How Lung Cancer And Back Pain Are Linked
When we think about back pain, usually the last thing that comes to mind is cancer. Instead, we associate it with things like physical trauma or a degenerative disease .
While back pain caused by lung cancer shares commonalities with many of these disorders, it also has a distinct difference. Much of these relate to how and where the cancer causes pain, both directly and indirectly. Some of the possible ways in which lung cancer can produce back pain include:
- The direct pressure a tumor can place on the structure of the back, more often than not, is in the mid to upper back rather than lower back.
- A malignancy can irritate the nerves servicing the lining of the lungs and chest wall, triggering a sharp and sometimes chronic nerve pain.
- Cancer spread from the lungs to the spine and bones is an occurrence shared by upwards of 30% of people with lung cancer.
- Metastasis of cancer to the adrenal glands , can cause localized pain due to its location right above the kidney.
At the current time, the majority of people who develop lung cancer are non-smokers , and lung cancer is increasing in young women and men who have never smoked.
In fact, due to the location of the type of lung cancer most common in non-smokers, the typical symptoms most people associate with lung cancer are often absent. These tumors are also more likely than other kinds of lung cancer to spread to bones.
How Acid Reflux/gerd May Cause Upper Back Pain
Acid reflux back pain is rare.
But to understand acid reflux related back pain we need to understand what causes the pain.
Heartburn is a symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease and is caused when stomach acid regularly enters the lower esophagus.
The lower esophagus sphincter is a round shaped muscle located at the bottom the esophagus, just before the entrance to your stomach.
The sphincter acts like a one stop valve. Meaning, it opens one way.
As you swallow the sphincter opens to allow food into the stomach then, closes to stop stomach acid escaping back into the esophagus.
Sometimes, the valve-like muscle is too relaxed or weakens and doesn’t close fully. This allows stomach acid to flow back up the esophagus and its corrosive effect causes a burning sensation in the chest and sore throat.
Chronic heartburn can cause severe pain that can radiate to the upper back causing pain and discomfort between the shoulder blades.
Upper Middle Back Pain
Back pain is one of the most common ailments in the world, and long-term back issues can lead to disability. What are some of the most common causes of back pain including upper middle back pain and how can you find relief? Consider the following list of the top seven causes of middle and upper back pain.
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Overeating And Back Pain
Dumping large amounts of food in your stomach puts enormous strain on the digestion.
The tell-tale signs of digestive distress as a result of overeating are stomach aches, bloating and indigestion.
As the stomach bloats and expands it puts stress on the spine and back muscles causing discomfort and pain.
But you can easily remedy the problem with a simple lifestyle change.
Rather than sitting down to 3 heavy meals a day or binge eating at the down town all you can eat buffet…
You can still eat as much as by eating smaller quantities frequently throughout the day.
Your digestion will thank you for it as its better able to cope with smaller quantities of food and liquid.
Carrying A Heavy Purse Or Bag
One of the big mistakes we make when carrying a bag all day long is keeping it slung over one shoulder. This uneven distribution of weight leads to poor posture, spinal misalignments, and back pain. Try to use a bag that allows for even weight distribution or avoid packing the bag with too much weight if you have to carry it on one side.
This is important for kids too. Backpacks can get really heavy. Get children backpacks that evenly distribute the weight and encourage them to wear the bag properly rather than hefting it over one shoulder.
How Do I Know If I Have This
Back pain is experienced by people in the population and having mid-back pain does not mean you have pancreatic cancer. However, if you are experiencing mid back pain that is not normal for you, there is no harm in checking with your GP especially if you are experiencing any of the other symptoms described here.
How Is Low Back Pain Diagnosed
A complete medical history and physical exam can usually identify any serious conditions that may be causing the pain. Neurologic tests can help determine the cause of pain and appropriate treatment. Imaging tests are not needed in most cases but may be ordered to rule out specific causes of pain, including tumors and spinal stenosis. Occasionally the cause of chronic lower back pain is difficult to determine even after a thorough examination.
Blood tests are not routinely used to diagnose the cause of back pain but might be ordered to look for signs of inflammation, infection, cancer, and/or arthritis.
Bone scans can detect and monitor an infection, fracture, or bone disorder. A small amount of radioactive material is injected into the bloodstream and collects in the bones, particularly in areas with some abnormality. Scanner-generated images can identify specific areas of irregular bone metabolism or abnormal blood flow, as well as to measure levels of joint disease.
Discography involves injecting a contrast dye into a spinal disc thought to be causing low back pain. The fluids pressure in the disc will reproduce the persons symptoms if the disc is the cause. The dye helps to show the damaged areas on CT scans taken following the injection.
Electrodiagnostics can identify problems related to the nerves in the back and legs. The procedures include:
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Posture And Back Pain
Sitting for long periods hunched over a desk is not doing your back or health any favors.
Poor posture over extended periods creates stress in the muscle tissues, lumbar joints and discs of the spine. Over time weakening the back and causing pain and discomfort.
