Back pain could be caused by something as simple as a muscle strain or a serious condition like a damaged disc. Based on the contributing factor, there are different types of back pain.
Back Pains are different for every individual. The intensity of pain and treatment depends on the type of back pain. For instance, a person suffering from a herniated disc is painless, but a person suffering from a muscle strain goes through excruciating pain. The pain could also flare in some cases after a few weeks or months of injury. The amount of back pain helps in deciding on the treatment.
Causes of Back Pain
An injury, strain on the back muscles, fractures, or internal hemorrhage are a few causes of back pain. The spine structure is made up of overlapping nerves, which are delicately placed. These nerves help in transmitting messages to and from the brain. Any damage to these nerves or muscles around them hampers the brain’s capability to identify the pain in the back.
Diagnosis of back pain is done on the basis of pain felt and described by patients. The most common is a sharp pain which comes and goes because of a muscle strain. For pains due to a degenerative disc, the intensity differs, and the pain is dull and achy. The most searing pain rises due to muscle compression, inflammation, and a serious injury to the spinal cord.
Types of Back Pain
According to the cause and intensity of pain, there are three types of back pain, as discussed below:
1. Acute Pain – A pain in the lower back that remains for a period of six weeks is diagnosed as acute low back pain. It is accompanied by a sharp, burning, well-defined, and aching pain. The intensity of pain experienced may vary from mild to severe. You will feel pain in your lower back, hip area, and buttocks.
This kind of pain develops due to strenuous physical activities or accidents. The pain increases gradually if treatment is not done at the right time.
2. Chronic Pain – Chronic back pain remains for a period of 12 weeks or more. The pain is consistent even after treatment of the underlying cause or injury. About 20 percent of adults suffer from chronic back pain at least once in their lifetime.
3. Neuropathic Pain – While acute and chronic back pain is caused due to a muscle or disc injury. Neuropathic pain is caused due to damage of nerves. The pain initiates in the central or peripheral nervous system and has a tendency to stay even after healing the nerve injury. Substance abuse is also a major cause of neuropathic pain. About 7 to 10 percent of individuals suffer from this type of back pain.
Types Of Back Pain Treatment
Acute back pain is treated using natural treatment techniques like using ice bags, doing yoga, etc. It is difficult to treat complex back pain like chronic back pain and neuropathic back pain. Here, we will speak about different types of treatment available as per the intensity of the pain.
1. Alternative Treatment – Acupuncture, Yoga, and massage are common alternative methods to treat back pain. They do not need any medicines. Although slow in showing results, they are permanent solutions for any kind of back pain.
2. Medications – Pain killers and pain relievers are commonly used to treat acute back pain. These are bought over the counter, and no prescription is required. There are also creams and ointments available that help in reducing the pain.
For severe cases, heavy doses of drugs are prescribed by the doctor. These contain chemicals like opioids that work the best for chronic pains. Doctors may also prescribe antidepressants that relieve chronic back pain. Injections with cortisone are used to treat neuropathic back pain. The chemical is anti-inflammatory in nature.
3. Physiotherapy – Physical therapies and exercises help in relieving back pain without using any medication. These therapies may include using heat, electric waves, and ultrasound to heal the underlying cause of the back pain. Exercises are also muscle-releasing methods to reduce any strain on your muscle. Therapies and exercises help in strengthening back muscles and improving posture.
4. Surgery – It is the most extreme treatment which is applied to individuals whose back pain cannot be treated by any other methods. Usually, pain caused by a compressed nerve needs to undergo surgery to be treated completely.
Back pain is quite common, but it should not be taken lightly. Activities that increase the risks of back pain should be avoided if you are showing any symptoms. If your back pain remains consistent for more than a week, consult a doctor immediately.