What causes back pain?
- Overuse; unaccustomed activity, and excessive lifting
- Muscle spasm or ligament strain
- Degenerative Disc disease,
- Arthritis, congenital spine abnormalities, and tumors
- Spinal stenosis, which is a constriction of the spinal canal, whether congenital or caused by degenerative discs and/or bulging discs
- Disc herniation, or ruptured disc, this is where disc material which compresses the spinal cord or a nerve root leaks out of the membrane
- Bulging Disc, where the gel of the disc protrudes out but the membrane has not ruptured
- Spondylolisthesis, when one vertebra slips forward onto another vertebra immediately below,
- Pregnancy can cause back pain – muscles stretch and ligaments and body alignment is affected by a growing fetus,
- Infections cause back pain – infections are rarely a cause of back/neck pain, but bacteria can invade discs, vertebrae or joints causing an infection that can lead to back pain
Back pain can be due to either one or a combination of irritation, inflammation or damage to the nerves, muscles, vertebrae or discs between the vertebrae within your spine. The back is made up of the spine, a collection of nerves and muscles. Treatment for back pain first starts with diagnosis of the source of your pain.
Each patient’s back pain condition and requirements are unique which is why seeing a specialist that takes particular care in personalizing treatments to a patient’s needs is important. You should be treated depending on the nature and severity of your back pain. Below are a list of some of the interventional pain management treatments that are commonly used to relieve back pain and some at home remedies that may assist your recovery.
Interventional Pain Management Solutions for Back Pain
- Epidural Steroid Injections; Cervical, Thoracic & Lumbar
- Nerve Root Blocks ; Cervical, Thoracic & Lumbar
- Facet Joint Injections
- Radiofrequency/ Rhizotomy
- Spinal Cord Stimulation
Note that in some cases controlling and relieving chronic back pain requires a multi-disciplinary approach.
At home solutions to help chronic back pain
- Rest and restrict activity *Note that rest for greater that 3 days is often considered counter productive
- Use a pillow under your head, between your knees, and under an upper arm when resting on your side
- Use a pillow under your knees when on your back
- Over-the-counter pain relievers, including NSAID medications (non-steroidal antinflammatory drugs) such as Ibuprofen® or Tylenol®
- Use cold immediately after an injury, and then apply heat
If pain persists or gets worse you may be a candidate for a non-surgical pain management procedure and should seek a referral from your family practitioner to pain management specialist .