Back pain is a very common condition we see here in the office. More often than not, people say they didn’t do anything but all of sudden their back started hurting. Sometimes even after bending forward to tie their shoelaces! The patient’s back likely had issues well before the onset of pain and it didn’t take much to finally push things over the edge.
Back pain is one of major reasons patients see a doctor. Patients commonly miss work and it is the leading cause of disability worldwide.
Fortunately for most, symptoms will resolve on their own in a few weeks. But for many, back pain can be a lifelong disabling condition.
Typical causes of back pain include muscular strain, arthritis, disc herniations, and ligamentous laxity.
Physically active and sedentary individuals can both develop back pain. Office workers commonly have this condition. Many of these patients will have poor core strength and shortening of muscles. Ligamentous laxity also develops over time.
A painful electric-like sensation can occur at times signaling a “pinched nerve”. Others may have intermittent symptoms which may be dull and achy.
A common cause of back pain is a disc herniation. This is a jelly like substance that protrudes from the inside of the disc. When this happens, you can get sharp, electric type sensations in your leg and buttock.
The pain can be so excruciating that you can’t sit down or even sleep. It feels absolutely miserable!
Fortunately, the severe symptoms will resolve over time for most, but there can be lingering issues with pain, numbness, and weakness.
The spinal ligaments work to hold the spinal bones in optimal alignment throughout the variety of complex movement which occurs during daily activities. These ligaments allow all the different movement while keeping the spine from going out of alignment.
Spinal instability occurs when the ligaments are lax and no longer able to hold the spine in position.
In ligament laxity, the ligaments are too loose to hold the spine in place, allowing it to shift and dislocate.
We find that prolotherapy and PRP can significantly reduce disability and be curative for back pain in many cases.
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Rest and medications are usually the first line of treatment. When someone does not get better, physical therapy and acupuncture can provide great benefit.
Physical therapy and strengthening your core are good first steps to help with your discomfort.
Sometimes various types of injections including epidural injections may be needed to calm the pain down.
Looking at the overall structural issues and addressing them is very important to prevent further issues.