Backpain advice - What is back pain?
Backpain advice - in plain English! The Latin for backpain is Dorsopathy but that's probably the last time we will mention it. - Nevertheless; we have included a helpful backpain help glossary if you need to refer to it.
Anyway, you already know the physical effects of the pain you are feeling in your back or neck. It can be muscles, nerves, bones, joints or other parts of your spine. The backpain may be constant or intermittent, stay in one place or move about. It may be a dull ache, or a sharp or burning sensation. You may be experiencing it in the neck and might it radiate into other parts of the body such as the arms, legs or feet. It may also include feelings of weakness or numbness.
In the Western world backpain is one of the most common reasons for all GP and physician visits. Most adults experience back pain at some point in their life, and half of all working adults seek backpain advice every year. It is also a major reason for time off work.
Back pain may often be experienced when no obvious - or underlying physical problem - is apparent. This pain is thought by many to be caused by stress induced tension.
Upper back pain advice
Upper backpain, middle back pain or thoracic pain - basically all names for the same thing, is pain felt between the bottom of the neck and and top of the lumbar spine. The upper spine is designed to be very strong and stable to support the weight of the upper body, as well as to provide the space to allow the heart and lungs to function and to protect them.
The most common cause of upper back pain is muscular irritation or other soft tissue typically, ligament problems. These can arise from poor fitness levels, bad posture, injuries from repetitive motion, or a trauma such as a car accident or sports injury.
Another cause of upper back pain is problems with the joints that connect the vertebrae and the ribs.
A compression fracture of the vertebra can also cause acute and/or chronic pain in the upper back. Women over the age 50 with complaints of upper back pain will need to consider the possibility of a compression fracture due to osteoporosis.
Less common causes of upper back pain include a 'slipped' disc, degenerative disc disease, or an accident such as a fall which may have fractured the vertebra in the thoracic spine.
Neck pain upper back can be caused by a number of things including the way you sleep.
Low back pain helpLow back pain advice
Low back pain can be either an acute or chronic disabling condition. It will affect most people at some stage in their life and accounts for more sick leave taken than any other single condition.
An acute lower back injury may be caused by a traumatic event, like a car accident or a fall. It occurs suddenly and its victims will usually be able to pinpoint exactly when it happened. In acute cases, the structures damaged will more than likely be soft tissue like muscles, ligaments and tendons. With a serious accident, vertebral fractures in the lumbar spine may also occur.
Chronic lower back pain usually has a more insidious onset, occurring over a long period of time. Physical causes may include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, degeneration of the discs between the vertebrae or a spinal disc herniation or, much more rarely, tumors which may include cancer. You will find a great deal of information and backpain advice in the pages of this website but always remember that your doctor is the person you should see first if you are at all concerned about any aspect of your health.
So, backpain advice. Throughout Backache-Relief we try to explain cause and effect and more importantly, how to obtain relief from your pain. Just occassionaly, you may think you have caught us out when the advice about pain relief on different pages seems to be in conflict. Truth is, the medical profession and health care professionals rarely agree amongst themselves so there may be differing views about - for example - hard and soft beds. All we can tell you is what works for us, but that's not to say that some other therapy may not work better for you.
Sorry - that's just the way it is. Your back pain is unique to you and your treatment may need to be tailored just to you as well. At the end of the day, what works for you is all important, so you may need to try more than one method, or even to combine treatments for best relief.
See our glossary of medical terms if any of the words used are unfamiliar to you.
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