Back Pain

Back Pain

Dr. Arun Bhanot
Chief of Spine Services, Columbia Asia Hospital, Gurugram
Aum Clinics, Dwarka, New Delhi

Back pain

Back pain usually affects the lower part of our back. We don’t take it seriously especially when it just starts. We tend to believe it’s a minor fatigue related pain and discomfort, but it does refrain people from doing regular daily activities. The pain can be mild/moderate or severe, piercing or burning in nature or a combination of all.  Although it can occur at any age, adults usually experience back pain more often than others.

Causes

Although it is generally believed that lifting heavy objects and clumsy movements can cause back pain by straining back muscles and ligaments, however the reality is opposite to this belief. Most common cause of back pain is a cumulative effect of wear and tear of structures in the back during our daily life activitis. Repetetive movements of daily life cause minor wear and tear initially. But over a longer period of time, they cause long term and permanent damage to structures in the back. This damage could be in the form of degenration of the disc or facet joints, disc herniation (slip disc), arthritis and spondylosis. Later on, a bulging and ruptured disc can cause pressure on spinal nerves (sciatic nerve) leading to pain (sciatica). People with coexisting problems in knee joints, hips (arthritis)are also likely to develop pain in the region of back.

Osteoporosis (porous bones, weak bones) is another important cause of back pain as it reduces the weight bearing strength of the bones thereby predisposing to fractures and minor cracks in the bones that subsequently cause pain. Tumors, infections and sleeping disorder are also some of the other reasons behind back pain.

Bad posture and poor ergonomics in daily life is emerging by far to be the biggest cause of back pain in the present generation. Bad and inappropriate posture of body while lifting, doing household chores like picking things from lower shelfs of cupboards or referigerators, taking care of young children, overstretching etc. significantly lead to onset of back pain. Sedentary lifestyle, becoming couch potatoes and lack of sufficient exercise also contribute towards development of back pain.

Symptoms 

  • Sore or stiff back
  • Difficulty in sitting for a long time
  • Difficulty in walking
  • Pain and discomfort in the back while getting up from sitting or lying down position
  • Pain radiating to buttock, thigh/knee or legs
  • Tingling/Electric current sensation going down the leg
  • Numbness/heaviness in the legs

Treatment 

Best Back pain specialists and doctors would usually guide you that most back pains can be treated by medication, short periods of rest and rehabilitation exercises besides best physiotherapy advice for back pain. Medications like anti-inflammatory drugs, painkillers, muscle relaxants and nerve calming medications are usually prescribed to tide over acute episodes of back pain. Physiotherapy treatments like ultrasonic massage therapy, acupuncture, heat therapy, regular stretching sessions and spinal manipulation are also useful to recover from common back pains.
Lifestyle modification and adopting good postures while performing day to day activities of life is another important factor that helps a long way to recover from back pain and stay healthy in the long run. This advice is given by the best physical therapy specialists for back pain. Sometimes, the spine doctor may suggest for a spine injection treatment to reduce the suffering from back pain. These spine injection treatments are pretty safe. However, they still need to be followed up with a continued and good rehabilitation program to strengthen the back muscles and preserve their flexibility, so that the benefits of injection treatment can be maintained for long periods of time.

Back pain treatment without surgery is usually the norm rather than exception. That means most of the back pain patients can be treated without surgery. Surgery for back pain is recommended in a very small number of cases or patients who can not stay away from their work for long. severe cases of back pain who do not respond to medical treatment and some of the patients who develop weakness or numbness in their legs may be benefitted with an early surgical treatment. Best spine surgeons usually chose minimally invasive spine surgery treatments for the modern day back pain patient. Keyhole Spine Surgery, Full Endoscopic Spine Surgery, Stitchless Spine Surgery with cuts as small as 8 mm that hardly leave any scar in the back can safely take care of back pain of patients who need surgical care. Endoscopic Discectomy is a technique where the spine surgeon removes the part of bulged disc to relieve the compressed spinal nerve. Microdiscectomy also achieves the same objective by using an operative microscope. Some cases of back pain may need use of spinal implants and instrumentation like artificial disc, pedicle screws and cages to fix their spine problems. Most of these spine surgeries are very safe and hardly carry any risk of paralysis.

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