Mechanical Back Pain Definition
The definition of mechanical back pain is pain that occurs in the lower back as a result of trauma, injury, or degenerative changes to the structures that make up and support the spine.
Back Pain: Is it Mechanical or Medical? When you present in the emergency room or medical clinic with back pain, your doctor is going to want to quickly assess for three things:
Mechanical Back Pain definition: Mechanical back is pain symptoms in your upper, middle, or lower back that are as a result of injury, strain, or degenerative changes to the structures that make up or support your lower back. So this is a problem that where the cause of the back pain can be traced to injury or changes to the structures that make up the spine, and their accessory structures, such as the back muscles and ligaments. This type of pain contracts with other medical conditions such as diseases, which may negatively affect the back as well as other organs and structures in the body. Examples of things that would cause mechanical back pain are compression fractures of the vertebra, strained spinal ligaments, bulging discs, and herniated discs. Examples of conditions that cause acute mechanical back pain but are the result of disease include nerve damage from diabetes or fibromyalgia.
- Is your back pain a symptom of a structural problem with the components that make up your back, namely the spinal bones, ligaments, muscles, nerve roots, and joints. Back pain that occurs as a result of structural problems in your back is defined as mechanical back pain.
- Or is your back pain a symptom of a medical disorder or disease that affects your back as well as other sections of your body.
- And finally, does your mechanical back pain medical disorder require emergency treatment? Emergency treatment may be necessary for conditions such as severe nerve root compression, cauda equine syndrome, and bowel/bladder incontinence.
After assessing for these three considerations, doctors will make appropriate decisions on how to diagnose and treat the patient's condition.
Is it Mechanical or Medical?
Low back pain is a form of rheumatism. Rheumatism is and type of problem in the musculoskeletal system. Though back pain may be the result of relatively rare medical diseases such as multiple sclerosis, in the majority of cases it occurs as a result of mechanical disorders of the spine related to overuse. Overuse injuries that result in mechanical back pain include habitually poor posture, the use of improper body mechanics while moving, sitting, and lifting, and structural damage to the spine that occurs due to wear and tear type conditions. Wear and tear type conditions that occur in the spine include degenerative disc disease and herniated discs. Pain symptoms in the back of mechanical origin account for approximately 85-90% of cases.
The other 10 to 15% of cases are a result of diseases that affect multiple organ systems or more than one area of the musculoskeletal system. Medical conditions/diseases that have negative affects throughout the body are also known as systemic diseases. Examples of systemic diseases include rheumatoid arthritis, Spondyloarthropathies, fibromyalgia, and infections. If systemic diseases are suspected, the doctor will perform a more complete evaluation.
Discomfort associated with specific causes of back pain and lower back pain has reproducible characteristics. For example, charting of the specific paths that nerves take from certain levels of the spine help doctors to determine which nerves are damaged or compressed based on which sections of the body are affected. If the patient has lower back pain that extends to the lower back and foot, it is likely that the patient has nerve root compression in the L4-L5 or L5-S1 nerve roots. In cases where lower back pain advances down the leg, it is unlikely that the condition is caused by muscle injuries. Knowing where back pain starts and ends will give doctors a wealth of information on how to proceed with the case, in terms of the types of diagnostic tests orders and the treatments provided.