You may already know from personal experience that back pain can be complicated and difficult to diagnose and treat. There are so many causes behind back pain, and the range of treatments available is pot luck as to whether they will even work for you. You have to try more than one to see if you can make sure that your back feels better and move past the pain.
It can be frustrating to be trapped within the back pain that you are feeling, but the most important thing that you can do in your fight to recovery with pain management is figuring out what type of back pain you are suffering with and try to find the best solution.
Complicated Back Pain, A Personal Experience
Everyone manages and feels their pain differently. What would be excruciating to one person, would be more than manageable for another. The resulting pain from a herniated disc usually cannot be compared to the pain of a strained muscle, with the former often being far worse.
However, that doesn’t mean you would necessarily find a herniation more painful. Back pain is complicated in how it feels, and some conditions that affect the back can cause flare-ups of pain from time to time, which then subside and come back again months later. It’s for this reason that it’s important to be proactive about your pain, untangling the complications and participating in decisions about your medical care. What it comes down to is how you feel your back pain, and what can be done about it.
More Than One Place In Your Back Can Cause Pain
The spine is a marvel. The form and function of the overall anatomical structure of the spine are impressive, and yet any one of the interconnected and overlapping structures are capable of back pain. It’s also the one place in the body that is very prone to injury – it supports us every day, but any jolt, twist, and even stress can cause horrendous pain. Common causes of back pain due to anatomy include:
- Any of the bones, ligaments, and joints can be injured throughout the spine.
- Large nerve roots that supply the extremities – the arms and legs could be irritated from overuse.
- The spine has many discs that hold smaller nerves that could be irritated.
- Large muscles in the back that support the spine can be strained at any time.
It’s because of all of this that the underlying cause of back pain could be tough to identify.
Back Pain Descriptions
It’s important to know that the way that you would describe your back pain does matter, especially when you’re describing it to your primary care physician. The area of distribution of the pain especially needs some consideration and any symptoms you experience – such as numbness and tingling – needs to be mentioned to your doctor. They can then make a decision and refer you for physiotherapy for back pain. There are three typical classifications of back pain, and these include;
- Axial Pain. This is known as mechanical pain and is usually described in different ways. Some describe it as dull and others sharp. Some have it constantly where others have it intermittently. Muscle strains are one of the most common causes of axial pain.
- Referred Pain. This is a pain that travels and is usually described as dull and achy. Sometimes, degenerative discs in the spine can cause referred pain in the hips and backs of the thighs.
- Radicular Pain. A pain that is deeper and described as ‘searing,’ radicular pain follows nerve paths into the arms and legs. It’s a pain caused by compression, injury to the spinal nerves or inflammation.
It’s a Real Pain, But What Can Be Done?
Sometimes, patients can become frustrated that they cannot find the cause of their back pain. Regardless, it still needs to be treated because even when there is no anatomical reason for the pain, it doesn’t mean it’s not real. This is where physiotherapy can help.
At Sycamore Health, we get how frustrating it can be to be in pain and not be able to get rid of it through your primary care doctor. Back pain doesn’t just slow you down; it can completely stop you in your tracks. When you speak to the doctor, they can give you lots of tips on how to alleviate your pain, as well as advice on how to make your pain better. Still, some people choose to leave physiotherapy for back pain as a very last resort, and yet physiotherapy has the power to make a significant reduction in pain – no matter how severe the pain you are suffering is. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t identified the source of the pain just yet, physiotherapy can help.
How Physiotherapy Can Help Back Pain
Physiotherapists at Sycamore Health will bring you in for a consultation, running through your health history and talking about the way that your current symptoms present themselves. Then, a quick physical assessment will be performed so that a working diagnosis can be established.
Our helpful and professional staff will then work out a treatment plan based on your diagnosis and symptoms with the view to restoring you to the highest function as soon as possible. These can include:
- Stretching and strengthening exercises.
- Soft tissue massage and manual therapy.
- Correction to posture.
- Applying the right temperature to the area affected.
- Education on which kinds of activities will help you, or cause more pain.
You’ll go home with a little homework to teach you how to decrease your pain while improving your strength. The aim of the game is to restore function, and these exercises are vital to your recovery. Our initial assessment is free at Sycamore Health, and no matter how difficult the case, we will be there every step of the way to manage your case sensitively.
Give us a call on (07) 3046 1700 today and see how we can help you.