Back pain can be acute (temporary) or chronic (long lasting). If you are suffering from back pain, there are a number of different possible causes and pain relief techniques.
What are the causes of back pain?
Your back contains a large number of nerves, joints, bones, and muscles, so the number of causes of back pain is vast. Some possibilities are muscle strain, injury, or curvature of the spine. Other culprits of back pain include:
- Herniated discs -The bulging of inner elastic material in your back’s discs
- Osteoarthritis – A joint inflammatory disorder that affects several areas of the body
- Spinal stenosis – The narrowing of the spine
- Degenerative disc disease – General wear and tear that causes your discs to break down and weaken
- Sacroiliac joint pain – Inflammation and strain of the joints located where your spine meets your pelvis
- Spondylolisthesis – Occurs when of your vertebra slips forward or backward
- Facet syndrome – Caused by the wearing down of the cartilage between your facet joints, which connect vertebrae
What are the symptoms?
Back pain can be felt anywhere from your neck to your pelvis. It can be shooting, burning, or aching pain and can even shoot down your leg or up your neck, depending on the cause. Back pain often limits your range of motion and can prevent you from standing up straight.
How is it treated?
There are several different treatments and pain management techniques for back pain, most of which depend on the source of the back pain.
- Epidural – Used for radicular lower back pain, this technique injects an anesthetic into the spinal fluid in your back
- Spinal cord stimulation – Used to decrease pain signals sent to the brain and make feelings in the area more pleasant
- Trigger point injections – An injection that inactivates muscle knots in your back
- Radiofrequency ablation – The heating of nerve tissue to prevent it from sending pain signals
- Nerve root block – A local anesthetic that prevents nerves from sending pain signals to the brain
- Facet block – Blocks pain in the facet joints with an anti-inflammatory medication