The In’s And Out’s Of Back Pain
The vast majority of people will experience back pain at some point in their lives. In the western world, the main culprit is poor posture and lack of exercise. It’s interesting to note that in less developed countries where people have more physical lifestyles, back trouble is an incredibly rare occurrence.
However, while back problems are often incurable, it’s usually easy to manage them. The trouble is, your back might be giving you a signal that something else is wrong – something far more dangerous than a simple slipped disc or a pulled muscle. In today’s guide, we’re going to go through some worrying conditions that might be the underlying cause of your back trouble.
When you go to a doctor and complain of back pain, they will tend to explain it away as a result of an injury. It’s rare that you will get an MRI or Xray scan – mainly because they can be incredibly unreliable, but also because the doctor feels there is little point. However, pain in your lower back could be a sign of something much more serious – including cancer.
Tumors in and around the spine can grow a phenomenal amount of left unchecked. And the pain might also be a symptom of cancers and tumors in your bowels, prostate, or lower organs such as your kidneys. If you find that the pain is increasing as time goes by, or is unaffected by the position you are standing or sitting in, make sure you go back to your doctor. Demand a scan of some description, because the longer cancer goes untreated, the worse your outcome is likely to be.
The spine and the structures it consists of are incredibly delicate. And if you get a nasty injury or damage your back in any way, there are no guarantees that the spine will be free from infection. It’s a serious issue, too, as it can be incredibly difficult to detect at first until symptoms reach dangerous proportions. And once that infection starts to spread, it can cause large issues all the way up your back, through your spinal cord, and even into your brain.
However, it is possible to feel a spinal infection if you know what to look for. The condition often causes a distinct spot of tenderness, and slowly, over time, starts to create a constant pain. You will also find that your spine feels incredibly rigid – and you might suffer from frequent bouts of fever and illness.
Ankylosing Spondylitis is an arthritic condition that causes huge inflammation of the spine and the pelvis. It can turn into a highly restrictive illness, making it difficult for you to walk and stay comfortable while going about your daily business. And, it tends to get worse as time goes by, meaning the sooner you start receiving treatment, the better. That said, Ankylosing Spondylitis has characteristic symptoms from regular back pain, which are easy to spot if you know what to look for.
It’s a long-term pain, for a start. But its most distinctive symptom is that it eases off with exercise and feels worse after you have been resting. Ankylosing Spondylitis sufferers often have incredibly stiff and painful backs in the morning. Bear in mind that although the condition is more prevalent in men, it is not uncommon for women.
One of the most painful conditions that could be causing you back pain is Spinal Stenosis. It tends to affect people who are 50 years old and above, but it is not uncommon to younger people. It’s a condition that causes a narrowing of the spine, often brought on by arthritis, and it can cause exceptional pain as the tightness of the spine starts to pinch nerve endings. Symptoms include a broad range of issues, from sciatica through to loss of bladder and bowel control.
Sufferers also tend to find walking and standing increasingly difficult as the condition develops. If you believe you might be suffering from Spinal Stenosis, it is essential to see your doctor as soon as possible. They will arrange a scan for you, and if you are diagnosed with the condition, there are several types of treatment available. Regular use of painkillers can offer you short-term relief, and if the symptoms are too painful to handle, you might have to take steroid injections, which can help ease inflammation. Nerve blocks – such as anesthetics – can also help, and there might be an opportunity to get help via surgical procedures, too.
Aneurysms in your abdominal region can also cause back pain. Arteries in your midriff can balloon to an enormous size, which adds pressure the spine, causing lots of pain. Sufferers will feel a throbbing pain in the spine or lower back, and it can often be in sync with your pulse.
Interestingly, most people who get abdominal aneurysms often fall into one of three categories. Hypertensive smokers, diabetics, and anyone at risk of heart disease are all more likely to get the condition. If you feel the symptoms of an abdominal aneurysm, make sure you visit your doctor and request a scan. The ballooning can get worse in many cases, and will ultimately cause you a lot more pain as it squeezes against your spine.
Cauda Equina Syndrome
The good news about Cauda Equina Syndrome is that its symptoms are easier to spot than almost anything else on this list. The bad news is that those traits make for pretty grim reading. You might find it hard to urinate while suffering from fecal incontinence at the same time. Your groinal area can often feel numb, and it is sometimes accompanied by a general weakness in the legs. In short, you will know when you have it – and you need to see a doctor sooner rather than later. There’s a good reason why. While Cauda Equina is a condition itself, it is usually caused by other issues, such as a ruptured disc or a back trauma. But it can also be a sign that you have a severe infection in your spine or cancer somewhere in your lower body.
Do you suffer from back pain? If so, let us know how you deal with your symptoms and get on with leading your life – hit us up in the comments section below!