Back Pain Approximately 60% of adults in our country suffer from back pain. A large number of the complaints that are reported, and days of work that are missed, results directly from low back pain, or lumbar pain. In fact, statistics demonstrate a prevalence of low back problems related to disability in middle-aged adults. Back pain may be somewhat benign –it’s just a little pain. However, prompt action to mitigate the problems that cause discomfort and limited range of motion is necessary to prevent damage that can only be repaired with surgery.
Mid Back Pain
There are three primary segments in the spinal column that may become painful at some point. The neck is referred to as the cervical spine. That segment has 7 vertebrae and is cushioned by intervertebral discs. The last of the cervical discs sits about shoulder level. The mid-bac, and upper back is the thoracic spinal segment, made up of 12 vertebrae and their intervertebral discs. These joints extend from the shoulder area to the low back. There is minimal movement that occurs along the thoracic spine due to the attachment of this segment to the rib cage. The function of the thoracic spine is to support functional posture around vital organs and across the cervical spine.
Symptoms of Mid Back Pain
When pain develops from a problem within the thoracic spine, it may present as a chronic ache coupled with stiffness, or it may occur as the occasional bout of muscle spasms. Deep breathing may be difficult due to discomfort in the back and chest area. Depending on the level of the spine that is affected, pain or other symptoms may radiate down the arm.
Causes of Mid Back Pain
Core muscle strength is integral to mid-back structure. Pain may stem from imbalance in the curvature of the spine (scoliosis) or from a direct injury. Often, the cause of mid-back pain relates more to posture and poor body mechanics during physical activity. Therefore, it may be possible to resolve discomfort by strengthening the muscles around this part of the spine and developing good postural habits.
Low Back Pain
The low back, essential to the movements and support of the body, is highly susceptible to injury. That injury may be attributed to a single event, such as overextension. Often, low back pain progresses from something very mild to pain that inhibits activities. This is an indication of disc degeneration related to the aging process.
Symptoms of Low Back Pain
Low back pain may present a localized sharp pain or ache. In some cases, pain radiates from its point of origin in the low back down the leg. Additional symptoms include stiffness, limited range of motion, and numbness or tingling in the leg or foot.
Causes of Low Back Pain
Fortunately, the leading cause of back pain is a strained or sprained muscle or ligament. With early care, the injury to the affected structure can be supported to heal naturally, without surgery. Disc wear and tear may be a more challenging issue to face. As the fluid and cartilage that make up the shock absorbing discs in between the bones of the lower back dehydrate, there is less space in between the vertebrae for nerves to pass through. One of the primary objectives of treatment is to relieve pressure on these nerves.
Information is valuable to the prevention and resolution of mid and low back pain. It is important to understand what may be behind sudden or chronic pain and stiffness. It is also advantageous to work with an experienced physical medicine specialist to discover how the source of back pain can be managed or repaired.
If you have been struggling with back pain for more than 3 months, or are not finding relief from discomfort with rest and home remedies, contact Advanced Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. We take a multidimensional approach to treatment that facilitates healing and restored comfort. With several offices throughout Monmouth County, NJ, we provide the convenience our patients need to obtain the care that will help them improve their quality of life.
Contact us today to schedule your visit.