75 to 85 % of all people will experience some form of back pain during their lifetime
Back pain is ranked second to headaches as the most frequent location of pain. Four out of five adults will experience at least one bout of back pain at some time in their lives. It is almost next to common colds in the list of common diseases.
Back pain may be sudden and sharp or it may be dull and if persistent for more than a week it might result in tension, soreness or stiffness of back muscles. Pain may aggravate with slightest of movement or even with coughing and sneezing. It may also be accompanied with numbness and tingling in the arms or legs.
Back pain can affect people of any age, it is significantly more common among adults aged between 35 and 55 years. Experts say that back pain is associated with the way our bones, muscles and ligaments in our backs work together.
Back pain is pain anywhere in the back that usually originates from the muscles, joints, nerves, bones or other areas in the spine. Back pain can present in the back and legs and can be associated with other factors like depression, stress/anxiety.
Do you have any of the following forms of back pain?
Acute sudden onset
Chronic long term, dull, aching
Dullness aching, deep sensation
Sharp piercing, hot or cold
Constant never ending
Intermittent periods of relief, followed by pain onset
Isolated one general area
Radiating spreads out
Common Spinal Conditions
Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD)
How is Back Pain Commonly Diagnosed?
X-Rays Powerful invisible rays that make it possible to see inside things such as the human body, particularly the bones.
CT Scan Computer-processed X-rays to produce cross sectional images or ‘slices’ of the body used to visualize bones and soft tissue.
MRI An imaging technique that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to show internal structures of the body including tissues and nerves.
Myelogram A radiographic dye injected into the spinal canal to help show if the vertebrae are pinching the spinal cord.
Bone Scan A radioactive tracer is injected into the patient. The patient is then scanned to look for certain abnormalities in bone.
Most people who have back pain can visit their family practitioner or internal medicine physician, who’d advise conservative care for the patient. Conservative care is treatment designed to avoid medical or operative treatments. Examples of conservative treatments for back pain are injections, exercise and physiotherapy. If conservative care does not work, the patient should be reffered to a spine specialist.
Exercise and Physiotherapy
At a physiotherapy session, a physiotherapist educates patients about basic anatomy and physiology and instructs patients about good postures and strength and conditioning exercises.
Epidural Steroid Injections
An epidural spinal injection involves delivering anti-inflammatory medication directly into the area around the irritated spinal nerves that are causing the pain.
In this procedure, the surgeon will remove the offending bony fragments or disc material causing your symptoms.
The surgeon will decompress your spine and unite two bony segments. He may use metal rods and screws to stabilize the spine until the fusion can occur.
Minimal Access Spinal Technologies (MAST)
Compared to standard spine procedures, MAST surgeries are done through very small incision thereby reducing the amount of muscle damage, blood loss and hospital stay.
Balloon Kyphoplasty /vertebroplasty
This is a minimally invasive spinal procedure used to restore vertebral height and relieve pain caused by osteoperatic spinal fractures. A small balloon is inflated in the fractured vertebral body to create a void and bone cement is injected into the void.
Disc Replacement (Arthroplasty)
The surgeon will replace a diseased or degenerated disc with an artificial one to maintain the normal mobility of the spine and lessen pain. Not very popular for lower back. n
Dr. Rahul Gupta is the man behind the department of Brain and spine surgeon at Fortis Hospital, Noida. He was trained at Nagoya Japan, which has made him an expert in Endovascular procedures.
He worked in many government hospitals including PGIMS, Rohtak, PGIMER Chandigarh & Govind Ballabh Pant institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research, New Delhi.
Dr. Rahul Gupta has performed surgeries on hundreds of patients with head and spine injury. He has treated numerous complex spine ailments like metastatic tumors, osteoporotic fractures (vertebroplasty), degenerative diseases and isthesis.