How much do you know about back pain? Whether you know little or a lot, it doesn’t matter, because we all learn something new each day of our lives. In fact, there’s this old saying that “The more a man lives, the more he learns.” Today, I guess you’re all here to take away something new; so without further ado, let’s begin by first reviewing this brief video on a few important facts and statistics about back pain. You may then continue on to learn how to better manage your back pain.
Since back pain is so costly, and is the second most common reason people pay a visit to the doctor’s office, the emergency room, or even see a chiropractor each year, the focus of this website is to educate and inform the public in general on how to prevent and effectively manage back pain.
For this reason, I will be conducting intensive research on back pain then share all helpful tips, and advice on why it’s of paramount importance that an individual who has been experiencing back pain first consults a physician. I will also be sharing information on how to help reduce back dysfunctions, prevent/manage episodes of back pain in general, and slow the overall degeneration of the back.
Remember, apart from diseases, illnesses, injuries, effects of the natural aging process, the back undergoes a tremendous amount of mechanical stress every single day which also causes it to naturally degenerate over the years. No wonder it’s so easily subjected to pain, and dysfunctions!
One final point, because there are so many medical conditions that can cause back pain — acute and chronic— according to Stobo J. et al(1996),there are two goals that are of paramount importance to a physician when seeing a patient with low back pain. He/She has to first try to figure out whether there is any likelihood of a serious condition that may need to be urgently diagnosed, assessed, and treated. Goal number two, is to provide moderate yet effective care for patients whose conditions are not considered serious. They believe it’s a misconception that these two goals can be met only by a specialist.
To summarize, because of the complexity of back pain, it’s best that an individual first sees a physician to rule out the likelihood of a serious ailment such as a degenerated disease, systemic disease or a regional condition that may have led to their back pain. If a serious condition do not exist, then a conservative treatment approach may be all that is needed to manage the pain.
Such treatments may include pharmacologic intervention (prescription or non-prescription drugs) rest, back strengthening, back stretches/ range of motion exercises and so on. Pt’s education on correct body posturing when sitting, standing, sleeping, pulling, lifting, bending, etc, may also be included. No doubt, Pt’s education is very important in the prevention and management of some, if not, most back pain.
A Few Red Flags That are Usually Signs of More Serious Pathology That Need Immediate Medical Intervention or Referral
If you happen to experience any of these and any other unusual symptoms during your episodes of back pain, It’s best to seek medical consultation or referral:
- **Saddle (Anal, genital or perineum)anesthesia.
- Unsteadiness when walking/gait disturbances/ambulatory dysfunction, fainting spells, or falling
- Urinary retention, bladder dysfunction, or fecal incontinence
- Progressive weakness or having no coordination in arms or legs
- Severe Spasm
- Unexplained Weight loss
- Loss of Appetite
- Unrelenting night pain
- Persisting limitations in spinal movement in all direction
- Severe lumbar flexion limitation
- Poor overall health
Note**Saddle anesthesia is defined as a loss of sensation in the area of the buttocks, genital and perineum.
A common definition of Perineum is the surface region in both males and females between the pubic symphysis and the coccyx. According to other definition, in females, it is that region between the vagina and the anus, and in males, it’s between the scrotum and anus.
How To Be Well Prepared For A Doctor’s Visit
The first thing to remember, is that you know more about the nature of your back pain than the physician, so the more detailed or specific you are when doing the interview with the doctor the better you will help him/her to make a more accurate diagnosis. Believe me when I say this “He is relying on you to help him out.” so be as forthright as possible with your answers. However, the question is, how can you be forthright if you have not been paying attention to your pain? To help you out with this, here is a list of things you might want to take note of:
1.What were you doing when your back pain initially started
2.How was the nature of the pain (sudden, dull, tingling, burning, sharp etc)
3.Did the pain radiate (move) or remain at one location
4.How long did it last
5.Where exactly is your pain
6.What makes the pain worse (sitting down, walking, lying, lying on your back etc
7.What relieves the pain (lying down, sitting, moving around etc)
8.Is there a time of the day when it’s better
9.Is there a time of the day when it’s worse
Conditions Your Low Back Pain Could Be Related To :
1.An Indeterminate Condition
3.A Systemic Disease
a)Infections(Osteomyletis,Epidural Abscess, Endocarditis)
b)Malignancy(Metastases, Mulitple Myeloma)
4.A Regional condition
Psychosocial Factors such as Stress and Depression are also believed to be associated with non-specific low back pain.
Note:There are several other causes of back pain.
Comments or questions are welcome.