Your Back Pain is Our Specialty

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Causes of Back Pain

What do stress, aging, and poor sleep have in common?

Well, they all try to bring on back pain and decreased quality of life. Back pain is debilitating in most cases, and it can limit your mobility and prevent you from maintaining a productive and active lifestyle. There are many causes of back pain. Nowadays, back pain has reached epidemic proportions. This is attributed to a busy schedule and decreased time for exercise and relaxation. Things get worse when you consult for treatment. Upon consultation, what do you get for it’s treatment? Opioids! Right? This is how chronic back pain has been both misunderstood and managed.  Carolinas Pain Center has a group of providers who are back pain specialists in Charlotte, NC and may offer other options.   

Back pain is one of the leading causes of being absent from work and for getting medical treatment. Lower back pain is more common than upper back pain and is caused by multiple reasons. Meanwhile, pain in the upper back is mainly due to disorders of the aorta, tumors in the chest, and also due to spinal conditions, albeit rarer than causes for low back pain.  

Causes of Pain in Your Back:  

The human back consists of a complex structure of muscles, ligaments, tendons, discs, and bones. These components work together to support the body and enable us to move around. The segments of the spine are connected through cartilage-like pads called discs. Problems in any of these components can cause back pain. Still, the cause of back pain remains unclear in some cases.

Here are the major causes of back pain:  

Types of Back Strain-  

Structural Back Problems- 

Poor Movement and Posture for Back:

Adopting an awkward sitting position while working can result in increased back and shoulder problems over time, it would ultimately result in back pain.  

Types of Poor Back Positions-

  • Twisting 
  • Over-stretching 
  • Bending awkwardly  
  • Improper posture for long periods 
  • Standing or sitting for long periods 
  • Keeping the neck strained forward 
  • Long drives without  session without any break 
  • Sleeping on an uncomfortable mattress 

Other Causes-

Risk Factors 

The following factors increase the risk of developing back pain- 

  • Occupational activities 
  • Sedentary lifestyle  
  • Old age  
  • Obesity  
  • Genetics 
  • Smoking  
  • Hormonal factors  
  • Generalized anxiety 

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Spinal Nerves

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Muscle Strain

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Bulging Disc

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Poor Posture

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Cauda Equina Syndrome

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Spinal Stenosis and Back Pain 

Spinal stenosis means narrowing of the spaces in your spine. It can compress your spinal cord and nerve roots passing through each vertebra. Age-related changes mainly cause spinal stenosis. Its symptoms are similar to that of back pain caused by any other cause.   [/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”https://youtu.be/SNDq4QKU2VA” align=”center”][/vc_column][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Radiculopathy  and Back Pain: 

Radiculopathy is a combination of a range of symptoms caused by the pinching of a nerve root in the spinal column. It can happen in any area along the spine (cervical, thoracic or lumbar). Symptoms of radiculopathy vary by location, but mainly they are pain, weakness, numbness, and tingling sensations.  

Signs and Symptoms 

The main symptom of back pain is pain starting from anywhere in the back and extending down to the buttocks and legs. The pain may also be associated with symptoms in other parts of the body.  

Sometimes, pain is only its presenting symptoms. However other signs and symptoms also appear.  

  • Fever  
  • Weight loss  
  • Swelling of the neck  
  • Difficulty in micturition  
  • Urinary incontinence 
  • Numbness  
  • Tingling sensations 
  • Fecal incontinence 

Diagnosis

Back pain is a common complaint. It’s not hard for the doctors to diagnose it by taking a detailed history and general physical examination. However, the cause of back pain is difficult to determine. Doctors have to run many tests to determine the cause of back pain, mainly chronic pain.

Here are the tests that help a doctor in determining the cause:  

  1. X-rays  
  2. CT scans  
  3. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)   
  4. Bone scans 
  5. Electromyography or EMG  

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References 

 

  • Ehrlich G. E. (2003). Back pain. The Journal of rheumatology. Supplement, 67, 26–31. 
  • Hong, J. Y., Song, K. S., Cho, J. H., & Lee, J. H. (2017). An Updated Overview of Low Back Pain Management in Primary Care. Asian spine journal, 11(4), 653–660. https://doi.org/10.4184/asj.2017.11.4.653 
  • Alvarez, J. A., & Hardy, R. H., Jr (1998). Lumbar spine stenosis: a common cause of back and leg pain. American family physician, 57(8), 1825–1840. 

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