Back pain is one of the most common medical problems, affecting 9 out of 12 people at some point during their lives. Acute back pain may be a sign of a serious medical concern, although this is not most frequently the underlying cause. Typical warning signs of a potentially life threatening problem are bowel or bladder incontinence or progressive weakness in the legs. Acute back pain is commonly described as a very sharp pain or a dull ache, usually felt deep in the lower part of the back and can be more severe in one area, such as the right side, left side, center, or the lower part of the back. The back pain that occurs after a specific trauma, such as a car accident or fall may indicate a bone fracture or other injury. It can range from a dull, constant ache to a sudden, sharp pain. Back pain is called chronic if it lasts for more than three months. Chronic back pain tends to last a long time and may not be relieved by standard methods of medical management.top
Back pain may exist in any one region of the back or in multiple areas at the same time. Pain can be localized to one side or it can be a band of pain wrapping across the width of the back. A backache can be intense in a small area or experienced in a radiating pattern, coming from a central "hot spot." The pain pattern might be tied to a certain movement or might be painful all the time. Pain can be a symptom all by itself or might be joined with other sensory sensations. The most common of these additional symptoms are numbness, tingling and weakness.top
The cause of back pain has most often been explored by the traditional medical community as being "structural" in nature. While there are certainly many incidences of back pain that are associated with strain and/or physical trauma to the area, more often than not the pain is caused by and/or exacerbated by other underlying factors. Below is a list of structural, physiological, biochemical and psychological causes of back pain:
When Do I Need to Go to My Doctor for Backpain?
If you have new back pain, you should contact your doctor to see if you need further evaluation. There are also a few warning signs that may indicate a problem that needs immediate evaluation:
The natural approach to treating back pain is to identify the root source of the pain (online or in person). If you have ruled out major medical problems with your doctor and the diagnosis has been a muscle strain, weakness, pelvic malalignment or a tight muscle, you might benefit greatly from bodywork such as myofascial release, deep tissue massage, chiropractic, yoga and/or pilates. If you have seen limited improvements with these methods, then exploring your nutritional status and mind/body connection would be recommended. Nutritional intervention includes one or more of the following: food allergy testing, hormonal testing and rebalancing, adrenal stress testing, vitamin/mineral analysis and supplementation. Acupuncture, guided imagery, hypnotherapy, meditation and/or mind/body counseling are often recommended to help deal with suppressed emotions which may be causing blockages and pain.top
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