As per a report by the health policy institute, more than 65 million Americans suffer from chronic back pain issues. Out of this, 16 million adults (this makes it 8% of the adults) suffer from back pain issues daily.
The back pain issue is arising as the sixth most deadly health condition in the United States. With this, the overall health care costs and other indirect medical costs incurred due to back pain issues go up to $12 billion every year.
Back pain – Becoming a leading reason for work-loss days.
Studies show that up to 83 million days of work are lost every year due to excessive cases of lower back pain issues. More than 63% of employees with back pain issues have skipped at least one day at work due to back pain problems. On the other hand, adults spend up to 200 million days in bed annually after suffering from bad backaches.
Lower back pain issues – An emerging health issue
The lumbar spine is a well-engineered part of the human body that interconnects the nerves, bones, joints, muscles, and ligaments into one structure. This spine is the reason why you are able to stand straight and work comfortably. It helps you tenfold body strength and flexibility factors. This complex structure may be the most strengthened part of your body, but at the same time, it can be considered as the most fragile part prone to maximum injury and pain issues.
The lower back supports the entire weight of the upper body providing great mobility for easy movement, twisting, and bending. The strong muscles in the lower back are why you can move or rotate your hips while walking or running. This works as a great support system for the spinal column. The nerves in the lower back supply a sufficient amount of power and sensation in the pelvis, feet, and legs.
The common symptoms of lower back pain –
The lower back pain issues can have different symptoms putting you in a state of dilemma to understand if it’s severe back pain or a minor one. Sometimes, this pain does not give the sufferer enough time to understand how this lower back pain started. Some most obvious symptoms of lower back pain are –
- Muscle spasm or sudden tightness in the lower back pain, hips, and pelvis
- Achy pain in the lower back
- Pain that gets worse after long hours of sitting
- Difficulty in standing straight for long
Some common types of lower back pain include –
#1 – Subacute lower back pain – This pain usually lasts between 6 weeks and three months (depending on the severity). This ache type is mechanical and is prolonged. If you are diagnosed with this type of pain, it’s wise to begin the medical treatment immediately; otherwise, the circumstances may worsen, especially while working and sleeping.
#2 – Acute pain – This pain typically affects the lower back suddenly, leaving you no clue when it starts and why. If not treated, the acute pain will last for a few weeks. At some point in time, you may consider it as a normal problem or response to your hardcore physical workout. But in reality, it’s a consistent pain damaging your tissues. This process makes healing difficult.
#3 – Chronic back pain – It lasts for more than three months and has a severe nature. You may not feel any difference with the initial treatment processed. Therefore, ensure to make some additional efforts like – prescribed exercises and medicines to fasten up recovery.
The role of epidural injections –
Epidural injections are one of the most common types of treatment for back and leg pain. They have been used for decades in the medical world and have treated millions of people. The reason why it’s called an epidural is, the practitioner injects the local anesthetic and a specific kind of steroid medication straight into the epidural space. The spinal cord and nerve roots surround this. As a result, you may feel the maximum impact of epidural injections on your lower back or leg. This injection comes with a degree of set goals, including –
- Improving the overall mobility and functioning of legs and lower back.
- Controlling the inflammation issues in and around the nerves and spinal cord.
- Allowing the sufferer to participate in the comprehensive physical activities predefined by the physician.
Some other potential leverages of including this injection in your lower back treatment –
Most physicians will agree with the fact that epidural injection is an effective and reliable solution to most acute episodes of leg and back pain. You may require to undergo different sittings to see a positive impact on your body.
The common benefits include –
- Limit the oral medication – No one loves to have oral medicines after every meal. That’s where these injections work as a boon. The instant pain relief from the injection will work as a robust way to skip oral medicines. Oral many drugs come with an anesthetic impact putting you in a state of drowsiness. But that’s not the case with this injection type.
- Reduced inflammation and nerve pain – It tends to decrease the inflammation chemicals while reducing the sensitivity of nerve fibers causing pain. These nerve fibers are a common reason for the accelerated pain issues.
- Postpone surgery – No one wishes to undergo surgery as it brings many changes to one’s life. In this context, physical therapy works as a practical solution eliminating the need for surgical interventions.
- Re-engages you in physical therapy – Involvement in physical therapy is a good sign that your body is improving and bringing better changes. This is possible through epidural injections. However, you may need to follow a prescribed set of physical activities to make progressive changes in your lower back pain issues.
The bottom line is that –
It’s common for people to see it as yet another minor health issue. You realize its severity when you get to suffer from it. Before you think about overcoming lower back pain problems, it’s wise and mandatory to know its root causes and how it should be analyzed. This takes you halfway through the improvement process.