Lots of people have raised the question of back pain on Phyzio and questioned why it showed up in their body. Lets reveal the science behind back pain to know better about why it occurs to you.

Understanding Your Back

Your back is made up of 4 regions:

  1. Cervical
  2. Thoracic
  3. Lumbar
  4. Sacrum

Your Back is a complex structure, comprised of

  • Muscles
  • Tendons
  • Bones
  • Ligament
  • Intervertebral Discs

Problem in any part of these structure result in back pain.

Back Pain can be either acute or chronic.

Acute Back Pain:- If the back pain lasts less than 3 months

Chronic Back Pain:- If the back pain lasts more than 3 months

Muscle and ligament strain are the most common causes of Back Pain.

There are times when our day to day routine causes the strain in the muscles and ligament which leads into back pain. Some of day to day routine that causes the strain are:

  • heavy and improper lifting
  • Awkward Movements
  • Poor Posture
  • Muscles Spasms

Other causes of back pain

There are many other potential causes of back pain, but most of these are rare. Be sure to see your doctor if you experience regular back pain that does not go away. After ruling out the more common causes of back pain, your doctor will perform tests to determine if you have a more rare cause. These can include:

  • narrowing of the spinal canal, or spinal stenosis
  • displacement of one vertebral body onto another, called degenerative spondylolisthesis
  • loss of nerve function at the lower spinal cord, called cauda equina syndrome (a medical emergency)
  • fungal or bacterial infection of the spine, such as StaphylococcusE. coli, or tuberculosis
  • cancer or nonmalignant tumor in the spine

Structure Issues that cause back pain includes:

  • Disc Herniation
  • Bulging Disc
  • Sciatica
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Scoliosis
  • Osteoporosis

Risk Factors that increases the back pain development

  • Obesity
  • Aging
  • Anxiety
  • Smoking
  • Sedentary Lifestyle
  • Strenuous Activity
  • Pregnancy

Back pain symptoms that may indicate a serious problem

There are times when back pain can be a symptom of a serious medical problem. Symptoms that can indicate a more serious medical problem are:

  • loss of bowel or bladder control
  • numbness, tingling, or weakness in one or both legs
  • onset following trauma, such as a fall or a blow to the back
  • intense, constant pain that gets worse at night
  • presence of unexplained weight loss
  • pain associated with a throbbing sensation in the abdomen
  • presence of fever

How is back pain diagnosed?

A physical exam is typically all that’s needed to diagnose back pain. During the physical exam, your doctor may test your:

  • ability to stand and walk
  • spine’s range of motion
  • reflexes
  • leg strength
  • ability to detect sensations in your legs

If a serious condition is suspected, your doctor might order other tests, including:

  • blood and urine tests to check for underlying conditions
  • X-rays of the spine to show alignment of your bones and check for breaks
  • computed tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to assess your disks, muscles, ligaments, nerves, and blood vessels
  • bone scan to look for abnormalities in the bone tissue
  • electromyography (EMG) to test nerve conduction
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