Is It Time For Back Surgery
Back surgery is often a last resort when all other treatment options have been tried. Surgery may be considered an option to relieve pain caused by serious musculoskeletal injuries or nerve compression resulting from vertebrae shifting or collapsing.
Back surgeries often have a long recovery period, and some patients may lose mobility and flexibility post-surgery. It is also important to note that not all surgical procedures are successful. As such, it is important for patients to talk with their physicians and know all of the risks associated with a procedure before undergoing back surgery.
Other Causes Of Back Pain
There are many other potential causes of back pain, but most of these are rare. Be sure to see your doctor if you experience regular back pain that does not go away.
After ruling out the more common causes of back pain, your doctor will perform tests to determine if you have a rarer cause. These can include:
- displacement of one vertebral body onto another, called degenerative spondylolisthesis
- loss of nerve function at the lower spinal cord, called cauda equina syndrome
- fungal or bacterial infection of the spine, such as Staphylococcus, E. coli, or tuberculosis
- cancer or nonmalignant tumor in the spine
- kidney infection or kidney stones
Back pain can have many symptoms, including:
- a dull aching sensation in the lower back
- a stabbing or shooting pain that can radiate down the leg to the foot
- an inability to stand up straight without pain
- a decreased range of motion and diminished ability to flex the back
The symptoms of back pain, if due to strain or misuse, are usually short-lived but can last for days or weeks.
Back pain is chronic when symptoms have been present for longer than three months.
Get At Least 7 Hours Of Sleep
You knew it was coming, but it’s here because it’s an important one. It’s been confirmed by multiple studies that lack of sufficient sleep is associated with higher levels of inflammation in the body.
To keep inflammation at bay, aim for at least seven hours of sleep to avoid increasing inflammation, says Dr. McNeely, and keep in mind that your sleep needs may be even higher. The National Sleep Foundation recommends adults get seven to nine hours of shut=eye each night.
And if you’re someone who is sleep-deprived for reasons outside of your control like night-shift workers or new parents not all hope is lost.
A September 2019 study in the British Medical Journal found that napping was associated with fewer cardiovascular events, suggesting that there may be some sort of protective mechanism to catching up on missed sleep with daytime naps. However, as with all things, moderation is key: Excessive amounts of daytime naps are also linked to higher levels of inflammation, according to Sleep Medicine.
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Find Relief Through Ice And Heat
Break out that bag of frozen peas for the first 48 hours after the pain sets in, and put it to use for 20 minutes a session, several sessions per day. After those two days are behind you, switch to 20-minute intervals with a heating pad.
Localized cooling shuts down capillaries and reduces blood flow to the area, which helps ease the swelling, says Lisa DeStefano, DO, an associate professor at Michigan State Universitys College of Osteopathic Medicine in East Lansing. Cold also thwarts your nerves ability to conduct pain signals. Heat, on the other hand, loosens tight muscles and increases circulation, bringing extra oxygen to the rescue.
Best Vitamins And Minerals
When it comes to inflammation control, these are the 2 most important vitamins and minerals.
Its been proven if you lack one or both of these, your chances of suffering from chronic inflammation are almost double.
1. Vitamin D
A number of studies have linked low levels of vitamin D with increased levels of chronic pain.
One 2009 study looked at the vitamin D levels of people with chronic pain who were using opioid painkillers.
Those who had a deficiency of vitamin D needed almost twice as high a dose of medication to control their pain.
Make sure you get the natural form of Vitamin D, which is Vitamin D3.
Magnesium deficiency is becoming a widespread problem around the world. Vegetables contain less and less Magnesium each year and its very easy to become Magnesium deficient.
From personal experience, I can tell you that using Magnesium oil has worked wonders for me and family with any kind of muscle pain and even restless leg syndrome.
The most absorbed type of Magnesium is called Transdermal magnesium, which gets in your body through your skin and is better absorbed than oral Magnesium supplements.
The best Transdermal supplement I know is this one you can read all about Magnesium oil benefits in this post.
