Updated: May 31
Back pain is one of the most common problems people have to deal with. About 60-80% of people have had back pain at one point in their lives. And the truth is, there are more than 100 different conditions that can cause back pain. But it can be managed with the proper treatment.
Back pain can be a serious problem affecting your quality of life. If you are suffering from back pain, it's important to get it diagnosed and treated by a New York pain management specialist as soon as possible. The more time you wait, the worse the problem can become.
What are the symptoms of back pain?
Back pain is the most common cause of disability in the world today – and it's an epidemic that is only getting worse. It can affect people of all ages and backgrounds, but it often occurs in older adults and people who perform repetitive physical tasks.
Back pain usually develops gradually over time but may also come on suddenly. In most cases, the pain goes away on its own within a few days or weeks. However, if you're experiencing new or worsening back pain that lasts more than a few weeks, you should see a pain specialist for an evaluation. They may ask you questions about your symptoms, such as when they started and what makes them better or worse. They may also do an examination and order tests if necessary.
It can range from dull aches to severe stabbing pains. It may feel like a pulled muscle or something out of place in your spine. The pain can range from mild to severe, depending on the cause of the problem. If you have had back pain for more than three months, it's called chronic back pain.
Pain can also move around in your body and feel like it's coming from another area, especially if you've been injured or are experiencing muscle spasms (a sudden contraction of muscles). If you have new or worsening back pain that's interfering with your daily activities, see a pain management specialist right away so they can figure out what's going on and treat it quickly for the best results.
Symptoms of back pain may include:
Lower back pain
Upper back pain
Pain that travels down one leg or both legs
Pain that travels up one arm or both arms
You can usually tell where the pain is coming from by how it feels — for example, if it's in your lower back near your waistline, it might be caused by muscle strain or spasms in your abdomen (abdominal wall). But sometimes, the cause isn't clear because there are many parts of the spine that can hurt, along with many different causes of back pain.
Thankfully, back pain can be treated with several treatment options. The first step in treating back pain is to understand if you have a specific type of problem or if you have more than one problem occurring at once.
Most back pain sufferers have a combination of issues going on, such as tight muscles, weak muscles, and poor posture. It means that treatment needs to address all these factors in order for your body to heal from back pain problems fully.
What are the causes of back pain?
Back pain is one of the most common reasons people visit their doctor. Back pain can be caused by many different factors, including injury, arthritis, and even poor posture.
Upper back pain often causes tension between the shoulders. Back pain can be felt in the lower back, buttocks, or legs.
Back pain may be caused by trauma, such as a fall or accident. It can also be caused by poor posture or repetitive movements over time. In addition, specific types of work can increase your risk of developing back pain, including landscaping and construction jobs.
What happens if you don't treat back pain?
When you have back pain, it can affect your everyday life. Whether you're working, playing sports, or just getting through the day, back pain can be disruptive and painful.
If you ignore your back pain and don't treat it, there's a chance that it will get worse. Your symptoms may get worse, and the pain may become more intense. You may develop more serious problems such as muscle spasms or nerve damage. That's why it's important to identify the cause of your back pain and get treatment right away.
If the cause of your back pain is serious, early treatment can help prevent long-term problems. Untreated back pain can lead to further problems. For example:
You may have trouble sleeping because of your discomfort. It can make you tired during the day and affect your ability to function normally.
You may not be able to do daily tasks like lifting things or bending over without experiencing pain. This will limit what you're able to do and cause stress that makes the problem worse if left untreated.
You may develop depression from feeling frustrated with being unable to do what you want because of your back pain.
What are the options for back pain treatment?
When you experience back pain, it's important to see a pain specialist in NYC right away so they can determine what type of treatment is best for you.
Get medical help if you:
Have back pain that doesn't go away after a week.
Have severe or throbbing back pain that comes on suddenly (acute).
Have low back pain with fever or weight loss (infection), which may lead to sepsis — a serious condition that requires hospitalization.
Have persistent lower abdominal (pelvic) pain that isn't relieved by urinating or bowel movements (abdominal girdle syndrome).
Have pain that lasts more than a few days or comes and goes over time
Pain that gets worse with movement or at night
Numbness, tingling, muscle weakness, or difficulty moving
Tenderness along one side of your spine
There are many different types of treatments for back pain, including medications, injections, and physical therapy. The best treatment depends on your diagnosis, how long you've been experiencing pain, and other factors like age and medical history. Some treatments may be more effective than others for reducing pain or preventing future acute or chronic back pain episodes.
Physical Therapy: Physical therapy involves exercises designed to strengthen the muscles around your spine and improve flexibility in those muscles. The goal is to help you move better and reduce inflammation in your muscles, so they aren't putting pressure on your joints or nerves.
Physical therapists also may suggest exercises to help you move more easily through daily activities with less strain on your back. These exercises — often called aerobic conditioning — including walking or swimming for at least 30 minutes a day on most days of the week, as well as strengthening exercises for abdominal muscles, back muscles, and leg muscles.
Chiropractic Care: Chiropractic care focuses on treating spinal misalignment and restoring the spine's natural curve with adjustments (called "chiropractic adjustments"). A chiropractor uses hands-on techniques to manipulate the spine and other joints to restore joint function and improve mobility and range of motion.
Injections. Cortisone injections is used to reduce inflammation around the nerves that cause leg pain from sciatica or other causes. If injections don't work, doctors may temporarily try local anesthetic injections to numb the painful area.
It's important to consult a New York pain management specialist before beginning any type of treatment or exercise program.
Get a proper treatment
Everyone experiences back pain at one point or another throughout the course of their lives. In order to effectively prevent and treat back pain, it's important to understand not only what is causing your pain but also to have a plan for prevention and treatment options.
If you find that back pain is a recurring occurrence in your life, you should get the appropriate treatment to help you avoid further damage to your back. Most cases of back pain can be managed with therapies and treatments to alleviate the pain, make you more flexible, and strengthen your core muscles. Also, keep in mind the long-term care of your back to ensure that your tips are fully helpful and effective.