Back pain is one of the most common problems that cause people to go to the doctor or miss work. It has many possible causes and can affect people of any age. Depending on the cause of your back pain, physical therapy near Cary, NC, may be effective at treating it.
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Types of Back Pain
Doctors divide the spine into three different parts. The cervical spine is in the neck, the thoracic spine is in the chest, and the low back is in the abdominal region. These divisions are helpful for describing where your pain occurs to your doctor or physical therapist. If it is in the cervical spine, you are more likely to describe it as neck pain rather than back pain. Pain can occur in either the upper or lower back, but low back pain is more common.
Your back pain can either be acute or chronic. Acute back pain comes on suddenly. If acute back pain is severe, follows a fall, occurs along with a fever, or causes problems controlling your bladder or bowel, this is a sign of a serious medical problem for which you need to see a doctor immediately. Seek medical care for acute back pain that is not severe but doesn’t get better with rest.
Chronic pain persists for at least several months but can go on for years. During this time, it may remain at the same level or keep coming back after going away for a while. In either case, chronic back pain is a good reason to ask yourself, “Are there any physical therapy clinics near me?”
Common Causes of Back Pain
Sometimes back pain results from another medical condition, such as a spinal tumor, kidney stones, or pregnancy. However, the most common causes of back pain are either inflammatory, i.e., due to something that triggers the immune system, or mechanical, meaning that there is something wrong with the structure of your back or how it moves.
Common causes of back pain for which people seek physical therapy Winston Salem include the following:
- Ankylosing Spondylitis: This inflammatory condition is a common cause of back pain in young adults. It causes stiffness in the joints of the spine over time.
- Osteoarthritis: As you age, the cartilage that cushions your bones wears away, allowing bones to rub together and cause pain. Osteoarthritis of the spine can cause back pain.
- Herniated Disk: Intervertebral disks act as cushions between the bones of your spine. A tear in the hard, rubbery exterior can allow the soft, gelatinous interior of the disk to leak out and put pressure on your spinal cord or nerve roots. Herniated disks can occur acutely due to trauma or develop over time from wear and tear on the spine.
- Muscle Strain or Ligament Sprain: Overexerting yourself can cause injuries to the soft tissues of your back, such as the muscles and ligaments.
Lessen Pain and Increase Flexibility
Decreasing your motion due to back pain can cause your muscle to become stiff, decreasing your range of motion. Physical therapy exercises can help relieve pain, restore range of motion, and strengthen your muscles to prevent future injuries. Schedule an initial evaluation at a local clinic.