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Spinal Arthritis May Contribute To Other Issues In The Spine
Spinal arthritis may cause bone spurs â overgrowths on the edges of the bones. In the spine, bone spurs particularly affect facet joints, making them grow larger. This condition is called facet joint hypertrophy. Although bone spurs on their own are not harmful, they may narrow the passages for the spinal cord and the nerves exiting the spine. This may lead to two painful conditions:
Spinal stenosisâ compression of the spinal cord inside the spinal canal
Radiculopathyâ pinching of the peripheral nerves as they exit the spine
Ankylosing spondylitis may also cause additional problems such as:
Stress fractures in places where new bone has formed
A spinal deformity called kyphosis
Managing The Spectrum Of Axial Spondyloarthropathies
Physical therapy is essential to the optimal management of any patient with persistent axSpA, nearly universal in ankylosing spondylitis but also common in psoriatic arthritis and arthritis associated with IBD. Deformities, such as the dreaded hunchback posture, can be largely prevented with careful attention to posture and with specific exercises. Such exercises should include formal deep breathing techniques to improve chest expansion and back mobility exercises. Water exercises and swimming are often more effective than land-based exercise and sports.3
Patients with mild, intermittent peripheral arthritis can be managed with prescribed NSAIDs and supplemented with intraarticular corticosteroid injections, if appropriate. Since reactive arthritis tends to remit spontaneously, medications may only be required for a few months. However, most patients with AS or PsA will have persistent symptoms that correlate with progressive joint damage, deformity, and disability. In these patients, it is important to use disease-modifying drugs and to begin them before irreversible joint damage ensues. As with rheumatoid arthritis, the treatment of axSpA has been dramatically improved during the past 20 years with potent biologic medications.
The choice of a biologic or an immunomodulatory medication will vary from case to case with advanced psoriasis or IBD, and the specific drug used is often based on the providers specialty and experience with the drug .
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Low Back Pain Fact Sheet
If you have had lower back pain, you are not alone. Back pain is one of most common reasons people see a doctor or miss days at work. Even school-age children can have back pain.
Back pain can range in intensity from a dull, constant ache to a sudden, sharp or shooting pain. It can begin suddenly as a result of an accident or by lifting something heavy, or it can develop over time as we age. Getting too little exercise followed by a strenuous workout also can cause back pain.
There are two types of back pain:
- Acute, or short-term back pain lasts a few days to a few weeks. Most low back pain is acute. It tends to resolve on its own within a few days with self-care and there is no residual loss of function. In some cases a few months are required for the symptoms to disappear.
- Chronic back pain is defined as pain that continues for 12 weeks or longer, even after an initial injury or underlying cause of acute low back pain has been treated. About 20 percent of people affected by acute low back pain develop chronic low back pain with persistent symptoms at one year. Even if pain persists, it does not always mean there is a medically serious underlying cause or one that can be easily identified and treated. In some cases, treatment successfully relieves chronic low back pain, but in other cases pain continues despite medical and surgical treatment.
What Causes Lumbar Inflammation
There could be many reasons for inflammation in your lower back:
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Inflammatory arthritis
- Lumbar bulging/herniated disc
But, for practical purposes, it doesnt really matter why your lower back is inflamed.
inflammation is inflammation, no matter where its located and what causes it
Natural inflammation-reducing methods can be very effective and you can eliminate your lower back pain at home, by yourself, without depending on pills and without any medical bills.
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How Long Does Lower Back Pain Usually Last
Lower back pain can be categorized as acute, subacute or chronic. Acute episodes of lower back pain usually last from a few days to 4 weeks and subacute lower back pain lasts between 4 to 12 weeks. However, according to the National Institutes of Health, about 20 percent of people with acute back pain go on to develop chronic back paindefined as pain that lasts 12 weeks or longer. Even in these cases, there are many different treatment options to help relieve lower back pain symptoms.
When your back is really killing you, you might worry something is seriously wrong. The same goes for back pain that seems unending. The good news is that while back pain is a major inconvenience, it is rarely an urgent medical issue. In fact, most of the time you dont have to treat it. Back pain usually resolves on its own unless you have a major underlying issue.
Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Symptoms And Causes
Spinal stenosis is the medical name for what happens when the spaces between the spine begin to narrow. This, in turn, puts pressure on your spine as well as the nerves that travel through and around the spine.
Although spinal stenosis can occur in the middle region of the spine, its more common in the lumbar and cervical regions.
When the lumbar spine narrows, it can cause intense back pain, neck pain, and pain running down the leg.
While some experience mild to severe pain radiating throughout the back, others experience numbness in the neck, arms, legs, back, and buttocks.
This spine narrowing usually affects 40-year-old and above people and can be caused by osteoarthritis-related bone damage, herniated discs, scar tissue build-up, spinal injuries, inflammation and in rare cases a tumor.
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What Are Some Less Invasive Or Noninvasive Back Pain Treatments
Your doctor has a wide range of treatments that may help your lower back pain. In general, expect your doctor to take a stepped care approach. That means starting with simple, low-cost treatments and moving to more aggressive approaches later. Keep in mind that many treatments take time to reach their full effect.
Medications. When over-the-counter pills and topicals dont do enough to relieve back pain, your doctor may recommend a prescription drug. Examples include:
- Antiseizure medication, such gabapentin or pregabalin, for nerve-related pain
- Muscle relaxants, such as baclofen or carisoprodol
- Prescription NSAIDs, such as celecoxib, diclofenac, or fenoprofen
- Opioids, such as oxycodone or hydrocodone, on a short-term basis.
