Approximately 80 percent of adults will experience back pain at some point in their lives. The pain can range from a dull ache to a sudden sharp sensation. They can be a swift onset of pain because of improper body mechanics while lifting a heavy object, or they can develop over time because of age-related degenerative diseases. However, most back pain is acute, which means that it typically resolves within a few days. Chronic back pain lasts longer than a year and usually requires medical intervention.
Sprains and strains cause the majority of back pain, and while they’re normally grouped together, there is actually a difference between the two. A sprain is caused by tearing or overstretching a ligament, and a strain is a tear in the muscle or tendon. Both conditions are usually caused by twisting or using improper lifting techniques. These movements may cause painful muscle spasms as well.
Back pain can also be the result of intervertebral disc degeneration, a herniated, or ruptured, disc or spondylolisthesis. Intervertebral disc degeneration is a condition in which one or more of the rubbery discs separating the vertebrae deteriorate and lose their cushioning ability. A herniated disc occurs when one of the discs ruptures, bulges or becomes compressed. Spondylolisthesis occurs when a vertebra of the lower spine slips out of place. These conditions pinch the nerves exiting the spinal column.
Other conditions that can cause back pain include radiculopathy, sciatica and spinal stenosis. Radiculopathy is caused by inflammation, compression or injury to the spinal nerve root. Sciatica is a similar condition. This disorder is caused by the compression of the sciatic nerve that runs through the buttocks and down the back of the leg. Spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the spinal column, which puts pressure on the spinal cord and nerves.
Skeletal irregularities such as scoliosis, or the curvature of the spine, and inflammatory diseases of the joints, including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can also cause pain when nerves are pinched or compressed. A traumatic injury from a car accident, playing sports or a fall can injure muscles and ligaments. It can also cause a disc to rupture or compress the spine, which irritates or places pressure on the nerves and causes pain.
If you are suffering from back pain, call Innovative Spine’s San Antonio office. We will investigate the potential causes of your back pain and develop a comprehensive treatment plan to relieve your symptoms.
Reducing or eliminating back pain will improve your quality of life and the ability to perform the activities that you enjoy most. Contact us today!