Back Pain Information Center

Back pain

Back pain is a symptom of other underlying medical conditions, such as disc herniation, degenerative disc disease, kyphosis, strained muscle, sciatica, arthritis etc. Types of back pain include upper, middle and lower back pain. It can be temporarily relieved with OTC pain killers, cold/hot packs…; however, the actual underlying condition needs to be addressed for longer lasting relief.

 

Read More About Back Pain Classification & Types, Its Pathophysiology, Causes, Signs& Symptoms, Treatment, Tests From the Below Links:

Upper Back Pain

Pain in the upper back is not as common as in lower back; but nonetheless can be very discomforting. Common cause for upper back pain is irritation to the muscle. Problems with thoracic discs, such as disc herniation or disc bulging, also results in upper back pain. Below we have given a snippet on an upper back condition. To read more, please refer to our "Upper Back Pain" section on the left side menu.

Hunchback or Hunched Back or Kyphosis

Hunchback or Hunched Back or Kyphosis

This is a condition which affects the upper back with exaggerated forward rounding of the upper back. Older women, especially, who suffer from osteoporosis, are more commonly affected by this condition. It is also known as "dowager's hump."

Causes Include: Osteoporosis, degeneration of the discs, cancer, Scheuermann's disease and it could be a congenital or a birth defect.

Symptoms Include rounded or hunchback, bad posture, back pain, stiffness, tiredness. More serious symptoms include: bowel and bladder incontinence, chest pain and breathlessness.

Treatment depends on the cause and is done by giving analgesics, medicines to strengthen the bones, using braces, physical therapy. In severe cases surgery is done. To read in detail, please visit our "Upper Back Pain" section on the left side menu.

Mid Back Pain

Mid Back Pain

In our Q and A section, we have answered many questions asked by a gentleman aged 45 years. You can read that article to know in detail the causes, symptoms and treatment for mid back pain in our "Mid Back Pain" section on the left side menu.

Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain (also known as lumbago) is more common than upper or mid back pain. Almost half of the population has suffered or is suffering from lower back pain. It is actually a symptom which denotes an underlying problem. There are various conditions which cause lower back pain. We have given a brief summary on few of them. We have also covered various tips on coping with lower back pain and how to prevent lower back pain by modifying some of our habits, such as our posture while sitting, driving etc. Along with this, we have answered many questions by various individuals regarding their lower back pain. To read more in detail, please refer to the left side menu under the heading "Lower Back Pain." Some of the conditions which cause lower back pain are:

Lumbar Disc Herniation

Lumbar Disc Herniation

This is a condition when any type of illness such as disc degeneration or injury weakens the fibrous annulus and this causes the disc to bulge or herniate through the broken annulus fibrosus resulting in disc herniation. Lumbar disc herniation commonly occurs between L1 and S1 vertebra.

Causes Include: Accidents, osteoporosis, smoking, obesity. Symptoms include: Discogenic pain, lumbar radicular pain, radiculopathy, cauda equina syndrome.

Treatment comprises of pain medications, muscle relaxants, antidepressants, manual therapy and physical therapy. Surgical options include: Percutaneous Discectomy, Explorative Discectomy, Laminectomy and Spinal Fusion Surgery. To read all about lumbar disc herniation, please refer to our "Lower Back Pain" section on the left side menu.

Lumbar Epidural Abscess

This is a condition where there is localized abscess present in the epidural space between first lumbar vertebrae and first sacral vertebrae.

  • Causes Include: Infections, injuries, could occur after any surgery.
  • Risk Factors Include: Diabetes, chronic renal failure, using contaminated needles, excessive alcohol intake, chemotherapy etc.
  • Symptoms comprise of fever, weakness, back pain, tingling, numbness, bowel and bladder incontinence.
  • Treatment is done by giving antibiotics for infection. Surgery is done in severe cases to drain the abscess.

Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

This is a condition where there is stenosis or narrowing of the foramen in the lumbar vertebrae (L1 to L5).

Causes Include:

  • Lumbar Disc Bulge
  • Lumbar Disc Herniation
  • Lumbar Spondylolisthesis or Subluxation
  • Primary and Metastatic Cancer of Vertebrae
  • Lumbar Facet Joint Disease
  • Bony Spurs of Vertebrae
  • Lumbar Epidural Abscess

Symptoms Include: Radicular pain, intermittent claudication, bladder and bowel incontinence, cauda equina syndrome, gait disturbance, postural deformity, weight loss and muscle atrophy. Treatment includes: NSAIDs, muscle relaxants, antidepressants, Interventional Pain Therapy and Physical Therapy (PT).

Surgical Procedures Include:

  • Explorative Discectomy
  • Laminectomy
  • Spinal Fusion Surgery

To read more in detail about the Causes, Symptoms, Signs, Treatment-Pain Therapy, PT, Surgery for Lumbar Spinal Stenosis please refer to our "Lower Back Pain" section on the left side menu.

