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What is Back Pain?
Back pain is a very common issue that almost every person experiences at a certain point in his or her lives. The pain in the back may be triggered by bending incorrectly, lifting things incorrectly and maintaining bad posture while standing or sitting down. In most cases, this type of pain is not caused by some highly serious conditions.
In the majority of cases, back pain may improve in a few weeks to few months. However, there are some cases where people experience this pain longer or where the pain becomes chronic.
Types of Back Pain
Back pain is commonly referred to as backache. This type of pain is most commonly felt in the lower back. However, it may be felt on any spot along the human’s spine, starting from the neck and finishing to the hips.
The anatomical structure of the human’s spine is amazingly complex, in both form and function. This means that there are plenty of interconnected structures in the spine that can actually cause the pain in the back. Additionally, there are plenty of strong forces that may cause back pain, such as twisting, daily stresses and sudden jolts. You may irritate the nerve roots that reach your legs or your arms or those that are located in the discs. In addition, you can injure any of the joints, bones and ligaments that are located throughout the spine or strain some of the back muscles that support the spine. The reasons for back pain are numerous.
Generally speaking, there are three types of back pain: acute, chronic and neuropathic.
Acute back pain
One of the three most common back pain types is acute back pain. This pain is lasting less than three to 6 months and is often directly related to damage of the spine’s tissue. If you are wondering what kind of pain we are talking about, just imagine the pain you are experiencing when you get a paper cut, touch a stove or are in labor.
Whatever the reason for the pain is, if it persists to exist, it becomes more susceptible to infections, other influences and can even develop into a chronic pain. The influences we are mentioning include things like physical deconditioning, emotional states including anxiety, depression, and even ongoing pain signals that go to the nervous system without any damage to the tissue.
Chronic back pain
We are going to split chronic pain issues to two categories:
- Chronic pain that results from an identifiable generator of pain
- Chronic pain for which there is no identifiable generator of pain
In the first case, the pain generator is easy to find and is most commonly an injury, while in the latter, the injury is already healed or there is no clear indicator as why the pain exists. Therefore, back pain patients can actually experience the pain because of an injury or some unidentifiable generator.
Chronic pain is usually used for pain that lasts for more than 3 to 6 months. In most cases, this type of back pain is less directly related to tissue damage that can be identified.
Chronic back pain without any particular generator or cause is a common occurrence. Additionally, this can be the symptom of a failed back surgery, also referred to as the failed back surgery syndrome. In this case, the pain continues to exist even after the body has healed from the surgery.
Neuropathic back pain
There is much less research on this type of pain than on the other two. In the majority of neuropathic pain types, the original injury symptoms are already gone. When this happens, the back pain of the patient is seen as unrelated to any visible conditions or injuries.
When this happens, there are nerves that simply continue sending messages to the brain about pain in the back, even though there is no real damage in the particular area.
Back pain is perhaps the most common reason why people visit the doctor or are simply stuck in bed unable to move and do their daily tasks. This pain includes lower back pain, upper back pain, low back pain and middle back pain. There are also certain conditions such as nerve problems, degenerative disc disease, muscular problems, arthritis and others; that can cause back pain in people.
Fortunately, there are certain measures that can be taken in order to relieve the pain in the back. You could use some pain medications and treatments for back pain. Surgery is rarely done to patients that experience back pain.