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Did you know that at any given moment, an estimated 31 million Americans are struggling with lower back pain? In fact, lower back pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide and the most common reason for missed work. Back pain appears to strike men and women fairly equally and can occur at any age.
What Causes Back Pain?
Ligaments and muscles can be strained or sprained, discs can be ruptured, and joints can be irritated—all of which can lead to back pain. Although accidents and sports injuries are certainly responsible for many cases of back pain, even something as simple as lifting an item from the floor can result in serious back pain. Poor posture, psychological stress, and obesity can also contribute to back pain as can internal organ disease, kidney stones, kidney disease, bone loss and blood clots.
The most common causes of back pain, however, are mechanical causes, osteoarthritis, and osteoporosis.
Other Issues Associated with Back Pain
While lower back pain is the most common area of back pain, some patients will experience upper back pain as well. Pain in the upper or lower back can radiate into the upper or lower extremities, and is often aggravated by movement. The area may be tender to the touch, and may cause limited range of motion. If weakness, weight loss, fever, bowel or bladder control problems, numbness, or tingling occurs along with the back pain, an emergency evaluation may be warranted.
Treatments for Back Pain
Depending on the location and severity of your back pain, your doctor may order an X-ray, MRI or CT scan. Conservative treatments for back pain include pain relieving medications such as Tylenol or Advil, muscle relaxants, or, in severe cases, prescription medications.
If none of these treatments help, your doctor may suggest a local anesthetic or steroid injected at the site of the pain. This allows the pain signals to the brain to be blocked. Surgical intervention can be an option when nothing else has worked.
Contact Our Pain Management Specialists
We understand that back pain can completely derail your life. At Seattle Pain, our primary goal is to relieve your back pain, and improve your quality of life.