Also in our website, we have given tons of information not only on back pain, but also on other things related to back pain such as:

Diseases and Medical Conditions

  • Epidural Abscess
  • Intervertebral Disc Herniation
  • Myofascial Pain Syndrome
  • Cervical Radiculopathy
  • Spinal epidural abscess ….and many more.

Question and Answer (Q and A) Section where our experts have answered questions from our readers related to back pain, muscle stiffness, whiplash injury, herniated disc and so much more. You will find many FAQs here and also get your doubts cleared.

Back Pain Occurring from Sports Injuries including low back injuries such as herniated disc, lordosis, spondylolysis; upper back injuries such as kyphosis, costovertebral joint sprain, whiplash among others.

Pain Blog

Pain Blog

Sam was a 33 year old young man with everything in his life; wife, kids, house, good job, when he started suffering from lower back pain. The pain started slowly intensifying to the point where he had to undergo surgery, even after which the pain didn't improve. As a result of this, he was in a lot of pain and had to take heavy pain medications and also became depressed. He lost his house, job and became practically bedridden. He underwent another surgery in the hopes of becoming better, but to no avail. He is now 38 years old, living in a rented apartment, no longer able to play with his 3 kids, his wife is supporting the family and he has become disabled at the young age of 38.

To read more about Sam's painful experience and how he dealt with various problems related to worker's compensation, insurance, doctors, lawyers, medical bills and what not, refer to our "Pain Blog" section, where you can also read other patients' experiences on how they dealt with their pain along with sharing your own experiences.

Articles

Articles

In this section we have covered causes for back pain and many natural homemade remedies found in your own kitchen for relief from back pain. So, please refer to the "Articles" section on the left side menu to read more.

Manual Therapy

Manual Therapy

In the manual therapy section, we have given other alternatives to medicines and drugs for relief from back pain, such as massage therapy, spa therapy, chiropractic and physical therapy. Topics under manual therapy specifically for relief from back pain include:

  • Cervical / Lumbar Traction.
  • Cox Flexion Distraction Technique or Cox Technic: A Safe Alternative to Back Surgery; Method, Benefits.
  • Lumbar Lordosis or Lumbar Swayback: 5 Simple Corrective Exercises, Tips for Prevention…………many more.

Opioid/Rx

Opioid/Rx

In this section, we have given information regarding prescription opioid pain killers and the procedures for giving them such as Lumbar Sympathetic Ganglion Block, in chronic pain conditions, in detail. To read more about different types of medications for pain relief, please refer to our "OPIOID/RX" section on the left side menu.

Diseases and Conditions

There are many underlying medical conditions which cause back pain. Given below is a brief summary on some of them with causes, symptoms and treatment. You can find detailed information under the topic "Back Pain," on the left side menu. Given below are some snippets of some of the diseases and conditions which we have covered in our back pain section.

Epidural Abscess

Epidural Abscess

Presence of abscess, which is a collection of pus comprising of debris, bacteria and dead cells, either in the spinal or cerebral epidural region, is known as epidural abscess. The size of the abscess varies and so do the symptoms. This is a rare condition and occurs mainly via hematological spread or due to other infections or presence of abscess in the bones. Abscesses also can occur from invasive surgical procedures. Epidural abscess are of two types:

  • Intracranial epidural abscess.
  • Spinal epidural abscess.

To know more, please refer to the left side menu under the topic "Epidural Abscess."

Intervertebral Disc Herniation

Displacement or shifting of the disc present between 2 vertebral bones is known as intervertebral disc herniation. This condition results in bulging or rupturing of the disc which causes nerve impingement. According to the location, Intervertebral Disc Herniation is classified as:

  • Cervical Disc Herniation
  • Thoracic Disc Herniation
  • Lumbar Disc Herniation

Symptoms Include pain, numbness, tingling, weakness, worsening pain with movement, cramping or spasm of the muscles.

Treatment is done by using cold and hot compresses to relieve pain, muscle relaxants and massage therapy. Surgery is done if conservative treatment does not relieve symptoms. To know more about Intervertebral Disc Herniation, please refer to the left side menu where you will find everything in detail.

Myofascial Pain Syndrome (MPS)

Myofascial Pain Syndrome (MPS)

This is a chronic pain disorder resulting from various trigger points and constrictions in the fascia. This condition causes pain in body parts which are distant from the source, and is known as referred pain.

Symptoms Include: deep seated pain in the muscles, presence of a tender lump in the muscle, sleep disturbances.

Treatment is done with painkillers, trigger point injections, relaxation techniques and physical therapy.

Other Back Pain Topics Which are Covered in this Section:

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: March 25, 2016

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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