how and why did my son get injured? How did this happen and how could we as parents prevented it. More importantly, how can we keep it from happening again? As National Youth Sports Safety Month comes to a close, I am here to share a cautionary tale about my son’s injury, hoping that, in doing so, I can help another parent – another safety-conscious mom like me – to prevent the same kind of injury from happening to their child. (Just so you know, this blog is the first of what I am planning to be a series reporting on my son’s recovery and offering additional thoughts about sports safety along the way)
My tale starts at the end of January. It was a very exciting time because it was the beginning of tryouts for spring middle school track. My son may not look fast, but he covers a lot of ground quickly, a lot like a baby giraffe loping along on the great plains of Africa! He was an odd-on favorite to fill many key spots on the team, including the relay races. It would have been a real honor for kid like mine, who is a taller and larger than most of his schoolmates.
Every day he came home from school to tell us the times he was clocking in practice. But he would also complain about how his lower back was hurting. I know that back pain is common in boys, and is also common in runners. (My husband and I both run, so we know that first hand!) His reports of back pain continued almost every day of track try-outs. He complained to his skills coach about his back. His coach just thought he was tired, or tight from running. Lots of ice, heating pads and Aleve got us through three weeks of try-outs and the first week of practice. Our son was slated to compete in a bunch of different running events and all the relays. We were proud he posted a top 3 time in all events he entered.
On the first Thursday of the season, the athletic trainer for the middle school sports teams called me with a recommendation that my son see a doctor as soon as possible about his back pain. I was concerned, obviously, but I thought perhaps he just needed something stronger to heal a pulled muscle or tendon.
I immediately called a dear family friend, who happens to be a top orthopedic surgeon in town. Lucky for us, he is also our high school football team’s doctor on Friday nights. Our doctor friend called the athletic trainer and called me back immediately. He said he would see my son at 1:30. The office would be expecting us.
After X-rays and a physical exam, the doctor took us to the x-ray room to look at film. He circled two teeny tiny lines on one of the vertebrae – the L-3 lumbar to be exact. The diagnosis: a fractured spine! The shock and horror began to set in. Even if it is one of your favorite people on earth telling you that your child has a broken back, and he is being as optimistic and gentle as a surgeon can be, it was an overwhelming, out-of-body, room-spinning experience.
My son was the composed one in the room. He had the sense to ask how do we heal it? Further testing would be needed, and while the good news was that a stress fracture of this type did NOT require surgery, and he didn’t need to be in a cast, the bad news was that there was nothing for him to do but shut it down, and give the injury time to heal (time may not heal all wounds, but I guess the aphorism was apppropriate here). The tricky part was that no one knew how long it would take. Much like a concussion, the back heals on its own time schedule. So, until the vertebrae healed, our “go 90 mph or nothing” son faced a spring of nothing, except going to school and coming home to do his homework and watch TV.
I will resist the temptation to complain. There are so many people going through recoveries and illnesses that are painful. But sometimes nothing can be painful, too. In less than 5 minutes, my child went from looking forward to the fun of basketball games, skeet tournaments, track meets, 7 on 7 football, fishing in the creek, and spring turkey season, to sitting, watching, and waiting, which, as anyone who has or has ever had a 13-year-old boy knows, would be extremely hard. So, we had to do nothing for almost 8 weeks.
As I began to tell friends and parents about our son’s diagnosis and the recovery process, I realized we were not alone! I thought a fractured spine was an odd and unique injury. Among a close group of 20 mothers, I quickly learned that five had sons, older than my boy, who had gone through the exact same thing when they were about his age! When I expanded the circle, I found more parents who had children suffer the same injury.
I asked the orthopedic surgeon that my doctor friend had referred us to just how common is this injury? He said he sees it in his practice 250 times a year. Mostly boys just like my son – growing tall and athletic. I asked how many of them heal totally. He said 248. I asked how long does this take. He said it just takes time; you just do not know – 3 months? 6 months? 9 months? In some cases a year! A year? Of sitting on the couch and watching TV? Are you kidding me?? The answer was a very calm, “Yes, Ma’m. That is what you do, and pray that you are not one of the two out of 250!”
5 Signs It’s Time to See a Doctor for Your Back Pain
The spine is a fascinating piece of architecture. It’s made up of 24 bones that are connected to ligaments and muscles to create the spinal column, giving your body its form and function. It also holds and protects the spinal cord, a bundle of nerves that send signals to the rest of your body. Considering the vital role that this part of your body plays in everyday life, it’s no surprise that over 19 million people go to a doctor every year for back pain. But surely we can’t go to the doctor every time we have a slight ache or soreness, so when is seeing a doctor the right choice?
Here are five signs you should see a doctor for your neck or back pain:
1. Your pain doesn’t go away or you have shooting pain down your arms or legs
Back pain will usually go away with some over-the-counter medicine and rest. But if you have pain that lasts for more than two weeks, if the pain keeps you from performing daily activities or if you have shooting pain down your arms or legs, it’s time to see your doctor for further evaluation.
2. Weakness, numbness or tingling in your arms and legs
Keep track of the areas that tingle, feel weak or go numb and be sure to tell your doctor.
3. Nighttime pain
Keep track of your back pain intensity. If your pain worsens at nighttime, it could be a sign of something more serious.
4. Fever along with back pain or weight loss
A fever that is over 101 degrees can be a sign of an infection in the body. Tell your doctor if your back pain is accompanied by a fever or if you experience sudden, rapid weight loss without actively dieting.
5. Problems with balance or controlling your bowels or bladder
Tell your doctor if you have trouble controlling your bowels or bladder, or if you experience numbness and/or weakness in your hips. This could be an important factor when diagnosing your back problem.
It’s important to know what pain is common for you and what pain is abnormal. When your everyday aches and pains become more intense, it’s time to see a specialist. Spine health begins with you, and the first step is being attentive to something that is out of the ordinary. Back pain shouldn’t stop you from living your life or keep you from the activities that you love. By recognizing these 5 problems, you are already taking a proactive step toward your spine health!
If you experience any of the above-mentioned symptoms, call Dr. Patel at the Spine Health Institute. He and his multidisciplinary team can diagnose and treat a variety of spinal conditions, and help you get you back on your feet in no time.
