Low Back Pain Affects People of All Ages

Low back pain is the second most common reason for visiting a doctor and can affect people of all ages, from childhood to adulthood. Approximately 80 percent of the population will experience back pain at some point throughout their life. Low back pain is also responsible for lost workdays and is the single leading cause of disability worldwide. Over 100 million American adults live with chronic pain. Our spine is composed of approximately 33 vertebrae bones stacked on top of one another. In between each of those bones lay discs, which provide the cushioning between the vertebrae. The discs can be thought of as shock absorbers for our spine.

The spine can be divided into five regions that include: cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacrum and coccyx. Along the posterior aspect of our vertebral column, we have multiple joints and muscles that allow us to move our spine in different directions.

There are multiple causes of back pain which include sprains and strains, arthritis, herniated discs and muscle pain. Depending on the cause of pain, a treatment plan is often created to help provide pain relief. New pain is often treated with conservative care, which may include physical therapy, chiropractic therapy and/or anti-inflammatory medications. Pain that fails to respond to conservative care may benefit from an evaluation by an interventional pain management physician.

An evaluation by an interventional pain specialist is largely based on a thorough history of the events leading up to the pain, a comprehensive physical exam and a review of any relevant imaging. Once evaluated, Advanced Pain Management and Practice would create a treatment plan together, which would be geared toward pain reduction and improved quality of life. Stretching and strengthening exercises can help maintain pain control and range of motion of the spine. With the fall season amongst us, a daily regiment can be quite beneficial. Stretching and strengthening can help protect the spine and avoid a future injury. Below are some useful tips to help prevent back pain.

Tips to Prevent Back

Pain: » Maintain a healthy diet and weight.

» Remain active.

» Avoid prolonged inactivity or bed rest.

» Warm up or stretch before exercising or physical activities, such as gardening.

» Maintain proper posture.

» Wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes.

» Sleep on a mattress of medium firmness to minimize any curve in your spine.

» Lift with your knees, keep the object close to your body and do not twist when lifting.

» Quit smoking. Smoking impairs blood flow, resulting in oxygen and nutrient deprivation to spinal tissues.

» Work to ensure that your computer workstation is ergonomically (an applied science concerned with designing and arranging things people use so that the people and things interact most efficiently and safely) correct. Pain is an incredibly complex condition, affecting people in a multitude of ways. It can change the way both your brain and your body function, in addition to impacting emotions, relationships and even work. An effective treatment plan must consider these aspects of pain. At Advanced Pain Management, we use a multidisciplinary approach, including physical therapy, chiropractic therapy and behavioral health to create a treatment plan that can effectively reduce pain and its impact on your life. A multimodal approach allows us to better treat pain while minimizing your risk of addiction to pain medications. We can see patients within one week and do not require a referral.

Dr. Scarlett and Dr. Shah are both physicians at Advanced Pain Management and Practice in Sheboygan, Manitowoc, Fond du Lac, and West Bend