Back Pain Causes and Treatment
Almost everyone has experienced back pain, whether acute or chronic, at some point in their lives. Back pain could cause a lot of discomfort and prevents the individual from performing their daily activities effectively. Acute back pain is described as pain that affects an individual for less than 3 months, while chronic back pain is described as pain that lasts for more than 3 months. This article reveals various back pain causes and treatments.
Acute Back Pain
Generally, acute back pain is due to strains and sprains of the connective tissues within the spinal cord. Injuries to the connective tissues heal within 6-12 weeks with proper treatment. There are a lot of factors which cause these injuries. Some of them are improper usage of muscle tone of the spine, accidents, overweight individuals, lack of exercise and performing strenuous activities.
Chronic Back Pain
Compared to acute back pain, chronic back pain could spell a more serious underlying problem and requires proper medical diagnosis and treatment. Some causes of chronic back pain include rheumatoid arthritis, degenerative disc disease (often times mistakenly known as “slipped disc”) and osteoporosis. Injuries to the connective tissues that were not treated properly at the initial stage could also cause chronic back pain.
Treatments for Acute Back Pain
There are a lot of self-help methods and over-the-counter (OTC) products to relieve acute back pain. Among others, heat packs, patches or cream containing methyl salicylate and non steroidal anti-inflammatory steroids (NSAIDs) could symptomatically relieve the pain. Many people often advise that applying ice pack could also help with the pain, however there is little evidence to support this. For non-localized acute back pain, oral medications such as acetaminophen and NSAIDs could help to relieve the pain. It is always advisable to consult a pharmacist or medical practitioner before taking any oral medications.
Back Pain Tips
Individuals suffering from acute back pain should stay active with their daily chores as far as the condition allows. This is of extreme importance as a total bed rest could further aggravate the condition. However, strenuous exercises should still be avoided until they are fully recovered.
Should all the self-help methods and OTC products fail to relieve the pain or you are experiencing the following conditions, please consult a medical practitioner for further treatment:
- You are an elderly (above 65 years old) or pregnant.
- Suffer from fever (temperature greater than 37°C or 100°F).
- Feel numbness and unable to move the body.