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Neck And Lower Back Pain

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Treatment Options For Acute Lower Back Pain

Yoga Stretches for Back Pain Relief, Sciatica, Neck Pain & Flexibility, Beginners Level Workout

Most low back pain is due to muscle strain and spasm and does not require surgery. To treat the pain, medications such as acetaminophen , nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents , gabapentin or pregabalin can be used. NSAIDs suppress inflammation, pain and fever by inhibiting certain inflammation-causing chemicals in the body. Acetaminophen reduces pain and fever, but does not inhibit inflammation. Gabapentin and pregabalin, medications that have been used for antiseizure activity, also have the ability to block pain. Opioids provide pain relief and may at times be prescribed to manage severe back pain. However, opioids have many problems, such as habituation, constipation and lightheadedness, and are avoided when possible and used for the shortest possible duration. Epidural injection is an option if the back pain does not respond to these treatments. Each person is different in terms of response to medication.

Other nonsurgical treatments for lower back pain include Intradiscal electrothermal therapy , nucleoplasty, and radiofrequency lesioning.

When Should I Call My Healthcare Provider

See your healthcare provider if you have:

  • Loss of bladder or bowel control with weakness in either leg. These symptoms need attention right away.
  • Severe back or neck pain that does not decrease with medicine and rest
  • Pain after an injury or a fall
  • Weakness, numbness, or tingling in your legs or arms
  • Fever of 100.4°F or higher, or as advised by your healthcare provider
  • Unintentional weight loss

What Are The Complications Of Neck And Back Pain

  • Loss or productivity: Back pain is the most common reason for disability in working adults.

  • Nerve damage: If your back pain is from a herniated disc, pressure on the spinal nerves may cause a variety of problems, such as weakness, numbness, or severe shooting pain that travels from the back to the leg.

  • Depression: Back or neck pain can disrupt all aspects of a persons life: work, physical exercise, social activities, and sleep. The anxiety and stress caused by the change in mobility and pain can lead to depression.

  • Weight gain: Loss of mobility and inability to exercise can lead to weight gain and the loss of muscle strength.

It is a good idea to see a health care provider if you have numbness or tingling, or if your pain is severe and does not improve with medication and rest. If you have difficulty urinating, weakness, pain, or numbness in your legs, fever, or unintentional weight loss, you should call your health care provider right away.

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The Importance Of An Accurate Diagnosis

The physician will need to take a careful medical history and do a physical exam to look for certain red flags that indicate the need for an X-ray or other imaging test. In most cases, however, imaging such as X-ray, MRI , or CT scan is unnecessary.

There may also be certain clues in a patients medical history. Low back, nonradiating pain is commonly due to muscle strain and spasm. Pain that radiates into the buttock and down the leg may be due to , a condition in which a bulging disc presses on the sciatic nerve, which extends down the spinal column to its exit point in the pelvis and carries nerve fibers to the leg. This nerve compression causes pain in the lower back radiating through the buttocks and down one leg, which can go to below the knee, often combined with localized areas of numbness. In the most extreme cases, the patient experiences weakness in addition to numbness and pain, which suggests the need for quick evaluation.

A persistent shooting or tingling pain may suggest lumbar disc disease. A pain that comes and goes, reaching a peak and then quieting for a minute or two, only to reach a peak again, may suggest an altogether different cause of back pain, such as a kidney stone.

When tumor or infection are suspected, the doctor may order blood tests, including a CBC and sedimentation rate .

How Is Spinal Arthritis Treated

New Evidence for Back Pain Management

The treatment for spinal arthritis depends on many factors. They may include your age, level of pain, type and severity of arthritis and personal health goals. Because the joint damage caused by arthritis is irreversible, the treatment usually focuses on managing pain and preventing further damage.

Nonsurgical treatments for spinal arthritis may include:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and corticosteroids to reduce pain and swelling

  • Other medications targeting specific symptoms or triggers of inflammatory arthritis

  • Physical therapy to improve back muscle strength and range of motion in the spine

  • Lifestyle changes to reduce inflammation or stress on your spine: losing weight, quitting smoking, changing your posture, etc.

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How Is A Herniated Disc Treated

“Treatment varies based on your overall health, age, activity level and severity of the symptoms. Initially a short period of rest and pain medications, such as anti-inflammatory drugs or painkillers, may be followed by physical therapy,” explains Dr. Vega-Lelkes.

Taking into consideration your condition, physical therapists may combine exercise with:

  • Bracing of the neck or lower back
  • Electrical stimulation

As the pain improves, physical therapists will teach you core-strengthening exercises to help avoid a recurrence. Generally, most people’s symptoms improve within a month of nonsurgical treatment.

“If physical therapy doesn’t provide relief, steroid injections may help control the pain,” Dr. Vega-Lelkes adds.

These injections, given in the doctor’s office, reduce swelling around the disc to relieve symptoms. Your doctor may use X-ray or fluoroscopy to locate where the injection is needed.

When To See A Doctor

Most simple back pain will start to improve within a day or two of restricted activity and over-the-counter medication. If you find yourself taking more and more pills to relieve back pain, or if the pain is getting worse, you’ll want to contact a back specialist. After a thorough medical history, physical examination, and diagnostic tests a doctor may be able to determine if there is a specific cause of your pain and will recommend appropriate treatments.

