Back pain is common and very often preventable. The best back pain treatments involve physical therapy. When you visit your pain specialist at Century Medical and Dental Center, you’ll learn steps to take to relieve and prevent serious back pain complications. Whenever you find yourself in pain, you have access to a number of specialists and physical therapists at Century Medical and Dental, a multi-disciplinary practice.
Your back carries the load of your body and bears the brunt of your activities. While very strong, your back also represents a delicate structure that you can easily damage. The number one reason for doctor’s appointments revolve around back pain and how to relieve it. It’s no surprise that back pain causes the most cases of disability — in Brooklyn, in the U.S. and across the world.
Proven treatment delivered by a professional relieves most back pain episodes. Seek out a physical therapy clinic like Century Medical and Dental Center for relief. A pain management specialist provides the best treatment options for your back pain, while helping you prevent future problems.
Symptoms of Back Pain
Most back pain occurs because of misuse or overuse. The muscles, ligaments and discs in your spine all work together to help you lift, bend and stretch. When you extend too far or suffer trauma to your back, you may experience:
- Generalized muscle aches that produce dull, continuous pain
- A stabbing or knife-like pain in one or more areas of your back
- Radiating pain that travels down one or both legs
- An increase in pain when you lift, stand or bend
- An improvement in pain when you’re lying down or reclining
The good news is that most back pain improves with time, rest, and simple home treatment. Call your doctor, however, if you have fever symptoms, experienced a blow to your back, fell onto a hard surface or notice new bowel or bladder problems. If you have pain that doesn’t ease — or worsens — with rest, it can represent a more severe medical problem. If your back pain is accompanied by numbness, tingling or weakness, make an appointment as soon as you can.
Types of Back Pain
The spot in your back where the pain is concentrated gives your doctor valuable information about the cause of the pain. Let your doctor know if your pain is worse in your:
Sudden pain without a physical explanation may signal other serious medical conditions. If that describes your condition, call your back pain specialist as soon as possible.
What Causes Back Pain?
Most back pain occurs due to either trauma, misuse or wear-and-tear. The pain often appears suddenly, but lasts no more than six weeks. If the pain continues for three months despite concentrated treatment, you have chronic back pain. Some causes include:
- Strained or torn muscles and ligaments, especially as a result of overuse. This condition often causes painful muscle spasms.
- Discs that misalign, rupture or bulge. As the cushions of your spine, your vertebral discs handle a lot of pressure from lifting, stretching, and turning. If one moves out of position, it creates pressure on surrounding nerves with painful sensations on one leg.
- Scoliosis. When you have congenital irregularities such as scoliosis, which is a curvature of the spine, the abnormal structure places pressure on nerves along your spinal column, causing generalized, chronic pain.
- Arthritis and osteoporosis. As you age, arthritis and osteoporosis affect the joints and bones of your spine. Contributing to a narrowing of the spinal column or a weakening the bones, arthritis and osteoporosis make everyday tasks uncomfortable and frustrating.
Who’s at Risk?
You may be more susceptible to back pain conditions if you have weak or underused muscles. Other risk categories include:
- People who fight with weight issues
- Adults older than 30
- Those who use improper lifting techniques
- Individuals who fight depression or anxiety
- Those who smoke
- People dealing with other diseases, such as arthritis or cancer
Back Pain Treatment
Back pain remains not only one of the most prevalent medical conditions, but also one of the most complex. While you may initially feel better remaining in bed, this allows your muscles to weaken, deteriorate and even freeze. Continuing your daily activities as much as possible helps keep muscles loose and flexible. Your doctor may also recommend:
- The right medications can help with pain and tightened muscles. You may try over-the-counter pain relievers, topical painkilling ointments, muscle relaxants, antidepressants that have pain-fighting characteristics, narcotics and injections.
- Educating yourself on proper back care, including proper lifting techniques and posture corrections, helps you prevent future injuries.
- A course of physical therapy treatments that include massage, stretching and exercising, stimulate and activate your muscles and ligaments to build strength and increase flexibility, while educating you about proper movement.
- Although practiced as a last resort, surgery for back pain treatment is a viable option when every other modality fails. Certain structural problems such as a herniated disc or stenosis may benefit from surgery.
Back pain hinders your daily activities in varying ways, limiting your quality of life. Find the best treatment options for back pain relief to move toward returning to a healthy, positive and active lifestyle. Talk to your physician in Brooklyn today.