back pain and treatment
Who suffers from back pain?
Back pain is a common problem that affects millions of people world-wide. 15-20% of Americans from all demographics suffer from back pain. The majority of people with back pain can attribute it to a mechanical cause (injury), which tends to be benign. Back pain can, however, be an indicator of a more serious problem. Some of the causes of back pain are muscle strain, degeneration, vertebral fractures associated with osteoporosis, and mechanical problems (hernia, etc). Rare but more serious causes include infection, nerve damage, cancer, and vascular problems.
Where can back pain be felt?
Back pain most often occurs in the lower back, but can occur anywhere from the neck to the pelvis. The pain can radiate into the extremities. It can be tender to the touch and it can limit a patient's range of motion. Symptoms that may indicate a more serious problem include weakness, fever, weight gain, numbness, tingling, or bowel/bladder control problems. These symptoms will often need to be treated through surgical means.
In order to properly diagnose the cause of back pain, a physician will need to gather a comprehensive medical history of his or her patient and conduct a physical exam. Often, there will need to be a full neurological work-up in order to identify compressed nerves from a herniated disc. Supplemental imaging (MRI, CT scan, etc.) might also be requested if the pain persists or the doctor suspects serious pathology.
Utah Back Pain Treatment
In some cases, surgery is the only means to alleviate back pain. However, there are a number of conservative treatments that should be tried before an operation is considered. These include lifestyle adjustments to reduce body weight and avoid aggravating movements, alternative therapies such as massage, yoga, and acupuncture, pain-relieving medications (NSAIDs, acetaminophen, muscle relaxants, opioids), interventional procedures, and physical therapy.
Some behaviors or conditions that contribute to back pain and should be avoided include the use of tobacco, alcohol and drugs, maintaining a poor diet, lacking regular exercise, engagement in repetitive motions, heavy lifting, obesity, and depression.
For more information on how Omega Interventional Pain can help treat your back pain, please contact us at 801-261-4988.