Category: Chronic Pain

BPS 31: Understanding Different Types of Back Pain

Knowing about the different types of pain will help you in better pain control. Pain can be divided into different categories. The treatment of a pain depends on the source and diagnosis of pain. In this post, you will learn about different types of pain.

Acute Pain

Acute pain lasts for a short time. The typical duration of an acute pain is around three to six months. This pain is generally related to tissue damage. Pain due to touching a hot stove, a needle prick, or a paper cut is known as acute pain. Other examples of acute pain include pain due to hitting one’s fingers with a hammer and childbirth pain.

Chronic Pain

When pain lasts for more than six months, the pain is known as chronic pain. This type of pain occurs when the tissue has not healed thereby causing pain. Degenerative disc disease and physical deconditioning due to lack of exercise and result in chronic pain. Sometimes chronic pain is not physical, but emotional in nature. This type of pain is caused due to emotional tension due to anxiety and depression.

Chronic pain can be divided into two types.

-Chronic Benign Pain — The type of chronic pain is caused by visce ...

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BPS 30: What are the Treatment Options for Neck Pain?

Neck pain is common in the US. The pain affects millions of people every year. In this post, we will explain different types of treatment options for neck pain.

Nonsurgical Treatment Option

Doctors recommend self-care as initial treatment for managing pain. Here are some of the nonsurgical treatment options of acute neck pain.

Rest

Most of the times, neck pain goes away on its own. Proper rest for a few days can accelerate the healing process of the neck tendons and muscles. During the healing period, it’s important to avoid strenuous movements and activities that may exacerbate pain.

Ice Massage or Heat Therapy

Ice massage or heat therapy can also help reduce pain. Initially, ice is applied to the affected area. Application of ice can reduce pain and swelling by closing small blood muscles. This prevents the swelling from getting worse. Next, heat and ice can be applied on an alternative basis to reduce pain.

Back Massage

Back massage can help soothe muscle spasms and tension. It will stimulate the circulation thereby accelerating the healing process. As a result, the pain subsides on its own within a few hours after a massage.

Improved Pos ...

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BPS 29: What are the Causes and Treatment of a Neck Strain?

A neck strain happens when fibers in a neck muscle stretches and tears. The injury is also known as pulled muscle. The pain in case of a neck strain vary in intensity. A neck strain generally heals on its own. However, in some cases surgical treatment is required.

Causes of Neck Strain

A neck sprain normally occurs due to an injury of the neck’s soft tissues. The neck contains more than twenty muscles. These muscles support the upright position of the head. They also help facilitate the movements of the neck, head, jaw, shoulders, and upper back.

The muscles consist of muscles fibers. Within each fiber are myofibrils that perform muscle contractions. When the muscle stretches or overexerts, small tears can develop in the tendon, muscle, or the connective tissue between the tendon and muscle.

Extensive neck strains result in inflammation that result in additional pain and swelling. It also requires a longer recovery period. The healing period depends on the muscle fibers that have been torn due to the injury.

While there are many types of neck muscles, the following two muscles are at increased risk of strain.

Trapezius

The kite sized musc ...

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BPS 28: What Does Neck Grinding and Cracking Mean?

A cracking noise can sometimes be heard during movement of the neck. In some cases, the sound of snapping, grinding or popping may be heard when moving the neck. These sounds can be heard when moving the joints as well.

Most people have heard grinding or cracking of the neck at some point. The sound may be heard when turning the head when backing up the car. Generally, the sounds should not be a matter of a concern. However, if it occurs with other symptoms such as after a trauma or injury, it could be due to a serious medical problem.

About Neck Grinding and Cracking

Neck cracking and grinding are generally painless. It is can also sometimes be accompanied by different degrees of neck pain. The pain can range from dull aches to acute pains.

Generally, older people experience cracking or grinding of the neck, which is also known as neck crepitus. However, sometimes younger people can also experience neck pain. The frequency of neck grinding and cracking generally vary. Some people may experience pain after a few months, while others may experience the pain every day during neck movement.

Although neck crepitus can happen with arthritis, but the fact i ...

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BPS 27: What are the Causes and Treatment of a Stiff Neck?

Stiff neck rest results in soreness and difficulty in moving the neck. The pain generally occurs when trying to move the head to the side. It may also be accompanied with a neck pain, headache, arm pain, or shoulder pain. An individual may need to turn the entire body in order to look sideways in case of a stiff neck.

How a patient manages a stiff neck will determine the recovery period, pain level, and likely treatment of the condition.

What Causes a Stiff Neck?

Stiffness in the neck can occur due to many reasons. The most common reason for a stiff neck is a soft tissue sprain or a muscle strain. The levator scapulae muscle that connects the cervical spine with the shoulder controls the C3 and C4 cervical nerves. This muscle may become strained due to common activities such as:

-Sudden impact or fall that pushes the head to the sides -Sleeping in an awkward position -Turning the head to the side repeatedly when performing certain actions such as the front crawl stroke -Slouching forward to look at the computer screen -Excessive anxiety or stress can result in tension in the neck -Holding the neck in a position that causes strain in the neck such as holding a ...

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BPS 26: What is the Cause of Chronic Neck Pain?

The neck consists of a network of bones, nerves, joints, and muscles. These body parts are directed by the spinal cord and the brain. They provide strength and stability to the body.

A number of different problems can result in neck pain. Irritation along the pathway of the nerve may result in pain in the head, arm, hand, and shoulder. Spinal cord irritation can result in pain in the legs and areas below the neck.

