Low Back Pain
This type of pain can be short or long term and the intensity can vary
but it is one of the most common health complaints. In most cases, the
exact cause of low back pain cannot be determined.
Acute Low Back Pain (Short-term)
Short-term lower back pain occurs immediately after an injury occurs, such
as lifting a heavy object improperly or a car accident. This pain may
result in feeling a sharp pain, burning sensation, or a dull achy feeling
and can vary in intensity from mild to severe enough that you are unable to move.
Individuals who suffer from acute lower back pain will recover within 4-6
weeks. Your physician may recommend physical therapy to increase muscle
strength, stability, and prevent future injuries.
Chronic Low Back Pain (Long-term)
Long term lower back pain affects every aspect of an individual's life
from daily movements, such as standing, to one simple motion such as bending
from the waist. This pain not only lasts over a period of time, but also
increases in intensity.
Risk Factors of Chronic Low Back Pain if you:
Diagnosis: Your physician, in a physical examination, will ask you a series of questions
about your injury and how it occurred. He or she may also have your perform
a series of movements in order to determine where the pain is radiating
from as well as to determine how serious the injury is. Diagnostic imaging
may include: X-rays, CT scans, and/or MRI scans.
Treatment: For both acute and chronic low back pain, your physician may recommend
physical therapy to strengthen the muscles that support the spine, promote
healthy dietary habits in order to promote weight loss, and stress the
importance of good posture when lifting heavy objects.
Acute Low Back Pain
If you are suffering from acute low back pain, your physician will direct
you to stop your normal physical activity for the first few days. It will
not only help reduce the swelling, but can calm the symptoms you are experiencing
as well. Your physician will also help you manage your pain. Individuals
with acute low back pain may be advised to use cold packs for 15-30 minutes
several times a day along with some anti-inflammatory medications and
pain relievers, such as aspirin.
Chronic Low Back Pain
Those with chronic low back pain may be prescribed pain medicines to help
decrease swelling as well as to ease the pain. If the pain is not eased
with medication, the following procedures may be recommended based on
your medical history and individual circumstances.
- This is to help provide pain relief.
- Recommended for children until skeletal maturity is reached since the spine
can be manipulated during the growth process.
- Includes exercises that strengthen spine muscles as well as relieve pain.
These exercises target the hamstrings and abdominal areas, which are also
crucial to posture and strong healthy spine muscles.
Fusion with Bone Graft
- In essence, the fusion with bone graft is a 'welding' procedure
whereby two vertebrae are fused together with bone grafts or instrument
such as metal rods.
Fusion with Instrumentation
- By fusing vertebrae together the range of motion is limited. But, if we
fuse spinal instrumentation to prove stability to the spine after two
vertebrae have been fused together, the spine will be able to bend and rotate.
- This procedure is used to treat kyphosis caused by fractures to the spine
or is the result of osteoporosis.
- Cancer that involves the spine
- Certain medical conditions
- Degenerative disc disease
- Herniated disc
- Kidney infection or stones
- Medical conditions that affect the female reproductive organs
- Muscle or ligament strains or tears
- Spinal Stenosis
- Spine curvatures, such as Kyphosis
- Are over age 30
- Are overweight
- Are pregnant
- Do not exercise
- Feel stressed or are depressed
- Have arthritis or osteoporosis
- Your occupation involves heavy lifting, bending, or twisting, or whole
- A diskectomy procedure is done to remove all or part of the cushion that
is in between the vertebra, protecting the spinal column. This procedure
is commonly done for individuals who suffer from a herniated disc, but
is also used to relieve the pressure and pain in the lower back if it
is chronic and persistent.