Facts Related To Back Pain Conroe Residents Need To Understand
Back pain may be either acute or chronic. It is described as acute if it has been experienced for two weeks or less and chronic if it has existed for longer than this. The problem is fairly common and the incidence increases with advancing age. There are a number of things related to back pain Conroe residents need to know if they have been dealing with this problem.
Acute back pain is mainly caused by trauma or muscle strains due to strenuous physical activity. Many cases of strain resolve spontaneously with or without treatment. If they fail to respond to treatment, they progress and become chronic. Common causes of chronic pain include infections, osteoarthritis, inter-vertebral disc prolapse and malignancies (whether primary or secondary).
Inter-vertebral discs are located between adjacent vertebrae. They act as shock absorbers when forces are transmitted through the spine. The discs may herniate in case of blunt trauma to the spine or a heavy lifting event. When they herniate, they may compress adjacent nerve roots and other structures in its vicinity which results in pain on the back as well as on the lower limbs.
The main treatment for inter-vertebral disc prolapse is decompression. This can be done using surgical or non-surgical options. Traction is an effective and safe non-surgical option that is often used to solve this problem. It involves the application of a steady force (pull) onto the spine so as to relieve excess pressures. A negative pressure between the adjacent discs allows the disc to slip back into its original position. About twenty sessions are needed on average.
Surgery is used when the conservative (non-surgical) options prove ineffective. One of the roles of surgery is to re-position displaced discs. The other role is to remove a vertebral body in its entirety or in part so as to increase the space through which nerve fibers traverse. Some of the elements that may be removed include osteophytes, the foreman and the lamina among others. Possible complications of surgery include infections, bleeding and spinal instability.
Osteoarthritis is another common cause of this problem. It affects large joints such as the knee joint, the hip joints and the spine. The main features of osteoarthritis are reduced synovial fluid, narrowed joint space and formation of joint space. A definitive form of treatment has not been found yet but over the counter pain relievers are often adequate in most cases. Physical exercise is also highly recommended.
Tumors are described as being primary if they originate from the organ in question and secondary if they have metastasized from other organs. The main primary bone tumor that may affect the spine is multiple myeloma while secondary tumors originate from organs such as the thyroid, the breasts, the kidneys and the prostate gland among others. The symptoms that are associated with tumors are mainly due to compression of nerves.
The cause of back problems is not always obvious from the start. There is often a need to investigate using various blood tests or imaging studies. The blood tests are important when an infection is suspected while imaging studies are preferred in the event of trauma, osteoarthritis, tumors and displacement of inter-vertebral discs.