Information on Vertebrae
Vertebrae Organization - Bones
- Vertebrae.org is a place for Physicians, students, or anyone else interested in the study of the human vertebrae, spinal column, and nervous system and the various affects they have on our health and mobility.
- The idea behind this project was to put a wealth of information together in an easy to understand format, as well as an easy to navigate site that we can all use effectively.
This idea was born from a thirst for knowledge by a group of physicians to provide all of us the FACTS, regardless of training or ideology. We hope it serves its purpose and continues to grow!
What is Back Pain? Back pain is one of the most common medical problems. It effects most people sometime in their life. Acute or short-term low back pain generally lasts from a few days to a few weeks. Most acute back pain is the result of trauma to the lower back or a disorder such as arthritis pain caused by a serious arthritic condition.
Pain from trauma may be caused by a sports injury, work around the house or in the garden, or a sudden jolt such as a car accident or other vertebrae stress on spinal bones and tissues. Symptoms may range from muscle ache to shooting or stabbing pain, limited flexibility and range of motion, or an inability to stand straight. Chronic back pain is pain that persists for more than 3 months. It is often progressive and the cause can be difficult to determine. Click-here for Health Tip-of-the-Day.
Is there any treatment for back pain? Most low back pain can be treated without surgery. Treatment involves using over-the-counter pain relievers to reduce discomfort and anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce inflammation. The goal of treatment is to restore proper function and strength to the back, and prevent recurrence of the injury. Medications are often used to treat acute and chronic low back pain.
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Effective pain relief may involve a combination of generic prescription drugs and over-the-counter remedies. Although the use of cold and hot compresses has never been scientifically proven to quickly resolve low back injury, compresses may help reduce pain and inflammation and allow greater mobility for some individuals. Bed rest is recommended for only 1–2 days at most. Individuals should resume activities as soon as possible. Exercise may be the most effective way to speed recovery from low back pain and help strengthen back and abdominal muscles. In the most serious cases, when the condition does not respond to other therapies, surgery may relieve pain caused by back problems or serious musculoskeletal injuries.
What is the prognosis of back pain? Most patients with back pain recover without residual functional loss, but individuals should contact a medical doctor or possibly a doctor of chiropractic medicine if there is not a noticeable reduction in pain and inflammation after 72-hrs of self-care and medication. Recurring back pain resulting from improper body mechanics or other non traumatic causes is often preventable. Engaging in exercises that don't jolt or strain the back, maintaining correct posture, and lifting objects properly can help prevent injuries. Many work-related injuries are caused or aggravated by stressors such as heavy lifting, vibration, repetitive motion, and awkward posture. Applying ergonomic principles — designing furniture and tools to protect the body from injury — at home and in the workplace can greatly reduce the risk of back injury, knee injury and help maintain healthy vertebrae, healthy back and avoid spinal injuries.
What research is being done about back pain? The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and other institutes of heath related to the National Institutes of Health, which conduct pain research in laboratories at institutes of health and also support pain research through grants to major medical institutions across the country. At this time researchers are hard at work examining the use of different drugs to effectively treat back pain, in particular, chronic pain that has lasted at least 6-mos or more. Other studies are comparing different health care approaches to the management of acute low back pain (standard care versus chiropractic, acupuncture, or certified massage therapist work. These studies are measuring symptom relief, restoration of function, and patient satisfaction. Other research is comparing standard surgical treatments to the most commonly used standard non-surgical treatments to measure changes in health-related quality of life among patients possibly suffering from spinal meningitis or spinal stenosis.