It is estimated that as many as 80% of all Americans have experienced some level of discomfort or pain in their neck or back at one point in their lives. That means the majority of people can understand how debilitating the severe neck pain can be from those areas.
The back and neck consist of a complicated system of connections between discs, joints, tendons, and ligaments, and like any other system, regular usage can lead to a breakdown in that system. Other factors can also intervene to cause discomfort in the back and neck, and these can heavily impact how your back feels, and thus how active you can be. Here are some of the most common reasons you might experience back or neck pain.
This affliction consists of an unusual narrowing of the bony framework which contains the spinal cord and the nerves which run up and down the back. Contrary to most other spinal issues, spinal stenosis makes its presence felt gradually and worsens over a period of time, with the level of pain increasing and becoming more frequent.
It can be treated with a combination of moderate exercises and some lifestyle changes. It’s possible that spinal stenosis can be relieved to some extent by sitting or lying down, or by avoiding specific activities which trigger the uncomfortable symptoms. In some cases, it will be necessary to receive injections in order to manage the pain and discomfort.
This is one of the more common causes for back pain and discomfort, and it can be a very long-lasting and painful experience. One of the first signs of a herniated disc is generally sciatica, which is a pain recognized in the legs. This is often an indicator of a problem with the lower back, and since 90% of all herniated discs occur in the lower back, leg pain is generally the most frequent indicator.
Treating a herniated disc generally involves regular stretching and exercise or other non-surgical methods, and that can often eliminate the need for more aggressive treatments. If these milder treatments fail to accomplish anything, surgery would also be a possibility to correct the problem.
Spinal osteoarthritis is usually indicated when there has been a breakdown of cartilage in the discs or joints making up the lower back or the neck. It sometimes produces bone spurs which generate painful pressure on the nerves of the spinal column.
Anyone who is diagnosed with spinal osteoarthritis might require either conservative or extremely aggressive treatment, depending on the underlying cause of the condition. In some cases, more rest and hot or cold packs will adequately treat the condition.
In other situations, medication will help to manage the pain and discomfort. If none of these is successful, surgery might be necessary, although this is generally considered a last resort for treating spinal osteoarthritis.
Strains and sprains
When you suddenly experience an intense pain or discomfort in the area of your neck or back, it’s possible that you could have undergone a simple strain or sprain in one of those areas. This could be as a result of overdoing an exercise program, making a sudden wrong movement, or possibly stressing one of those areas during a fall.
When you experience a sprain or strain, it’s likely that with the passage of time and regular treatment, the discomfort will disappear all by itself.
You should still see your doctor so that a definitive diagnosis can be obtained, since this will reduce the likelihood of the situation worsening. If you really have suffered a simple sprain or strain, your doctor will probably recommend limited activity and more rest, at least until your overall situation improves.
You may also derive some benefit from light exercise such as water aerobics and stretching, or some other form of massage or physical therapy. Chiropractic care might also speed your recovery from the sprain or strain, and ensure that nothing worse develops.
Vertebral compression fracture
This is one is the more serious conditions which can impact your back or neck, and the severity of the situation will depend on exactly where you have sustained the fracture. Vertebral compression fractures happen as a result of extra stress placed on tiny cracks which already exist in various places throughout the vertebrae.
Over a long period of time, hairline fractures can have a major impact on the entire spinal system, and can literally cause that system to collapse.
When this happens, it’s known as a vertebral compression fracture. Generally speaking, the first sign you’ll notice of a compression fracture is when you experience a severe and sudden back pain, or you have a sudden change in your normal posture.
You may find that you are unable to stand tall like you normally would, and that you are forced to take on a stooped posture. This should never be ignored, because it is truly a warning sign and if treated in the earliest stages, there is a much better chance for a favorable outcome.
When it comes to treating vertebral compression fractures, there are several options available, starting with medications that can strengthen your bones and arrest the condition so it doesn’t become any worse. It may also help to limit yourself to minimal activities and get much more bed rest.
In some cases, pain medications will alleviate the discomfort, and it usually helps if you can brace the back or neck so that extra support can be provided for the spine and/or the neck.
Where to seek relief or treatment for severe neck pain or back pain?
After you’ve been to see your doctor, and have a diagnosis for whatever the cause of your back or neck pain is, you may need to be referred to a treatment center which can deliver advanced methods of pain relief or remediation. If you are a resident of Shelton, Connecticut, or any of the surrounding communities, you’re in luck because one of the best treatment centers in the country is available to you at Connecticut Disc and Laser Therapy Centers!
Our specialized state-of-the-art technology will help most patients recover from back pain or discomfort without the use of surgeries or medications. Regardless of your age, we can formulate a treatment plan for you that will bring substantial relief from whatever back or neck condition you might have, so you can go on with your life and become more active once again.