The spine is one of the most important parts of our body. It is responsible for supporting the limbs that make up our entire body. Because of this, back pain that results from different kinds of injuries can drastically hinder our ability to work and function normally. This is why treatments for back pain continue to be high in demand.
Severe, chronic back pain is usually caused by an injury or defect in the bones, muscles, and nerves that make up the spinal column. Typically, these need to be verified through rounds of medical diagnostics and testing, which may include X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs. This way, doctors can determine the actual cause of the problem and go about treating it properly.
Here are some of the different kinds of back injuries that can lead to the most severe back pain:
Spondylolisthesis refers to the slipping of one of the vertebrae, which are the bones that make up the spinal column. The typical cause for this is known as spondylolysis, which refers to a fracture or defect in the vertebra. This damage may be present from birth or may be caused by disease or injuries like stress fractures and trauma.
Spondylolisthesis is typically treated by strengthening the surrounding back and abdominal muscles through specialized physical therapy in order to remove pressure from the bones. Anti-inflammatory medicines may also be prescribed to help relieve pain. In severe cases, surgery will be required to stabilize the spinal column.
Cervical radiculopathy refers to the damage that results from pressure being placed on the nerve roots. This may be caused by a slipped or ruptured disc, or the degeneration and wearing down of bones, muscles, and joints due to conditions such as arthritis. When this occurs, the nerves will be directly exposed to all sorts of pressure, thus creating stinging sensations of pain.
Treatment for cervical radiculopathy typically consists of taking pain medications, as well as physical therapy, in order to relieve pressure on the nerves and reduce pain. Surgery may also be required if the compression on the nerve is so severe that motor functions have become impaired.
Spinal Cord Injuries
As a key part of the central nervous system, the spinal cord plays a large part in the sensory and motor functions of our bodies. Hence, damage and injuries to the spinal cord can result in the loss of the ability to move and control the limbs. In some cases, this is only temporary and people can make a full recovery. However, sometimes the damage is permanent, and this results in permanent paralysis.
Because of the severity and impact of such injuries, the recovery period can be quite lengthy. After any required surgery is performed, individuals will typically be prescribed to wear a head and neck brace so that any injuries to the spinal cord and column can heal fully. It also provides support to the head and neck that helps make it possible to still be functional during the recovery period. Although spinal injuries may seem like the end of the world, medical advancements mean that treatment is generally safer and easier than ever before. Hence, it is crucial that patients report the pain to a medical professional as early as possible in order for this to be dealt with in the most effective way possible.