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Back Pain: Risk Factors and Treatment Options

Back pain

If you suffer from any type of back pain, you certainly are not alone! Back pain is among the most common conditions that people experience, all around the world. We demand a lot from our backs, to be stable yet also flexible, durable enough to withstand pressure and weight, and resilient enough to withstand the test of time as we age. However, there is no shortage of factors that lead to or cause the development of back pain and chronic pain conditions.

The team of specialists at West TN Neurology, led by expert neurologist Dr. Salman Saeed, offers comprehensive diagnostics and treatment for back pain. Understanding the cause of your pain is equally as important as treating it. Our team takes the time to find the precise cause and recommend a treatment plan that is specially designed for each patient!

Risk Factors For Back Pain

Every person is different. This goes for the shape and strength of their bodies, as well as how they interact with the world. Some people have frames that encourage better, healthier posture. While others experience more severe side effects from putting their back in compromising positions. Some of the leading risk factors for back pain include:

  • Age – the majority of back pain patients are 30 or older
  • Excess weight – patients who are overweight or obese will experience back pain due to increased pressure and strain
  • Lack of exercise – weakened muscles don’t offer support to the back, allowing poor posture and reduce structural stability
  • Improper Lifting – legs are designed to bend, your back is strongest when it is stabilized
  • Smoking – causes excessive coughing that strains the back, also reduces blood flow which promotes the development of osteoporosis

Common Sources of Back Pain

Spinal Arthritis

Arthritis commonly affects the other joints in the body, but your back is just as susceptible to this condition. Most often, patients develop osteoarthritis in their lower back and neck as a result of age-related wear and tear.

As you age, the protective cushions in the spine begin to flatten and wear away, which causes the facet joints in your spine to make contact and result in inflammation. You will likely experience persistent pain, swelling, and stiffness. The NIH reports that 95% of patients over the age of 60 show at least one indicator of arthritis in their spine.

Osteoporosis Back Pain

When osteoporosis sets in, the strength and rigidity of your bones become severely weakened. This means that it takes much less force to cause damage to your now fragile bones. Back pain for patients who have been diagnosed with osteoporosis is especially worrisome. Most often, these patients will suffer from spinal compression fractures that cause:

  • Severe pain when standing or walking
  • Difficulty twisting or rotating their torso
  • Kyphosis, or forward bending of the spine

It is estimated that between 2%-8% of males experience osteoporosis, while 6%-38% of females will develop osteoporosis. Older aged women are more likely to develop this condition because of the hormone changes that occur during and after menopause. A sharp decline in estrogen has a significant impact on bone density and development.

Bulging or Ruptured Vertebral Discs

Between each of the vertebrae in the spine, there are discs that provide a protective cushion, preventing the bones from making contact with each other and allowing for smoother, more fluid movement. 

The leading cause of disc herniation is age-related degeneration, the structures that hold the disc in place weaken and allow it to slip out of its socket. The second leading cause of herniation is physical trauma injuries.

These discs can become irritated from overuse or bearing weight while in a compromised position. Occasionally, discs can protrude from the spine, causing them to be pinched by the vertebrae and causing inflammation. These protruding discs can put pressure on nearby nerves, swelling, causing stiffness and very sharp, immobilizing pain. 

Ligament or Muscle Strain

The back and the entire posterior chain is a highly complex structure of interconnected tissues. Muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, and bones all work together to maintain the structural integrity of your back and neck. 

If a ligament is overexerted or certain muscles become strained, because of how connected these structures are, you can experience persistent back pain as you attempt to perform routine tasks. Strained muscles can also lead to imbalances as you overcompensate for the injury.

Traction Therapy And Back Pain Treatments

The team of experts at West TN Neurology provides our patients with a comprehensive diagnosis and back pain treatment protocol. Medications such as muscle relaxants can provide temporary relief, along with anti-inflammatory injections. Our team is specially trained to administer traction and spinal decompression therapy.

Another critical aspect of back pain relief is making the necessary lifestyle choices. This means eating a diet that supports joint and bone health, losing excess weight to alleviate pressure on your back, and performing lifts and movements with the safest technique. 

Traction therapy works by relieving pressure being placed on the vertebral discs. Imagine downward pressure, squeezing the discs between the spine – traction applies the opposite force, gently stretching the spine, creating an inverse pressure that allows the discs to retract into their natural positioning, reducing nerve compression and relieving your pain and discomfort. This also allows oxygenated, nutrient-rich blood to flow into the discs, helping to repair and provide the building blocks for regrowth.

Visit our full page on back pain and traction therapy by clicking here

Back Pain Traction Therapy Available in Bartlett, Tennessee

Everyone experiences back pain occasionally, however, if your pain is recurring or persists for weeks or months, you need to consult a professional to diagnose the source of your pain. Trust Dr. Salman Saeed and his team to provide accurate diagnosis and highly effective treatment for your back pain condition.

Call our offices to speak with a member of our team or schedule a consultation online today!

Written by West TN Neurology Clinic PLLC