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- November 14, 2015
- by Lift Division
- back conditions, back pain, spine health,
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A lot of people suffer from back pain, but they do not know the underlying cause. What most patients fail to realize is that back pain is actually a symptom of a disease or an injury rather than a medical condition. That is why, in order to get rid of back pain, it is important to understand the cause of it.
Injuries: Around 15% of all back problems are due to injuries. Spine injuries can be brought about by accidents that put extreme stress or pressure on the spine such as when a person lifts heavy objects or bends or twists in an awkward way. This may cause a muscular injury with resulting pain. In more serious cases an injury may lead to fractures of the spine. This may be from major trauma such as car accidents. It may also be from a trivial injury in cases of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is the medical condition where bones lose their density as we age and can lead to fractures and pain.
Disc Herniations: Spinal injuries can also lead to Disc Herniations. This disc is the shock absorber between two vertebral bodies. A disc herniation occurs when the outer band of the disc, called the annulus, ruptures and allows the inner part of the disc to protrude into the spinal canal. This places pressure on the spinal nerves and the spinal cord which causes inflammation and acute pain in the area or extremities.
Spondylolisthesis, a condition in which one vertebra slips in relation to the vertebrae above or below it. This may be caused from a traumatic injury but more commonly is associated with a degenerative disc that allows too much motion between vertebrae allowing the bone to slide forward in relation to the adjacent vertebrae. Typically this will lead to stenosis, causing pressure on the surrounding spinal nerves or spinal cord.
Degenerative Disc Disease: Degenerative disc disease is not actually a disease; it is a normal part of aging. When our body ages, our spinal disc disintegrates and its ability to function efficiently diminishes. This inefficiency of the spinal joint may lead to pain in the neck or back, especially when the failing disc leads to instability.
Facet Joint Syndrome: Facet joints are the joints that connect one vertebra to another. Facet joints can wear down with aging. In advanced cases, the cartilage in between the vertebrae gets destroyed as well, and leaves no lubrication between the vertebrae. Bone spurs begin to form. Patients that suffer from facet joint syndrome have trouble twisting and bending and suffer from back pain. Bone spurs that develop my put pressure on surrounding neural elements.
Spinal Arthritis: Arthritis is a very generic term. The two most common forms of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis, is associated with aging, obesity or injury and may cause pain. Essentially the discs and facet joints deteriorate leading to problems associated with degenerative disc disease and facet joint syndrome. The other type is Rheumatoid Arthritis, which is an autoimmune disorder that affects multiple joints in the body. It is a chronic medical condition that causes inflammation and chronic pain.
Spinal Stenosis: Spinal Stenosis is a condition in which the spinal canal narrows. This narrowing of the canal can lead to the compression of the spinal nerves or the spinal cord typically causing pain in the extremities. It can also lead to weakness or sensory loss in the arms or legs, and in more serious cases lead to loss of bowel or bladder function.
Scoliosis: This is a condition that leads to curvature of the spine. It can be caused by a birth defect where the vertebrae to not develop normally. It may also develop as an adolescent without any obvious cause. This is caused idiopathic scoliosis and is common among adolescents. It may have a genetic influence. Scoliosis also may develop later in life called degenerative scoliosis. Usually this is a result of instability that develops as out spine ages.
Fibromylagia: It is a musculoskeletal condition that presents itself as chronic muscular pain. Usually this is a diagnosis of exclusion where no other obvious muscular or skeletal problem can be found.
Tumors: Although extremely rare, tumors can cause back pain. These tumors are usually the result of cancer in other parts of the body which have spread or metastasized to the spine.
Mental Condition: A patient’s mental condition contributes to their physical health as well. Studies have shown that high levels of stress cause the muscles to tense up, which causes back pain. Moreover, depression and anxiety have also been known to affect the overall feeling of physical well being and often symptoms of depression present themselves as physical pain.