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Back Pain - Kinesiology

Back Pain

FAQ's On Back Pain

  • Back pain effects millions of people each year.

  • Back pain refers to pain felt in the back ranging from the scapula to buttocks.

  • Back pain is usually caused due to compromised nerves, bones, muscles, and or other structures in and around the vertebrae or spinal cord. Pain in the back can be caused due to other complications with other structures such as the gallbladder and pancreas.

  • Back pain usually starts out as a mild discomfort and worsens over time. However acute injures such as sports injuries can cause severe pain right away. Acute back pain is classi@ied as pain that has lasted less than 6 months Chronic back pain is classi@ied as pain lasting longer than 6 months and is usually associated with musculoskeletal injuries or neuropathic pain.

  • Back pain usually affects the upper back (Thoracic Pain) or the lower back (Lumbar Pain), which is the most common and usually the most debilitating.

  • Back pain can be cause by several conditions and injuries, including sciatica, piriformis syndrome, tendonitis / tendonosis, osteoarthritis, degenerative bone disease, bone spurs, bulging and herniated discs, sports injuries, muscle asymmetries, motor control problems, stenosis of the spine, osteoporosis, to more series conditions such as scoliosis, kyphosis, to spondylolisthesis.

Symptoms of Back Pain:

  • Shooting or stabbing pain

  • Muscle aches

  • Radiating pain to the thighs and legs, (even beyond the knee) 

  • Poor back mobility

  • Poor Posture

  • Back Inflammation

  • Pain does not go away with Rest

  • Pain increases with prolonged sitting

  • Some people experience weight loss

Structures of the Back:

The back has many muscles, bones, joints, disks, tendons, and ligaments. The Spine runs from the neck to the sacrum and has many interconnecting structures. To properly diagnose back pain, the back is divided in to different area with various parts and pain impacting these areas. All of these structures are interconnected, which means pain in originating in one part may radiate to other parts.

  • Cervical Area - People with that have pain here is referred to as having neck pain.

  • Thoracic Area - This area is known as the upper back and people who have pain here is known as having upper back pain, which can affect the thoracic vertebrae and nearby areas.

  • Lumbar Area - This area is known as the lower back and people who have pain here can have pain in the lower half of the back, in the rib cage, and in the hips.

  • Sacral Area - This area is known as the tail bone and people who have pain here have pain to the lowest portion of the back. This area connects the lower back and the pelvis.

Causes of Back Pain:

  • Muscle or ligament strain

  • Bulging or ruptured disks

  • Injury to spinal ligaments

  • Muscle spasm or injury

  • Repeated heavy lifting

  • Nerve impingement

  • Intervertebral injury

  • Spinal arthritis

  • Severe scoliosis

  • Skeletal injury, fracture, or osteoporosis

  • Synovial joint inflammation

  • Muscle tissue damage

  • spinal disc herniation

  • Gallbladder stone

  • degenerative disc problem

  • Lumbar spinal stenosis

Who is at Risk & Risk Factors:

Risk factors that can contribute to getting back pain and really anyone has a risk of getting some form of back pain in their life. However here are just a few risk factors that.

  • Improper lifting

  • lack of exercise

  • lack of strength training

  • excessive body weight

  • Highly physical work

  • Sedentary life style

  • Age

  • Depression

  • Smoking

  • Bone diseases

  • Back injuries

  • improper treatment or back injuries that are left untreated

When to See a Doctor or Medical Professional:

People should see a doctor immediately if they have persistent back pain that is accompanied with weight loss, or those who may have problems with urinary or bowel incontinence, and or who may have chest pain.

How is Back Pain Diagnosed:

The are many tools doctors will use to diagnose your back pain. Here are just a few of them.

Physical Examination

 

  • Review and assess you complete medical history • Imaging scans (XRay, MRI, CT Scan)

  • Ultra Sound

  • Muscle Testing

  • Functional Movement Assessments

Treatments:

There are many treatment options available, ranging from conservative too aggressive. Here is a list a few treatment options that may interest you, however please be aware your treatment should be specific to your own unique and individual need that are in align with your and your medical professional’s goals.

