The spinal column is an exquisitely complex structure that functions remarkably well under at times strenuous conditions. Unfortunately injuries, changes due to aging, congenital anomalies or poor posture can lead to disabling pain.
Our Orthopedic Surgeons, Clinicians and Physical Therapists are all experienced in the diagnosis and non-surgical treatment of many causes of neck and back pain.
WHEN TO SEE A PHYSICIAN
Fortunately, approximately 50% of patients will experience back pain relief within two weeks and 90% within three months. If the pain lasts for more than a few days, is getting worse, does not respond to back pain remedies such as a short period of rest, using ice or heat, lower back pain exercises and over-the-counter pain relievers, then it is usually advisable to see a physician.
There are two instances in which emergency medical care is needed:
- Bowel and/or bladder dysfunction
- Progressive weakness in the legs
People should also seek prompt medical attention if other unexplained symptoms accompany their back pain, such as fever, history of cancer, recent unexplained weight loss, pain that is so bad it awakens them from sleep, or pain after a trauma.
The Orthopedic Center team specializes in the diagnosis and non-surgical treatment of back and neck pain.
The back and spine provide protection to the highly sensitive spinal cord and nerve roots, yet it must remain strong and flexible, providing for mobility in all directions.
Unfortunately, with so many moving and static components, back pain can originate from a number of parts, such as irritation to the large nerve roots that run down the legs and arms, irritation to small nerves inside the spine, strains to the large back muscles, as well as any injury to the disc, bones, joints or ligaments in the spine.
Acute back pain comes on suddenly and usually lasts from a few days to a few weeks. Chronic back pain is typically described as lasting for more than three months.
By far the most common cause of lower back pain is a muscle strain or other soft tissue damage. While this condition is not serious, it can be severely painful. Typically, lower back pain from a muscle strain will get better within one to three weeks.
Treatment usually involves a short period of rest, activity restriction, use of hot packs and/or cold packs for local discomfort, and pain medication.