Low Back Pain is currently the leading cause of disability for individuals between ages 19 and 43 in the United States, and is the second most common reason for Americans to visit their physician next to the common cold.
Low Back Pain is rarely caused by only one accident, injury, incident, or other contributing factor.The pain normally occurs as a result of cumulative problems or repetitive stress.
The most common back disorders are:
1. Muscle guarding and spasm
2. Disc strain or bulge
3. Disc herniation
4. Acute strains and sprains
5. Chronic strains and sprains
6. Joint stiffness
8. Spinal Stenosis
Low back injuries are characterized by four different types of pain:
1. Referred pain is perceived in the lower back region but caused by inflammation of other areas.
2. Diffuse pain is felt over a large area and originates from deep tissues.
3. Localized pain is experienced upon palpation or pressure to specific surface areas.
4. Radicular pain is caused by irritation of a nerve root. Low Back Pain may be either acute or chronic.
5. Acute pain is usually localized and occurs within 24 hours of the injury. Common causes include muscle
6. Chronic pain or long term discomfort may be caused by several different factors:
* Mechanical injuries
* Disk herniations
* Somatoform disorders
Current Medical Treatment:
A thorough doctor's evaluation including a client interview and physical examination is typically the initial procedure.The evaluation should include a review of medical history, symptoms, and functional limitations. Clinical observation of posture, gait, trunk mobility, strength, reflexes, and sensation and palpation are also conducted.
Imaging studies and related diagnostic tests are only ordered if symptoms suggest more than muscle strain or overuse and if acute management techniques are unsuccessful. These must be performed by a specialist, often a neurosurgeon or orthopedist. Such tests discograms, myelograms, bone scans, nerve conduction velocities (NCVs), or electromyographs (EMGs).
All treatments are aimed to relieve symptoms or prevent hindrances to the healing process. Rest and activity restriction are standard approaches.Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are prescribed for both acute and chronic back pain.
Chronic patients may also benefit from chiropractic manipulation, acupuncture, biofeedback and pain management techniques.
Psychotherapy is used for back pain associated with somatoform disorders.
Surgery is sometimes warranted for patients with herniated disks or pain with leg involvement, but only if other treatments are unsuccessful.More severe cases are sometimes treated with cortisone injections.
When relief is not achieved through acute measures, the primary care physician may refer the client for occupational therapy services. The main goal of OT treatment is for the client to achieve their maximum potential with functional independence.
About 19.4 million visits were made to physicians' offices in 2003 because of a knee problem (Source: National Center for Helath Statistics; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2003 National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey.) It was the most common reason for visiting Orthopaedic surgeons.
There are many components to the knee making it vulnerable for various types of injuries. Many injuries are successfully treated conservatively, while others require surgery to correct.
How does the knee work?
The knee is the largest joint in the body, and one of the most easily injured. It is made up of the lower end of the thighbone (femur) which rotates on the upper end of the shinbone (tibia), and the knee cap (patella) which slides in a groove on the end of the femur. The knee also contains large ligaments which help control motion by connecting bones and bracing the joint against abnormal types of motion. Other parts of your knee, like cartilage, serve to cushion your knee or help it absorb shock during motion.
What are the most prevalent knee injuries?
Many athletes experience injuries to their knee ligaments. Of the four major ligaments found in the knee, the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and the medial collateral ligament (MCL) often are injured in sports. The posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) also is frequently injured.
Changing or twisting direction rapidly, slowing down when running, and landing from a jump are often the causes of tears in the ACL. Athletes participating in skiing and basketball and athletes wearing cleated shoes, such as football players, are susceptible to ACL injuries.
Injuries to the MCL usually are caused by contact on the outside of the knee. These types of blows to the knee often are encountered in contact sports such as football.
The PCL can be injured during a sports activity when the athlete receives a blow to the front of the knee or makes a simple misstep on the playing field. Athletes engaging in contact sports such as football or soccer are susceptible to a PCL injury.
Other types of injuries:
Many people had experienced the torn knee cartilage. When people talk about torn knee cartilage, they usually are referring to a torn meniscus. The meniscus is a tough, rubbery cartilage that is attached to the knee's ligaments. It acts like a shock absorber.
In athletic activities, mensicus tears usually occur when twisting, cutting, pivoting, decelerating, or being tackled. Direct contact is often involved.