Understanding Common Back Problems
There are many potential back problems that can plague an individual, and it is important to know just where you should go to have those problems corrected. Luckily, if you live in an area like Beaumont California, you have a number of great options, simply because of the area, and the number of physicians that have set up their practice there. The big question however, is when and how to know you have back problems that require addressing. Let’s take a look at two of the most common back problems in existence today, the first one being the dreaded sciatica.
Sciatica – A Pain of the Back
You’ve probably heard the phrase, “this is a pain in my…” Insert any random body part and you will get the idea. What, however, would you do if you actually WERE dealing with a pain in your back, or other extremities, and what if it were completely correctable?
Sciatica is a pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve, and this nerve branches all the way from the lower back, down through the buttocks, hops, and through both of your legs. That being the case, sciatica could potentially completely disable you if it were allowed to spread too far. Fortunately, it is well known within the medical community that sciatica typically only affects one side of the body at a time, except for in the most extreme cases.
How is Sciatica Caused?
This is an outstanding question! The more you know about a condition, the more you can do to prevent it from happening to you! The condition occurs in the event of a bone spur or a herniated disc on the spine(the discs being the spongy material between vertebrae which keep the bone from touching), and this will ca use compression on certain parts of the nerve.
Once this occurs, there will be a number of different symptoms which include:
- Numbness(On the affected side)
In most cases it can be treated with conventional methods, but some will actually need surgery, whether invasive or non-invasive.
The Most Common Symptoms of Sciatica
Pain will emanate from the lower part of the spine all the way into the buttock. During this time, it is possible that you will feel pain in virtually every part of your body, and it will vary in intensity. It could range from a dull ache to the worst pain you could ever imagine. Sneezing or coughing could intensify the pain, as could sitting for long periods of time.
The pain resulting from Sciatica is intense, and you will want to take care of it as quickly as possible.
There are a few risk factors you will want to watch out for, even if you don’t think you are at risk for sciatica. Though everyone is different, we are all vulnerable to the same illnesses or conditions given the right circumstances.
Age – Age and wear on the body will obviously have their effect, and with that being the case, you will want to make sure you are visiting the doctor on a regular basis. Checkups might be time consuming, but they could also save you a lot of pain in the long run.
Weight – Your weight will obviously put a great amount of pressure on the spine, which could trigger the condition. If you want to reduce your chances of developing sciatica, weight loss would be an outstanding first step.
Your Job – If you have a job that requires you to twist your back or sit down for along periods of time, you are certainly at risk.
Degenerative Disc Disease
As you grow older, a number of different changes will take place within your body, one of which is degenerative disc disease. This of course isn’t really a disease, but more of a normal change.
What is a Spinal Disc?
A spinal disc is a soft, compressible disc that sits between your vertebrae. You can think of them as a sort of shock absorber for the spine, allowing it to flex without any sort of pain. With a degenerative disc disease however, the spine will begin to touch, and this will result in severe pain throughout the majority of your back. The following are a few examples of degenerative disc disease, as well as the conditions they may cause throughout the back when left untreated.
Osteoarthritis – A breakdown of cartilage which cushions/protects the joints
Herniated Disc — Bulging or tearing of the spinal disc
Spinal Stenosis – Narrowing of the spinal canal/cavity, putting pressure on the nerves and ultimately affecting the way the nerves function. Left unreated, this condition could serve to affect your overall quality of life.
The Causes of Degenerative Disc Disease
As you have probably heard before, many times, everyone is different, and their bodies react in different ways. Similarly, our bodies tend to break down in different ways.
Fluid Loss – The discs need fluid to operate properly, and when fluid is lost, the discs function less and less as s hock absorbers. The discs will become thinner and the distance between vertebrae will become thinner.
Cracks and Tears – The outer part of the disc can become affected by cracks and tears, meaning the fluid inside can seep through the cracks. In the end, this will cause the discs to break open or bulge.
Common Risk Factors
There are a few common and potential risk factors to consider, for example, individuals who smoke are more likely to develop this condition. In addition to that, overweight individuals, and those who do a lot of heavy lifting will more than likely end up with a degenerative disc disease.
Luckily, you don’t have to live with it! There are plenty of great physicians out there who will be able to help you through any number of other procedures, whether invasive or non-invasive. It’s time to stop suffering in silence and get the treatment you really need!