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What does back pain really mean?

November 20, 2019

Back pain can be difficult to diagnose on your own, which is why you certainly shouldn’t do it. In terms of determining when to visit a doctor, we recommend that you visit a doctor when your pain is so severe it impedes your daily activities, or when it’s been more than 3-5 days - particularly if you didn’t have any back pain related to physical exertion. Perhaps you’ve already scheduled an appointment with your Wyoming/Nebraska physical therapist or doctor and you’re trying to figure out...what could the cause of my back pain be? What does this really mean for my overall health? Check out some of the causes of back pain, and what this can mean.

Discs (the soft tissue between your spinal joints): Sometimes back pain case me some issues with your spinal discs. This can manifest in the form of: 
  • Herniated/slipped: Means the discs have moved in some way - such as come out. Herniated discs will cause additional pain, as they can affect your nerves as well. 
  • Bulging: Bulging discs bulge similar to a herniated disc, but often times not as much.
  • Degenerative: This means the discs have begun to degenerate - so they might be shrinking or tearing. This often times happens with older age.

Additional issues that might be causing you back pain include: 
  • Cervical radiculopathy: Pinched nerve - may be caused by a herniated disc or bone spur. 
  • Spinal stenosis: Your spinal canal has narrowed.
  • Spondylolisthesis: One of the bones in the lower spine has slipped forward and out of place.

There are many more issues that can cause prolonged back pain, but those are just a few of the most common. It’s extremely important that you do not self-diagnose a back pain cause, and that you see a primary care doctor or physical therapist. Be sure to contact us or your primary care physician for assistance. If you are experiencing body aches and pains, also be sure to reach out to your primary care physician or our team. At North Platte Physical Therapy, we are here to help meet your needs. We serve the communities of Wyoming and Nebraska with 22 clinics offering a full range of physical therapy services. Contact us today for more information.