If you’ve ever dealt with the struggles of back pain, know that you’re not alone. According to a study by Georgetown University, over 16 million adults in the United States experience persistent or chronic back pain.
Back pain is caused by a myriad of sources and can range from mild pains and sprains to more complex conditions. Here at Great Lakes Orthopedics, our premier medical team is sharing some of the most important things you need to know about back pain.
There are different types of back pain.
Most back pain can be sorted into three different categories: acute, chronic, and neuropathic. Before an orthopedic specialist can determine how you treat you, they will first figure out which type of back pain you are facing.
Acute back pain is typically directly related to tissue damage caused by a specific incident, like a sporting or car accident. This kind of back pain is often the shortest, lasting anywhere from 3-6 months.
Chronic back pain lasts longer than acute back pain and may not be directly related to any tissue damage. Examples of this type of back pain include prior surgeries, overall health complications, and lasting pain from an old injury.
Neuropathic back pain takes place within the nerves and is often chronic. This type of back pain is usually a result of a severe injury or trauma, which then results in a hypersensitivity to pain.
Back pain occurs in several areas of the spine.
Back pain can occur in either the cervical spine (your neck), thoracic spine (your upper and middle back), or lumbar spine (your lower back). While lower back pain is the most common in adults, people can experience upper or middle back pain if they have irritated muscles or joint dysfunction.
One cause of chronic back pain is spinal weakness.
If you’re experiencing chronic back pain, then it might be caused by spinal weakness. Conditions like osteoporosis cause bones in the spine to lose density and become brittle, which may lead to chronic pain. Additionally, arthritis of the spine can lead to spinal stenosis, which is a condition that causes the breakdown of spinal cartilage.
Both of these conditions weaken the spine and increase the pressure put on spinal nerves, causing discomfort and pain that can feel crippling to an individual.
Look out for sudden back pain.
Sudden back pain should never be ignored, no matter how acute it may seem. This could indicate a spinal fracture, which occurs when spinal bones are weakened or break down over time. It’s common for those suffering from osteoporosis.
Consult with a licensed orthopedic professional if you suddenly find yourself facing any of the following conditions:
- Sudden back pain
- Difficulty bending or twisting
- Pain that worsens when standing or walking
- Curvature in the spine
- Reduced height
There are non-surgical methods of back treatment.
While many people think that surgery is the only plausible treatment for back pain that often is not the case. There are many non-surgical treatments for back pain, several of which you can engage in from the comfort of your own home.
Aside from surgery, these are some of the most common ways to treat back pain:
- Physical therapy
- Light stretching
- Over-the-counter pain relievers
- Heating pads
Best Orthopedic Surgeons in Garden City, MI
With over 60 years of experience in orthopedic care, Great Lakes Orthopedics has built a reputation based on trust and results. We are one of Garden City’s leading orthopedic surgery centers and have made it our mission to offer our patients the highest levels of service and care in the industry.
Keep in mind that you should always consult with a licensed professional before taking matters into your own hands. If you are experiencing any back pain or discomfort, our skilled team of orthopedic experts is here to help. Contact us today to learn more about the services we offer and to find out what we can do for you.