COPING WITH BACK PAIN
Low Back Pain
Your Spine: The Body’s Backbone:
We all live with aches and pains. But low back pain is another story-it’s a daunting ailment that has been around for centuries. As many as 60 to 80 percent of Americans experience low back point t some point in their lives, with as many as 50 percent suffering from it every year. The annual cost to society, including direct medical expenses and indirect costs such as time lost from work, is estimated at a staggering $ 60 billion.
All back pain is not created equal. Back pain can take on many faces and can be mild or very severe. Back pain can be acute or chronic, two sides of the same coin. Unlike acute low back pain, which is short lived and temporary, chronic low back pain is lengthy and often protracted. It lasts three months or more and often demands a more innovative approach to treatment
The Causes of Low Back Pain:
The reasons (etiology) for low back pain are many and diverse. Some are more severe than others. The mind boggling list includes: degenerative, inflammatory, infections, metabolic ailments, cancer, traumatic injury, developmental, musculoskeletal, vascular, psychological, organ based (kidney disease) and post operative conditions
In addition, there are many external factors that contribute to back pain, including postural problems, foot and gait abnormalities, obesity, pelvic disorders and improper lifting techniques
Severe Structural Causes:
The disc is a jelly like protective shock absorber that cushions adjoining spinal vertebra (vertebra are the “building blocks” of the spine). If the inner core of the disc (nucleus pulpous) moves or “herniates” out of its tough outer fibrous outer envelop (the annulus fibrosis), it may place pressure on neighboring nerves and/or spinal structures.
Many factors contribute to disc damage, including bone degeneration, poor posture, weak muscles, and obesity and stretched ligaments. Because of the burden of the added weight on the lumbar (lower) spine, pregnancy can increase the risk.
This dreadful condition often results from pressure on the sciatic nerve from a herniated disc or other lumbar abnormalities such as spinal stenosis. It causes sharp, shooting pains down the thigh and leg that gets worse when you walk, run sneeze or laugh
Other causes of low back pain include: Compression Fractures, Spinal Stenosis, Spondylolisthesis,Sponylosis, scoliosis,myofascial pain and fibromyalgia
All episodes of low back pain should be evaluated and assessed by a medical doctor before a treatment plan is implemented
Other books on Neck and Back pain authored by Dr. Young
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