There are many different terms a person would use to describe pain in their back as well as pain that begins in their back and radiates as far as the fingertips and toes. Common terms used to describe pain and discomfort around the spine include backache, back pain, low back pain, lower back pain, lumbago (less common), and dorsalgia (less common). Regardless of what you call it, the pain can be quite debilitating, emotionally if not physically. The pain may not actually hinder your ability to sit, stand, walk, or sit, but it is often a silent disease that can reduce your comfort levels enough to keep you from enjoying the things you do, or to draw satisfaction from the activities and interactions you have always enjoyed. On this website, we will describe some of the causes of back pain, and what avenues to take in terms of treatments that you have available medically. Your backache does not have to get worse as you get older, and you can take certain steps to eliminate your symptoms once you have found the cause of the problem. Let's take a look at the anatomy of the spine, what can go wrong with it, and what treatment options you have available once you have found the cause of your backache.
The anatomy of the spine: The spine consists of several structures, including the spinal cord, the vertebral bones that protect the spinal cord, facet joints and intervertebral discs that facilitate movement of the spine and provide protection, and the muscles that also protect the spine and facilitate movement. The spinal column consists of 33 bones that are also known as vertebral bones. Of these 33, only 26 are moveable, the other 7 are fused in adult people as the sacrum and coccyx (also known as the tailbone). Some of the causes of back pain are a direct result of damage to the vertebral bones. The diseases that can cause damage to the vertebral bones include osteoporosis (loss of bone density) and diffuse idiopathic skeletal hypertosis (DISH). The result of osteoporosis or DISH can be a weakening of the bone to the point of fracture, or it may cause the spinal bones to become mishapened to the point where the spine is no longer able to move properly. Both of these results of changes to the vertebral bones can cause back pain.
Back pain may be a result of degenerative changes to the discs that separate your spinal bones or the facet joints that protect the spine bones and allow for some movement. Degenerative disc disease involves the discs of the back and facet syndrome involves a wearing down of the facet joints that are designed to prevent friction in the structures that connect the articulating facets of the vertebral bones.
Backache treatments: Regardless if you are in the acute stage of back pain (less than three months) or have been suffering for several years, there are treatment options available to you, and it is never too late to turn things around. Regardless of whether or not the cause of your discomfort is caused by a muscular problem, back pain exercises to build up the muscles of your back or to eliminate muscular imbalances will be helpful for most people. Often exercises to strengthen the muscles around the lower back are called core building or core exercises. Some of the core building modalities that patients have used to build up their abdominal or core muscles includes Pilates, yoga, and physical therapy.