The Common Types of Back Pain: A Complete Guide

Did you know that over 80% of people will suffer from back pain at one point in their lives?

Sadly, getting the proper treatment to relieve different types of back pain is challenging and frustrating for healthcare providers and their patients.

Whenever a significant healthcare issue affects a large population of people, it can be easy for fake doctors and professionals to prey on people’s pain, claiming to know how to solve the problem. This is why you will see adverts popping up everywhere claiming to cure and alleviate back pain. When it comes to back pain, the words’ treatment and cure are deceptive and misleading.

There are many types of back pain, and each has different treatment approaches. Below is a comprehensive guide of the different kinds of back pain people experience:

Flexion Dominant Pain

Flexion dominant pain is characterized by injury to the disc. However, this isn’t always the case, and the symptoms associated with this type of back pain follow a specific pattern. Below are some characteristics of flexion dominant back pain:

  • The pain is made worse by lifting something, bending, and sitting
  • The symptoms will significantly improve if you walk for a short duration or stand after sitting
  • It may result in leg weakness
  • You may experience leg or spine pain
  • You may experience some back pain when you sneeze or cough
  • You will find it challenging to stand up after sitting for a long duration
  • You will experience numbness and tingling

A practical course of treatment for Flexion Dominant pain involves several directional stretches and exercises for patients to perform at intervals throughout the day. These exercises help maintain the spinal cord’s motion range and alleviate the pain. The stretches help your back feel more flexible.

Before rushing to exercise and stretch, talk to your physiotherapist to determine the best set of exercises for you. Your physiotherapist will adjust your workout regimen and modify it for maximum efficiency with time. Once your pain reduces, the doctor will help you discover how it started.

Some exercises to help reduce flexion dominant back pain include spinal cord mobility workouts, stretching and strengthening tight or weak muscles, lifting, and squatting.

Extension Dominant Back Pain

This type of back pain is associated with the zygapophyseal joints found at the back of the spine. These joints are also known as Z-joints. Extension Dominant back pain also has a list of easily identifiable patterns.

Some of the symptoms include:

  • Too much pain after standing for a long duration
  • Experiencing temporary pain relief after bending or sitting
  • Stiff back
  • Experiencing back pain after participating in high-impact activities such as gymnastics and running
  • In severe cases, you may experience numbness, leg tingling, and pain
  • Includes localized spine cord pain

The best course of treatment to relieve this type of pain is finding a way to reduce the pressure on your spine extensions. Most people who experience this type of back pain may stand with their backs arched. Practical exercises include hip-mobility stretches and abdominal stabilizing exercises.

Another great way to temporarily relieve the pain is through manual therapy and acupuncture. You can also use intermittent flexed postures to reduce the pain or see a trained chiropractor for more treatment options.

Chiropractors are trained to relieve chronic back pain using spinal manipulation techniques. If you’re looking for a reputable chiropractor, check out this article for tips.

Long-term remedies for this type of back pain involve core and spinal stability and strength with great hip mobility. Once your healthcare providers get your pain under control, they will employ more aggressive techniques.

Inflammatory Back Pain

This is one of the less common kinds of back pain, and it’s easily misdiagnosed. It’s primarily caused by extreme inflammation in your spinal joints. It’s a secondary effect of a medical condition resulting from the immune system attacking your spine’s joints.

An example of a medical condition that results in this type of back pain is ankylosing spondylitis. But many other conditions may lead to inflammatory back pain. If you’re experiencing any kind of back pain, it’s advisable to visit a physiotherapist.

The therapist will diagnose your back pain then refer you to a rheumatologist for further medical evaluation and testing. But once your pain is diagnosed as inflammatory pain, your physiotherapist will help you with a pain management strategy.

Some signs and symptoms of inflammatory back pain include:

  • The pain starts in patients under 35 years and it’s not due to trauma
  • The stiffness and pain becomes worse as you move around, especially in the morning or at night
  • The stiffness and pain is relieved with gentle exercises and physical activities
  • You can use anti-inflammatory medications to relieve the pain.

When experiencing back pain and stiffness flare-up, patients should have a pain management plan for relief. According to studies, turmeric may reduce inflammation without the adverse side effects of anti-inflammatory medications.

Chronic Back Pain Disorder

This is one of the most challenging back pain for medical professionals to treat. This disorder is characterized by the nervous system deducing stimuli that’s not normally harmful and painful to the body as dangerous. This means that your brain is treating the stimuli as painful.

This complex problem requires a deeper understanding of the patient and the cause of the pain. Suffering from chronic pain disorders that involve the back can be pretty frustrating. Nothing is more annoying than hearing multiple medical professionals repeatedly explain to you that they can’t see any physical cause of your pain.

However, it’s essential to note that the pain experienced by the patient is just as physically real as that of someone suffering from mechanical injuries. Sadly, the usual treatments don’t often work for these patients. They require a multidisciplinary healthcare team with a good comprehension of pain science.

Now You Know the Different Types of Back Pain

There are many types of back pain, including Flexion Dominant, Extension Dominant, Inflammatory pain, and chronic pain disorders. Unfortunately, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all for back pain treatment. Physiotherapists work with individual patients to devise the right treatment option for them.

If you’re suffering from any type of back pain and you’re struggling to find the proper treatment, ensure you see your doctor as soon a possible.

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