Back and neck pain treatment
To better understand the causes of neck and back pain, it is necessary to be equipped with a general understanding of their normal design, referred to as anatomy. We’ll start off with neck part and then move to lower back in the next para.
The structure and anatomy of neck is rather complex, but what is more of an interest to us is the back side structure of neck. The back part of the neck has cervical spine, muscles, and ligaments that are surrouding the supporting the back part of neck. There are seven bones forming the cervical spine and are called vertebrae. The first two attach our spine to the skull which helps us to turn our head from side to side. The rest five are cylindrical shaped and bony projection. The vertebrae are linked by facet joints from the side, and between each of the vertebrae, there is a disc. These disc act as shock absorbers and provide flexibility to our spine.
Ligaments attached to vertebrae provide additional strengh and support. Our spine protects the spinal cord which carries neural tissues carrying messages to and from brain. Now coming to the anatomy of lower back or lumbar area, the main area of lower back that cause back include bony lumbar spine, discs within the vertebrae, ligaments, spinal cord, nerves, muscles, internal organs of abdomen and pelvis.
The bony lumbar spine provides a movable support design to the vertebrae and a protective shield to the spinal cord. Just in case with neck, there are discs too between each vertebrae which serve as shock absorbers and minimize the impact of stress forces. There are many muscles group in the waist allowing it to flex, extend, and rotate.
Neck and back share the same type of causes and diseases for pain. So one that causes neck pain also might be responsible for your back pain. Let’s discuss about some of the most common problems. Our lower back or lumbar area seem to be multi-tasking for us. Its task include but are not limited to supporting the human body, in its movement, and protection of certain tissues. When we stand, lower back supports our weight. When we roate or extend our waist, lower back helps in it. Hence, it is also prone to becoming weak or getting injured.
Lower back pain mostly happens due to following reasons:
It is a stretch injury to the muscles of the lower back including the tendons and ligaments. It is one of the most common causes of pain in low back. It generally occurs because of overuse, improper position, and trauma due to any accidents to the muscles of lower back.
When there is some kind of mechanical pressure by bone or tissues or any outside means, the nerves of the lumbar spine get irritated and inflammated which causes pain. Lumbar disc disease or radiculopathy (discussed more briefly in the next section), and bony encroachment are caused by nerve irritation.
Radiculopathy happens when the nerves of the discs that are located between the vertebrae gets damaged. The outer ring of the discs wear and tear due to any injury or trauma, and alongside that the central softer portion of the disc ruptures. This ruptures causes what is known as sciatica pain that affets and shoots pain that most patients feel from running from lower back to buttocks down to even the legs.
When any of the vertebrae of the lumbar spine grows abnormally, it can affect the space or encroachment of the surrounding nerves and spinal cord. This also results in pain and the condition is known as bony encroachment. Foraminal narrowing which happens due to arthritis is also a type of bony encroachment.
Other medical condition which causes pain in beck and back may include bone and joint conditions such as congenital bone condition, degenerative bone and joint condition, injuries, shingles, arthritis, dislocations et cetera. Lower back pain may also occur due to kidney problems, during pregnancy, tumors, or ovary problems.
Fortunately, correcting neck and back pain often times doesn’t require surgery or extreme or expensive medications. Mild to less severe pains can be treated at home without even seeing a physician, but if the pain is acute and occuring every other day, then it’s highly to recommended to see an expert doctor.
Diseases like lumbar radiculopathy are treated mostly with physical means, but also requires surgery in case of severity. Imaging tests like CAT and MRI tests are deployed to detect the disc rupture. The herniated or damaged disc are then removed by laminotomy, or needle technique, or chemonucleolysis.
Conervative physical treatment
Usually resting the affected area, applying ice pack will cause the pain to fade away. But medical condition will require much more attention and care. Patient education along with muscle compression and massage and heat therapy are generally provided at first to gauge the results.
If affected with shingles which is a virus affected disease, medications are prescribed with heavy amount of rest. Cortisone injection are given around the spinal cord to reduce inflammation. Other pain medications and steriods may be prescribed depending upon the symptoms and test results.
When resting, physical rehab, and medicines don’t do what they’re intent to do, then physicians opt for surgical methods. Nerve-pinching damaged discs from the vertebrae are removed by surgical means. Surgery is also performed on patients suffering from bony encroachment reduce the size or completely remove the abnormally grown part of the lumbar spine.
SMWIO stands for treating patients with minimally invasive or non-surgical methods for pain treatment. Our regenerative therapies such as Platelet Rich Plasma therapy regenerate damaged tissues and don’t require surgery at all. Our physicians have served as medical directors for various national level sports associations such as USA Boxing and bring in years of experience with them to provide a personalized care. Contact us today to schedule a same-day appointment.