Back Pain

back pain

Ever feel that initial twinge in your back that stops you in your tracks? That initial onset of pain is often a subtle warning that lingering discomfort is soon to follow.

Since we’re talking about back pain, it’s important to clear something up. The spine is the center of your skeletal structure, so back pain is rarely just back pain. The discomfort that seems to originate  in the spine can radiate to the hips, legs, arms, or neck. Back pain can have numerous causes, including damage to the muscles, nerves, bones, discs, or fascia cords near and around the spine.

For some people, back pain seems like a never-ending reality of life, but it doesn’t have to be that way. When you understand the true causes and common symptoms of back pain, you’ll realize that there are options in Cincinnati for treating this kind of pain that don’t involve addictive pain medications or invasive procedures.

Causes of Back Pain

Back pain is a common complaint worldwide. It can have an infinite number of causes, which is why pinpointing its origin can sometimes seem virtually impossible.

Injuries to the spine, the surrounding muscles, ligaments, and nerves can all cause back pain. The pain can also be a by-product of degenerative diseases like multiple sclerosis (MS), osteoporosis, or fibromyalgia. For some patients, back pain results from lifestyle factors like obesity, bad posture, or damage or disease in your internal organs. For instance, people with kidney stones often report periods of severe, acute back pain.

Doctors may use blood tests, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) tests, or imaging tests like MRIs and CT scans to diagnose the cause. But sometimes they can’t, which makes targeting the pain’s source and creating a course of therapy difficult. To further complicate matters, pain is not what most of us were taught.

Symptoms: Common vs Severe

You might realize you have back pain if you experience any of these symptoms:

  • Sharp, stabbing pain in the back that may radiate through the limbs
  • Burning sensation in the back or limbs
  • Limited limb motor function (e.g., foot drop)
  • Numbness in the buttocks, feet, or hands
  • Trouble bending, twisting, getting up, or lying down without discomfort
  • Synovial cysts (small lumps filled with fluid, usually in lower back pain)

Some instances of back pain are sudden in onset, such as from a traumatic event. Others can develop as chronic conditions, like permanent damage from an injury or a degenerative bone condition. Back pain can be constant or episodic, stay in one place, or radiate to other areas of the body. It may present as a dull ache, a sharp or stabbing feeling, or a tingling or burning sensation. The pain may or may not change with different movements. Depending on if or where it radiates, the pain can also cause nausea or other symptoms.

Some instances of back pain warrant an immediate visit to the ER. You should seek immediate medical attention if you experience

  • Pain so severe it causes nausea and/or vomiting
  • Sudden, unexplained weight loss
  • Continual weakening of the legs over time
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control

People who have pre-existing conditions like cancer or bone disease should always check in with a medical professional if they experience back pain, which could indicate metastatic disease or fractures.

Traditional Treatments for Back Pain

The conventional treatments for chronic back pain are as diverse as the causes. Medicinal pain management might involve over-the-counter (OTC) painkillers, prescription pain medications, or drugs to address muscle spasms and pain. A provider may recommend non-medicinal therapy like stretches, exercises, back braces, weight loss, or physical therapy in tandem with medication. In more serious cases or when a doctor can pinpoint the pain source, patients may undergo surgical interventions like vertebral fusions or discectomies to repair or remove the pain-causing damage.

However, there are issues with many traditional methods. First, all pharmaceuticals, especially opioids, come with long-term risks for addiction, heart attacks, and organ damage.

Surgeries come with their own risks, like infection and adverse responses to anesthesia. The RECODE protocol to reverse dementia lists previous general anesthesia as a risk factor. Another issue with back surgery is that it doesn’t guarantee relief from chronic pain or the restoration of function. Unfortunately, you may consent to an invasive procedure with a long recovery time and then might need to be on long-term medication for pain anyway.

Blatman Health and Wellness Center: Treatment for Back Pain That’s Close to Home

At Blatman Health and Wellness Center of Cincinnati, Ohio, we offer various back pain treatments that are safer, less invasive, and more holistic than you’d find at a typical pain clinic. We focus on regenerative medicine—procedures and treatments that encourage true healing, not just pain mitigation or management.

Our back pain therapies don’t involve unnatural chemicals or invasive procedures. Instead, our patients benefit from platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatments, stem cell injections, prolotherapy, prolozone, photobiomodulated light therapy, and trigger point injections, all of which harness the body’s natural healing processes. These treatments encourage tissue growth and repair, discouraging pain-inducing inflammation and further degeneration.

Another reason to visit one of our health and wellness centers for back pain is that even if we can’t help you get permanent relief, we can still offer ways to manage your pain and improve your quality of life without opioids. For instance, Dr. Blatman is certified to recommend medical marijuana in the state of Ohio. He can design a course of treatment that uses the proper doses in the right strains to manage your unique case.

If you want more information or think you may be a good candidate for back pain treatment or any of our other various services, contact us at Blatman Health and Wellness Center to schedule an appointment.

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