Minor backaches and pain – we’ve all been there, but we may not know what to do to ameliorate the discomfort.
We might not know when it’s time to see a doctor because the minor aches and pains have become debilitating, chronic pain. The team at The Pain Experts of Arizona is ready to help you alleviate your back pain and answer all your questions so you can get back to living pain-free. Learn more about general back pain now, or contact our team to set up a consultation.
Symptoms of Back Pain
The most common symptoms of back pain are:
- Aches and pains in your back muscles
- Worsening pain when you bend, twist, lift, stand, walk
- Back pain that moves down your legs
- Muscular stiffness or decreased mobility in your back
Back Pain Treatment Options
Giving your back time to rest and recuperate on its own can be extremely beneficial in remedying back pain
2. Heat or Cold Therapy
In general, cold therapy is beneficial for reducing inflammation, while heat therapy relaxes your muscles. Talk to your doctor about which is best for your condition.
Over-the-counter medications such as Ibuprofen (Advil) and Naproxen (Aleve) help reduce inflammation, while acetaminophen (Tylenol) blocks pain receptors in your brain to provide pain relief. Your doctor can also prescribe muscle relaxants and analgesics to relieve pain when OTC medication doesn’t help.
Exercise and stretching programs can help alleviate and prevent back pain. Before starting any exercise regimen, talk to your doctor or physical therapist to see what program is best for your specific needs. Yoga, functional mobility training, stability training, and strength training with back-specific exercises are several types of exercise that can help with back pain. Ensuring that you’re performing your workouts using the proper form can also help prevent muscular strains in your back.
Massages can help relax your muscles, reduce muscle tension, and increase the oxygenation in muscles, which promotes overall muscle health and alleviates soreness. There are different types of massages, such as deep tissue, cupping, hot stone, and trigger point—talk to your doctor or physical therapist to determine which is right for you.
6. Lifestyle changes
Broad lifestyle changes like eating a balanced diet, maintaining a healthy weight, alternating sitting positions frequently, and maintaining proper posture can help reduce and prevent back pain. Do not use your back to lift heavy objects.
Severe back pain may require injections such as nerve blocks, epidural steroid injections, or nerve ablations to alleviate the pain.
8. Spinal Cord Stimulator Implant
This minimally invasive device delivers a mild electrical current that replaces pain signals when placed into the epidural space between vertebrae and spinal cord. Typically this becomes an option when back pain remains or worsens following back surgery, but it can also be used as an alternative option for surgery.
While some TLC can mitigate an overwhelming majority of back pain without surgery, it remains an option for severely debilitating back pain.
Back pain typically improves on its own within a week.
Contact your doctor if your pain doesn’t improve with rest, travels down one or both legs with intense pain below the knees, causes weakness, numbness, or tingling in the legs, or is accompanied by unexplained weight loss. If you have suffered trauma to your back such as a fall, blunt force trauma, or another back injury, contact a medical professional immediately. A medical professional will conduct a complete exam to determine the pain’s origin and assess how you may improve the condition. You may need to see an orthopedic physician, chiropractor, or another back pain specialist to further investigate the cause of your back pain. Your doctors may order the following tests to help identify the cause of your back pain:
Causes of Back Pain
Back pain can be caused by a variety of conditions, but oftentimes, the true cause remains unknown.
- Ankylosing Spondylitis : This type of arthritis causes inflammation of the spine and may erode the joint between the spine and hip bone
- Lumbar Spinal Stenosis: This happens when the spinal canal in your lower back narrows and places pressure on your spinal cord or nerves that go from your spinal cord to your muscles. While this can happen in any part of your spine, it’s most common in the lumbar area.
- Herniated or Bulging Disc
- Trauma-related: falling, blunt force trauma that
- Improper posture
- Spinal Stenosis
Types of Back Paintypes of Back Pain
Back pain can affect all parts of the back.
It can be acute or chronic and can be categorized into two general categories:
Mechanical Back Pain : pain caused by unnatural muscle stress and strain of the spine that mostly affects the lower back.
Inflammatory Back Pain: stiffness and decreased mobility in the back that mostly affects the lumbar spine and is typically accompanied by another inflammatory condition.
Approximately 75-85% of Americans experience some form of back pain in their lifetime and about 90% of people living with back pain improve their condition without surgery. At The Pain Experts of Arizona we strive to provide our patients with the best back pain treatment Arizona has to offer.