You walk for long, you get back pain, you stand for long, you get back pain, you sit for a long period, again you get back pain.
Well, back pain seems to be a very common problem affecting adults of all ages, and the numbers just seem to be escalating further.
There is a complex interconnecting network of nerves, joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments on our back (spine).
When these large nerves, which originate in the spine and go through to the legs and arms, are stiff and not stretched, it can cause an extreme amount of pain.
Back pain can arise due to muscle strains, spasms and a feeling of imbalance.
Facet joints have been identified as the primary source of pain in approximately one-third of the people with chronic lower back pain and in most people with neck pain following whiplash.
Pain arising from the disc is mainly due to disc herniation or degenerative disc disease. Nerve roots that are inflamed, irritated or compressed due to disc herniation give rise to the pain, which goes down the leg often called sciatica.
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Sometimes, this kind of a back pain arises without any pre-existing disease.
In that case, it can arise due to some sprain in the ligament or muscles. In other cases, the cause may be a minor problem with a disc between two vertebrae, or a minor problem with a small 'facet' joint between two vertebrae.
There may be other minor problems in the structures and tissues of the lower back that result in pain.
Sometimes, the back pain also may arise due to certain inflammatory disorders, fractures or even ankylosing spondylitis.
How To Manage Back Pain?
There are several ways to manage and reduce back pain. Once the source of the pain is identified through blood tests, X-ray, MRI and nerve studies, in few cases, the management process can be administered.
It can be treated through medication, physiotherapy, acupuncture and by injections.
However, for those having severe pain, it can be treated by using spinal cord stimulators or the procedure of thermocoagulation of the disc. Surgery is recommended in those who cannot be treated with medication and physiotherapy.
MBBS, Masters Degree in Anaesthesia, Fellowship in Interventional Pain Procedures (FIPP).
He is an Anaesthetist, Chronic Pain Specialist at Apollo Hospitals, Bangalore.