The majority of adults suffer from back pain, and it’s one of the leading causes of seeing a doctor in the United States. Although back pain has various causes (and sometimes isn’t even caused by an issue in the back), problems with the spine are a major cause of back pain. Considering back pain is the number one cause of disability around the world, it’s critical to treat back pain early. Mend Clinic is Salem, OR’s ER alternative and has orthopedic specialists on-site and available for walk-ins seven days per week. Make an appointment online, walk-in, or call today to get started – (971) 204-8410.
There are five major causes of back pain, and four of them involve the spine. While muscle and ligament strains can be a painful cause of back pain, and both are treated at Mend Clinic, they are relatively minor injuries compared to these spinal conditions:
There are many types of arthritis, but osteoarthritis is the most common type found in the lower back (the number one spot for back pain). Osteoarthritis increases with age, and can cause narrowing around the spinal cord and nerves. This can cause spinal stenosis, a debilitating condition. Fortunately, medical intervention can help slow down the progression of arthritis and treat the pain.
The disks in the spine serve as cushions between the vertebrae. Like any cushion, they are soft and can be manipulated. If a disk bulges or is ruptured, it can put pressure on a nerve. Disks can also shift so that the bones rub against each other with no cushion. Treatment for disk injuries vary, and it’s important to know that relief is possible. Like any injury, the earlier a disk injury is diagnosed and treated, the less damage and pain there will be.
There are many conditions, such as scoliosis, that can cause natural skeletal irregularities. These conditions can lead to back pain, but often not until a person reaches middle age. It’s also possible to have a congenital, undiagnosed skeletal injury.
As a person ages, their bones become less dense. Brittle bones can make the spine vulnerable to compression fractures, especially for those who put stress on their back.
Those most at risk of spinal injuries are 30+ years old, and risk increases with every decade. Carrying extra weight and lack of exercise also increases risks. Weak muscles and bones that don’t get regular weight-bearing exercises to become brittle faster and make for a vulnerable spine. Some diseases, such as arthritis and cancer, can also cause backpain. Athletes who workout regularly, but practice improper lifting, also increase their risk of back injuries. Finally, smoking and poor posture also make for a vulnerable spine.
The first time a person feels a pain or ache in their back, it’s time to see a medical professional. This is the body’s first sign that something’s wrong. The majority of back injuries don’t occur in a single traumatic event, such as a car accident. Instead, they’re caused by years of repetitive use, disease, or other lifestyle factors. Walk into Mend Clinic any day of the week and be seen quickly by an orthopedic specialist.
Strains and pulled muscles surround the spine are the most common form of back pain injury. These are often treated with rest, ice / heat, therapy, and anti-inflammatories. At Mend Clinic we often give an injection of inflammatory medications to help with acute pain from a strained back muscle. Many of these injuries can occur at work, during sport activities, heavy lifting or after simply stepping off the curb.
Signs of severe injury to the back and neck include numbness in the arms or legs, loss of bowel control or loss of motor function. These require immediate medical attention. Book your appointment online, walk-in, or call (971) 204-8410 today.