Back Pain

The human back is the largest structural part of the body. It helps us keep the body straight against the gravity and move in various directions.

The back has many supportive structures like the vertebral column (backbone), rib cage, muscles and other soft tissues.

The backbone is formed by 33 pieces of bones. In an adult, the 24 bones are movable and separated by cushioning discs. The remaining lower 9 pieces (sacrum and tailbone) are fused and attached to the pelvic bones.

Backbones also make protective canals for the spinal cord from the brain and that connect to the different organs and body parts.

The human back has three regions:

  • The upper back (neck and shoulder region)
  • The middle back (thoracic region)
  • The lower back (lumbar region and the tailbone area)

Among the three regions, the lower back is the most vulnerable for injuries, because of its flexibility and mobility.

Back pain is the most common symptom. Many of us must have experienced back pain several times in our lives. It can affect everyone from adolescents to adults, due to various reasons.

Recent studies indicate that a sedentary lifestyle and jobs performed sitting for a long time like computer work are the reasons for increase in the back pain cases.

Back pain based on its duration can be classified as:

  • Acute (recently started)
  • Chronic (exists for many weeks)

Back Pain Causes

There are many causes, but all have their origin in one of:

Musculoskeletal Origin

This is one of the most common causes of back pain that include:

  • Muscle strain and ligament sprains lead to muscle spasm and inflammation on the back
  • Trigger points and muscle spasm form on the muscles due to the prolonged use of back muscles and other soft tissues
  • Myofacial tightness and fibromyalgia
  • Abnormal postures exert excess stress on the musculoskeletal systems
  • Dysfunction of the vertebral joints lead to the loss of synchronized movements of the vertebra and abnormal opening and closing of the vertebral joints
  • Muscle weakness, especially of the muscles in the back, abdomen and pelvis due to prolonged inactivity or pain.
  • Chest deformity and stress on the ribs or rib cage are a most common cause of upper and middle back (thoracic) pain. Such traits are also a cause of pain in the back, chest and shoulder blade region. This cause is also common in children.
  • Spondylitic changes wear and tear the process of the vertebra and its joint, leading to pain and nerve irritation
  • Pregnancy
  • Spondylolisthesis and retrolisthesis
  • Sacroiliac joint dysfunction due to arthritis, pregnancy or muscle spasm can lead to lumbar back pain, especially during movements of the back
  • Vertebral fusion anomalies like sacralization or lumbarization
  • Ankylosing spondylitis is a chronic inflammation of the spine that may gradually fuse the vertebras
  • Tumors, possibly cancerous, can be a source of skeletal pain
  • Bone spurs or osteophytes are new bone growths in the spine. Spinal stenosis occurs when the canal holding the spinal cord becomes narrower, due to protrusion of the spurs into the canal.
  • Osteoporosis is a type of bone disorder that causes bones to become thin and weak because of calcium loss.

Neurological Origin

  • Disc abnormalities like spondylosis or herniated (bulged) or prolapsed discs can compress the nerve at the nerve root level, causing pain and inflammation.
  • Cauda equina syndrome compresses the spinal cord due to the massive compression of the discs. This syndrome leads to serious medical problems like severe pain, loss of sensation, urinary incontinence or the inability to begin urination.

Referred Pain from other Organs

  • Pain may radiate to the back due to pain in other parts of the body caused by the abnormalities of the organs in the abdomen, pelvis, or chest.
  • Kidney problems and kidney stones
  • Pelvic infections
  • Ovarian disorders

Congenital Origin

Congenital abnormalities like spina bifda and scoliosis

Psychosomatic origins

  • Unresolved emotional problems may lead to chronic back pain
  • Suppressing sexual desires for a long time may cause back pain

Infections

  • Osteomyelitis, tuberculosis of spine, and other
  • Viral infections

Back Pain Symptoms

The symptoms of back pain vary from person-to-person and cause-to-cause. The general symptoms are:

  • Pain and stiffness on the back
  • Severe pain while coughing or sneezing
  • Pain while moving
  • Pain around the lower-back and upper-buttocks
  • Pain radiation with or without numbness, tingling sensation and muscle weakness felt toward the leg

Occupational Back Pain

Sitting in an awkward position, using a poorly designed workstation or performing jobs that require the frequent use of back muscles injure the soft tissues and stress the muscles. Such tissue and muscles cause pain and inflammation.

These traits activate the spinal reflex mechanism, resulting in protective muscular contraction (spasm), fatigue, accumulation of pain-stimulating chemicals like lactic acid and the formation of trigger points on the muscles.

Because of the pain and inflammation, the patient, over a period of time, involuntarily ignores using proper muscles or avoids the pain-generating positions. All these, in turn, further increase the stress on the spine and other back muscles, leading to spinal deformity and malfunction of the spinal joints.

Further the pressure on the discs also increases, making way for early degenerative bone and disc changes.

Eventually the pain starts spreading toward the other parts of the body, especially sides of the back, stomach, buttocks, hip joint region and legs, with or without other neurological deficits.

Impact of Chronic Back Pain

  • Difficulty in sitting for a extended time
  • Experiencing pain while sleeping
  • Difficulty performing normal activities
  • Lack of productivity and concentration in work
  • Emotional stress
  • Difficulty to socialize
  • Difficulty to have sex
  • Side effects due to the frequent use of medicines

Conventional Treatment for Back Pain

Most of the conventional back pain treatment focuses on treating the symptoms and not the causes.

Although your pain may subside through pain-relieving medicines, muscle relaxants or by other means, the causes of back pain remain. In fact, the pain may become severe and require surgery.

Further, there is no medicine to correct your posture and release the muscle tightness and trigger points.

Physio Fusion Therapy (PFT) for Back Pain

PFT effectively treats back pain that has a musculoskeletal or neurological origin. The back pain specialist of our clinic focus on the symptoms and causes and give complete remedies.

PFT stages of hands-on solutions will relieve your back pain and help avoid surgery in many cases.

Advantages of PFT treatment for Back Pain
Treatment focused on root causes of the problem
Speedier recovery
No dugs for treatment
Absolutely no side effect
Activates bodies natural healing mechanism
No diet restrictions
No activity restriction
You can avoid spinal surgeries
Chances of pain recurrence is very low