Escaping Your Aching Back Webinar with Dr. Patel. Retrieved from Florida Hospital Best In Care: https://www.fhbestincare.com/
Spine Basics. Retrieved from American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00575
What Is Back Pain?(2009). Retrieved from National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases: http://www.niams.nih.gov/health_info/back_pain/back_pain_ff.asp#d
90,000 What does your back hurt? How to treat it correctly and how it can be harmed
85% of people complain of back pain. How to treat it correctly and is it possible to get rid of the pain once and for all?
The head of the neurosurgical department of the Scientific Center of Neurology, Doctor of Medical Sciences, Professor of the Russian Academy of Sciences, President of the National Association of Surgeons-Vertebrologists Artyom Gushcha reports.
Does your back hurt? You are not alone! Sociological research data show that back pain is the second reason for the disability of the adult population after viral infections.She is born with us (according to neonatologists, 80–90% of children get spinal injuries at birth) and sooner or later overtakes everyone. It is believed that this is a payback for upright walking. Since as a person grows, the load on the “backbone” increases, the existing problems of the spine grow stronger, and stress, anxiety, obesity, overload, a sedentary lifestyle exacerbate existing problems – and back pain can occur even at an early age.
Attention to patients!
The neurosurgical department of the Scientific Center of Neurology conducts endoscopic surgeries of herniated intervertebral discs.
Consultation with a neurosurgeon on the day of treatment (if there is a medical recommendation).
For details, contact tel. +7 (495) 374-77-76 or leave a request
What hurts there?
In the vast majority (about 95%) pain is associated with muscles, ligaments and joints. This is popularly called back pulling. These pains are unpleasant, but not dangerous and in most cases go away on their own in 2-3 days.
3-4% of pain is associated with radiculopathy (radiculitis) – a lesion of the spinal root.It is usually damaged by a hernia. The pains disappear when the edema caused by the squeezing passes.
1-2% of back pain is caused by trauma or inflammatory diseases of the spine, cancer, diseases of the cardiovascular system or gastrointestinal tract, in which the pain syndrome can spread to the back. This is the most dangerous type of back pain. To exclude such pathologies, be sure to consult a doctor.
You can’t hesitate
The main indicator that you need medical help is the regularity of pain.If you get twisted from time to time – most likely, there is nothing wrong. If pain of low or moderate intensity haunts you relentlessly, you cannot hesitate. An urgent need to consult a doctor if the pain is accompanied by a rise in temperature or the pain syndrome increases during treatment.
The most effective remedy is anti-inflammatory oral drugs. Just do not overdo it – they are safe only the first time.With prolonged use, these drugs can cause ulcers and bleeding in the stomach lining. Traditional home treatments – non-steroidal ointments – can only be used as a complementary measure. They are harmless, but ineffective. Wearing a corset also gives relief – fixation relieves the spine, relieves spasms and limits sudden movements. Only the corset should be normal – elastic, not warming up.
If the treatment has not been effective within three days, you should consult a doctor who will block with anti-inflammatory injections.By relieving spasms and relaxing the muscles, the pain goes away immediately and often forever.
Bath and massage under the strictest prohibition. They make the swelling and pain worse.
Apply to chiropractors according to advertisements in the newspaper. Manual therapy is an area where there are three hundred charlatans for every specialist. If you really want to find a good doctor, you should contact certified clinics where certified specialists work.
It is important to immediately determine the correct treatment tactics. This should be done by a neurologist or neurosurgeon. It is dangerous to heal your back on your own. 30% of patients in the neurosurgical department have tried home methods of treatment and thus brought themselves to a hospital bed.
Cut or not?
Until recently, a person who was diagnosed with a hernia was immediately given a referral for surgery. Today, the operation is performed only if there are indications:
persistent pain that cannot be relieved by any pills;
disorder of pelvic functions – incomplete emptying of the bladder;
weakness and numbness in the leg.
All these symptoms make the operation inevitable, because without it the patient can become disabled.
What are the risks
The risk of surgery, due to which it is postponed or refused altogether, is considered by many patients to be grossly exaggerated. In neurosurgery, there are technologies that allow you to accurately calculate the effectiveness of the operation and which symptoms will disappear after it and which will remain.
The probability of pain recurrence after surgery does not exceed 1–1.5%.Hernias in other places may indeed appear, but this is not a complication, but a spread of the disease, which is often found in young undisciplined patients. As soon as the pain goes away, they return to their usual way of life: get behind the wheel, resume training. And this is absolutely impossible to do.
Is the osteochondrosis to blame for everything?
Osteochondrosis is a chronic degenerative-dystrophic change in the intervertebral space. All people over 25 have signs of osteochondrosis.It is impossible to avoid osteochondrosis, but you can save yourself from its complications, which cause back pain.
Article from the newspaper: AiF Health No. 52 25/12/2017
Heading health: what is osteochondrosis?
More than 80% of the world’s population by midlife becomes susceptible to osteochondrosis. However, the good news is that there is prevention of osteochondrosis, which does not save from it, but makes its appearance as late as possible, and the forms of the disease are the mildest.Prevention and treatment of osteochondrosis subject of this publication
What is osteochondrosis?
Osteochondrosis is a disease of the spine, more precisely, of the ligamentous apparatus. Simply put, a metabolic disorder in the intervertebral cartilage. Most often, this disease appears in the female half of humanity, but it is more painful in men.
As you know, the load on the human spine is minimal in the supine position. But with the modern rhythm of life lying down, we spend less and less time.But in uncomfortable or sedentary (for example, at the computer) poses are more and more. And this is bad, because without realizing it, we harm our spine. We catch ourselves most often when we are already tormented by pain in the back, neck, when raising our arms or turning the head. This is osteochondrosis. Exhausted by constant stress, the intervertebral cartilage becomes thinner, deformed and pinches the nerves and blood vessels of the spinal column, causing pain. Having “earned” osteochondrosis, we have to live with it all our lives.
What are the causes of osteochondrosis?
Many factors can lead to the appearance of this disease.
1. Heredity. The structure of the intervertebral cartilage itself is inherited, and in this case, a predisposition to the disease appears.
