Pain in the body is very common and is often nothing major to worry about. However, pain in the back can be debilitating and can make it difficult for a person to get on with their everyday life. Sometimes, there is no obvious cause for pain in the back but at other times, the pain is directly linked to an injury or illness.
Back pain, like most other pain, can be classed as acute or chronic. Acute back pain is typically sudden and linked to an injury or a pulled muscle or ligament. This type of pain tends to be short-lived and will typically improve within a few weeks at most. Pain that continues for months or which comes and goes over a period of months is referred to as chronic pain.
What Causes Back Pain?
There are many different causes of back pain. As mentioned, it can be the result of a pulled muscle or ligament, which tend to usually occur because of poor posture or improper lifting. Some people will suffer pain in their back after exercise, especially if they have not been using the correct form. Pain in the back is more common as people age. Conditions such as arthritis can lead to changes in the spine, and this can lead to pain. There are also several other conditions linked to back pain, including:
- kidney stones
- kidney infection
- ankylosing spondylitis
- spinal stenosis
- spinal cord tumors.
Is Your Back Pain Serious?
Since back pain is so common, it can be hard to tell if it is serious. In most cases, the pain in your back will go within a few weeks, especially if it is caused by a pulled muscle or ligament or because of a strain. However, there are a few symptoms that could indicate something more serious, such as:
- a sharp pain anywhere in the back
- a pain that radiates from the back to another part of the body, such as the legs or the glutes
- numbness or weakness in the back, legs, groin, or glutes
A dull ache in the back is usually indicative of a pulled muscle or ligament, but if you experience a sharp pain then it could mean that either the muscle or ligament has torn or that there is an issue with an internal organ. A pain that radiates or is coupled with weakness in the legs could mean that a nerve is compressed. Nerve compression might also be the cause of back pain coupled with sudden weakness in the legs or incontinence. If you have any of these symptoms with pain in your back, you should contact your doctor for an examination.
How is Back Pain Treated?
How back pain is treated will depend on the cause and the type of pain. For example, patients with chronic pain might be referred to pain clinics such as Utah based KindlyMD, where they will be seen by a physician who specializes in pain management.
If the pain is sudden and the result of an injury, the patient may be given a number of methods to try to relieve the pain at home. This might include taking anti-inflammatory medication and gentle exercises and stretches that will help to keep the body moving.
If the pain is caused by a medical condition, it may be necessary for the patient to have surgery, especially if other methods have not worked.
To conclude, there are many different causes of back pain, and most are nothing to worry about. However, it is always a good idea to seek advice from a professional if you are worried.