Back pain is one of the most frequently reported problems to spinal physicians and other health care professionals, most often caused by trauma, poor body mechanics, and the aging process. The following are some of the most common back injuries affecting the population.
When a person over stretches the muscles or tendons that surround the spine, a strain or tearing can occur. Microscope tears usually experience a small amount of bleeding that cause swelling and may result in muscle spasms and pain. Such strains are often caused by sudden, jerking movements during athletics and poor body mechanics.
A sprain is a torn or excessively stretched ligament along the vertebral column. It can be painful and result in swelling and bruising. Individuals who engage in rigorous activities without warming up are at highest risk for developing sprains, but the injury can also result from improperly lifting heavy objects.
When a vertebra slips out of line of the spine’s natural curve, spondylolisthesis occurs. It usually develops in the lumbar, or lower region of the back, and is often the result of spondylolysis, a fracture of the vertebrae’s wings-shaped prominences. It can happen after a fall or blunt force trauma.
The center of each vertebra contains a disc that is comprised of a jelly-like substance. When the spinal column endures excessive, strenuous activity, the discs may bulge out and compress the surrounding nerves and cause pain, numbness, and tingling. Bulging discs can also develop when arthritic changes cause the bones of the spinal column to shift.
Compression fractures are small cracks in the vertebrae that are the result of a traumatic injury or osteoporosis. Patients who have osteoporosis can develop compression fractures by lifting an object or sneezing forcefully.
A majority of back-related pain will go away with appropriate rest and time. Serious cases, when pain is chronic and affects an individual’s ability to perform activities of daily living, should be examined by a doctor or spinal specialists. Recommended care plans are often conservative and include non-surgical spine treatments such as prescription medications, physical therapy, and acupuncture.
If you or someone you love is living with back pain that has not responded to any of the above mentioned treatments, it may be time to schedule an appointment with Dr. Hyun Bae. Medical Director of the Santa Monica spine surgery center, The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration, Dr. Bae and his team can help you find the source and appropriate treatment options for your back or neck pain. Call (310) 828-7757 and request an in-person consultation.