2. Diseases of the back. This is a curvature of the spine (scoliosis, kyphosis, lordosis), and a weak latissimus dorsi muscle. All this makes the load on the spine uneven, which ultimately leads to defects in cartilage tissue.
3. Monotonous or hard work. The load on the spine, permissible in strength and duration, is exceeded – and osteochondrosis appears.This disease is inevitable for those who work in the same posture.
4. Injury or metabolic disorder. Normal vitamin deficiency or hypovitaminosis can cause irreparable damage to the vertebral cartilage. Needless to say about serious injuries or metabolic disorders.
How is osteochondrosis treated?
1. It is almost impossible to completely cure osteochondrosis. Cartilage deformation is an irreversible process. Therefore, the goal of treatment is to stop the course of the disease and get rid of unpleasant symptoms.There are many methods of treatment. Which one to trust is up to your doctor, as each case is individual.
2. Drug treatment. These are pain relievers, anti-inflammatory, decongestants. It is possible to use various ointments that will help relieve pain, as well as medications that improve blood circulation, relax muscles and help restore cartilage. But such treatment will have to be repeated constantly, since the duration of action of such therapy is limited.
3. Physiotherapy. This section includes electrophoresis, magnetotherapy, mud therapy, ultrasound or current. Your doctor will choose the method that suits you, because for some procedures there are a number of contraindications. For example, massage is categorically contraindicated for people with any benign formations, as well as during an exacerbation of pain. Underwater traction, which is carried out only as directed and under the supervision of a physician, is also effective.
5. Manual therapy. An effective method of treatment, subject to a very high qualification and solid experience of a chiropractor. In the hands of an amateur, manual therapy is worse than weapons, since the damage can be simply colossal.
6. 5. Surgical intervention. There is little pleasant in such treatment, because any operation is a risk. Usually, surgery is performed to remove the hernia and eliminate the deformity of the vertebrae, provided that there is no effect of conservative therapy for 4-6 months.
7. Physiotherapy exercises. It is better for a start to be like exercise therapy in a polyclinic or a rehabilitation center, remember all the exercises and be sure to do them every day at home.
What else can help people with back pain?
A lot depends on compliance with seemingly simple rules:
It is not recommended to sit on upholstered furniture.The height of the chair should be level with the shins. The leg should rest on the floor. There should be enough space under your feet so that they do not have to be bent. Every 15-20 minutes it is necessary to change the position of the legs, to do a warm-up for them. The back should fit snugly against the back of the chair. The body should be kept straight, the head should not be tilted strongly, so as not to strain the muscles of the body. Motorists need to learn to sit relaxed. The back should rest against the seat back, or a thin bolster can be placed to maintain the hip flexion.Well, if the road is long, you should periodically get out of the car and warm up: do bends, squats, turns. You should not stay in one position while watching television. It is necessary to change it, get up, relax the muscles.
If you have to stand for a long time, a lot of stress falls on the spine, especially on the lower back. To help the spine reduce the load, you should change the position every 10 to 15 minutes. It is necessary to rely on one or the other leg.You can walk in place, from time to time you need to bend back, stretching your arms up and taking a deep breath. These exercises are necessary in order to relieve fatigue of the muscles of the back, neck, shoulder girdle.
The bed should be semi-rigid in order to maintain all the curves of the spinal column. And if you are worried about pain, put a shield on the width of the bed or sofa and cover it with foam rubber, the thickness of which is 5-8 cm. From above, the shield should be covered with a woolen blanket, and then, of course, a sheet.Very logs to sleep on orthopedic mattresses and pillows. By the way, in addition to the prevention of osteochondrosis, orthopedic pillows help to eliminate and prevent a double chin, and sleep on such pillows is much stronger. When the pain radiates to the leg, you can put a roller made from a rolled fleece blanket under the knee joint. It is usually difficult for someone with radicular syndrome to get out of bed. Therefore, you must first do a few exercises with your arms and legs. After that, roll over onto your stomach.Then lower one leg to the floor and, resting on it and your hands, transfer your weight to your knee and stand up carefully, avoiding sudden movements.
Lift weights correctly
It is not recommended to carry a heavy load over long distances in one hand. Better to split it. Avoid bending over when holding a weight in your hand. It is undesirable to lift and carry more than 15 kg, and during an exacerbation it is completely impossible to lift weights of more than 1-2 kilograms. A bag or trolley on wheels is convenient.If it becomes necessary to lift something heavier, you can put on a wide belt, then squat down. In this case, the back should remain straight, and the head should be straight. The load must be taken with both hands and gradually rise. Do not bend your back! Never slap the person on the back or below the back while he is lifting a weight. Shouting and cursing when a person lifts a load is also not recommended.
Do gymnastics correctly
Try to develop back muscles, strengthen its endurance and strength.After all, it is the spinal muscles that hold the correct position of the intervertebral discs, preventing them from shifting.
The following set of exercises can be recommended for gymnastics:
1. Starting position: standing, hands on the belt. Raise your right shoulder. Put it down. Do the same with the left shoulder.
2. Starting position: standing, hands on the belt. Perform circular movements with the right shoulder, then the left. Do not tilt your head to shoulder. Move movements smoothly.
3.Starting position: standing, hands on the belt. Turn your elbows forward. Round the back, lower the chin to the chest. Feel a slight stretching of the back muscles.
4. Starting position: standing on your knees and palms. The chin is pressed to the chest. Round your back: stretch your back up and bend.
5. Starting position: lying on your back. Raise your knees to your chest with your hands. Bend your head to your knees. Hold this position for several seconds. Then relax. Repeat 10 times.
6. Starting position: lying on his stomach, hands behind, fingers connected in a lock. Raise your head and lift your shoulders off the floor, extending your arms to your feet. Hold this position for several seconds. Relax.
7. Starting position: lying on your stomach, hands under the hips, knees straight, feet joined. Tear your legs off the floor, trying to raise them as high as possible. Hold this position for two counts and lower your legs.
Avoid damp rooms, drafts and hypothermia! Do not sit on a cold surface, ground, or stone.Keep warm in cold weather. The muscle mass in the back regulates the position of the vertebrae. And if the muscles cool down, their work weakens significantly, they can no longer hold the vertebrae in the same position with the same stability. Thus, there is a risk of displacement of the intervertebral discs. Remember one of the important rules for the prevention of osteochondrosis: do not overcool!
