Experts estimate that as many as 80% of people will experience back pain at some point in their lives. While the pain can be debilitating, most are able heal by themselves however, many have to turn to alternative options for treatment.
The foundation of all treatments of back pain is physical therapy yet, depending on the particular cause of back pain, there are additional treatments available. Below are five common causes of back pain and Pain Management treatments to help improve the pain.
- Bad Posture – It is true what they say, bad posture can lead to a bad back. Whether sitting all day at a desk or spending your days on your feet, bad posture can cause what is known as Lumbar Facet Arthropathy, also known as arthritis of the back. This type of pain is worse in the morning when getting out of bed or getting out of a chair and, pain usually stays in the lower back. To help treat this pain, the irritated joint can be blocked to help relieve any discomfort. Additionally, more permanent options are available if needed and remember, stand up straight!
- Lifting Something Heavy – Lift from your knees! That is what you always hear when reaching for something heavy with an improper form. That is because lifting from your knees, as opposed to bending at your back, allows the increased force to travel through your body equally without focusing the majority of the pressure in your back. Improper form can lead to a lumbar strain and even worse, a herniated disc. To help treat a lumbar strain you can add trigger point injections, the insertion of a needle into the muscle to help break up the spasm, to your physical therapy routine. Acupuncture is also a helpful remedy.
- Moving Something Heavy – In addition to lifting, just moving something heaving, like a suitcase, can also lead to injury and more commonly, a herniated disc of the back called Lumbar Radiculoapthy. When a disc herniates, it usually hits a nerve in the spine which then sends a painful sensation down the leg and below the knee. The pain is usually a sharp, stabbing type of pain that can be treated with an epidural injection. However, it is important to remember that up to 30% of people with herniated discs experience no symptoms.
- Tight quads or IT band – Running is great for the heart, but can also be hard on the joints and muscles. One common joint that can get inflamed is the sacroiliac joint, which is a condition called Sacroillitis: an inflammation of the joint which joins the hip to the spine. When this joint is irritated or inflamed, it causes low back pain that tends to be most painful first thing in the morning when getting out of a bed. This is treated with an injection into the sacroiliac joint and can be avoided by proper stretching routines, both before and after running.
- Gravity – Unfortunately, we can’t move to outer space but, if we could, we would decrease the stress on our joints as we age. Aging, compounded with muscle imbalances, can lead to hip pain that usually radiates into the groin, but can also result in back pain. It usually worsens with walking and is a dull, achy sensation. Such can also be treated with different types of injections such as, steroid, vesicosupplementation and even platelet rich plasma injections (PRP), and a physical therapy program which strengthens the gluts and stretches to maximize your range of motion.
Source: www.mountsinai.org; Houman Danesh; February 12, 2015.