Frequently Asked Questions About Back Pain

Back pain is one of the most frequent health problems faced in the world. Between fifty and eighty percent of all adults have experienced back pain within the last year, and in this article, we’ll do our best to fill you in on some of the more commonly asked questions regarding back pain.

Question: I’ve heard that herniating a disc may lead to a case of paralysis. Is this true?
Answer: While it is possible to become paralyzed due to a herniated disc, it is highly unlikely. The nerves that can cause paralysis are built tough, and they are unlikely to break as a result of a herniation. The sacral nerves may become severed by a herniated disc, however, which can result in a loss of bladder and bowel control.

Question: If I’ve got a damaged disc, should I undergo spinal fusion surgery?
Answer: Spinal fusion surgery is one way of relieving the pain that a damaged disc can cause. However, new scientific breakthroughs have led to an alternative type of surgery that you can undergo. The main problem with spinal fusion surgery is that by fusing two vertebrae together, the range of motion of the spine becomes limited. In the new type of surgery, known as artificial disc replacement surgery, the damaged disc is removed and an artificial disc is put in place. In addition to relieving the pain, the new disc provides for an ample range of motion.

Question: What is degenerative disc disease?
Answer: Degenerative disc disease, or DDD, is a problem that is basically an arthritis of the spinal discs. Factors such as age and stress can result in a deterioration of the discs, causing degeneration of the structure. In minor cases of degenerative disc disease, non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs may be prescribed, coupled with physical therapy. In advanced cases of degenerative disc disease, a spinal fusion operation is the standard procedure.

Question: What factors can contribute to back pain?
Answer: There are many different reasons that an individual may be affected by a case of back pain. Age is a key factor, with most cases of the pain occurring after age thirty. Fitness level is also a factor, and the more in shape an individual is, the less likely they are to have an episode of back pain. Some instances of back pain are the result of hereditary. Also, occupational risks are a large factor. Learning proper lifting techniques can drastically decrease your chances of developing chronic back pain, so it is in your best interests to familiarize yourself with them as soon as you possibly can. Other diseases can result in back pain as well, such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Question: How is the severity of cases of back pain addressed?
Answer: Doctors commonly refer to instances of back pain that last less than six weeks acute back pain. For cases of back pain that take between six and twelve weeks to heal up, the term sub-acute back pain is used. Cases that persist longer than twelve weeks are known as chronic back pain.