Physical therapy . PT for lower back pain involves passive and active therapies to help the patient build core muscle strength, improve spinal flexibility and range of motion, correct posture and more. Your physical therapy sessions may include:
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation
Injections. An epidural steroid injection or a selective nerve block may provide short-term pain relief when lower back pain causes sciatica symptoms, such as leg pain.
Best Superfoods & Herbs For Back Inflammation
The #1 food for lower back inflammation pain is by far Turmeric. It can actually replace your NSAIDs all together and is fully backed by thousands of studies.
You can take Turmeric in standardized capsules or you can easily add it to your meals.
If you want it to be fully potent, add just a little black pepper and healthy fat to make it most bioavailable.
If you dont like the taste of Turmeric, you can add it to your green smoothie .
If you add a banana in there, or a few dates, you wont feel the taste at all.
Always use organic Turmeric to avoid nasty chemicals.
Not only is ginger a culinary marvel, but its health benefits are also stunning.
Ginger has some extremely potent anti-inflammation compounds, called gingerols.
There are many studies proving how effective ginger can be in the fight against inflammation when consumed regularly.
Studies have found that Ginger has the ability to inhibit nitrous oxide and is helpful for all general inflammatory processes.
The best way to use Ginger would be adding it fresh to your meals or your green smoothies . You can find fresh organic ginger root powder here.
3. Fish Oil
Fish oil can effectively ease inflammation and pain caused by many chronic conditions. The dose used in most convincing research is 2 to 4 grams of DHA + EPA daily.
Make sure to get fish oil from organic-raised fish, without additives and clean from heavy metals and toxins, like this one.
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Types Of Low Back Pain
Supporting the weight of your body, the lumbar spine can be prone to injury and pain . Back pain ranges from mild to severe depending on the amount of injury, and can be acute or chronic.
Acute low back pain occurs suddenly and usually heals within several days to weeks. The source of pain is usually in the muscles and ligaments, joints, or discs. Sometimes mechanical back pain is caused, not by a pinched nerve, but by tight muscles, degenerative discs, and inflamed facet joints.
Chronic back pain persists for more than 3 months it may be felt all the time or worsen with certain activities. Although its source may be hard to determine, contributing factors may include nerve damage, tissue scarring, arthritis, or emotional effects of pain. People with chronic symptoms may be referred to a pain specialist .
Medication From The Store
There are two kinds of over-the-counter pain relievers that frequently help with back pain: nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and acetaminophen. Both have some side effects, and some people may not be able to take them. Talk to your doctor before taking pain relievers. And don’t expect medication alone to solve your pain problem. Studies show you’ll probably need more than one type of treatment.
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What Home Remedies For Lower Back Pain Actually Work
Unless youve had a major injury, such as a fall or car accident, you probably dont need to rush to the doctor for back pain. You may want to try these simple self-care strategies first.
Avoid bed rest. When lower back pain strikes, people often think complete rest will relieve back pain. However, a review of many clinical studies found that patients who retreated to bed actually experienced more pain and recovered more slowly than patients who stayed fairly active
Use ice and/or heat. Many people find that using ice or cold packs for periods of up to 20 minutes at a time helps reduce pain and swelling. Always wrap ice or a cold pack in a thin towel before putting it on your body so you dont injure your skin. You may also find that heat, such as a heating pad or warm bath, eases pain. Ice is recommended in the first 48 hours after injury then you can try a combo of ice and heat.
Try over-the-counter remedies. Short-term use of OTC pain relievers, such as the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs ibuprofen and naproxen, may ease your lower back pain. Also consider OTC creams, gels, patches, or sprays applied to the skin. They stimulate the nerves in the skin to provide feelings of warmth or cold in order to dull the sensation of pain.
Spinal Arthritis Causes And Risk Factors
The causes of arthritis in the back or neck vary depending on the type of arthritis you have. Besides normal wear and tear and autoimmune triggers, in many cases the exact cause remains unknown. Genetic components have been identified in connection with some forms of spinal arthritis, meaning that it may be hereditary.
Other spinal arthritis risk factors include:
Presence of certain conditions such as diabetes, gout, psoriasis, tuberculosis, irritable bowel syndrome and Lyme disease
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What Structures Make Up The Back
The lower backwhere most back pain occursincludes the five vertebrae in the lumbar region, which supports much of the weight of the upper body. The spaces between the vertebrae are maintained by round, rubbery pads called intervertebral discs that act like shock absorbers throughout the spinal column to cushion the bones as the body moves. Bands of tissue known as ligaments hold the vertebrae in place, and tendons attach the muscles to the spinal column. Thirty-one pairs of nerves are rooted to the spinal cord and they control body movements and transmit signals from the body to the brain.
Other regions of vertebrate are cervical , thoracic , and sacral and coccygeal segments.