Pain in the back region is a common occurrence in the population. Note that pain can occur anywhere from the neck all the way to the lower back region. There are different causes of back pain such as: herniated discs, ligament sprain, muscle strain and facet joint dysfunction. Most people would have a reoccurrence of back pain and it is important to seek care early to prevent it from degenerating further and becoming spinal stenosis or degenerative disc disease. It is important to note that the causes of back pain may overlap.
Muscle strain is a common cause of back pain in adult working population particularly in individuals who have muscle fatigue, poor postures in sitting, poor lifting postures and excessive load.
Ligament sprain occurs when the ligaments are stretched too quickly or pushed too far out of their normal range. Sports injuries, poor lifting techniques and high impact trauma can trigger ligament injury in the back.
Herniated discs occur when the shock absorbers discs in the back fail and the discs start protruding out of their normal boundaries. These herniating discs can compress nerves which in turn causes back pain, pins and needles, numbness and tingling.
Spinal stenosis: Is the narrowing of the spinal canal and/or the foramen. It is often due to an ageing or degenerative process in the spine. With age, ligaments calcify and bones tend to thicken or have spurs. Furthermore, the spinal discs lose their height as a result of dehydration. All these culminate in spinal stenosis.
Spondylosis: spondylosis also referred to as spinal arthritis is a degenerative condition of the bones (vertebrae) of the spinal column. It could also concurrently occur with muscle strain and ligament strain or when the vertebrae become displaced from their normal positions also known as spondylolisthesis.
Facet joint is another potential cause of back pain. The facet joint is the joint space between the vertebrae in the back. Occasionally, it can become hypomobile or hypermobile.
Symptoms and Signs of Back Pain
Depending on the cause of the back pain, the symptoms vary.
Individuals with muscle strain would usually have pain that worsens as the day progresses as the supporting muscles of the back joint become increasingly fatigued.
Those who’s back pain are caused by ligament sprain would have sharp pain in certain positions and may have discomfort in the morning time.
Spinal stenosis and herniated discs are usually associated with tingling, muscle weakness, numbness, cramping and reduced reflex. They often get relief by stooping forward as this opens up the spinal column, enlarging the space between the vertebrae.
Treatment of back pain
PhysioCraft back pain protocol includes a combination of different intervention: understanding the limits of your body and viewing it in the context of the biopsychosocial complex; managing your expectations about the back pain, manual therapy, core stability exercises, weight management, acupuncture, use of electrotherapy equipment, thermotherapy or cryotherapy as indicated. There may also be a need to explore supplements of glucosamine to help with connective tissue.
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