there different kinds of pain?
Yes. Pain is classified as
neuropathic (derived from diseased or compressed nerves or
nervous tissue structures) or inflammatory (caused by
inflammation of tissues). Examples of neuropathic pain include
peripheral neuropathies or nerve compressions caused by scars
or tumors. Inflammatory pain can be very diverse in its
specific cause such as inflammation associated with specific
disorders, trauma, surgery, burns or arthritis. Inflammatory
conditions can also cause tissue damage and nerve compressions
and the pain may be mixed in nature (both, inflammatory and
neuropathic). It is important that the physician identifies
correctly the neuropathic or inflammatory mechanisms
underlying a patient’s pain because the medications and
strategies used to treat each of these are different.
What is Back Pain?
Acute or short-term low back
pain generally lasts from a few days to a few weeks. Most
acute back pain is the result of trauma to the lower back
or a disorder such as arthritis. Pain from trauma may be
caused by a sports injury, work around the house or in the
garden, or a sudden jolt such as a car accident or other
stress on spinal bones and tissues. Symptoms may range
from muscle ache to shooting or stabbing pain, limited
flexibility and range of motion, or an inability to stand
straight. Chronic back pain is pain that persists for more
than 3 months. It is often progressive and the cause can
be difficult to determine.
What can cause low back injuries?
Many things can cause low back injuries--muscle strain or
spasm, sprains of ligaments (which attach bone to bone),
joint problems or a "slipped disk." The most common cause
is using your back muscles in activities you're not used
to, like lifting heavy furniture or doing yard work.
A slipped disk (also called a herniated disk) happens when
a disk between the bones of the spine bulges and presses
on nerves. This is often caused by twisting while lifting.
But many people won't know what caused their slipped disk.
In most cases, slipped disks and other back pain can be
relieved by following a few simple methods.
Is there any treatment?
Most low back pain can be treated without surgery.
Treatment involves using over-the-counter pain relievers
to reduce discomfort and anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce
inflammation. The goal of treatment is to restore proper
function and strength to the back, and prevent recurrence
of the injury. Medications are often used to treat acute
and chronic low back pain. Effective pain relief may
involve a combination of prescription drugs and
over-the-counter remedies. Although the use of cold and
hot compresses has never been scientifically proven to
quickly resolve low back injury, compresses may help
reduce pain and inflammation and allow greater mobility
for some individuals. Bed rest is recommended for only 1–2
days at most. Individuals should resume activities as soon
as possible. Exercise may be the most effective way to
speed recovery from low back pain and help strengthen back
and abdominal muscles. In the most serious cases, when the
condition does not respond to other therapies, minimally
interventional modalities as performed at the St Michaels
clinics may relieve pain caused by back problems or
serious musculoskeletal injuries. Surgery should only be
considered in very refractory cases with severe pain or
when there is progressive neurological injury.
What is the prognosis?
Most patients with back pain recover without residual
functional loss, but individuals should contact a doctor
if there is not a noticeable reduction in pain and
inflammation after 72 hours of self-care. Recurring back
pain resulting from improper body mechanics or other
non-traumatic causes is often preventable. Engaging in
exercises that don't jolt or strain the back, maintaining
correct posture, and lifting objects properly can help
prevent injuries. Many work-related injuries are caused or
aggravated by stressors such as heavy lifting, vibration,
repetitive motion, and awkward posture. Applying ergonomic
principles — designing furniture and tools to protect the
body from injury — at home and in the workplace can
greatly reduce the risk of back injury and help maintain a
As defined by the International Association for the Study
of Pain, pain is "an unpleasant sensory and emotional
experience associated with actual or potential tissue
damage". Such definition is based on the fact that there
are several components contributing to the intensity of
pain which are above and beyond the extent of the injury
present in a primary pain generator. A primary pain
generator is a certain body part or anatomical structure
damaged by disease or trauma. Examples of pain generators
are joints affected by arthritis, skin damaged by a burn
or a fractured bone.