The Many Faces of Back Pain & When Enough is Enough

Blaine MitchelBack Pain, GeneralLeave a Comment

Back pain can differ; it can be sharp and stabbing or dull and achy. It can come in waves, or it can be persistent, always present, like static noise. Does it have a feeling of overall tightness, signifying muscle strain? Or does it radiate down through your leg? This can be a sign of sciatica due to a pinched nerve in your lower back. Or maybe this situation sounds more recognizable: your back is stiff and painful in the morning along with other joints. This could be an indication of arthritis, a condition which inflames joints.

It’s beneficial if you can recognise how intense your pain is, relatively speaking. Doctors often use a 1 to 10-point pain scale: 1 representing no pain, whilst 10 represents a pain so excruciating it’s unbearable. You can chart your pain to know if it is declining or getting worse due self-care or other treatments you may be receiving.

The human back is a multifaceted structure of bones, muscles, and nerves which operate in tandem. Any of these structures can become injured via sudden trauma or damaged through disease. The more you understand these elements, how, when, and where the pain is, the better you will be able to treat it yourself and prevent further pain. In addition you will also be able to explain your symptoms more accurately to your health-care providers.

When to Seek Medical Attention

The majority of back pain really will go away over time. But how do you wait before doing something? In the vast majority of cases, a few days or a few weeks should do it. Self-care methods and other techniques such as trigger point massagers are also reasonable supplements to the best healer, time.

Acute vs. Chronic

Pain is referred to as acute in the medical world if it appears suddenly and lasts less than a couple of weeks. Chronic pain is referred to as pain which lasts for more than three months. We strongly recommend you seek professional medical advice when your back pain becomes chronic or if any movement results in severe pain.

When to Go to the ER

There are times when back pain can signify a serious medical problem. Should you experience any of the following with your back pain, seek immediate medical attention:

  • Numbness in genital area
  • Loss of bowel and/or bladder control
  • Gradual weakness in arms or legs
  • High fever which doesn’t react to fever reducers

Great Odds for Getting Better

You now you’ve read some of the good news/bad news surrounding back pain. The thought that most of us will experience it at some point is certainly not a comforting though, however, most of us will recover, and recover fairly quickly. For those who are not as lucky, there are options for lessening the pain. Due to the fact that there are plenty of causes of back pain, not all treatments are suitable for all cases. Here’s an overview of some possibilities.

Self-Care

There are lots of different do-it-yourself treatments which can ease back pain; you can use things which can easily be found in your house. Heat and ice are both excellent choices. Ice will aid in reducing inflammation, and is often recommended when pain first begins. Heat increases blood flow to the area, which can speed healing by soothing sore muscles.

Medications such as aspirin and ibuprofen can also assist in managing pain and inflammation. Particular exercises, such as lightly stretching forward, can assist in releasing tight lower back muscles, and self-massage gadgets are also excellent at-home treatments.

Conventional Medicine

Due to back pain being so common, there are plenty of experts who can help treat it, including those who manoeuvre your body to help release tension (usually muscular in nature). These include physical therapists, massage therapists, and chiropractors, they all work through different techniques, but any may be covered by your health insurance.

Doctors normally work to identify your pain and then provide access to drugs which are often stronger and more effective than that which you can get over-the-counter. You’ll be surprised by how many will also provide recommendations of what you can buy over the counter at your local pharmacy. They’ll also advise which at-home treatments are best for your complaint. Specialists have plenty options at their disposal too, including injections or surgery, which 99% of the time is the last resort.

Alternative Choices

Anything which isn’t considered conventional medicine is referred to as “alternative.” You can discover plenty of these treatment options with or without appointment from a doctor; however, we recommend you select carefully and that you do get a referral from another health-care professional if possible. You can do further research on these alternative methods here.

It wasn’t that long ago that chiropractic treatment was considered to be alternative, now it’s more of a complementary choice often advised by doctors and covered by lots of health insurance policies. Similarly, acupuncture, a form of treatment hailing from Chinese medicine which uses very fine needles to promote healing, is endorsed by some conventional and integrative doctors. The key thing to remember here is that different therapies work for different people.

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