What Back Pain Means
Back pain is an umbrella term used to describe anything that is going on in your spine and may be causing you pain and discomfort. From the low back to the upper back, if you are experiencing pain and/or discomfort, it will generally be referred to as back pain, Pain in the cervical spine, the neck, is usually referred to as neck pain. Your back is made up of a column of bones called vertebrae that are stacked on top of one another. Each of these bones has an opening in them through which the spinal cord runs. This stack of bones is connected to one another with ligament and tendons and separated from one another by intervertebral disc.
In between each of the bones of the spinal column is an intervertebral disc. Picture a jelly doughnut. An inner layer of gelatinous liquid surrounded by a more solid thing. That is what the intervertebral disc is like, a bunch of jelly doughnuts in between each of your back bones. The outer part of the disc is called the annulus fibrosus. The inner part of the disc is called the nucleus pulposus.
One or multiple of these structures that make up your spine: the disc, vertebrae, ligaments, and tendons can be the root cause of back pain. It is vital to get an accurate diagnosis as to what is causing your back pain.
What Can Cause Back Pain?
There are many, many, many causes of back pain. Back pain can be acute or chronic, constant, or intermittent, mechanical, or chemical, or structural or functional. Determining which of these word or words best explains your particular cause of back pain is vital. Most of the back pain, particularly acute and intermittent back pain will involve the intervertebral discs. It is important to determine if the back pain that you are experiencing is more mechanical or chemical in nature. An accurate diagnosis is especially important. Some of the many causes of back pain can include:
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Signs That the Back Pain is Serious
- Back pain requires prompt medical attention when:
- When loss of bowel or bladder control are experienced
- Back pain accompanied with fever
- Is a result of a traumatic injury
- Pain that does not improve with rest
- If significant, unintended weight loss accompanies back pain
- Back pain accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and painful urination
- Walking difficulties
- Radiating pain into the legs particularly that extends below the knees
How to Relieve Back Pain
The good news is that moat back pain is relieved without medical intervention. Usually, a course of over the counter pain medications, rest and using a heating pad for a while will relieve moat back within a few weeks. But if it does not, or if pain is brought on by trauma, and any of the above symptoms are present, it is important to see a doctor. To get in contact with a certified physician at Dr. Burke Orthopedics, file a request for an appointment.