“I have been suffering with back pain for about two years now. Also, I can’t even walk up the stairs without pain. I have been to the doctor, chiropractor, physical therapy, and acupuncturist, but none of these things have helped. I’m so frustrated because I can’t live my life normally. What are some things that people can do to help with back pain?”
IS THIS SOMETHING YOU HAVE THOUGHT TO YOURSELF?
Let me begin by mentioning a few common “causes” of back pain.
I am going to give you a rundown on some of the common reasons people have back pain.
Let me quickly review degenerative disc disease, sciatica, stenosis, bulging discs, herniated discs, and osteoarthritis.
Degenerative disc disease is a condition that causes back pain due to pressure on the discs.
Degenerative disc disease is a phrase used to describe a number of conditions that can lead to back pain because of pressure on the discs. The most common form of degenerative disc disease is when the layers of the discs separate. We can see back pain on imaging and it is a common issue. This is the most important idea.
Sciatica is a disorder of the sciatic nerve which is the longest nerve in the body. The sciatic nerve passes through the saddle area of the pelvis and travels down the back of the thigh and leg. Sciatica is often caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve, sometimes from a herniated disk or bone spur. There can also be pressure on the nerve further downstream (aka the leg). The symptoms of sciatica might include pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness of the leg and buttock. Pretty much, if you have back pain and pain down your leg, you are going to be told that you have this.
Stenosis is a condition in which the spine becomes narrowed, putting pressure on the spinal cord and the nerves in the spine. Degenerative spine disease or injuries to the spine often cause stenosis, which many people experience. Symptoms may include pain in the back and in the extremities and numbness and tingling in the hands and feet. Oh also, it hurts worse USUALLY when a person is standing and or is “arching” their back/leaning backwards.
A bulging disc, also known as a herniated disc, is a medical condition that can cause chronic pain in the lower back, buttocks, and hips. The bulging disc occurs when one of the discs in the spinal column pushes through a tear in the outer spinal column. This tear can be the result of trauma, overuse, or aging. The herniated disc can be classified into two different types: protruding and contained. The contained type only causes a bulge and the protruding type is a bit more serious.
SO… what do you do when you have these “types” of back pain?
One of the most common reasons for having these types of pain is due to awkward movements and positioning over time. The musculoskeletal system is pretty good at adapting, but at some point in time, something has to give. Before starting any treatment for back pain, you should know that you have options. There is more you can do besides surgery, acetaminophen/anti-inflammatory drugs, and transcutaneous electrotherapy Frankenstein treatments. Sometimes, a good PT is all that you need!
By the way, you can call or test us anytime at 4056330783 with questions about back pain! Go ahead and do it! We are friendly and won’t give you a sales pitch! One word of caution! Your back pain always has a chance of being something more serious than a conventional or simple issue. The first point of contact for back pain should be a skilled medical provider with differential diagnosis skills, such as Physical Therapists at Kinito Physical Therapy.
A quick way to discover if your back pain is “fixable” and not something that might kill you
I know it sounds scary, but some forms of back pain can be accompanied by what are called “red flags,” which are signs that something very bad is happening in your body. Here are some things you should ask yourself prior to seeking out help from a physical therapy, chiropractic, or any person who is not a trained Medical Doctor/DO/NP/PA etc.
- Do you have a fever?
- This might mean you have a systemic issue. It also might mean that you have some back luck with another illness at the same time though~
- Is there pain down both legs or both arms?
- This might mean that you have a severe inflammatory issues, a growth, or some form of cancer. BUT, it might also mean that you just ave injuries on both sides of your body!
- Do you have pain at night?
- Pretty much the same thing here. If you have night pain, and CAN NOT adjust yourself to feel better, you might need to get screened or a problem with your system/organs/etc.
- Do you have unexplained weight loss?
- Either you have been diligent in the kitchen/lunchroom, or you might have a serious disease such as cancer.
- Did a serious accident just happen?
- It might be a good choice to have your injury cleared and screen with imaging and special tests because you try conservative treatment. You don’t want to risk making that injury worse!
- Are you getting worse, even with conservative treatment?
- Self explanatory. Go see a doctor!
The moral of the story is, it is just better to find out what is wrong with you from the get go. Do the right thing and get help from somebody you know and trust.