Back Pain Treatment
Today, back pain is one of the most prevalent medical complaints. Nearly 80% of adults have reported and experienced back pain at some point in their lives. Dr. Sherief Elsayed is a well-known back pain doctor in Dubai. He is renowned for his proficiency and expertise in treating back pain. In this article, Dr. Sherief explains everything you need to know about back pain so that you can seek the right treatment well in time. But before we go on and discuss back pain, let’s first understand the spinal structure.
The spine comprises a series of 33 bones known as vertebrae, each stacked on top of another. Given below are the main parts of the spine;
Spinal cord: the spinal cord is a tubelike long structure that starts at the end of the brain stem and travels down almost to the bottom of the spine. It performs the role of carrying nerve impulses between the brain and all other parts of the body.
Nerves: The spine also houses various nerves, which are connected to the spinal cord. The nerve roots branch out from the spinal cord through openings in the vertebrae and transport messages between the brain and the other organs of the body.
Intervertebral discs: The spine’s vertebrae are separated by intervertebral discs, which act as cushions between each vertebra. These are important for the spine’s normal functioning and act as shock absorbers when walking or running.
What are the causes of lower back pain?
Several issues can cause lower back pain. Some of them are as follows:
The ligaments and muscles that surround the spinal cord firmly hold it in place to prevent extreme bending or twisting movements. A ligament strain is an injury to a ligament in which the fibres are stretched or torn. The most common cause of a ligament strain is overuse, repetitive motion, or an injury. However, anyone can experience a back ligament sprain in regular activities, marked by tenderness, swelling, and muscle spasms in the lower back muscles.
Spinal stenosis is the term given to the narrowing of the spinal canal caused by degenerative spine changes. Symptoms may include pain, numbness, muscle weakness, and tingling sensations. It mostly occurs in older adults.
Spinal infections may cause lower back pain because of the inflammation that it can cause around the spine. The inflammation leads to pressure on the nerves in the area. It will make the pain worse by overloading the nerve endings with pain signals.
Degenerative Disc Diseases
Degenerative disc disease is a back pain disease caused by the spine’s outer soft tissue’s deterioration or wear and tear. In most cases, degenerative disc disease occurs when the bony structures of the spine squeeze the disc space.
Cauda equina syndrome
Cauda equina syndrome is a medical condition in which the lower spine and its nerves are compressed, causing severe and often permanent nerve damage. The compression of the nerves can result from a large disc prolapse, trauma, tumours, or other causes. In this condition, the patient experiences severe back pain, bowel and bladder problems, weakness, numbness, or loss of sensation in the legs. Cauda equina syndrome is typically a surgical emergency.
Sciatica is a disorder that also causes pain in the lower back, buttocks, or thighs and legs due to compression of the nerve roots as they leave the spine. Symptoms typically include lower back pain, numbness and pain in the legs, and tingling or weakness of the feet. The symptoms may be worsened by coughing or sneezing.
Traumatic injuries occur due to a sudden, violent shock or force. It can range from something as minor as simply falling off your bike to something more serious, like being hit by a car. These events often cause injury to the soft tissue or bones in the lower back or spine and other body parts.
Diagnosis for back pain
A physical examination of the patient is performed after studying the symptoms and medical history. During a typical physical test, the doctor examines your back and assesses your ability to sit, stand, walk, and lift your legs. It is done to understand the muscle strength, reflexes, and neurological condition of the patient.
When a specific condition is suspected of giving rise to back pain, imaging studies narrow down the cause. Given below are some of the imaging technologies:
BMD DEXA scan
A BMD (Bone mineral Density) DEXA scan is a type of imaging test that uses X-rays to produce images of the spine, hip and forearm. These scans can be used to diagnose osteoporosis or osteopenia.
MRI and CT scan
A Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan is a diagnostic imaging technique that uses radio waves and magnetic fields to generate images of body structures. On the other hand, a CT scan is a diagnostic imaging technique that uses X-rays taken from different angles to produce a two-dimensional image of the inside of the body.
