Back pain is one of the most common complaints, and it is among the main causes of visits to the doctor’s office and work absenteeism. Most people will experience back pain at least once in their life.
Pain can occur in any area of the back, the most frequent site being the lumbar region, which is why it is also commonly called “low back pain” or “lumbago”. This area of the back is the one that takes more weight and tension, so it is more susceptible to injuries.
Acute low back pain is mostly caused by a sudden injury in the muscles and ligaments that support the back. Pain can be caused by muscle spasms or strain or tear in muscles and ligaments.
Other causes of low back pain are hernias or ruptures of intervertebral discs, narrowness of the spinal canal, osteoarthritis, compression fractures, abnormalities in the spine curvatures.
When repeated acute injuries do not receive proper attention, back pain may become chronic and even debilitating.
The symptoms may include muscle pain, throbbing pain that may radiate to the legs, motion or flexibility limitation, inability to stand straight.
Other symptoms that should alert us that there is a serious problem are numbness and/or weakness of the limbs, intense pain while laying at night, bladder or bowel control problems. If you have any of these symptoms, it is important that you see a specialist who will tell you which is the most appropriate treatment for your problem.
Some of the tests that can be performed for the diagnosis are plain radiographs of the spine, nuclear magnetic resonance of the spine or nerve conduction and muscle contraction studies.
Treatments for back pain will depend on the cause and severity of the injury, and they range from rehabilitation, thermal therapy (local hot-cold), analgesics, anti-inflammatories and even spinal surgery.
Stem cell treatment is a new therapeutic option for selected cases of back pain, especially those caused by intervertebral disc injuries, muscle or ligament injuries, and osteoarthritis.
Stem cells help regenerate damaged tissue and reduce inflammation, accelerating the recovery process and improving symptoms.