Not all chronic pain is treatable. Pain management is an integrated approach to making pain tolerable by learning physical, emotional, intellectual and social skills. This may include exercise, physical therapy, medication, relaxation, acupuncture, behavior changes, biofeedback, hypnosis, and counseling. When you use pain management techniques, you stay in control of your own health. These techniques also help the brain produce it’s own pain medications called endorphins, which literally means “morphine within” .

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Inflammatory Lower Back Pain

Although comparatively few patients have low back pain due to a systemic inflammatory condition, the problem can be life long and can impair function significantly. The good news is that treatments can help essentially all patients, and can lead to major improvements.

Seronegative are a group of inflammatory diseases that begin at a young age, with gradual onset. Like other inflammatory joint diseases, they are associated with morning stiffness that gets better with exercise. Sometimes fusion of vertebrae in the cervical or lumbar regions of the spine occurs. Drugs called TNF-alpha blocking agents, which are used for rheumatoid arthritis, are also used to treat the stiffness, pain, and swelling of spondyloarthropathy, when the cases are severe and not responsive to traditional medications

People who have spondyloarthropathy have stiffness that is generally worst in the morning, and have decreased motion of the spine. They also can have decreased ability to take a deep breath due to loss of motion of the chest wall. Its important for the physician to look for problems with chest wall expansion in patients with spondyloarthropathy.

syndrome is one of the forms of spondyloarthropathy. It is a form of arthritis that occurs in reaction to an infection somewhere in the body, and it carries its own set of signs and symptoms. The doctor will look for:

Mechanical Lower Back Pain

Neck pain relief | Yoga for tight neck and shoulders

Because it represents 97% of cases, mechanical low back pain deserves to be discussed first. To determine the factors that bring out the pain, the doctor will consider the following causes of mechanical low back pain:

  • Spondylolisthesis .
  • Osteoarthritis .
  • Spinal stenosis .

Low back pain that gets worse with sitting may indicate a herniated lumbar disc . This is because certain positions of the body can change the amount of pressure that an out-of-place disc can press on a nerve. This is one reason we suggest to people with low back pain to periodically get up and stretch or walk around rather than continually stay sitting. Acute onset, that is, pain that comes on suddenly, may suggest a herniated disc or a muscle strain, as opposed to a more gradual onset of pain, which fits more with osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis, or spondylolisthesis.

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Quick Relief And Prevention

Chronic upper back and neck pain can become a very serious problem. However, some general soreness in your back and neck area is quite common. There are a few measures you can take for quick relief when this discomfort arises, and some things you can do to try to prevent it altogether.

Use a cold pack and anti-inflammatory pain relief for the first three days after the pain starts. After that, alternate applying heat and cold to your injury. Upper back and neck pain usually erupt suddenly, but healing can take a long time. If youre still in pain and your movement is limited after a month, its time to see your doctor.

Work With The Neck And Back Pain Experts At Continuum Wellness

At our state-of-the-art clinic in Apache Junction, Arizona, we provide compassionate, patient-centered care to everyone who comes to us for relief. We believe in one-on-one treatment and a truly collaborative approach to physical therapy.

Contact us today to learn more and schedule your initial appointment.


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Treating Neck And Shoulder Pain

Treatment of neck and shoulder pain depends on the underlying cause.

Heart attack, stroke, and other serious conditions often include emergency treatment. For most other situations, home remedies, physical therapy, and massage will bring improvement.

Some of the more serious situations that may require surgical treatment include:

How A Neck Issue Is Related To Low Back Pain

Is Osteoarthritis Causing Your Neck or Back Pain?

The brain and the nervous system work together to regulate movement and functions of your body parts. The nervous system is responsible for the coordination of the muscles. It is essential then, for the body to function at its best so that the nerves will not experience disruptions. When the brainstem gets irritated, or the nerves get inflamed, the muscles on one side of the body can tense up, causing pain in the low back.

The spine consists of many vertebrae that support the head, neck, and torso. The skull weighs an average of 14 pounds. Having a balanced head is essential. When the head is tilted, even the slightest bit, the body compensates for it, causing the spine to shift. This can irritate the sciatic nerve and give rise to low back pain.

Upper cervical chiropractors employ a gentle and precise method to realign the bones of the neck that may have shifted. This is often the C1 or C2 vertebra. The body can begin to heal once these bones return in their normal position naturally. Once the structural imbalances and uneven muscle tension are alleviated, sciatica often clears up too.

If you are looking for relief from your sciatica, look for an upper cervical chiropractor in your area and see what upper cervical chiropractic care can do for you!

to schedule a consultation today.

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Common Causes Of Neck Pain

Your neck consists of bones, ligaments, discs, muscles, and nerves that make up the top part of your spinal cord. Injuries or diseases to any of these structures may lead to neck pain.

Over time, arthritis of the neck may result from bony spurs and problems with ligaments and discs. The spinal canal may narrow and compress the spinal cord and nerves to the arms, causing neck pain.