Excess weight is also a destructive load for the spine, so try not to gain weight.
Raising children correctly
It is necessary to constantly monitor the child’s posture, do gymnastics or morning exercises (it will be more effective if you do it together). And also, give preference to school backpacks, not bags, because it is the backpacks that balance the load on the back.
90,000 Pain in the arm – causes of occurrence, under what diseases it occurs, diagnosis and treatment methods
The information in this section cannot be used for self-diagnosis and self-medication.In case of pain or other exacerbation of the disease, only the attending physician should prescribe diagnostic tests. For a diagnosis and correct treatment, you should contact your doctor.
Pain in the arm: causes of occurrence, for what diseases it occurs, diagnosis and methods of treatment.
Pain can be accompanied by various pathological processes of the upper extremities – trauma, degenerative and inflammatory lesions, neurological syndromes.Pain in the arm can be one of the symptoms of diseases of the cardiovascular, respiratory and digestive systems of the body.
Types of hand pain
The variety of pain syndromes is determined not only by the complexity of the structure of the upper limbs, but also by the variety of functional loads. By its nature, the pain can be pulling, shooting, breaking. It can be disturbing when the arm is loaded, or it can occur at night and disrupt sleep. In addition, irradiation (recoil) of pain in the arm is possible in case of myocardial infarction, angina pectoris, colic, cholecystitis, and stomach ulcers.
Possible causes of arm pain
Arm pain may be physiological in nature and be caused by muscle fatigue after heavy or unusual exertion.
It occurs due to the accumulation of products of anaerobic metabolism (lactate) in the muscle tissue and disappears within two to three days.
After significant physical exertion exceeding the muscle endurance threshold, delayed pain may occur (1-2 days after exercise).Experts believe that they are caused by damage to muscle cells, their membranes, and the connections between microfibrils. These pains are usually long lasting.
Injuries – bruises, fractures, tendon strains, muscle ruptures – are characterized by a sharp onset of pain and its intensity. Bruises and fractures are accompanied by severe pain, swelling, hemorrhage from small or large vessels.
Stretching of the ligaments occurs with a sharp movement in the joint, lifting significant weights, falling with an emphasis on the hand and is characterized by varying degrees of damage to the fibers of the connective tissue.This injury is accompanied by severe pain, swelling, and limited mobility in the joint. Often stretching occurs in the area of the wrist and elbow joints after heavy exertion or monotonous repetitive movements.
Tears and tears of the muscle occur with excessive exertion. At the same time, in addition to severe pain, hemorrhage is noted in the area of injury and the inability to strain the muscle.
One of the most extensive groups of diseases that gives severe pain in the arm is tunnel syndromes , caused by compression and inflammation of a nerve in a narrow space (tunnel) formed by the muscles, ligaments and bones of the arm.
An additional factor that increases the risk of such inflammation is endocrine diseases (diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism), joint mobility impairment due to arthritis or rheumatism, tumor formations in the nerve region (neurofibroma, schwannoma) or beyond (hemangioma, lipoma). As a rule, tunnel syndromes develop with prolonged movements of the same type (when working at a computer, playing tennis) or injuries. This is facilitated by improper posture, scoliosis, osteochondrosis.
Inflammation of the tendons and articular ligaments also develops with significant physical exertion and trauma, especially in cases where the tendons are attached to powerful muscles. Stretching and microtrauma at the site of attachment are accompanied by aching, aching pain, which can become unbearable during physical exertion. The inflammation leads to swelling and limited mobility in the joint. A common pathology of the hand is epicondylitis, in which inflammation captures the junction of the muscle and ligament of the elbow joint.In this case, the pain is localized in the elbow area and accompanies movement in the elbow, hand and fingers.
Damage to the joints in arthritis causes not only pain, but also stiffness of movements. The causes of such a lesion can be osteoarthritis, gout, etc.
In any case, all signs of inflammation are present: pain, swelling, local fever, redness of the skin in the projection of the joint, impaired movement in the joint.
For rheumatoid arthritis is characterized by the defeat of first small and then large joints of the hand, which is accompanied by stiffness of movements in the morning.In addition to increased pain, deformation of the joints and restriction of mobility, the disease is also characterized by general manifestations of the disease – fatigue, sweating of the palms and feet, weight loss.
Deposition of uric acid salts (urates) in the joints – the main manifestation of gout – leads to severe pain. Its intensity is so great that even a simple touch to sore joints causes discomfort. The disease is based on metabolic disorders.
With inflammation of the ulnar periarticular synovial bag – bursitis – pain occurs in the elbow and is accompanied by swelling of the joint.In addition to severe pain in the arm, which restricts movement, there may be local redness of the skin and an increase in temperature over the joint area.
Pain in the arm can be a consequence of syndrome of the anterior scalene muscle and is accompanied by muscle spasm and compression of the nerves and vessels of the shoulder girdle. The disease may be based on degenerative changes in the vertebrae (osteochondrosis) of the cervical spine, trauma.
The patient is worried about pain in the neck, shoulders, which makes it impossible to raise his hands up and take them to the sides, take a deep breath, and tilt his head.
Osteochondrosis of the cervical spine and its complications (protrusion of discs, intervertebral hernia) cause pain in the arm due to a pinched nerve that provides its innervation. In this case, not only sharp painful sensations can occur, but also numbness of the hand, a violation of its sensitivity.
There is another reason that should always be borne in mind when an arm pain occurs – myocardial infarction . The patient feels severe pain behind the sternum, which can radiate to the neck, back and left arm.Such pain is not the only sign of this dangerous condition. Shortness of breath, cold sweat, and shortness of breath are usually present.
Diagnostics and examinations for pain in the arm
To diagnose a disease that can cause pain in the arm, it is necessary to take into account how acute the pain occurred, as well as the events preceding its appearance. In severe injuries, diagnosis is usually straightforward, but X-rays are needed to distinguish between bruises and fractures.
What to do if lower back hurts?
Low back discomfort can occur for a variety of reasons, from muscle damage and back problems to abdominal diseases. If the lower back hurts, you must first understand the reason – only then the pain can be cured quickly and effectively.