Blood and urine tests also help determine the underlying conditions, such as inflammation and infection, causing back pain. Blood test results can be sent to a primary care provider, who will use the information to make treatment recommendations.
Risk factors associated with back pain
Given below are the factors that might put you at greater risk of developing back pain, according to the back pain doctor in Dubai:
- Age: The risk of having back pain increases with age. According to studies, it is more common in people who are more than 30 years old.
- Sedentary lifestyle: The lack of physical activity often exposes you to back pain. Lack of exercise weakens the abdomen and back muscles.
- Improper lifting techniques: Back pain can occur if you use your back instead of your legs to lift weights.
- Poor Posture: Poor posture is often caused by slouching, sitting for long periods without a break, and poor ergonomic equipment.
- Excess weight: Excess body weight, which puts extra pressure on the back, can also cause back pain.
- Pregnancy: Pregnant women often tend to suffer from pain in the back.
- Diseases: Medical issues such as arthritis often cause back pain.
- Smoking: It is found that the risk of developing back pain increases with the number of cigarettes smoked per day.
Types of back pain treatment
There are several different types of back pain treatment, including the following:
Physical therapy and occupational therapy
Physical therapy (physiotherapy) is a type of treatment that helps people with injuries or pain. It can also help to prevent future problems from occurring. Occupational therapy is a form of treatment that helps people with disabilities and other health problems lead fulfilling lives.
Medications are substances that are introduced into the body to help reverse or prevent a medical condition. They may be taken orally, applied topically, injected, or inserted into the body. The most common pain relievers include acetaminophen (paracetamol), ibuprofen, and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Acupuncture for back pain treatment is a common treatment option. It involves the insertion of needles into specific points on the body to help relieve pain and inflammation in the muscles, ligaments, and nerves.
Lifestyle adjustments are those changes you make to improve your mental, physical, and emotional well-being.
Back surgeries usually involve procedures for the spine or spinal cord. Surgery for lower back pain is the last resort treatment and is recommended by Dr Sherief, your back pain doctor in Dubai only when the pain persists after a considerable period of non-operative management.
What are the various types of back surgery?
Given below are some different types of back pain surgeries performed by back pain doctors in Dubai:
Spinal fusion surgery
Spinal fusion is a technique that fuses two or more vertebrae in your spine. It was originally done to treat severe back pain, but it can also be used to stabilize a spinal column that’s been damaged by a fracture, tumor, or infection.
A laminectomy is a medical procedure to remove the bone that covers the spinal cord (or nerves) to relieve pressure on or open up the spinal canal. A laminectomy may be used to treat a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, or other conditions.
A microdiscectomy is another minimally invasive surgical technique performed by Dr Sherief, a back pain doctor in Dubai. It involves removing part of the disc to reduce pressure on the nerves. It is effective at relieving pain, with high levels of patient satisfaction.
Surgeons perform kyphoplasty to help with collapsed vertebrae causing pain. The surgery involves inserting a special bone cement to stabilize the vertebra. It is often used in patients with osteoporosis, tumors and fractures.
Artificial disc replacement
Artificial disc replacement is a procedure in which an artificial, manufactured disc is implanted to replace the damaged one. Dr Sherief can guide you with regards to the need for a cervical disc replacement (neck) or lumbar disc replacement (lower back). A cervical disc replacement is also known as cervical arthroplasty.
Lumbar decompression treats back pain by removing the extra or excess bone between two vertebrae in the spine. Lumbar decompression aims to relieve pressure on the nerves – helping to reduce pain and other symptoms experienced in the legs.
Dr. Sherief Elsayed is a UK board-certified spine surgeon, specializing in spine surgery, back pain treatment, and sports medicine. He has performed several thousand operations surgeries in the United Kingdom and in the United Arab Emirates. Contact Dr. Sherief today if you are looking for the best back pain doctor in Dubai.