Translating MD Information
Back Pain Treatment – A Common Problem
Most individuals either have had back pain or will have back pain. At one time or another, most people will see a physician about their back pain or possibly miss work due to the pain. Lower back pain is caused by our anatomy and the way we stand or sit. It is a common problem for most people.
Causes of Back Pain
If you attempt to lift a heavy object or if you twist your back when you move, it may cause back pain. You may injure your back with unusual movements. If you are not in shape physically and do not work out often or do exercises to strengthen your back, you are more likely to hurt your back.
Lower back pain may be very mild or it may be extremely agonizing. It can last from a few days to a week. If the pain lasts longer than 7 days, it is likely that an injury other than muscle strain has occurred. Most back pain can be treated with rest. For extremely painful symptoms, muscle relaxants or pain medications may be necessary.
If you are experiencing back pain that will not resolve, it is possible that you have disc degeneration. Unfortunately, there is little that can be done for the degeneration of the discs in your back. If you have a fracture of the vertebral bodies or adjacent bones of your back, it can be treated. This often occurs in older females.
There are two procedures that may be able to help with vertebra fractures, vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty. With these procedures, a type of “glue” is inserted into your vertebral body which hardens and may alleviate the pain from the fracture. Often, there will be no pain whatsoever after the procedure.
Disc herniation is when a disc in your back has become deformed. This can occur either from injury, by recurrent injury or by degeneration. Regardless of the cause, the pain may be debilitating.
Back Pain Treatment for Disc Herniation
The first choices of treatment for disc herniations are bed rest, pain relief medications and time. This type of pain is very common but cannot be ignored. Many individuals have disc disease without any symptoms at all. It is a common pain and may last for weeks up to several months. Some individuals have chronic debilitating pain.
If you are experiencing drop foot or the inability to move your foot upwards, then surgery is necessary. However, if your pain is due to a different reason, the best advice is to rest, go to physical rehabilitation, and take pain control medications if necessary. If given enough time, more often than not, surgery is not needed. Remember, a surgeon only makes money when he performs surgery.
Always avoid back surgery. You hope that your pain will go away and that you will be able to perform the physical movements that you did prior to the pain. However, this rarely occurs if you elect surgery. You will probably be limited in some respects.
After you have had surgery there is no going back to the way you were prior to that time. A second surgical procedure after a failed first surgery often makes the problems worse, not better. If you elect surgery, you may be laid up for a very long time after the surgery and may never get pain free. There are no guarantees.
As always, you need to discuss all options with your physician to make an informed decision about your back pain. All circumstances are different and many options may be available to you.