Back pain is the most common problem among many people. According to a survey, roughly 70 to 85 percent of people have experienced back pain at some point in their lifetime. In most of the cases, the lower back pain is caused due to muscle strain. Depending on the cause of the pain, the treatment varies from person to person. It is generally advisable to get proper treatment from an experienced professional. If your back hurts, don’t ignore the pain.
The reason for back pain varies depending on the problems. Some are listed below
1. Mechanical problems:
A mechanical problem is due to movement of the spine in certain ways. The most common mechanical problem is the “Intervertebral disc degeneration”. In this, the disc located between the vertebrae of the spine will be broken down as they age and loses its cushioning ability. This can cause pain when stressed. Other mechanical problems include spasms, muscle tension, and ruptured discs which are also called as herniated discs.
Spine injuries such as sprains and fractures can cause chronic back pain. Sprains are tears in the ligaments that can occur from twisting or lifting improperly. Fractured vertebrae are the result of osteoporosis which is caused due to weak and porous bones. Less commonly, back pain may be caused by more severe injuries due to accidents and falls.
3. Acquired conditions and diseases:
Many medical conditions can cause back pain. They include scoliosis, spondylolisthesis, various forms of arthritis, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and spinal stenosis. Other causes of back pain include pregnancy, kidney stones or infections, endometriosis, fibromyalgia and widespread muscle pain.
4. Infections and tumors:
These are not the common causes of back pain. But infections can cause back pain when they involve the vertebrae, which is called as osteomyelitis or when they involve the discs that cushion the vertebrae, which is called as discitis. Tumors are the rare cause for back pain but when they appear in the back as a result of cancer, that is spread somewhere else from the body.
Although most of the causes of back pain are due to physical factors, stress also plays a role. Stress can affect the body in many ways and cause back muscles to become tense and painful.
Depending on the cause and type of the pain, physiotherapists can treat the back pain in a number of ways. Some of the physiotherapy methods are listed below
It is treated for acute back pain and it is helpful in reducing the pain, swelling, and spasm in muscle. Cold packs are used for the first 24-48 hours and it will be found very effective.
It is given as Superficial and Deep heat. Infrared rays and hydro collator packs will produce heat to the subcutaneous tissues for decreasing the pain and relieving from muscle spasm. Shortwave Diathermy(SWD) heats are used for deeper structures like muscles, ligaments, and bones.
3. Ultrasonic therapy:
It is used for both acute and chronic pain. It penetrates deeper than SWD. It helps to drive Xylocaine, analgesic, and hydrocortisone deeper into the tissues, joint capsules, and ligaments as Phonophoresis.
It stretches the spinal muscles and ligaments to relieve from intradiscal pressure. It distracts the vertebral body and facet joints and also widens the intervertebral foramen to relieve pressure on the nerve roots.
5. Interferential therapy/tens:
These are used to increase the blood circulation and it reduces the pain by Pain Gate theory. Tens are used to drive some analgesic through transdermal technique.
6. Spinal manipulation/mobilization:
Manipulation is a skilled technique where manual force is applied gently within or beyond the active range of motion. It sets the misalignments of spinal vertebrae to get rid of back pain.