Back Pain Treatment in Dallas TX
Types of Back Pain DallasThere are many structures in the lower back that can cause severe pain. These include muscles, ligaments, tendons, bones, joints and discs. The outer rim of the disc can be a source of significant back pain due to its rich nerve supply and tendency towards injury. During our development, there is a great deal of overlap of nerve supply to all of these structures. This makes it nearly impossible for the brain to distinguish between injury to one structure versus another. For example, a torn or herniated disc can feel identical to a bruised muscle or ligament injury. This is where an examination into the cause of the pain is important; each of these different structures may need a different type of treatment to resolve your pain. Back pain can be divided into three large classifications. The most common condition is known as axial, or mechanical back pain. This pain can run the gamut from a very sharp to a dull ache. It may occur all the time, or it may come and go. It also varies in intensity from very mild to extremely severe. For some you may report that his/ her lower back is only sore when having been seated for a long time, or after working in the garden. Or you may report severe, debilitating pain and need assistance to walk or stand, or even to get up from a sitting position. You can be perfectly straight, the other is bent over and locked in a crooked posture. The one thing that is common in these conditions is that the pain is restricted to the lower back area. This most common type of problem, mechanical back pain, is completely non-specific with regards to the injured structure or structures. Generally, the pain gets worse with certain activities or positions. It is usually relieved by rest or changing positions. Note, extended bed rest may aggravate this type of problem. This condition responds extremely well to conservative care. At times, spinal manipulation alone is the “miracle” affording immediate relief. More often, the injury involves more than just a misalignment of vertebrae or of your pelvis. Nerves, muscles, tendons, ligaments and skin can all have an influence on the degree of discomfort. And each of these may need to be addressed to attain relief. What are the types of pain? Back pain can be divided into three large classifications – axial pain, referred pain and radicular pain. If you have multiple episodes of this type of pain, you will want to engage yourself in a rehabilitation program to help resolve the underlying causes of the problem. Here, the diagnosis goes farther than just finding out what is causing the pain, but additionally centers on what weakness or restriction you have that ultimately causes you to have an episode. Here again, we function much like a “coach”, finding the cause and helping to direct you towards ways of avoiding and limiting future bouts with pain. The most common type of back pain is known as referred pain. Here, patients complain of having an achy, dull type of pain that seems to move around. The discomfort comes and goes and varies in intensity. This achy pain starts in the low back area and commonly spreads into the groin, buttocks and upper thighs. The treatment options here are similar to those used in treating axial pain. Diagnostic and therapeutic measures are aimed at correcting abnormalities in the muscles, ligaments and small joints of the spine. The last type of back pain is known as radicular pain. In this case, the pain is described as deep and usually constant. It follows the nerve down the leg and is often accompanied by numbness or tingling and muscle weakness. The most common example of this type of problem is the sciatic pain that radiates along that sciatic nerve – down the back of the thigh and calf into the foot. This type of pain is caused by injury to a spinal nerve. Some of the possible causes of this are a disc protrusion or bulge, arthritic changes or a narrowing of the opening through which the nerve exits. While a few of these cases will require surgery, most respond to conservative care. Here the care will consist of multiple therapies, all designed to reduce inflammation, balance your posture, strengthen supporting structures, attain normal motion and improve the health of the nerve that is involved. In all types of back pain, your health habits play an important role. For example, there are certain foods that are high in the fats that cause more inflammation. Limiting intake of these animal fats and increasing your intake of the good fats that reduce inflammation may play an important role in your healing. Smoking is another health concern. Statistically, smokers are slow healers with respect to back pain. An important part in prevention is keeping these back muscles active and in good tone. One of the most important areas in chronic back pain management is the strength of your abdominal wall and your pelvic floor. There are three major abdominal muscles, each with small subdivisions. Any weakness in one of these sections can be the root cause of a chronic back problem. Weakness in these structures causes your back muscles to tighten and shorten. This adversely affects the lower back on the small joints and discs. If you are interested in helping to prevent or at least limit your chances of having any of these types of back pain, talk to us about testing and setting up an exercise program for maintaining good support for your back.
Lower Back PainLower back pain, or lumbago, occurs as an ache or a pain anywhere below the lower ribs and above the legs, and is common in both genders and all age groups, though it’s most common in adults between the ages of 35 and 55. Over the course of a lifetime, almost 70 out of every 100 people will experience low back pain, resulting in lost work days, and limiting normal activities, exercise and recreation.