But bad posture can impact your health in other ways:
- Increase risk of arthritis
Do you slouch while eating?
It’s a bad habit is you do because its probably making your acid reflux worse.
Dr. Kyle Staller | gastroenterologist at Harvard Massachusetts General Hospital
Slouched posture after a meal can trigger heartburn
Slouching puts pressure on the abdomen, which can force stomach acid in the wrong direction. And some evidence suggests that transit in the intestines slows down when you slouch.
If poor posture is a problem find a physical therapist who can design a personalized program of exercises. It should include stretch routines to increase strength and flexibility in the back and core muscles.
What Causes Back And Neck Pain
Even with today’s technology, the exact cause of back and neck pain is hard to find. In most cases, back and neck pain may have many different causes. They include:
- Overuse, strenuous activity, or improper use, such as repetitive twisting or heavy lifting
- Trauma, injury, or fractures
- Breakdown of vertebrae, often caused by stresses on the muscles and ligaments that support your spine, or the effects of aging
- Problems of your vertebrae and bones that you were born with
- Abdominal problems, such as an aortic aneurysm
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What Are Possible Complications Of Neck And Back Pain
Complications of back and neck pain may include:
- Loss of productivity. Back pain is the most common reason for disability in working adults.
- Nerve damage. If your back pain is from a herniated disk, pressure on the spinal nerves may cause a variety of problems, such as weakness, numbness, or severe shooting pain that travels from the back to the leg.
- Depression. Back or neck pain can disrupt all aspects of life. This includes work, physical exercise, social activities, and sleep. The anxiety and stress caused by the change in movement and pain can lead to depression.
- Weight gain. Loss of movement and inability to exercise can lead to weight gain and the loss of muscle strength.
It is a good idea to see a healthcare provider if you have numbness or tingling, or if your pain is severe and does not get better with medicine and rest. If you have trouble urinating, weakness, pain, or numbness in your legs, fever, or unintentional weight loss, call your healthcare provider right away.
Can I Prevent Neck And Back Pain
The following may help to prevent back and neck pain:
- Practice correct lifting techniques. Don’t lift heavy items. When you do lift something, bend your legs, keep your back straight, and then slowly lift your body and the object.
- Wear a seat belt in motor vehicles in case of a collision.
- Use telephones, computers, and other equipment correctly.
- Maintain correct posture while sitting, standing, and sleeping.
- Exercise regularly. Learn back-strengthening exercises to keep your back and belly muscles strong. Warm up with stretching exercises before doing exercises.
- Do exercises that improve your balance.
- Don’t smoke.
- Stay at a healthy weight.
- Reduce emotional stress that may cause muscle tension.
- Get enough vitamin D and calcium in your diet.
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Replenish Gastric Acid And Digestive Enzymes
At his Tahoma clinic Dr Wright Wright has conducted thousands of tests on stomach acid levels since 1976.
In all those years, the test results have consistently shown that hypochlorydria occurred in 90% of people with mild to moderate heartburn.
He also found that replenishing low stomach acid with HCL supplements were successful in helping to increase production of stomach acid and eliminate the symptoms of GERD and heartburn.
Hope For Those Suffering From Upper Middle Back Pain
If you are among the millions who suffer from back pain, then you will be happy to know that upper cervical chiropractic care can help more than just those with scoliosis. This specialty in the chiropractic field focuses on the adjustment of the C1 and C2, the top two bones in the spine that are located at the base of the skull. Misalignments in this area can have far-reaching effects on the body and can particularly affect the rest of the spine since the bones and soft tissue have a built-in tendency to shift to keep the head level.
Upper cervical chiropractors take precise measurements of the C1 and C2 using modern diagnostic imaging techniques. This allows us to provide gentle adjustments that are tailored to each patients needs. If you have experienced general chiropractic, but not upper cervical, you are in for a surprise. Our adjustments are low-force and require little to no pressure. Some practitioners even use an adjusting instrument instead of their hands.
The results, however, speak for themselves. And unlike painkillers which come along with side effects and provide little long-term benefit, upper cervical chiropractic care is safe and effective on a long-term basis because it gets to the root of many back problems. To learn more, contact a practitioner in your local area to schedule a no-obligation consultation.
to schedule a consultation today.
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How Are Back And Neck Pain Managed
Acute back pain usually gets better without special treatment. Using acetaminophen or ibuprofen as directed will decrease pain and help you rest. Surgery and special exercises are generally not used with acute pain.
For severe, disabling, or chronic back and neck pain, rehabilitation programs can be designed to meet your needs. The type of program will depend on the cause and the type and severity of your pain, injury, or disease. Your active involvement is key to the success of rehab programs.
The goal of back and neck rehab is to help you manage disabling pain. It’s also important to return you to your highest level of functioning and independence, and improve your quality of life. The focus of rehab is on easing pain, improving movement. It also focuses on limiting any additional damage, and increasing your functional ability.
