Spinal Sprains Torn Ligaments and Other Back Problems

There are many ways that you can hurt your back, but it is common for it to be after lifting something improperly. This ca cause back sprains or torn ligaments.

Muscle and Ligament Sprains or Strains

In the same way an ankle can be sprained, so can the spine. Most often, this will occur when the back is overloaded or stressed, which causes damage to the ligaments or muscles.

Basically, a strain is when one of the muscles has been pulled and a sprain is when one of the ligaments has been pulled. This can occur if you try to lift something that is too heavy or during a fall.

Unfortunately, x-rays, MRIs, and CT scans can not detect these types of injuries. However, if there was a serious injury, such as a traffic accident, the ligaments can tear or rupture, which can be seen using one of the above scans.

One of the most common symptoms of a back sprain or strain is pain. It is common to experience tightness and feel generally sore, but this will be restricted to above the waste. If the sprain or strain is not treated, it can lead to a chronic problem, but with treatment the effects can usually be reversed.

Other Types of Back Problems

  • Synovial Facet Joint Cyst: This occurs when a cyst develops on a facet joint that is degenerating. It causes pain that is similar to that of a herniated disc. Typically surgery is required to remove the cyst.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis: Rheumatoid Arthritis is one of the most common types of arthritis among seniors and causes joint inflammation. Usually this does not effect the joints in the back, but it can affect those in the neck. Usually this type of arthritis is treated with medication.
  • Ankylosing Spondylitis: This condition is similar to rheumatoid arthritis, but it is more common in the joints by the hips. As the disease progresses, the body will begin to hunch over, with some serious cases resulting in the patient only being able to look at their feet. Surgery can be preformed, but it is incredibly complex, so medications are the most common treatment.
  • Infections: Like all other parts of the body, it is possible for the spine to become infected, which can be very serious. They are usually caused by bacterium that has reached the spine though the blood stream. This type of spinal condition is common in those with diabetes and HIV. The most common symptom of a spinal infection is back pain and fever. An X-Ray or MRI will often show the infection and treatment depends on identifying the bacterium and taking antibiotics to treat it. Surgery is also an option, but it is not common.
  • Cancer:Cancer is another cause of back pain, but it is not very common. Usually the cancer does not start at the spine, but is instead a metastatic cancer, which means it travels from some other part of the body to the spine. Treatment for spinal cancer is similar to that of other types of cancer and includes, chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery.
  • Psychological Back Pain: The mind is a powerful thing and many doctors feel that most types of back pain are the result of psychological issues, stress, and anxiety. Often, the pain is a combination of physical problems and psychological problems.

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