The majority of questions we at Remedy Pain Solutions are asked from patients, pertain to back pain. This is no surprise since nearly 65 million Americans report a recent episode of back pain, with 8% of adults experiencing persistent or chronic back pain.
Back pain can be described based on the onset and duration of symptoms.
- Acute back pain: comes on suddenly and lasts for a few days or weeks, and is considered a normal response of the body to injury or tissue damage. The pain gradually subsides as the body heals.
- Subacute back pain: lasts between 6 weeks and 3 months. This type of pain is often mechanical in nature (such as muscle or joint pain) but is prolonged. At this point, a medical workup may be considered, including the ordering of imaging studies.
- Chronic back pain: lasts greater than 3 months, is usually severe, does not respond to initial treatments, and requires a medical workup to determine the exact source of the pain.
The most common cause of lower back pain is a torn/pulled muscle and/or ligament. These can happen suddenly or develop slowly over time from repetitive movements.
Strains occur when a muscle is stretched too far and tears, damaging the muscle itself. Sprains happen when over-stretching and tearing affects ligaments, which connect the bones together.
Common causes of sprain and strain include:
- Lifting a heavy object or twisting the spine while lifting
- Sudden movements that place too much stress on the lower back, such as a fall
- Poor posture over time
- Sports injuries, especially in sports that involve twisting or large forces of impact
Causes of chronic back pain:
- Herniated disc
- Degenerative disc disease
- Facet joint dysfunction
- Sacroiliac joint dysfunction
- Spinal stenosis
- Compression fracture
Less common causes of back pain:
- Autoimmune disease
Common symptoms of lower back injuries:
- Dull, aching back pain
- Pain that travels to the buttocks, legs, and feet
- Pain that is worse after prolonged sitting
- Pain that feels better when changing positions
- Pain that is worse after waking up and better after moving around
Symptoms of back injuries that require immediate attention:
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
- Recent weight loss not due to lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise
- Fever and chills
- Severe, unrelenting pain in the abdomen
Treatments for back pain may include:
- Over the counter medications
- Prescription medications
- Back braces
- Epidural injections
- Spinal facet joint injections
- Trigger point injections
- Physical therapy/chiropractic care
- Surgical intervention
Our physicians at Remedy Pain Solutions are expertly trained to accurately diagnose and treat a wide variety of spinal disorders. If you are suffering from back pain that is inhibiting your everyday life, contact us at Remedy Pain Solutions to see how we can help. With offices in Marina Del Rey and Manhattan Beach, we look forward to getting you back on the path to pain-free living.