Back pain is a common problem that affects many Americans. However, while there are many causes of back pain, some are more common than others. Besides strains and sprains, here are four common causes of back pain.
1. Herniated Disc
Your spinal column consists of vertebrae and spinal discs. These spinal discs serve as cushions to prevent bone from grinding on bone. This cushion has an interior nucleus and an exterior. A herniated disc occurs when the interior portion pushes through the exterior.
This usually puts pressure on the nerves in the spine, which can cause pain and limited mobility. Symptoms are usually sudden, and pain often radiates to the extremities. Herniated discs are commonly caused by disc generation. Medications and physical therapy usually help, but some patients need surgical treatment.
2. Bulging Disc
A bulging disc is another problem with the spinal discs, but it's not as severe as a herniated disc. The pain may come on gradually and worsen over time. It can also cause limited mobility and pain or numbness that radiates.
A bulging disc may also be caused by deterioration, but it is often the result of a sudden injury, such as a car accident or fall. Again, treatment usually involved pain medications and physical therapy, but some patients may require surgery.
3. Spinal Stenosis
Your spinal column has an opening for the spinal cord and other nerves. However, as you age, this column may start to narrow. Causes include bone spurs, spinal injuries, and thick ligaments. Overall, spinal stenosis causes stiffness, pain, and limited mobility.
Treatment largely depends on the severity and the symptoms. If you have mild spinal stenosis, some over-the-counter pain medications may help, and physical therapy may help take some stress off the spine. However, for severe symptoms, you may need surgery to treat the underlying cause.
Arthritis comes in many forms, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease, so it usually affects older people. It can affect any joint, including any joint (or multiple) in the spine. Symptoms include stiffness, pain, and limited mobility. It can be caused by general wear and tear, but factors like past injury and obesity can increase the risk.
Rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis can affect people regardless of age. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes pain and stiffness in the joints. Ankylosing spondylitis also causes inflammation in the joints, but it may also cause the bones to fuse. However, this condition can affect other parts of the body, causing fatigue, skin rashes, and difficulty taking deep breaths.
Treatment for any form of arthritis may include medications and physical therapy. Surgery may be used to fix complications or replace joints that have been severely damaged.
If you have back pain, stop struggling. There are many causes of back pain, but there are also many ways to manage back pain. If you would like to know more about herniated disc treatment and treatment for other common back problems, contact a provider in your area.
For more information about back pain management, contact a local doctor.