Discover new methods for back pain management.
Back pain is one of the most common complaints that pain doctors hear every year. In fact, there are about 80% of people in the world who frequently wonder what to do for back pain, as it may occur through a gradual build-up or a sudden onset of excruciating pain.
Contrary to popular belief, back pain is not only a result of bad posture, of going to sleep in a bad position, or of the mattress being too stiff. There are several factors that can contribute to back pain, and chronic back pain symptoms may include muscle ache, stabbing or shooting pain, pain radiating down the leg, and pain that grows worse when one lifts, bends, stands, or walks.
Regardless of what is behind your back pain problem, our health care specialists at AZ Pain Medicine Clinic can help you raise your quality of life with our back pain management services that have provided relief to a lot of patients who suffered from back pain.
What is back pain?
Back pain, also known as thoracic pain, is a harrowing and complicated experience. It refers to the strong trauma that a patient feels between the neck and lower back. Most often, it is an excruciating or persistent discomfort that flares up and subsides, only to suddenly flare up after a few days or weeks with a newfound intensity.
Depending on the intensity and manageability of the type of back pain you’re experiencing, you can completely eliminate or just tolerate the source of your pain.
What causes back pain?
Anyone can develop back pain at any age, but certain factors can contribute to it. Your age, for example, is one contributing factor. After all, the older you get, the greater the pressure that physical toil can put on your tissues.
Other types of diseases, such as arthritis and cancer, can also contribute to back pain. The same can also be said of psychological conditions like depression and anxiety.
Here are a few causes of back pain in females and males:
- Rhomboid muscle strain. Rhomboid muscles are responsible for causing movement in the shoulders and arms. When these muscles are overused or injured, they may suddenly tighten in a way that you cannot control. Patients may need back pain management to smooth out the discomfort they feel in such a case.
- Aging. In older patients, ligaments thicken, causing pressure on the spinal nerves and resulting in several spinal disorders. The body becomes numb and weak over time, but the weight remains the same. This results in pressure and stress over the years. Your bones also experience wear and tear, and joints become more prone to soreness.
- Depression and upper back pain. Stress can be a major causation that leads to upper back pain. When a person feels anxious or depressed, the muscles in the upper back become stiff and rigid, thereby causing back pain.
- Injuries and fractures. Traumatic injuries including car accidents and sports injuries can also cause severe upper back pain. People who suffer from osteoporosis are also more vulnerable to bone fractures, so they may also be in need of back pain management.
- Obesity. Obesity is also one factor that can result in back pain. Overweight people oftentimes feel soreness in their upper back section due to too much body fat that can put pressure on both the upper and lower back areas.
- Muscle or ligament strain. Repeatedly lifting heavy things or moving awkwardly and suddenly can also strain your spinal ligaments and back muscles. If you already suffer from a poor physical condition, this constant strain can lead to painful back spasms.
- Bulging or ruptured discs. Spinal discs refer to the rubbery cushions that separate the specialized bones in your spinal column from each other. Although they can handle a lot of pressure without issues, certain types of pressure can cause strain on the intervertebral discs and lead to back pain.
What are the symptoms of back pain?
Classifying what kind of pain you have can be tricky since many conditions can make pain signals overlap. There are two main types:
- Nociceptive pain, which is the most common form of pain, occurs when a potentially harmful inflammatory, chemical, or physical stimulus causes your skin, muscles, or other tissues to send a message about the injury to your brain and spinal cord.
- Neuropathic pain, on the other hand, is caused by direct injuries to the nerves. This is commonly seen in patients who suffer from diabetes, limb amputations, and neurological issues.
People tend to disregard pain when it occurs. However, we suggest that you take heed of any pain you may feel even when there seems to be no anatomical reason causing it. Certain kinds of pain may happen even when there are no known causes. In fact, in some cases, pain does not show any anatomical injuries at all.
What are the types of back pain?
The words you use to describe your back pain is also more important than you think. The area where it happens, the frequency of its occurrence, and any related symptoms can help your health specialists at AZ Pain Medicine Clinic easily identify the source of the problem and treat you more effectively. The level of pain that you experience can also help us identify which back pain treatment is best for you.
There are generally three types of back pain:
- Axial back pain, otherwise known as mechanical pain, is confined to one area. The region where this happens usually experiences a sharp or dull pain that can be both sharp or dull and constant or throbbing. Muscle strains, facet joints, and annular tears are the most common causes of axial back pain.
- Radicular back pain is the type of back pain that is best described as searing and follows the spinal nerve path as it goes out of the spinal canal. This pain type is usually caused by an inflammation or compression of a spinal nerve root. It is also known as sciatica and can result from other health conditions, such as spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, or a herniated disc.
- Referred back pain is a dull and achy type of pain in the back that tends to move around. It also usually varies in intensity.
Once our pain management staff reaches an accurate diagnosis for your back pain, we can also develop an effective treatment plan for you.
What are the different back pain treatments options?
Back pain is a complex condition, and we suggest that you seek medical help as soon as possible when you experience any signs of it. Most acute back pain can get better after just spending some time undergoing home treatment. However, back pain can vary from patient to patient, so it is best that you consult your physicians for the best pain relief for back pain.
Below are some of the common treatments that our pain specialists at AZ Pain Medicine Clinic may discuss with you:
Depending on the kind of back pain that you may suffer from, there are a lot of back pain medicines available that can help manage or eliminate your back pain symptoms. In fact, back pain remedy can come from over-the-counter pain relievers, topical pain relievers, narcotics, and muscle relaxants.
For those who ask how to relieve back pain fast, certain injections can also be used. For instance, an anti-inflammatory drug that numbs the space around your spinal cord can help reduce inflammation around the nerve roots.
Another kind of back pain management injection that can help relieve pain for up to 24 hours and is often used before surgeries or for therapy is nerve blocks. Also known as neural blockades, nerve blocks are sometimes paired with anesthetics to prevent any pain signals from reaching your brain.
Physical therapy and chronic back pain exercises
A variety of physical therapy treatments can also significantly remove the pain that cannot be relieved by chronic back pain medication. For instance, your doctor may require you to routinely do lower back pain exercises instead as a way of preventing back pain from ever returning. Our team specializes in chronic pain and can help you come up with physical therapy treatments for back pain management.
Only a select number of patients require surgery for the pain that they feel in their back. However, when back pain relief exercises and even strong back painkillers for back pain fails, or if drastic action has to be taken, you might need surgery to manage your back pain.
Persistent back pain is a problem more common than you may think, and it warrants a diagnosis from a competent professional. Here at AZ Pain Medicine Clinic, we use tried-and-tested methods to help our patients manage or alleviate their pain. We know that chronic pain can persist for an unbearable long time, so we want you to feel better and get instant back pain relief through the treatments that we have available.
If you would like to consult with our pain management specialists, you may reach out to our phone number at +1-602-368-8800, or you can drop by our Arizona office from 8am to 6pm from Mondays to Fridays. You may click here to book an appointment.