Possible causes of back pain
There are several systems in the lumbar region that can cause pain:
- Musculoskeletal system .Pain can occur due to a spinal injury or overexertion and damage to the muscles in the lower back.
- Nervous system . The cause of pain can be curvatures, hernias, protrusions, neuropathies, inflammation of the vertebrae and pinched nerves. The nervous system is the most common cause of back pain.
- Digestive system . In the lumbar region, pain from the pancreas, stomach, liver, gallbladder and intestines will be given.This is possible with pancreatitis, gastritis, stomach ulcers, poisoning and intoxication, stones in the bile ducts and various forms of obstruction.
- Excretory and reproductive systems . Lower back pain can be in diseases of the kidneys and bladder (renal failure, pyelonephritis, urolithiasis, cystitis), lesions of the uterus and ovaries (cysts, fibroids, inflammation).
Which doctor should you go to if your lower back hurts
By the location of the strongest focus of pain, you can determine where the problem is.But all the organs in the abdominal cavity are very close, so the symptoms are often confused, and pain, especially aching and long, can gird the entire body at the level of the waist and tailbone. So if you don’t first carry out a diagnosis, you can start treating a completely wrong disease. And for this you need to contact the right specialist in time.
- Traumatologist or Surgeon – if you recently fell, were injured or played intensively.
- Neurologist – in case of acute or shooting pain in the spine, partial loss of sensitivity and mobility, feeling creepy on the abdomen and legs; if, with prolonged immobility or a change in body position, the pain in the spine increases.
- Gastroenterologist – with prolonged pulling pain mainly on one side of the lower back; with pain accompanied by digestive disorders; if lower back pain is accompanied by weakness and fever.
- Urologist or Nephrologist – with acute pain on one side, as well as with mild aching pain in the lower back against the background of difficult or very frequent urination.
- Gynecologist – for pain in the lumbar region on one or both sides, accompanied by weakness and aggravated by movement, against the background of pregnancy or menstruation.
You can postpone a visit to a doctor only if you know why your lower back hurts, and this reason does not cause concern. For example, muscle fatigue from physical work will go away in one to two days without any treatment, and for this you do not need to visit a traumatologist.
Possible diagnosis and treatment
The diagnosis your doctor prescribes depends primarily on your symptoms. First, the doctor will conduct an examination and ask about his health, on the basis of which he will be able to understand the approximate cause of the pain.Then, depending on the symptoms, he will direct you to:
- X-ray of the spine – for injuries, scoliosis and hernia. Only bone tissue is clearly visible on it, so it will be useless for other diseases.
- MRI of the lumbosacral spine – for hernia and protrusion, neuropathy, curvature, trauma, neoplasms. This is a very accurate type of diagnosis that allows you to examine soft tissues at any depth.
- CT of the lumbar spine – for the same indications, if the patient cannot have magnetic resonance imaging.
- Ultrasound – for suspected diseases of the abdominal cavity or small pelvis. This is a completely safe examination that can be carried out even for children, but not all pathologies can be considered on it.
- Gastroscopy and colonoscopy – for diseases of the digestive system. These types of examinations allow you to examine organs and immediately take tissue samples for analysis, if necessary.
- MRI of the abdominal cavity and intestines – for a more thorough examination of the internal organs and the circulatory system.
Almost all patients who complain of back pain come with problems of the spine and back muscles. A sedentary lifestyle and heavy lifting lead to constant pain in the lumbar region, regardless of age. Therefore, the diagnosis will begin with an examination of the back and spinal column. Well, if no pathologies are visible on the x-ray, the doctor will refer you to an extended examination of the abdominal organs.
Many diseases that cause lower back pain are treated surgically: hernias, neoplasms, stones in the ducts, pancreatitis.In case of unbearable pain, be sure to ask your doctor what analgesics you can take. Diseases of the spine, if they do not require surgery, are treated with anti-inflammatory drugs, physiotherapy, exercise therapy, a balanced diet, chondroprotectors and lifestyle changes. In each case, everything is individual, so let the doctor prescribe the treatment.
How to avoid lower back pain?
A healthy lifestyle and moderate constant movement will keep your back healthy for years to come.Monitor your posture, arrange a comfortable place to sleep. If you have a sedentary job, get up regularly and warm up. And if you do not want to play sports, then simply include walking in your mode: for example, to work or from the store.
To avoid diseases of internal organs, you should also monitor your diet and give up bad habits. This is especially true for those who have already been diagnosed with diseases of the stomach, liver, kidneys and pancreas. It is also necessary to monitor clothing so that the body in the lumbar region and small pelvis is always warm.Too cold air can lead to both inflammation of the nerves and diseases of the internal organs.
When lifting weights, keep your back straight and lift using your legs. This will shift the load without damaging your lower back muscles. And, most importantly, do not ignore mild pain if it started for no apparent reason. It is better to visit a doctor and make sure you are in excellent health than to skip the onset of the disease when it was easiest to cure it.
90,000 Spine treatment in Perm – pain in the cervical, lumbar, thoracic regions
Why is it necessary to consult a doctor for spinal pain?
The spine is the main column that holds our body.In addition, it is the central “cable” that connects our brain to all other organs. Accordingly, any problems with the spine affect the health of the whole organism. As a rule, with osteochondrosis and herniated intervertebral discs, people pay attention only to pain.
However, the compression of blood vessels in damaged vertebrae can seriously disrupt the blood supply to the brain and other organs. And pinching the nerves can lead to complete disability.Disruption of blood supply to the brain seriously reduces performance, causes frequent headaches and fatigue.
The main insidiousness of spine diseases is that a person relieves acute pain with the help of painkillers, and calms down on this, believing that the problem is solved. In addition, those who have experienced at least one attack of back pain try to take care of themselves, not to make sudden movements, not to lift weights. But a sore spine is not a runny nose. It will never pass by itself.The cause of the disease will remain, and will constantly undermine and destroy the body.
How can Euromed clinic help you?
Fortunately, many of the problems associated with a sore spine can be solved today. At the Euromed clinic, thanks to modern European equipment and leading vertebrologists, they will quickly and accurately diagnose and prescribe treatment. Thanks to the experience of our specialists and modern technologies, it is almost always possible to heal the spine without surgery. Our vertebrologists will help you get rid of pain in the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine forever.
