Perhaps one thing that’s common in many of us—something we’ve all experienced one way or another—is back pain. Some experience back pain so extreme that they miss work, or they can’t even sleep soundly. Even if you think the pain you’re experiencing is not serious, it’s important to have it checked before it gets worse.
There are many levels of back pain and just as many symptoms and reasons for having it. This means that the treatment for back pain can also be quite diverse. Don’t worry; this doesn’t mean that it’s a lost cause. All you have to do is to understand what back pain is and the treatment options you have at hand.
Types of Back Pain
To the untrained eye, back pain would seem like the same thing in every case, but there are actually many types of it. As suggested by the varying causes and symptoms of back pain, the category your back pain falls under can be any of the five classifications below.
Flexion Dominant Back Pain
In most cases, this type of back pain is the result of disk injury. Flexion dominant back pain is often characterized by increased pain intensity after lifting objects or sitting down. The legs are sometimes involved in this type of back pain, along with the spine, and patients may experience a tingling sensation in both of these areas.
Extension Dominant Back Pain
The next type of back pain is concerned with a particular set of spine joints called the z-joints. Extension dominant back pain is often experienced after standing for extended periods. In some cases, a sharp and localized pain combined with numbness or tingling sensation in the legs may be present.
While this one falls under the category of extension dominant back pain, neurogenic claudication is quite specific that we feel like we need to discuss it individually. This often occurs in people above 60 years of age. As the name suggests, neurogenic claudication involves nerve compression in the spine and limits the person’s ability to walk.
Chronic Pain Disorder
One of the most complicated back pain conditions is chronic pain disorder. It’s not just a matter of muscle strain or degeneration of the bone; rather, it’s a malfunction of the nervous system. What happens is the brain interprets the stimuli from your spine as harmful to your body, even though it is not. Because of this, the brain responds that it must be treated, and in the process, translates these stimuli as painful.
Back Pain Treatment
There are many ways in which back pain can be treated. These include anything from home remedies to treatments that require the expertise of medical professionals. These treatments depend on the condition’s intensity, and it would be best to consult an expert before proceeding.
Home treatments include exercises you can do at home, combined with pain and anti-inflammatory medication. Some cases, especially those where back pain is not persistent, would only require a hot or cold compress. Nonetheless, regular exercise is still recommended to prevent the worsening of the condition. In addition to this, if you ever need the assistance of someone else either because you live on your own or your family is quite busy, searching for health care professionals offering home services should also help you with your day-to-day living while lessening the pain you feel from your chronic condition.
There are many forms of medical treatments for back pain. In cases where pain medication does not help, a more potent medicine, usually a form of narcotics, is prescribed to the patient. However, this must be taken under the strict supervision of a doctor. Other medical options include injection-based treatment.
Another popular treatment for back pain is therapy. Back pain therapies include massage therapy, which helps relieve the pain while also realigns the bone structure in your back through a series of sessions. On the other hand, therapies that include electrical stimulation may also be conducted. Lastly, in some chronic pain disorders where the nervous system is involved, doctors use cognitive behavioral therapy to form new responses towards stimuli sent from the spine.
Although surgery is not the go-to solution for back pain and must only be used as a last resort for extreme cases, it’s important that we also mention this treatment. Surgeries may include replacing a ruptured disk with an artificial one or fusing two vertebrae to prevent them from grinding against each other.
Back pain is a persistent condition that branches out to lots of different problems if not treated early. At the first sign of back problems, make sure that you consult an expert before your condition worsens.