31 million Americans are experiencing back pain right at this moment. 50% of all Americans will have back pain each year and 80% of them will experience back pain at some point in their lives. But it’s not just an American issue. Globally, back pain is the single leading cause of disability and will cause more than 264 million lost workdays in a year in the United States alone. Back pain is a huge problem, not because of the pain alone, but because of the potentially dangerous conditions that cause it. That’s why at SpineMD we are dedicated to making sure your back issues get fixed. Before we get started, if you are experiencing serious back pain right now, go ahead and set up an appointment with our top spine specialist, Dr. Anil Kesani. If you just want to get some information, then continue reading on!
Let’s start somewhere simple: what is your back? Your back is a huge bundle of nerves and bones that supports your body and enables you to move. Within the back is the vital support structure, the spine. As most people know, the spine (or backbone) is responsible for your movement and your back’s ability to bend, twist and support all your weight. Without it, we wouldn’t be able to really move, lift our head or arms or do anything near to what we do now.
But we all know that it’s important, so let’s not go too deep into that. Instead, why don’t we talk about the different regions of your spine and their functions. There are 5 regions of the spine: cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacrum and coccyx. The cervical spine is located within your neck and has 7 vertebrae. The main function of your cervical spine is to support your head and give it the freedom to look at its surroundings. Moving down, the thoracic spine is located from your upper to mid back. This part of the spine is responsible for holding your rib cage together and connecting it to the rest of your body and it has 12 vertebrae. Your lumbar spine is your lower back, contains only 5 vertebrae and exists only to support the weight of your body. As it supports all your body weight, it’s also the source of most back pain. In fact, low-back pain costs Americans at least $50 billion in health care costs each year. Our next region is the sacrum which is made up of 5 vertebrae and is the connecting point between your spine and your hips. Finally, your coccyx is made up of 4 vertebrae and is commonly referred to as your tailbone. Altogether, these form the support for your entire body and help you live your life to the fullest.
With all that in mind, here’s a list of some of the common issues that people come to SpineMD for:
- Muscle strain or pulled back muscles
- Degeneration/arthritis of the spine including disc degeneration, disc bulging, disc herniation (slipped disc) and facet arthropathy
- Pinched nerves causing radiating pain or radicular pain
- Fractured or broken vertebral bones
- Autoimmune conditions
- Lumbar sprains and many more
- Pain from visceral problems (problems originating from heart, lungs, stomach, pancreas, gall bladder, kidneys, and other abdominal organs). It is crucial to determine if visceral problems are contributing to the back pain, if so timely treatment with an appropriate specialist is essential
If you want to know more about each issue, we’ve done a breakdown already on our neck pain (link blog post here) blog post. Not sure if you should go to the doctor for your back pain? Here’s a few ways to see if it’s serious enough to warrant a visit:
- Think back to when it first started hurting, has it gotten worse or not improved within a few days or even weeks? If it’s gotten worse or hasn’t improved, you need to get an appointment soon. You could have a serious condition or injury that needs to be taken care of ASAP.
- Are you feeling sharp pains or throbbing pains? If it’s sharp pains, then you might want to wait a couple days to see if it subsides, but if it’s been chronic, get an appointment anyways. If it’s a dull, throbbing pain that just won’t go away, you need to see a doctor whenever possible. You could have a nerve issue or an injury to your spine or the muscles and ligaments surrounding it.
- Have you experienced any weakness, numbness, tingling, or loss of feeling? Any of these symptoms means you need to get an appointment immediately; this could be a sign of something majorly wrong with your spine or back and could have life-changing consequences.
Don’t wait to get help, especially if you think you’re suffering from any of these conditions. Schedule an appointment with our top spine specialist, Dr. Kesani and let us help you live your best life.
SpineMD is a clinic based in North Richland Hills serving DFW that focuses on spinal care. Our highly trained and experienced providers specialize in the treatment of all types of spine problems including back pain, neck pain, slipped or herniated disc disease, disc degeneration, pinched nerves and many more conditions. Our physicians are experts in the latest nonsurgical and surgical care including minimally invasive spine surgery, disc replacements, stem cell use among others as well as complex/redo spine surgery.