Therefore, if you suffer from back pain, frequent headaches and neuralgia – make an appointment without hesitation! By contacting Euromed, you can get rid of problems with the spine and live again without the constant expectation of pain. After the course of treatment, you will regret only one thing – that you did not do it before!
90,000 If your back hurts | Center of Dr. Bubnovsky in Ufa
What does a person get sick with age? A lot of things, everyone has their own sores.But almost everyone notes the two most vulnerable spots – knees and back.
Doctor of Medical Sciences, Professor, famous TV presenter and author of bestsellers about health Sergey BUBNOVSKY today talks about the nature of back pain and how to get rid of it.
ACUTE back pain, which often occurs suddenly and instantly, interrupts our usual life for quite a long time. There is no need to wait for it to pass by itself.
This is not a cold .If there is pain in the back, it means that something is wrong in the body and treatment should be started. The first thing that comes to mind is to take pills , especially since now in the first-aid kits at every home there is always a whole arsenal of painkillers at hand.
But pills and other drugs are by no means harmless and often do not cure, but cripple. There is even a particular disease that arises from excess therapy and surgery. It is called iatrogeny , which literally means “a disease caused by a doctor.”
In other words, side effects of drugs are added to the existing pains, which are written in small print on several pages on the insert.
But back to the back pain. According to statistics, pain in the lumbar spine, which is scientifically called the beautiful word “ lumbago “, is the most common health problem in the vast majority of people.
What is most unpleasant, most often it catches us by surprise in a variety of situations and in the most inappropriate places.It amazes both athletes and people far from sports. It can occur in both children and the elderly. And those who do not pay any attention to their body, and even people who seem to lead a healthy lifestyle.
Back pain has led to the emergence of a number of new names for diseases and new diagnoses, but they all, in fact, have one common meaning. They can be called osteochondrosis of the spine, spondylosis, spondyloarthrosis, spondylodiscitis, spondylolisthesis, narrowing of the spinal canal, hernia or protrusion of intervertebral discs, sequestration of intervertebral discs … The result is one.
The desire of people to get rid of pain led to the emergence of expensive surgeries and paravertebral blockages , which are accompanied by the use of no less expensive orthopedic devices.
This is not available to everyone, if you are not lucky enough to receive free treatment under the state quota. But there are quite reasonable and affordable methods of getting rid of without the use of drugs.
The sensation of pain is always subjective , therefore, the patient’s complaints must be treated with caution.Complaining about back pain is a motivation to see a doctor, but the radiologist does not deal with the treatment – he only describes what the tomograph gives him. And the tomograph gives information only about dense connective tissue , which is visible on the film, that is, only about the bone and cartilaginous tissue of the vertebrae and intervertebral discs.
At the same time, the soft connective tissue surrounding the spine is not described , since it consists of 60–65% water. In addition, the muscles and ligaments during X-ray, ultrasound and even radioisotope examinations are in a passive state, therefore, it is impossible in principle to give an objective assessment of their condition.
When diagnosing back pain and before prescribing pain treatment, it is absolutely necessary to examine the back muscles , but most often this is not done.
What is the cause of back pain? In a sedentary lifestyle . Therefore, I recommend the following exercise. Every 2-3 hours, at least 4 hours, you need to get up from a chair or get out of the car and, creating a fixed support for your legs, resting your hands on your knees, try to stretch your spine and legs, doing exercise “folding knife” , that is, bend trunk as much as possible, trying to lower your arms to the floor on a prolonged exhalation “H-h-a-a”.
After that, straightening and placing your legs as wide as possible, turn your body to either leg, while the forward leg looks toe forward, and the foot of the other leg stands perpendicular to it. Slowly, as you exhale, bend forward (your hands slide along the leg), trying to touch the ground (floor) with your hands near the forward leg.
Do not bend the leg at the knee joint , not even slightly. In this case, you may feel soreness along the back of the leg and in the lumbar spine.Do not be afraid of this. Slow performance of this exercise on exhalation or several exhalations in one movement cannot infringe or worsen anything.
These exercises I call decompression exercises . They are good prophylaxis for both preventing acute back pain and getting rid of these pains. But in every case, exercise is painful. And the more neglected your back, the harder it is to do the exercise.
I often say: “Pain is a friend, only with a minus sign.”If there is no pain that warns a person about some kind of breakdown in the body, then the person may die. At the same time, being able to overcome pain, one can not only cure the most serious diseases, but also strengthen the body and spirit, getting rid of the need to take pain pills.
90,000 Why is pain so difficult to measure and relieve?
- John Walsh
- BBC Future
Photo Credit, Getty Images
Surprisingly, we sometimes find it difficult to explain exactly how we feel when we are hurt.This is why doctors are developing new ways to assess and treat severe pain, which is covered by columnist BBC Future .
One night in May, my wife woke up, sat up in bed and said: “I have a terrible pain here.” She felt her stomach and grimaced in pain.
“I think I have something serious,” she complained. Even before I really woke up, I noticed that it was two o’clock in the morning. I asked her to describe the pain. “It’s like something is constantly biting into me,” she replied.
An hour later she got worse. “Now it hurts even more,” she said, just awful. “Can you call the doctor?”
Fortunately, the family doctor answered the call at three o’clock in the morning, listened to her story about the symptoms and concluded: “Perhaps it is appendicitis. Did you have it removed?” It turned out not.
“Appendicitis cannot be ruled out,” he said, “but if it was serious, you would be much more in pain. Go to the hospital in the morning, and now drink paracetamol and try to sleep.”
In less than half an hour, everything repeated.She woke up a third time, but the pain was already so excruciating and unbearable that she just screamed like a witch who is being burned at the stake.
There was no point in comforting her and playing for time. I called a taxi, quickly pulled on my clothes, put on a robe, and we hurried to St. Mary’s Hospital. The clock was almost 4 am.
A nurse in the emergency room poked a needle in my wife’s wrist and asked, “Does it hurt? How about? How about?” and concluded: “Impressive. You have a very high pain threshold.”
The cause of the pain was pancreatitis.
She was prescribed a course of antibiotics and a month later had an operation to remove her gallbladder.
