There can be complex reasons for back pain such as injuries, accidents, and muscular strain. After a physical examination, the doctors recommend X-rays, CT scans, or MRI scans to diagnose the back pain. There are two types of back injury – spondylolisthesis and cervical radiculopathy. The symptoms, causes, and treatments for the two types of back injuries are different.
When one or both wing-shaped part of the vertebra is defective or fractured, the vertebrae will be slipping either over a bone or to forward and backward. This condition is known as Spondylolysthesis. The vertebra can be defective either right from birth or due to some other reasons such as stress, trauma, infection, or a disease.
Symptoms of Spondylolysthesis
The common symptoms of Spondylolysthesis include lower back pain, weakness of muscles, paining of the buttocks, tight and stiff muscles, and pain getting radiated down to the legs.
Treatment of Spondylolysthesis
The patients who suffer due to Spondylolysthesis are advised to undergo physical therapy so as to strengthen their muscles. In order to get relief from the pain, they are provided with anti-inflammatory non-steroidal medicines like Motrin, Ibuprofen, Ketroprofen, or Aleve. They are also given Acetaminophen. In case of very severe pain, the spinal canal of the patient is widened either by surgical fusion of the vertebra or by using an implanted device.
2. Cervical Radiculopathy
A ruptured disc can cause Cervical Radiculopathy in younger people. When the disc is ruptured nerve root is compressed thereby causing severe pain. Injuries, arthritis, and degeneration of bones can also cause Cervical Radiculopathy.
Those who have Cervical Radiculopathy will experience muscle weakness and numbness of fingers. There will be a lack of coordination in the hands and there will be severe pain over the hands, shoulders, arm, neck, and chest.
Treatment of Cervical Radiculopathy
- In case the pain is very severe and the patient experiences motor weakness, surgery will be performed to relieve the nerves from the pressure.
- Physical therapy for Cervical Radiculopathy includes exercises and cervical traction and mobilization in a gentle way.
- Medications for Cervical Radiculopathy include pain medication like acetaminophen, Ibuprofen, Ketoprofen, or naproxen. Steroids will be administered either orally or by way of epidural injection.
Causes of Lower Back Pain
The common causes of Lower Back Pain are lumbar strain, lumbar radiculopathy, irritation of nerves, bony encroachments, and other problems with the bones and the joints. The other causes of Lower Back Pain include kidney infections, kidney stones, hematoma, tumors, pregnancy, and problems with the ovary. Lower Back Pain can also occur due to Paget’s disease of bone, infection, or bleeding of the pelvis, cartilage, spine, aneurysm of the aorta, and shingles.
Lower Back Pain Symptoms
Depending on the exact cause, there will be varying symptoms of Lower Back Pain such as numbness of extremities, inability to walk, pain, weakness, incontinence of urine and stools, atrophy of lower extremity muscles, rash, fever, urine burning, dizziness, chills, and fatigue.
Treatment of Lower Back Pain
The treatment of Lower Back Pain mainly depends on the exact cause of the problem. Individual evaluation and understanding of the situation by the patient are very important. The acute injuries can be healed with minimal treatment whereas surgery may be required in the cases of irritation of the spinal cord or abnormalities of the bone. Physical exercises and rehabilitation activities with the help of physical therapists will give long term results.
How to prevent Lower Back Pain?
Lower Back Pain can be prevented by protecting the low back from injury. Specific exercise programs can strengthen the lumbar area so as to reduce the risk of injury. Specific exercises prescribed by physical therapists can prevent back pain and also provide relief from back pain.
Low back pain is treated by specialists in orthopedics, neurosurgery, physiatry, and rheumatology. The other healthcare professionals who treat Lower Back Pain include acupuncturists, massage therapists, chiropractors, and physical therapists.