If you are experiencing or have experienced back pain, know that you are not alone. Back pain is one of the most common reasons people see a doctor, and almost everyone will experience some form of back pain in their lifetime. Back injuries can occur in a multitude of ways, from bad posture to muscle overuse to injury. If you’ve recently suffered a back injury or have been living with back pain for an extended period of time, it’s time to make an appointment with an orthopedic pain and spine specialist!
These are the most common causes of back pain:
Muscle or Ligament Strains
Muscle overuse due to repetitive motions can cause strains on your muscles or ligaments – resulting in painful muscle spasms. An example of repetitive muscle overuse can be seen in someone who works in manual labor and repeatedly lifts items for their job each day. This overuse can lead to muscle or ligament strains which can turn into chronic pain if ignored.
While many common causes of back pain are related to the muscle, there are some cases where it’s a problem with the bones or joints. One of the most common back issues found in people over the age of 50 is arthritis, specifically osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage that cushions and protects the bones wears down as a person ages, causing the bones to rub together. This type of arthritis can lead to a narrowing of the space around the spinal cord, a condition known as spinal stenosis.
Scoliosis is defined as an abnormal curvature of the spine. This condition can lead to back pain, but generally, pain doesn’t occur until middle age. While the curvature of the spine can range from being minorly curved to an extreme curve, anything that measures more than 10 degrees is considered scoliosis. If you believe you have recently developed scoliosis or your back has gotten worse, discuss it with a pain and spine specialist. Degenerative scoliosis can affect adults later on in life due to their discs and joints wearing as they age.
Bulging or Herniated Discs
A disc sits between each of your vertebrae, serving as a cushion between the weight of the bones in your spine. As you age, these cushioning discs gradually wear down and are weakened. Sometimes, the soft material inside a disk can bulge or rupture and press on a nerve causing significant pain. Other times, you may not feel the back pain at all, only finding out you have a problem through a routine appointment. Occasionally, a herniated disc will slide far enough out of its place that it will compress a nearby nerve, causing a pinched nerve.
Osteoporosis, commonly known as bone-weakening disease, is a common cause of back pain, especially in women. As your bones become weaker, they suffer from a loss of bone density, which can lead to them becoming brittle and porous – causing your bones to be more susceptible to compression fractures. Something as easy as an accidental fall or lifting a heavy object may result in painful compression fractures due to the weakened vertebrae in your spine.
See An Orthopedic Pain and Spine Specialist
If you’ve recently suffered a back injury or are getting sick and tired of living with back pain, make an appointment with an orthopedic pain and spine specialist at OrthoManhattan. We’d love nothing more than to get you back to pain-free living!