Symptoms of Neck Pain

Most symptoms of neck pain subside within a few weeks. In case the neck pain persists, it signals some serious underlying medical problem. Early intervention is necessary for such a situation to provide relief from pain.

Some of the symptoms of neck pain include the following.

-Stabbing or sharp pain in one area -A stiff neck that results in difficulty in turning the head -Tenderness or soreness in the neck -Pain that radiates to the arms, shoulders, or fingers -Tingling or weakness in the arms, shoulder, or fingers -Trouble in lifting objects or gripping -Problems in balance, coordination, and walking -Loss or bowel or bladder control.

Symptoms of neck pain can be minor in some cases. In other cases, the symptoms can ...

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BPS 25: What are the Treatment Options for Cervical Degenerative Disc Disease?

Cervical degenerative disc occurs when the spinal disc near the neck becomes damaged. Pain from cervical degenerative disc disease can be alleviated through self-care and non- surgical options. However, in case the pain does not subside, surgery may be required.

In this article, we will look at both surgical and nonsurgical treatment options for cervical degenerative disc disease.

Non-surgical Treatment Plans 1. Pain Management with Injection and Medications

Doctors may recommend pain-relieving medications such as ibuprofen, aspirin, or others for cervical disk pain. If the pain-relieving medications do not provide pain relief, doctors may recommend stronger medications such as muscle relaxants medication Vicodin or oral steroids. Also, doctors may recommend injections such as cervical facet injection or an epidural steroid injection to deliver medications directly to the affected area.

2. Lifestyle Changes

Certain actions like craning the neck when looking at the computer or mobile screen, flexing the neck forward when driving, or slouching when standing can cause damage to the cervical spinal disc. Modifying actions to refrain from such actions will result ...

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BPS 24: What are the Treatment Options for Lumbar Degenerative Disc Disease?

Treatment of degenerative disc disease focus on reducing the pain and improving mobility. Degenerative disc disease can be treated with either nonsurgical or surgical methods. Initially, doctors recommend nonsurgical options. However, if the pain does not subside with nonsurgical methods, the doctor suggests surgical treatment of the degenerative disc disease.

In some cases, doctors recommend a combination of nonsurgical methods like medications, physical therapy, and surgical methods. In this article, we will look at some of the common types of nonsurgical lumbar degenerative disc diseases.

1. Prescription or Over-the-counter (OTC) Medications

Individuals generally use OTC medications in order to get relief from pain. They may use medications such as ibuprofen, aspirin, or naproxen. These medications can reduce inflammation that causes nerve root irritation and discomfort. In addition, acetaminophen may be used as a pain reliever in case of lumbar degenerative disc disease.

In case the pain is not relieved with OTC medications, doctors may prescribe narcotic painkillers or muscle relaxants. The medications are common for the treatment of pain that lasts for ...

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BPS 23: An Overview of Cervical Degenerative Disc Disease

Cervical degenerative disc disease results in pain in the neck. It can also lead to radiating arm pain. The condition develops when one or more discs that act as a shock absorber in the cervical spine undergoes degeneration.

Degeneration of the cervical spine is a normal aging process. Our spinal discs undergo wear and tear during movement. The symptoms of the wear and tear are not noticeable at the beginning. However, as we grow older, the symptoms become noticeable due to increased wear and tear.

How Damage of Cervical Disc Occurs?

Our body has six gel-like cervical discs. There is one disc located between the cervical spine of the vertebrae. The disc prevents rubbing of the vertebral bones with the movement of the neck. It absorbs the sock that prevents damage to the spinal disc.

Every disc consists of a strong outer layer. This outer layer is made of annulus fibrosus, which is woven cartilage strands. Inside the strands is a soft interior that is filled with nucleus pulposus, which provides shock absorption property.

The discs are about 85 percent water in children. The disc begins to lose water over time as a normal part of the aging process. The ...

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BPS 22: What you Need to Know about Lumbar Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD)?

Lumbar degenerative disc disease result in lower back pain. The disease is age-related that occur due to wear and tear of the spinal disc. In this post, you will learn about the pain in the back that occurs due to pain in the vertebrae.

About Lumbar Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD)

Intervertebral discs are fibrous, tough structures. they act as ligaments between the vertebrae. The disc absorb pressure thereby acting as a shock absorber. The discs are flexible but strong enough to allow movements such as bending backward, forward, and side to side.

Lumbar degenerative disc disease is a misnomer. The reason is that it’s neither a disease nor the symptoms of the condition worsen over time. The discs stiffen naturally with age due to wear and tear. Everyone experience some form of disc degeneration. Due to stiffening of the spinal disc, an individual can experience different spinal disc problems, including lumbar degenerative disc disease.

Components of Intervertebral Disc

An understanding of the intervertebral disc that undergoes degermation will help in better understanding of the condition.

An intervertebral disc is composed of three main parts. T ...

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Robin BackPainExpert

Physiotherapists & Back Pain Expert

Twenty years ago I was lucky to survive a serious hockey injury. In a sport where big men zoomaround on hard ice and solid wood sticks are slung furiously, a difficult back injury is what every player fears.
It took a long time for me to climb back to a normal life. But when I did, I was determined to spend the rest of his life helping back pain victims everywhere.
As a physiotherapist and back pain expert I have treated thousands of patients over 20 years, built a respected back pain clinic, created the site BackPainSecrets.Com and authored the book “Back Pain Secrets.”
Learn more about me here.