Health and Fitness

What Are The Most Common Causes of Back Pain

Disc herniation, muscle strains, and other common back pain conditions are addressed in this article. These conditions are also referred to as degenerative disc disease and lumbar disc disease. If the pain persists or occurs intermittently, it may be a sign of a kidney stone or lumbar disc disease. A physician will ask you to move certain ways to determine the exact location of your pain. Your doctor may recommend certain treatments of back pain, such as medication, to relieve your pain.

Disc herniation

Disc herniation occurs when the soft, gel-like center of a disc ruptures through a weak area of the spine. The result is back pain, leg pain, and numbness or tingling. In severe cases, a herniated disc may also press on a spinal nerve. The first step to recovery is rest, physical therapy, and pain medication. Most people recover within six weeks. In severe cases, surgery may be required.

Symptoms of disc herniation are difficult to detect on plain x-rays. Before the advent of MRI, doctors used a CT scan or myelogram to diagnose the condition. The MRI also helps doctors plan a procedure, if necessary. The most accurate imaging test to diagnose a herniated disc is a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, which can also show the location of the herniation.

Treatment for disc herniation depends on the severity and the cause of the problem. Nonsurgical treatments may include restraint and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. These drugs reduce inflammation and reduce pain. Analgesics, like acetaminophen, may relieve the symptoms. However, NSAIDs have some side effects, such as the development of kidney and liver problems.

A herniated disc may also result in muscle weakness or fatigue. Because muscles are controlled by nerves, a herniated disc can affect muscle strength and fatigue. A herniated disc can also cause numbness. The condition may require surgery to remove the disc. However, this is rarely necessary. It is important to seek medical treatment for any symptoms associated with a herniated disc.

Conservative treatment for disc herniation involves using non-surgical treatments to relieve the pain. A physician may recommend a low activity level while the inflammation of the spinal nerve is treated. However, bedrest is not recommended. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications are commonly prescribed to relieve the pain. If non-surgical treatments fail, a physician may recommend an epidural steroid injection. Discectomy is an effective treatment in the short-term but may result in residual pain and neurological deficits. Physical therapy is vital for recovery.

Muscle strains

Back muscle strains can be debilitating, especially when lifting heavy items. While mild strains can go away on their own within a few weeks, more serious cases may take months to heal. The pain you feel from a muscle strain is generally the worst in the early hours, although the pain may subside after a few days or weeks. However, you should consult your physician if your pain persists.

A pulled or torn muscle can cause pain in the lower back, buttocks, or hips. It may be accompanied by swelling and limited range of motion. Pain from a pulled muscle may be indicative of a herniated disc in the lumbar spine. A physician can help determine the cause of your pain and recommend a treatment plan. Muscle strains often result in inflammation.


To reduce inflammation, you may try cold therapy.

In addition to applying cold or heat to the strained muscle, you can do some stretches or light exercises. Those exercises will help reduce swelling, which is a major cause of pain during the first few days. While resting for long periods will soothe the pain, you must keep in mind that the muscles will become weaker as the time passes. This is why gradual strengthening of muscles is the best way to treat back pain.

Muscle strains are easy to injure. They often occur during an activity involving bending and a lot of bending. Inactive people are also prone to back strains because their muscles and ligaments can become weak when not used. A sudden activity like shoveling the sidewalk can cause an injury. A doctor can diagnose a strain and prescribe a treatment plan to relieve your pain.

In addition to physical therapy and surgery, back pain can be caused by a number of different etiologies. While most mechanical back strains are benign and can resolve on their own, some patients may continue to experience chronic pain. Therefore, healthcare providers must be aware of other back pain causes and be prepared to seek treatment for more life-threatening conditions. Throughout this activity, an interprofessional team must work together to determine the source of back pain and provide the best care possible.

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