Lumbago can vary in its intensity, resulting in restricted movement, and may spread into the buttocks and upper thigh regions. Lower back pain may be either chronic or acute, sharp and sudden or dull and continuous, can be localized to the lower back itself, below the waist, or extend down through the buttocks and on down through the backs of the legs and right down to the feet. Though for many folks who experience lumbago it will only last for a period of days, it can recur. If it does, then a change in lifestyle may be necessary to lessen strain on the lower back and lessen the chance of a recurrence. In a small percentage of people who suffer lower back pain, it can be continuous and persistent and lead to a chronic disability.
Definition of lower back pain DallasThe definition of lower back pain, or lumbago, is any back pain or ache located between the bottom of the ribcage and above the legs. Lower back pain that flares up suddenly is called acute lower back pain. If the lower back pain continues persistently, then it’s called chronic lower back pain.Pain felt in your lower back may come from the spine, muscles, nerves, or other structures in that region of your back. It may also radiate from other areas like your mid or upper back, a hernia in the groin, or a problem in the testicles or ovaries.
You may feel a variety of symptoms if you hurt your back. You may have a tingling or burning sensation, a dull aching, or sharp pain. You also may experience weakness in your legs or feet.
Usual causes of lower back pain
It won’t necessarily be one event that actually causes your pain. You may have been doing many things improperly — like standing, sitting, or lifting — for a long time. Then suddenly, one simple movement, like reaching for something in the shower or bending from your waist, leads to the feeling of pain. Lower back pain is often caused by a physical injury, such as a car accident, a slip-and-fall, or a sports-related injury. Lower back pain can also be a consequence of strained muscles. It can also result from a more specific cause, ie a spinal injury such as a herniated disc.
Most Common Lower Back Pain SymptomsPain that occurs anywhere from the bottom of your rib cage to the tops of your thighs on your back, which can be local to one region or can be a broader, more widespread pain are the most common symptoms. Sometimes the pain will intensify with certain movements, sometimes it will vary over time, and sometimes it can spread outward from one region to another.
You are at particular risk for low back pain if you:
- Work in construction or another job requiring heavy lifting, lots of bending and twisting, or whole body vibration (like truck driving or using a sandblaster)
- Have bad posture
- Are pregnant
- Are over age 30
- Smoke, don’t exercise, or are overweight
- Have arthritis or osteoporosis
- Have a low pain threshold
- Feel stressed or depressed
Avoid the following exercises if you are suffering from severe low back pain:
- Weight lifting
- Leg lifts when lying on your stomach
- Sit-ups with straight legs (rather than bent knees)
- Questions your doctor may ask you about your low back pain:
- Is your back pain on one side only or both sides?
- What does the back pain feel like? Is it dull, sharp, throbbing, or burning?
- Is this the first time you have had back pain?
- When did the back pain begin? Did it start suddenly?
- Did you have a particular injury or accident?
- What were you doing just before the back pain began? Were you lifting or bending? Sitting at your computer? Driving a long distance?
- If you have had back pain before, is this pain similar or different? In what way is it different?
- Do you know the cause of previous episodes of back pain?
- How long does each episode of back pain usually last?
- Do you feel the pain anywhere other than your back, like your hip, thigh, leg or feet?
- Do you have any numbness or tingling? Any weakness or loss of function in your leg or elsewhere?
- What makes the back pain worse? Lifting, twisting, standing, or sitting for long periods of time?
- What makes you feel better?
- Are there any other symptoms present? Weight loss? Fever? Change in urination? Change in bowel habits?
How is low back pain diagnosed?
A thorough medical history and physical exam can usually identify any dangerous conditions or family history that may be associated with the back pain. The patient describes the onset, site, and severity of the pain; duration of symptoms and any limitations in movement; and history of previous episodes or any health conditions that might be related to the pain. The physician will examine the back and conduct neurological tests to determine the cause of pain and appropriate treatment. Blood tests may also be ordered. Imaging tests may be necessary to diagnose tumors or other possible sources of the pain.
Posture Perfect Wellness Center is convenietly located in North Dallas at 15110 North Dallas Parkway Suite 102, Dallas, TX 75254.