“This is a minimally invasive surgery,” the surgeon said nonchalantly, “so you will bounce back very quickly. Some patients feel so good after surgery that they take the bus home.”
However, his optimism turned out to be premature. My adorable wife, with her surprisingly high pain threshold, had to stay in the hospital overnight, and the next day she returned home pumped up with painkillers.When their effect passed, she was simply twisted in pain.
Photo author, Getty Images
In the hand are some of the densest accumulations of nerves in the human body
During the recovery period after surgery, looking at how she crooked, gritted her teeth and only sometimes allowed herself to scream, Until a long course of ibuprofen and codeine helped her overcome the pain, I asked myself various questions.
The most important of them sounded like this: “Can any of the doctors confidently talk about pain?” Both the family doctor and the surgeon made comments and assumptions that seemed overly cautious, generalized, incompetent and even potentially dangerous to me.
I also wondered if there were any terms that could help the doctor understand what kind of pain his patient is experiencing.
I remembered how my father, who worked as a general practitioner in a public clinic in south London in the 1960s, talked about the colorful descriptions of pain symptoms he had heard: “as if someone attacked me with a stapler”, “as if I have rabbits running down my spine, “” as if someone had opened a cocktail umbrella in my penis … “
Few of these descriptions, he said, matched the symptoms listed in medical textbooks.So what should he do? Guesses and prescribes aspirin for everyone?
I wanted to know how pain is understood in the medical environment, what words they call what cannot be seen and measured simply by listening to the patient’s subjective opinion, and what can be cured only with the help of opium derivatives, which were used in the Middle Ages.
In many countries of the world, the main clinical method for the study of pain is the McGill Pain Questionnaire, created in the 1970s by two scientists from McGill University – Dr. Ronald Melzak and Dr. Warren Thorgerson.It is still one of the most widely used pain measurement tools.
Melzak began to write down the words patients used to describe pain and divided them into three groups: sensory (including “heat”, “pressure”, “pulsation” or “heartbeat”), affective (associated with emotions, including “exhausting”, “sickening”, “debilitating” or “frightening”) and, finally, evaluative (related to the experience, from “annoying” and “annoying” to “terrible”, “unbearable” and “excruciating”) …
Unfortunately, all these words sounded like the Duchess was complaining about a ball that did not live up to her expectations. However, it was this Melzak pain matrix that formed the basis of the McGill Pain Questionnaire.
A list of epithets describing pain is read aloud to the patient, and he says whether each word is suitable for what he is experiencing. If so, then he needs to determine how strong this sensation is.
The doctors then check the boxes and calculate the result, which can be expressed either in numbers or as a percentage, and then use it to see if the treatment has given the desired result.
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For women with childbirth experience, any other pain often appears to be relatively mild
A more recent version is the Pain Quality Scale developed by the National Pain Control Initiative.
Patients are asked on a scale of 1 to 10 to rate how “strong” or “sharp”, “hot”, “dull”, “cold”, “sensitive”, “muffled”, “ticklish”, and so on. their pain has been for the last week.
The problem with this approach was the inaccuracy of the 1-10 scale, where 10 is “the most painful sensation you can imagine.” How can a patient imagine the worst pain and assign a serial number to his own pain?
The average British middle class who has never been involved in hostilities is unlikely to imagine anything worse than a toothache or an injury sustained while playing tennis, while women who give birth can rate any other pain as only 3 or 4.
A friend of mine who specializes in World War I drew my attention to Stuart Cloit’s memoir, The Victorian Son (1972), in which the author recounts his time in a field hospital.
He marvels at the strength of spirit of the wounded soldiers: “I heard the guys crying from weakness on their beds, but they never asked for anything but water or a cigarette. The only exception was a man with a pierced arm. I think this is the most painful the wound is possible, because when the muscles of the arm contract, the tendons stretch the flesh like a rack. “
Stephen McMeigon of the London Pain Consortium, founded in 2002 to conduct international pain research, is skeptical about pain quantification questionnaires.
“There are a lot of problems when trying to measure pain,” he says. “It seems to me that getting carried away with numbers is an oversimplification. Pain is not one-dimensional. It is characterized not only by intensity, but also by many other factors – how dangerous it is, how emotionally difficult it is. how it affects your ability to focus. “
“I think that the urge to measure pain is primarily inherent in regulatory bodies – they think that this is necessary in order to understand how effective a particular drug is,” he adds.
Pain can be acute or chronic. Acute pain is a temporary or isolated sensation of discomfort that usually needs to be treated with medication. Chronic pain does not go away with time and becomes an unpleasant companion for the person with whom he has to put up.
Patients with chronic pain develop drug resistance and therefore need to consider other treatments.
“I would say that 55 to 60 percent of our patients suffer from lower back pain,” says Adnan Al-Qaysi, who heads the Pain and Neuromodulation Center at London’s Gays and St Thomas Hospital, Europe’s largest the activity is devoted to the study and elimination of pain.
“The reason for this is simple: we do not pay attention to the needs of our body, how we sit, stand, walk, and so on.We sit for hours at the computer, thereby heavily loading the small joints in the lower back, “he explains.
Photo author, Science Photo Library
According to Al-Qaysi’s calculations, the number of cases of chronic low back pain has increased significantly over the past 15-20 years, and “losses due to lost working days are estimated at 6-7 billion pounds.”
In addition, the clinic treats severe chronic headaches and injuries resulting from accidents affecting the nervous system.
Do they still use the McGill Pain Questionnaire? “Unfortunately, yes, – says Al-Qaysi. – This is a subjective method of measurement. But pain can increase due to a quarrel at home or problems at work, so we try to find out what lifestyle a person leads, how he sleeps, how he walks and it is worth what his appetite is. It’s not only the patient’s condition, but also in his environment. “
The difficulty is to turn this information into scientific data. “We are working with Raymond Lee, Chair of the Department of Biomechanics at South Bank University, to see if the degree of pain-related impairment in a patient’s health can be objectively measured,” he says.
“They are trying to develop a tool, something like an accelerometer, that will give an accurate idea of how actively a person can move and tell the cause of the pain based on how they are sitting or standing.We really want to find a new way to assess pain, and not just ask people how bad their pain is, “explains Al-Qaysi.
