Back pain happens for a diverse array of reasons and can vary significantly in its intensity and location. Most people will experience back pain at some point in their lives. Whether it’s an acute muscle strain from working out too strenuously or a chronic degenerative condition resulting from aging, back pain can be difficult to live with.
While people typically complain about pain in their lower back, it’s not uncommon to experience pain in the upper and middle back as well.
Treatment of mild back pain usually involves pharmaceuticals or pain management injections, but more severe cases may require surgery.
You should never ignore an achy back, especially if the pain lingers or keeps coming back. If the pain persists, consult a pain management or orthopedic doctor who can accurately diagnose you and devise the optimal treatment plan for your condition.
What Are the Different Types of Back Pain?
Pain can affect various parts of the back:
- Low back, also known as the lumbar region
- Middle back, which is the area between the ribs and the hips
- Upper back, also known as the thoracic region
- The neck, also known as the cervical region
Low Back Pain
Low back pain can be either acute or chronic.
Acute pain typically comes on suddenly due to a specific event, like a strain or sprain caused by a sports injury, heavy lifting or falling. In best-case scenarios, the pain decreases within a matter of days or weeks with no major medical intervention necessary.
If you have injured your back, you can try to manage your acute back pain with over-the-counter pain medications like Tylenol or Ibuprofen. Your doctor may recommend at-home remedies, such as gentle stretching and heat and ice therapy.
Chronic pain can last several months or years and doesn’t always respond well to at-home remedies or over-the-counter pain killers.
Chronic back pain is significantly more complicated. There are a variety of conditions linked to low back pain, including but not limited to degenerative disc disease, osteoarthritis, trauma from an accident, sciatica and spinal tumors.
If you’ve recently injured your back and are experiencing acute low back pain, get plenty of rest and attempt at-home remedies. If it persists, you should visit an orthopedic specialist.
Middle Back Pain
Middle back pain isn’t as common as low back pain, but it can be just as severe and last anywhere from a few days to several months. Common causes of middle back pain include obesity, pregnancy and weak muscles from a lack of physical activity. Chronic conditions like arthritis or herniated discs are common culprits as well.
An achy middle back sometimes points to serious medical conditions, such as pancreatitis or kidney stones. If your back pain is accompanied by a fever, abdominal pain or a rapid heartbeat, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Upper Back Pain
Upper back pain is rare, but when it does happen, it often requires medical intervention. Thoracic pain is often a result of physical trauma. What’s worse, any damage to the upper portion of your spine can lead to problems with your lungs, stomach, pancreas or gallbladder.
If you’ve recently been in an accident, pay special attention to how your body is reacting. Symptoms like middle back pain, fever and unexplained weight loss can indicate a more serious condition which requires a medical diagnosis and potential treatment.
Neck pain is a common occurrence that happens for a variety of reasons. Poor posture leading to strained neck muscles is one of the most common causes of neck pain. To bring relief to your overworked neck muscles, try practicing good posture and take frequent breaks from any type of work that requires sitting for extended periods.
Neck pain can also be a symptom of a whiplash injury, arthritis, meningitis and cancer. If your neck pain is chronic and severe, seek medical care. It may be a symptom of a serious condition.
Visit AllSpine Laser and Surgery Center in Georgia for Comprehensive Back Pain Treatment Options
If you’re suffering from any kind of back pain that interferes with your ability to complete tasks and enjoy life, consider scheduling a consultation with a qualified pain management and orthopedic specialist.
Our experienced medical staff specializes in a diverse array of pain management treatments, non-invasive back pain therapies and spinal surgeries.
To learn more about how we can help alleviate your back pain, call (770) 997-0600 or browse our website.