Back Pain Causes and Treatments – #2 Bone conditions

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In the last article in this series of article on back pain causes and treatments and we have detailed the most common cause of back pain, which is strain or sprain. In this article we will talk about the possible causes and appropriate treatments of bone conditions that causes a back pain.

 

Causes

The most common causes of bone conditions leading to back pain include:

  1. Congenital causes (caused by a bone abnormality present at birth).  This can lead to scoliosis or other conditions leading to back pain.
  2. Degenerative causes (resulting from wear and tear).  Working too hard for a prolonged period of time or simply the effect of aging like osteoporosis, a bone disease (Medline Plus, 2012) that causes bone tissue to thin and become less dense which can then cause back pain.
  3. Injuries.  Impact or trauma can lead to ligament, tendon or bone injury which can all lead to back pain.  Sometime small fractures are not properly diagnosed or treated and can later become the cause of back pain.
  4. Neuromuscular, a result of abnormal muscles or nerves. For example people with spina bifida or cerebral palsy can develop a scoliosis leading to back pain.
  5. Idiopathic (no specific identifiable cause).  Those are less frequent and might be caused by inherited conditions or other still unknown causes.

 

Treatments

First of all, it is always recommended to consult your doctor to know the exact cause, severity and proper treatment.

For injuries, RICE therapy (See more details in our previous article) will often be prescribed :

  • Rest.  You know what this means so we won’t explain it.
  • Ice: Use an ice bag or wrap ice in a towel and apply frequently in the first 48-72 hours after an injury.
  • Compression: Wrap a back brace around the affected area.
  • Exercises: Physical therapy, involving stretching and strengthening exercises.

For wear and tear, a variety of treatments including diet and lifestyle habits will help keep your bones strong and prevent fractures.  Let’s start with something known as the “Basic CDE’s”:

  1. C: Calcium can help build strong bones and keep them strong as you age. If you can’t get adequate calcium through food sources like dairy, milk or supplements.
  2. D: Vitamin D is important for healthy bones. Eggs, fish, mushrooms, milk, yogurt, beef liver and many other foods contain vitamin D. The action of sunlight on your skin also promotes the production of vitamin D.
  3. E: Exercise makes bones stronger, helps prevent bone loss, and also speeds up recovery. Walking, jogging, dancing, and aerobics are all good forms of weight-bearing exercise.

Some other tips:

  • Wear sensible shoes
  • Remove home hazards
  • Light up your living space
  • Use assistive devices
  • Make an appointment with your doctor!

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