Use the drop down menu below to learn more about your injury or diagnosis:
Upper back pain linked to the thoracic spine area can include inflammation of the muscle attachments to the spine, tight muscles in the upper back, or in adolescent male athletes, Scheuermann’s disease that starts with acute pain in the upper back and may develop into a rounded thoracic spine in later years (known as kyphosis).
Resting, stretching properly, and heating any enflamed muscles are the standard treatments for upper back pain.
A herniated disk can result from a number of things as you age. Common causes of a herniated disk include improper methods of lifting objects (using your back instead of legs), repetitive strenuous activities and excess body weight placing pressure on the disks. The disks can grow weaker through activities like smoking as well.
Pain can be centralized in either the lower back or the neck.
- In the lower back, you may experience weakness in one leg, a feeling of numbness or “pins and needles” in one leg or buttock, a burning pain in the neck, or a loss of bladder/bowel control.
- In the neck, you will experience the same feelings, but centralized in one arm instead of one leg. Also, the burning sensations will be felt in the arm or shoulder in addition to the neck.
Nonsurgical treatment is effective in 90% of patients. Rest and over-the-counter pain relievers may be all that is necessary to fix the issue. Sometimes, anti-inflammatory or muscle relaxants are helpful as well. Cold compresses placed for no more than 20 minutes at a time may be utilized, as well as gentle heat compresses after any spasms settle. Limit physical activity and sitting for long periods of time. Should these methods fail, regular injections of a cortisone-like drug may be used to lessen nerve irritation and increase physical therapy participation.
Surgical treatment may be required if a significant loss of function is felt by a patient. Depending on the size and location of the herniation, either microdiskectomy or laminectomy will be performed.
The lower back serves primarily as a power center for the body’s movement. It assists in motions such as turning, bending, twisting, and provides the means for people to stand, walk, and lift. As you may have guessed, a properly functioning lower back is pivotal to daily activity.
Lower back pain has numerous causes, making pinpointing a common cause difficult. Many times, lower back pain is due to the aging of the vertebrae disks. Other times, excessive stress from heavy lifting, arthritis of the spine, problems with the tendons or ligaments around the spine, or malpositioning of the vertebrae may be to blame. Occasionally, there is no cause associated with lower back pain.
There are a multitude of surgical and nonsurgical treatments for severe lower back pain, but a few preventative tips could save you from a lot of pain down the road: exercise regularly, lift objects properly (using the legs instead of the back), maintain a proper body weight, avoid smoking, and keep good posture and refrain from slouching.
Treatment options include activity modification, anti-inflammatory medications, and a possible rehab program.
Sciatica may result from aging, plus any sudden pressure placed on the disks cushioning your spine. Around 85% of patients get better without surgery; bed rest and anti-inflammatory medicine is recommended for a few days. Motion reduces inflammation, so physical activity is recommended. If pain remains for more than three months, surgery to remove part of the herniated disk may be recommended.
Most cases in children will remain small and only need periodic checkups with an orthopaedist. Should the curve progress, an orthopaedic brace may be utilized to prevent any further progression. If the brace does not keep the curve under control, surgery may be recommended.
Kyphosis presents with burning or aching in the upper back and neck, with pain felt during prolonged periods of standing or sitting that eases with movement.
Treatment for kyphosis generally includes some massage therapy and a few strengthening exercises to correct any muscle imbalances.
This imbalance and exaggeration can be attributed to different muscles around the hip and spine becoming tight while others grow weak and stretched. Muscles that are tight will require stretching exercises and muscles that are weak will require strengthening.
Treatment for this injury is not universal; doctors are still trying to come to an agreement. Sometimes, wearing a brace and engaging in physical therapy is recommended, other times electrical stimulation, and in some instances, surgery to correct it.
Treatment can be either surgical, or a combination of physical therapy, chiropractic treatments, or anti-inflammatory medications to provide relief.
Pain is centralized either to the left or right of the lower back, ranging from an ache to acute pain restricting movement. Symptoms include having trouble turning over in bed, struggling to put on shoes/socks and pain when getting your legs in and out of the car.
Rest, anti-inflammatory medications, and electrotherapy for affected tissues is standard procedure, but sometimes leveling the pelvis may be necessary.
This pain can be the result of an unstable coccyx, or a fall/trauma delivered to the base of the spine. Repetitive strain or overuse from sports like cycling or rowing can be a cause, also.
As treatment, stretching, strengthening and massages to the muscles around the coccyx are recommended. Sometimes, a steroid injection is given and in rare instances, the coccyx may be removed through surgery.
Radiculopathy presents with pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness down the leg or arm (lumbar or cervical radiculopathy, respectively) due to an irritated nerve root.
Anti-inflammatory medications or corticosteroids may be employed to provide temporary relief.