Back and Neck Problems

Back and neck problems are everywhere today, especially with obesity on the rise and people spending less time walking and more time slouched in front of computers. Not only do back and neck problems result in enormous amounts of physical suffering, but they can affect people's relationships and daily lives (I probably didn't have to tell you this). This is not to mention the money spent on healthcare, as well as the time and productivity that are lost. All these negative factors are among the most severe caused by any physical affliction whatsoever.

Adding to this problem, most people have a sketchy understanding of what can go wrong with their spine and what can be done about it. What can be additionally vexing, is that patients will often hear conflicting information from their healthcare providers as to what do about their problem. When they try to get good information, they find that many of the current medical resources are confusing and inaccurate. Here, we will provide you with a summary of what you will find in our website and in the medical literature towards diagnosing, treating, and eliminating back and neck pain.

Diagnosing: finding the cause: Before beginning to treat and/or eliminate your pain, you will want to find the cause. Though consider that some people may go their whole lives living with back pain and even successfully treating it without finding the true cause of their problem. Common causes of back pain involve congenital problems, disease or injury to the nerves, bones, and/or muscles of the spine. People may also experience lower, middle, or upper back pain due to a chest injury, one of the ribs or intercostals muscles, or visceral organs (like the liver and kidneys) that are located near the spine. Normal pregnancy can also cause back pain in a number of ways, including straining the low back, irritating nerves, and stretching ligaments within the pelvis. The most common cause of back pain, particularly lower back pain, is herniation (or bulging) of one or more of the discs located between the back bones. Because the discs of the lower back are exposed to more compression that those of the middle and upper, they are the most common to become bulged or herniated.

Treatment: Unless the symptoms of a back pain point to a more serious condition(such as loss of bladder control or the presence of any acute nerve dysfunction) you should generally not consider seeking aggressive treatment, at least in the short term. Why not try to tackle the problem sooner rather than later? Initial treatment of low back pain is based on the assumption that the pain in about 90% of people will go away on its own in about a month. Over the counter medications available and often used to treat mild and moderate back pain include acetaminophen (aspirin, Tylenol), naproxen, and ibuprofen (Advil). If the pain continues for more than two months or is at the severe level, you will definitely want seek medical care. Typical treatments from standard western healthcare practitioners include pain management (injections) treatments to treat severe pain in the short term, physical therapy, and surgery, when all other treatments have failed.