To help reach these goals, back and neck rehab programs may include:
- Exercise programs to improve range of motion, increase muscle strength, improve flexibility and mobility, and increase endurance
- Help with assistive devices that keep you independent
- Education and counseling
- Gait and movement retraining
- Stress management
- Ergonomic assessments and work-related injury prevention programs
- Job counseling
Middle Back Pain From Kidney Stones
Internal organs, such as the kidney or colon, can cause middle back pain to manifest in the lower left back. Patients may feel middle back pain when a stone moves inside the left kidney or moves through the thin tubes connecting the kidneys to the bladder. Once a kidney stone begins to move through the ureters, patients may notice a combination of symptoms, which include:
- Sharp middle back pain, below the ribs
- Fever and chill
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Pink, red, or brown urine
- Cloudy or foul-smelling urine
- Stinging pain when urinating
Kidney stones form when a patients urine contains more crystal-forming substances such as calcium, oxalate and uric acid than the fluid can dilute. Alternatively, a patients urine may lack substances that prevent crystals from sticking together, thereby creating the ideal setting for kidney stone formation. Understanding the type of kidney stone affecting a patient can help with treatment and prevention. The types of kidney stone include:
- Calcium Stones: the most common type for metabolic conditions
- Struvite Stones: formed in response to an infection and may be asymptomatic
- Uric Acid Stones: formed in people who dont drink enough fluids or lose too much fluid, eat a high-protein diet, or have gout
- Cystine Stones: formed in people with a hereditary disorder that causes the kidneys to excrete too much of certain amino acids
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Who Should I See For Lower Back Pain
Your primary care physician knows you best and should be your first contact for lower back pain. If he or she is unable to diagnose or treat the issue, you may get referred to a specialist, such as a rehabilitation physician . These specialists practice a comprehensive approach to lower back pain, and can diagnose and treat a variety of conditions that have lower back pain as a symptom.
Later, you may get referred to a physical therapist, a chiropractor or another practitioner depending on the nature of your back pain. The good news is that surgery is rarely needed for lower back pain. Only about one in ten patients needs lower back surgery, Chhatre says.
Which Lifestyle Factors Contribute To Lower Back Pain
There are three major lifestyle factors that may affect your chances of developing lower back pain:
- Multiple studies have established a link between smoking and lower back pain. Smoking raises inflammation inside the body and hinders the body from healing itself.
- Obesity is also associated with several types of chronic pain, including lower back pain. In people with high body mass index , the stress on the spine increases, contributing to even more wear and tear.
- Your level of physical activity can also play a role in your lower back health. While a sedentary lifestyle could increase your risk of developing lower back pain, so can excessive or strenuous physical activity. Check with your doctor if you are unsure about your ideal level of physical activity.
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Treatment For Middle Back Pain
Treatment for middle back pain varies based on the cause of the pain. Because back pain is fairly common, most people first attempt to treat it at home using simple, inexpensive, and noninvasive treatment methods. If home remedies dont help your symptoms, medical treatments or surgery may be required.
How Are Back And Neck Pain Treated
In many cases, acute back or neck pain may simply improve with some rest. Over-the-counter medicines such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen may also help with the discomfort. Try to move gently during this period, so that you won’t become stiff and lose mobility.
If you have chronic pain of your back and neck, try several remedies before considering surgery. These include:
- Hot or cold packs as advised by your healthcare provider
- Certain exercises to strengthen back and belly muscles and ease pain, such as stretching and flexing. Your healthcare provider can show you these exercises. Physical therapy can also help you find the correct exercises.
- Aerobic exercise may help with your overall fitness and strength.
- Certain anti-inflammatory medicines or muscle relaxants may be used, as advised by your provider.
- Sometimes your provider may suggest a brace or corset for extra support.
- Shots for pain relief in the area
- Nerve block. This eases pain signals from the affected nerve.
- Osteopathic manipulation
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What Are The Treatments For Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain usually gets better with rest, ice and over-the-counter pain relievers. After a few days of rest, you can start to get back to your normal activities. Staying active increases blood flow to the area and helps you heal.
Other treatments for lower back pain depend on the cause. They include:
- Medications: Your provider may recommend nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or prescription drugs to relieve pain. Other medications relax muscles and prevent back spasms.
- Physical therapy : PT can strengthen muscles so they can support your spine. PT also improves flexibility and helps you avoid another injury.
- Hands-on manipulation: Several hands-on treatments can relax tight muscles, reduce pain and improve posture and alignment. Depending on the cause of pain, you may need osteopathic manipulation or chiropractic adjustments. Massage therapy can also help with back pain relief and restore function.
- Injections: Your provider uses a needle to inject medication into the area thats causing pain. Steroid injections relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
- Surgery: Some injuries and conditions need surgical repair. There are several types of surgery for low back pain, including many minimally invasive techniques.