Common Causes Of Chronic Back Pain

Underlying changes in the spines anatomy and mechanics are usually the cause of chronic low back pain.

The most common source of chronic back pain is a lumbar spinal disca sturdy, fibrous structure that acts as a ligament between vertebrae. A spinal disc can cause pain from:

  • Lumbar disc herniation. A herniated disc occurs when the soft, gel-like interior of a disc bulges or leaks outward, irritating nearby muscles, joints, or nerve roots. A herniated disc typically causes sharp, stabbing pain down the backs of the legs , which is usually more pronounced than low back pain.
  • Lumbar degenerative disc disease. Wear-and-tear on the spinal discs that causes chronic low back pain is called lumbar degenerative disc disease. This condition typically causes chronic, low-level low back pain that intermittently flares up for a few days or weeks before returning to normal.

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Spinal Arthritis Causes And Risk Factors

The causes of arthritis in the back or neck vary depending on the type of arthritis you have. Besides normal wear and tear and autoimmune triggers, in many cases the exact cause remains unknown. Genetic components have been identified in connection with some forms of spinal arthritis, meaning that it may be hereditary.

Other spinal arthritis risk factors include:

  • Excess weight/obesity

  • Presence of certain conditions such as diabetes, gout, psoriasis, tuberculosis, irritable bowel syndrome and Lyme disease

What Type Of Doctor Should I See For Back Pain

Causes of Back and Neck Pain

This depends on your condition or symptoms. If you have no obvious injury that would explain your pain, you may want to start by seeing a . This is a specialist in physical medicine who can diagnose back pain and determine whether nonsurgical treatments such as physical therapy may help. Depending on those findings, a physiatrist may also refer you to a , doctor or other type of back specialist, , for additional discussion.

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Let Dr Rohmiller Identify The Source Of Your Pain

You cant properly treat a problem without first knowing its source. Dr. Rohmiller provides over a decade of expertise in spine health, including pediatric spine surgery and scoliosis, adult scoliosis surgery, and minimally invasive surgery of the spine. He can identify the exact source of your back pain and develop the most effective treatment plan for you.

Learn more about Dr. Rohmiller or schedule an appointment. For your convenience, he is available at Beacons Summit Woods location in Ohio and our Northern Kentucky location.

Surgery For Spinal Arthritis

Surgery may be recommended for spinal arthritis if other treatments dont sufficiently relieve pain. The goals of the surgery may include:

  • Stabilizing the spine by fusing several segments together in a procedure called spinal fusion

These surgeries can be performed as open procedures or with a minimally invasive approach. There are pros and cons to each method. The surgeon will review and discuss the options before the operation.

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Some Of The Things You Can Do To Alleviate Neck And Lower Back Pain Followed By A Headache:

  • Sufficient sleep and rest
  • Eat healthy and balanced nutritious food
  • Drink enough water every day, approximately 1.5 L in a day
  • Doing routine exercise, especially aerobic ones, such as walking or jogging, at least 20-30 minutes in a day or three times a week
  • Do a light massage on the neck and back to improve the blood circulation to the muscles and reducing muscle tension
  • When a headache is very distracting, you can also do a pain relief medication such as Paracetamol or Ibuprofen.

To get the exact cause of the neck and lower back pain with headache, consult to a medical doctor is a must. They will give you inquiries about your symptoms, medical history, and perform a complete physical examination.

These include the examination of nerve function and some complimentary test that may be done to ensure the diagnosis such as complete blood check, electrolytes, CT-scan, or MRI of the head when needed.

  • VerywellHealth: Symptoms of Meningitis. https://www.verywellhealth.com/meningitis-symptoms-297083
  • Mayfield Clinic: Cervical herniated disks. https://mayfieldclinic.com/pe-hcdisc.htm

Age And Gender Issues

Neck &  Back Pain

Age and gender are important factors to consider when diagnosing low back pain. In a young patient, a benign tumor of the spine called an osteoid osteoma may be the culprit. Inflammatory bowel disease in young people can be connected with spondylitis and sacroiliitis . Low back pain from disc disease or spinal degeneration is more likely to occur as people get older. Conditions such as abdominal aneurysm or multiple myeloma are also considered in older individuals.

Osteoporosis and fibromyalgia are much more common triggers of back pain in women than in men. Osteoporosis is a progressive decrease in bone density that leaves the bones brittle, porous and prone to fracture. Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder that causes widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and multiple tender points in the neck, spine, shoulders, and hips.

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Lumbar Stenosis / Stenotic Lower Back Pain

What is it?

This is another kind of back condition that has more of a specific cause. Symptoms from spinal stenosis can be felt in the back but often more so in the buttocks and legs due to pressure on the spinal nerves as they pass through the spinal canal.

This typically occurs in people over 50 years old due to age related changes in the spine, and is classically worse when standing and walking, and relieved quickly by bending forwards or sitting.

Will a scan help?

An MRI can be indicated when symptoms are severe enough to consider surgery. Stenosis usually fits a pattern, therefore can be diagnosed from a thorough history and physical examination. Check out the poster in the Mechanical Back section for more information on spinal MRIs.

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