It is estimated that about four out of five people suffer from back pain at some point in their life. Anyone can be vulnerable to this condition but it is most common in patients between the ages of 35 and 55.
Understanding The Back
The back is made up of bones, joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons, with the spine providing the main support; this is made up of 24 separate bones called vertebrae and the sacrum and coccyx. Discs are located between each vertebra and absorb shock allowing your spine to curve and bend. The spinal cord travels down the central canal of each vertebra and carries nerves from your brain connecting them to the rest of your body.
In most patients, it is hard to highlight the origin of the pain, but it is normally due to a strain rather than being nerve related. Conditions that are of a more server nature are less common and normally affect very old or very young patients.
If the pain is coming from the lower back then this is normally due to tension, soreness, or stiffness in that area. In medical terms, it is referred to as ‘non-specific’ back pain and will normally improve within a few days with no medical help required.
Back pain is categorized into the following;
Acute and sub-acute back pain will last for no longer than three months whereas chronic back pain can last for longer. Chronic back pain is the most serious and may involve physiotherapy or in worst cases surgery.
Some patients will have other symptoms rather than just back pain, if this is the case then a GP should be contacted. These symptoms are as follows;
- High Temperature
- Redness or the back is swollen
- Pain travels down your legs and below your knees
- Both legs feel week or numb
- There is no feeling in the buttocks
- No bladder or bowel control, otherwise known as incontinence
- Pain continues at night time
- Pain worsens and starts to spread up your spine
Symptoms such as these are known as red flags and if you are suffering from any of them then you should undergo back pain treatment in York, London, or throughout the UK. Specialists in this area will make sure that there isn’t a more serious cause of your discomfort; and if so will know of the treatments that are available.