  • Medications: Acetaminophen, NSAIDS, Muscle relaxers, Pain killers, and on the more natural route, turmeric and other natural anti-in@lammatories may provide some relief.

  • Kinesiology Treatments: These treatments help to restore movement, decrease pain, improve strength, improve strength and stability, and can improve the overall function of your back while preventing further injuries by correcting asymmetries, improving motor control and treating the whole body as well as the underlying cause of the problem.

  • Physical Therapy; Physical therapy an help rehabilitate the problematic area by reducing pain and with the use of passive and active therapies can be effective.

  • Ice / Heat Therapy: Ice and/or Heat can provide pain relief by relieving back spasms and reducing pain.

  • Soft Tissue Work: soft tissue work can help to realign contracted muscle tissue, restore the length of muscles, improve blood Flow, and decrease myofascial tension.

  • Therapeutic Treatments: Yoga, Pilates, Massage, and Acupuncture, and PNF Stretching can all be effective in rebalancing the body, improving strength, posture, and relaxing built up tension.

  • Electric Modalities: Ultrasound, TENS, IFC, are all electric devices that can be used to stimulate the area to increase blood flow which will speed up healing, push out built up inflammation, and decrease pain by interrupting the pain signals.

  • Epidural Injections: Medications such as Anesthetic’s, Botox, and corticosteroids can be injected directly into the problematic area to reduce pain by denervation of the area that inhibits pain, allowing healing to happen.

  • Chiropractic: Chiropractors use manipulations (Adjustments) to realign malalignments to the spine and help improve nerve communication and reduce pain to the affected area.

  • Never Block: These are epidural injections that are used to numb the nerves that come off the spinal cord and extend to facet joints. These injections help to reduce inflammation.

  • Nerve Denervation: Nerves and Disc are deserved using electrical stimulation and anesthetic injections which cuts off the pain nerve signals providing relief.

  • Prolotherapy: Platelet rich plasma injections are used to inject directly into the muscles, ligaments, and tendons to encourage healing by regeneration of the injured or damaged structures.

  • Surgery Procedures: There are many surgical procedures that aim to surgically correct the structures in the back to reduce pain, and improve function. However they should be the last resort.

    • Percutaneous Discectomy: look to get rid of unwanted material from bulging disc reducing pressure and pain in the disc.

    • Kyphoplasty / Vertebroplasty: These procedures inject cement into the vertebrae to stabilize it. This supports the vertebrae and helps reduce pain.

    • Disk Replacement: This replaces and Injured disk with artificial one

References:

  • Cassazza B, Diagnosis and Treatment of Acute Low Back Pain, Am Fam Physician. 2012 Feb 15;85(4):343-350.

  • Balague F, et al. Non-specific low back pain. The Lancet. 2012;379:482.

  • Devereaux M. Low back pain. Medical Clinics of North America. 2009;93:477.

  • Hoy D, et al. The epidemiology of low back pain. Best Practice & Research Clinical Rheumatology. 2010;24:769.

  • Coenen P, et al. Cumulative low back load at work as a risk factor of low back pain: A prospective cohort study. Journal of Occupation Rehabilitation. In press. Accessed July 15, 2012.

  • Last A, et al. Chronic low back pain: Evaluation and management. American Family Physician. 2009;79:1067.

  • Carneiro K, et al. The role of exercise and alternative treatments for low back pain. Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics of North America. 2010;21:777.

  • Sherman KJ, et al. A randomized trial comparing yoga, stretching, and a self-care book for chronic low back pain. Archives of Internal Medicine. 2011;171:2019.

  • Manchikanti L, et al. American Society of Interventional Pain, Physicians (Jul–Aug 2009). “Comprehensive review of epidemiology, scope, and impact of spinal pain.”. Pain physician 12 (4): E35–70