Back pain is not a diagnosis but the symptom of a medical condition. It could be in form of a dull pain which is constant or a sharp pain that makes movement difficult and it can worsen gradually over time.

Causes of Back Pain.

Back pain can occur as a result of the following:

1. Intervertebral back pain degeneration.

This happens when the disc in between the vertebrae of the of the spine starts to break down with age and start to lose their cushioning ability. When the back is stressed, this causes back pain.

2. Sciatica. This is a sharp shooting pain that goes from the buttocks to the back of the leg. It is usually caused by a herniated disc pressing on a nerve.

3. Scoliosis. This is a disorder that leads to the abnormal sideways curving of the spine. It is important to note that not all scoliosis causes pain.

4. Osteoporosis. This is a disease of the bone that causes gradual thinning of the bone. This makes the bone weak and susceptible to fractures.

5. Infections. These cause back pain when they involve the vertebrae. This condition is called osteomyelitis.

6. Injuries. Injuries such as sprains and fractures causes back pain.

7. Sleep disorders like insomnia also affects the back.

Diagnosis of Back Pain.

A physical examination is carried out by a medical practitioner and a series of questions are asked. If there is the suspicion of injury, tests are carried out to ascertain this.

Tests that are carried out to determine the causes of back pain includes x-rays, MRI or CT scan, bone scan and electromyography.

Treatment of Back Pain.

Back pain is treated in the following ways:

1. Use of over-the-counter medication such as paracetamol, ibuprofen or codeine.

2. Physical therapy.

3. Cortisone injection which is an anti-inflammatory in nature.

4. In rare cases, surgery is carried out for back pain when all other treatment options have failed.

5. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. (TENS).

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