The clinic also has patients with symptoms that are much worse than back pain. Al-Qaysi says about one patient – let’s call him Carter – who suffered from ilio-inguinal neuralgia, a terrible condition causing severe burning and stabbing pain in the groin.
“He had a testicular operation and his iliac nerve was damaged.The pain was unbearable: when he came to us, he took four or five types of drugs, including very high dosage opiates, anticonvulsants, opioid patches, plus paracetamol and ibuprofen. His life turned upside down, he risked losing his job, “- this is how the condition of the patient Al-Qaysi describes.
This case was one of the greatest successes of Al-Qaysi.
Since 2010, Gays and St. Thomas Hospital has been offering adult patients whose chronic pain could not be cured in other clinics, a four-week course of treatment in a hospital.
Patients leave their familiar environment and are examined by doctors of various specialties, including psychologists, physiotherapists, and health and safety specialists. They then collectively design a program to educate the patient on pain management strategies.
Many of these strategies involve neuromodulation. This term is very common in pain management circles.
In simple terms, neuromodulation is a distraction of the brain from the constant processing of pain signals from the peripheral nervous system.Sometimes clever technologies are used for this using electric current.
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Exposing the nerve endings of the spinal cord with a weak electrical current using an implantable device can help relieve chronic pain
“We were the first center in the world to use spinal cord stimulation technology, – says Al-Qaysi proudly, “We send weak electrical shocks to the spinal cord by inserting a conductor into the epidural space.The voltage reaches only one or two volts, so the patient only feels a slight tingling sensation in the area that was hurting him before. “
” The patient feels nothing but pain relief. This is a non-invasive method – we usually let patients go home the same day, “he adds.
When Carter, the guy with the groin pain, was not affected by other treatments, Al Qaisi decided to try his own method.
“We gave him what we call lumbar node stimulation,” says Al-Qaysi.- It overexcites the spinal cord and sends impulses to it and to the brain. Ten days later, according to the patient’s own assessment, the pain had decreased by 70%. “
” I received a very pleasant email from him, saying that I had changed his life, that there was no more pain, but he was returning to normal life. He said that he managed to keep his job and marriage, and he wants to go back to sports. This is an incredible result, and it is impossible to achieve it by other methods, “says Al-Qaysi.
According to Irene Tracy, head of the Department of Clinical Neurobiology. Nuffield at Oxford University, the most recent advance in pain assessment is the understanding that chronic pain is a distinct entity.
“We have always thought that chronic pain is the same acute pain, only lasting a very long time,” she explains. …
“We now view chronic pain as a shift to another location, with different mechanisms, including changes in gene expression, chemical production, neurophysiology, and neuronal function. We now look at chronic pain in a whole new way. This is a new word in areas of pain management, ”says Tracy.
Journalists have dubbed Tracy “the queen of pain”. Despite this nickname, in life she looks absolutely not intimidating: she is an energetic, affable woman of fifty with burning eyes and incredibly fast speech.
She speaks about pain competently. She can easily determine “severe pain”, which, according to the McGill pain questionnaire, will pull 10 points: “I have three children, and now my 10 points are very different from 10 points before childbirth. In my understanding, this scale has undergone significant changes.”
But how does she explain what severe pain is to those who have never given birth? “I say:“ Imagine that your hand is sharply clamped by the door of the car – this is 10. ”
According to her, a breakthrough has recently been made in understanding the relationship between the brain and pain.Neuroimaging helps connect subjective pain with objective perception.
“It fills the gap between what you see and what you are told. Thanks to her, we can explain why the patient is in pain, even though the source of the pain is not visible on the X-ray or anywhere else. We help to discover the truth. and prove that the person is really in pain, although no one believes him. ”
Nevertheless, it is impossible to simply “see” how the pain glows and pulsates on the screen.
“Through brain imaging, we have learned a lot about neural networks in the brain and how they function,” she says. pain and ways to eliminate it. ”
According to her, access to the human brain can be obtained using fairly simple mechanical methods – such as the Al-Qaysi conductor to stimulate the spinal cord.
“There are now devices that attach to the head and manipulate different parts of the brain. They can be worn like a bathing cap. They are portable and ethically acceptable brain stimulation devices. They are easy to use and have been proven by clinical studies to be effective for elimination of the consequences of strokes and for rehabilitation “.
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Burning pain after a herpes zoster infection can be unbearable
Scientists at the Human Pain Research Laboratory at Stanford University, California, study individual pain responses to guide treatment more targeted.
The center was founded in 1995 by a man with a speaking surname Martin Angst (the word angst in English means “fear”, “anxiety”, “anxiety” – bbcrussian ) from the Department of Anesthesiology.
His early research focused on finding reliable methods to quantify pain. Then Angst, together with an assistant with an equally speaking surname Martha Tingle (the word tingle in English means “tingling”, “tingling”, “burning” – bbcrussian ), he began to study the pharmacology of opiates, for example, how quickly a person develops addiction to medications.
Several types of pain have been studied in the laboratory, including migraine, fibromyalgia, and facial pain, but the largest of these has focused on back pain.
The US National Institutes of Health has awarded a $ 10 million grant to study alternative drug-free treatments for low back pain.
These include mental practices, acupuncture, cognitive behavioral therapy, and neural feedback. Perhaps to some, this set of methods will seem purely Californian, but the laboratory takes them very seriously and involves a lot of patients in research in order to create an extensive database.
A distinctive feature of the assessment process is that the psychological state of patients is also measured: according to a certain scale, the level of depression, anxiety, anger, physical functioning, behavior in pain, and the impact of pain on their lives are determined. Doctors plan to use this information to develop individual treatment methods.
The Human Pain Research Laboratory is headed by Sean Mackey, Professor of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine and Neurobiology at Stanford University.
“It so happens that a person, trying to get rid of pain, commits suicide,” he says. to drill his skull to get rid of it, “he says.
When asked about his biggest successes, he talks about simple solutions. “At the very beginning of my career, I focused on the obvious side of pain – that is, the areas where it occurred.I have resorted to medical interventions, and some patients get better and others do not. So I started listening to their fears and anxieties and working with them, and eventually I started to concentrate on the brain, “says Mackie.