Many of us have gone through back pain and realize how disruptive it can be. We have watch friends and relatives struggle with back problems sometimes for years. For those of us who have never had back pain we should be grateful.
Back pain is a result of a number of things going wrong with our body. The muscles controlling the multiple joints of the spine and pelvis become either too weak to control movement of the joints or too tight to allow normal excursions of joints that are designed to move. This results in the loads going through the spine increasing to the point where ligaments get inflamed, discs herniate, spurs develop and nerves get impinged upon.
What can you do about it. First cut back your activity. Back pain means you are asking your back to do something it can’t. So spend less time upright and weight bearing. Try to cut back to a level where your back doesn’t hurt.
Now that you have found an activity that your back can handle, the next step is to increase the back’s capability so it can handle more. You do this with an appropriate exercise program involving strengthening and endurance. The strengthening should focus on the muscles of the back and abdomen They should be done in a supine position. The endurance exercises should be done semi or non-weight bearing either on a bicycle or in a pool.
Sitting tends to worsen back problems. Try a towel roll in the small of your back. Get up every 10 minute and stretch your back. Consider a kneeling chair.
Remember. Pain means your back can’t do what you’re asking it to do. If you try to take pain medication and keep doing what you are doing, then your pain is going to get worse. The remedy for your pain then becomes more prolonged and involved.
- Back pain means you can’t do it. Back off.
- Start an exercise program
- Pain medication doesn’t cure your back. So don’t act like it does.
Normal Anatomy of the Spine
The spine also called the back bone is designed to give us stability, smooth movement as well as providing a corridor of protection for the delicate spinal cord.
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Back pain is a common cause of absence from work that affects approximately 80% of the American population, at different stages of their life. Back pain is more common in individuals between 35 to 55 years of age.
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The cervical spine comprises of the first 7 vertebrae. It supports the weight of the head and allows its smooth movement. Neck pain refers to pain or discomfort resulting from abnormalities or injuries to any of the structures in the neck including the muscles, ligaments, nerves, bones and vertebral joints.
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Vertebral Compression Fractures
Back pain is an indication of stress fractures known as vertebral compression fractures. Vertebral compression fractures occur when the normal vertebral body of the spine is squeezed or compressed to a smaller height.
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Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty
Osteoporosis is a “silent” disease characterized by the weakening of bones. This makes them more susceptible to fractures, typically in the hip and spine. The elderly and post-menopausal women are at a greater risk of developing osteoporosis.
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Anterior Cervical Discectomy Fusion
Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) is a surgical procedure performed through the front of the neck to remove a herniated disc from the cervical spine region. The cervical spine is the upper part of the spine comprising of the first 7 vertebrae, the bones of the spinal column.
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Total Disc Replacement
Total disc replacement is a surgical procedure in which the diseased or damaged intervertebral discs of the spinal column are replaced with an artificial disc to restore the normal function and movement of the spine.
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Micro Discectomy / Laminectomy
Your spine consists of 24 bones called vertebrae that are arranged one above the other and separated by intervertebral discs which act as shock absorbers during activity. Your neck or cervical area is made up of seven of these vertebrae.
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