Why Your Back Hurts | Decoding Back Pain

Why Your Back Hurts | Decoding Back Pain

I was inoculated against shingles when I was over 75. These include structural problems of the back, inflammation, muscle and soft tissue injury, secondary response to other diseases or conditions, imbalances in body mechanics, and psychological/social factors, among others. Anne Louise Oaklander, director of the Nerve Unit at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. In very rare cases, surgical treatment may be used to treat postherpetic neuralgia by cutting nerves to help block pain signals. Shingles is most common in older adults and people who have weakened immune systems because of stress, injury, or other factors. As reported on www.news8000.com, it seems that a lady went to her chiropractor with pain in her upper right shoulder and back. Modesto orthopedist Jerry Crooks, MD, of Sutter Gould Medical FoundationOpens new window gave us some interesting information on sources of back pain symptoms that may – or may not – be the back.

Overuse injuries — muscle sprains, strains, and pains — result from all sorts of assaults, small to severe. Rarely, a shingles outbreak can lead to scarring, pain from mild stimuli — such as the touch of soft clothing or a light breeze — pneumonia, hearing problems, blindness, brain inflammation (encephalitis), or death. Although sometimes incredibly painful, shingles is not generally considered life threatening. The amount of urine produced is out of proportion to the urge. A rib fracture can cause pain in the rib cage after a fall or blow to the chest. Because of this, paresthesia can also be a symptom of vitamin deficiency and malnutrition, as well as metabolic disorders like diabetes, hypothyroidism, and hypoparathyroidism. For example, a herniated disk in your lower spine may put pressure on a nerve root, causing pain that radiates down the back of your leg (sciatica).

“These patients are antsy, always moving to try to find a more comfortable position.” It is also important to note if the pain comes and goes – just how and when it is experienced – and if other symptoms are present. A herniated disk occurs when the liquid that cushions the space between your vertebrae pushes out of its normal location, pressing on nerves. Given the definite link between stenosis and neurogenic claudication, it is best to attribute pain to the stenosis only when the pain fits the description of the claudication syndrome. Pain that lingers in the area of a healed shingles rash is called postherpetic neuralgia. Inflammatory diseases of the spine – similar to rheumatoid arthritis — will cause stiffness, difficulty moving and pain in the back. And of course injuries to the spine may result in back pain – at the time of the injury or later in life. If you want to read the full report click here.

Note that many are extremely rare, or occur in conjunction with other obvious symptoms. As always, check in with your doctor about any new experience of severe back pain. Dr. Fight this by using cold compresses to sooth the skin and lower inflammation. Wearing absorbent undergarments and regularly taking time to urinate can help reduce embarrassment due to incontinence until shingles subsides. Gynecological issues, such as uterine fibroids, endometriosis and pelvic inflammatory disease. A physical exam should help determine if the pelvic organs are the reason your back hurts.
Why Your Back Hurts | Decoding Back Pain

A herniated disk, also known as a ruptured or slipped disk, occurs when some of the softer “jelly” pushes out through the outer harder part of the disk causing pain, numbness and/or weakness. Many pregnant women will experience their first back pain at this time, as ligaments loosen in preparation for delivery. Carefully tending the back during pregnancy can prevent any future problems. While this group of conditions represents only a very small fraction of the causes of low back pain, it is important to be aware of them. The vaccine needs to undergo further testing before it can be submitted for FDA approval, which may happen as early as this year. Runners, who do most of their training using one set of muscles, can ignore the opposing set (think quads vs. hamstrings), eventually pulling the spine out of ideal alignment.

While cyclists may need to pay extra attention to stretching hip flexors, the shoulder girdle and chest – all of which can become shortened in avid cyclists and cause back pain. Sitting too much. Sedentary day jobs and long commutes pitch the body forward, causing hip flexors to become tight and weak. The solution: get up and move. Day 5: The rash became “bubbly”, and I felt fatigued. (See our article on the dangers of sitting too much.) Shingles. The appearance of shingles – the eruption of a virus stored in the nerves – can first show up as severe pain along one side of the body.

Shingles will quickly reveal itself with the appearance of small, red blisters along the path of the affected nerve, within three days of feeling the pain. In others, the virus “wakes up” when disease, stress or aging weakens the immune system. Problems with the hip joint can be identified as back pain or hip pain, when the source is actually the ball and socket joint where the leg meets the pelvic bones. Cancer. Diseases of the Viscera:  Diseases of other organs, such as uterine or pelvic infections in women, kidney infections, and gastrointestinal disease such as pancreatitis and cholecystitis, can also cause pain that can be referred to the low back. Stomach ulcer at the back of the stomach. Again, this symptom is rarely the first indication of the problem, as stomach pain and GERD or acid reflux will have likely been occurring for some time.

Abdominal aneurysm. The pain of a dilated, bulging aorta is “catastrophic” pain that comes with other severe symptoms like weakness and fainting. Lehr reminds us that the spine and its web of nerves are contained in a ring of muscles. Keeping those muscles strong, limber and balanced will go far in protecting your back. “Many know that the back is supported by strong abdominal muscles in the front,” says Lehr. “But it’s important to make sure all sides of the body are strong and supple.” She notes that the gluts – the muscles of the buttocks that we usually just sit on – also have an important role to play. If you are a serious athlete, consider cross training – alternating your usual activity with a very different activity a few days a week.

This can keep more of your muscles stretched and strengthened, to protect your back.

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