It is likely that most people will experience some form of back pain during their lives, such as acute, that is sudden and lasts less than three months. Then there is chronic pain that is slow to develop, but lasts more than 12 weeks, and causes long-term problems. In certain instances, it could simply be related to a poor posture that places extra strain on the back and affects muscles, ligaments, tendons and vertebrae. In the long term however, it can translate into painful problems, for example; joint, muscle disc damage, or constricted nerves and other conditions.
Pain from the back region of the body can be categorized by its sensation, whether severe or mild. Does it suddenly attack you or build up over a period of time! Pain can also develop after an incident such as an accident, or for no apparent reason, as can be the case with conditions involving chronic pain.
The methods of describing and categorizing the various sensations that are associated with pain in your back, are almost as many as the number of qualified experts who affirm them. The best way to understand what your back is trying to tell you could be by understanding the sensation messages and what medical attention they may need!
Listen to your body
Some sensations that are not directly associated with back pain, but should be respected and given your attention include:
- Any suspected injury to your neck
- Shooting pains in a leg
- Numbing sensation in the pelvic or lower back regions
- Weakness in the legs
- Unsteadiness when walking or standing
- Problems involving retention in the bowel or bladder
- Increasing foreign sensations in the legs or pelvis
Do Not Ignore the Signs
Should you experience any of the following conditions, then immediate medical attention should be sought:
- A broken neck or form of spinal injury
- Persistent pain
- Cauna Equina Syndrome
The presence of an infection or a tumor could result in back or neck pain, with examples being a stiff neck, a symptom of meningitis. Another is Cauda Equina that sometimes is caused by an infection or tumor in the spinal cord, the Cauda Equine region.
Your Supporting Spinal Column
The spine could be described as a column of bone, comprising of small bones that interlock and which is the housing for a highly sensitive structure in your body known as the spinal cord. This spinal cord forms part of the Central Nervous System (CNS) and contributes to the messages and signals that are sent and received from the brain. The types of massages and signals are related, but not limited to pain indicators, sensations of cold and heat, the position of the body, pressure and a lot more.
Pain felt from the musculoskeletal regions does not usually relate to other segments of the body, with one exception being myofascial pain, or “trigger points” that include pain from the back and could concern the following factors:
- Muscle spasm
- Muscle strain
- Inflammation, a cause of trigger point activation
- Ligamentous strain
Interpreting the Signals
Sensation of pain from the various categories could overlap. Pain may result from the CNS as nerves are the information conduits from one part of the body to another. But it may also be activated from the trigger points, showing a problem in the muscoskeletal system. It is not unusual for medical practitioners to be unable to find anatomical reasons for a pain. It is also possible for imaging studies to reveal a highly problematic spinal region, but no pain is experienced by the patient. However, it is important to be aware of the fact that diagnosis procedures will not directly show back pain. It is designed to reveal any abnormalities and normalities of the spine, which will be correlated with examination results and a diagnosis given.
Surgery related to back ache and problems is sometimes a highly debateable subject. It is an option if pain persists after conservative therapy has been conducted. A general trend regarding surgery involving the back or neck is in favor of the minimally invasive approach. However, many of these techniques are still too recent for studies on a long-term basis to supply meaningful data. A consideration though, is that only about 25% of sufferers require surgery. In the majority of cases back associated pain is resolved within about one month.
It is common practice for those suffering from pain to determine the cause as just a “back ache”. Even acute pain can be treated with a visit to the pharmacy for over-the-counter-drugs or anti-inflammatory cures. In certain cases, compression packs, hot water bottles or ice cold treatments are tried. However, if after a reasonable period of time the condition is not relieved or worsens, see a medical practitioner. If the pain is severe, a muscle relaxant may be prescribed, or even a suitable exercise or diet plan. If there are indications that the condition warrants it, then you could be referred to a physiotherapist.
There are various complimentary therapy options, for example, acupuncture, osteopathy and chiropractic. Awareness plays a great part in pain alleviation, whether it is just improving your posture when standing or sitting. Your back is a critical part of your physical support system and therefore any symptoms that are sent to you by way of pain sensors are warning signs that should never be ignored.
Author bio: Korah Morrison, writer on essay writing service that helps students to write essays of any complexity. She writes about seo, blogging, social media, internet marketing and other tips.