Affordable back pain treatment in Loveland, CO

    Back pain is a persistent and widespread condition that affects millions of people around the world. According to the American Chiropractic Association, roughly 31 million Americans experience low back pain on any given day. The ACA also states that low back pain is the leading cause of disability in the world, and one of the most common reasons for missed work.

    There are steps and treatment plans, however, to start treating back pain and increase functionality without surgery. Sesame offers a wide range of direct-to-patient health care services that can help you treat and prevent back pain. From chiropractic visits to physical therapy sessions to video doctor visits, Sesame offers the best treatment for chronic and acute back pain Loveland, CO.

    Back pain costs Americans at least $50 billion in healthcare costs every year. By booking on Sesame, you can save money while accessing quality care with top-reviewed doctors treating patients in Colorado. Take control of your health and book a visit today.

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    Back pain
    FAQs

    What causes back pain?

    Back pain can be caused by any number of problems. According to the ACA, back pain is the third most common reason for doctor’s office visits, and is not usually caused by serious conditions such as arthritis, infection, or cancer. Some common causes of back pain are:

    • Muscle or ligament strain: Heavy lifting, sudden movement, or awkward sleeping positions have been known to cause strain on muscles and ligaments in the back. Pulled muscles, tendons, and ligaments can lead to tightness in the back and painful spasms.

    • Bulging discs: The back has 24 spinal discs, which are spongy cushions that separate the individual vertebrae in the spinal cord and up through the neck. These discs act as shock absorption, and allow for pivot points (movement) in the back. When inflammation occurs around the tough membrane surrounding the vertebral disc without rupturing it, the disc is referred to as bulging. Bulging discs can lead to numbness, pain, and difficulty walking (among other symptoms).

    • Herniated discs: Herniated discs, or slipped discs, are commonly mixed up with bulging discs. A herniated disc has ruptured the tough membrane surrounding the spongy tissue, causing the soft material to push through the rupture and irritate nerves around the area. Herniated discs can cause arm or leg pain, numbness, tingling, and muscle weakness. Herniated discs can cause inflammation leading to pinched nerves which can affect limbs and mobility.

    • Arthritis (or osteoarthritis): According to the Arthritis Foundation, arthritis is not a single disease, but a way to refer to joint pain or joint disease. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, and characterized by swelling and tenderness in the joints, usually caused by the deterioration of cartilage between bones in joints. This causes bones to rub up against each other during movement, which leads to swelling, stiffness and pain. Arthritis usually worsens with age, as cartilage continues to break down. Obesity and medical history can also contribute to risk factors associated with arthritis.

    • Osteoporosis: Osteoporosis is a disease that causes bones to lose mass, thereby becoming weak and brittle. When the body loses too much bone mass without making enough replacement bone, bones can be fractured more easily. In severe cases, osteoporosis can lead to bone fractures from small occurrences like sneezing or bending over. When left untreated, osteoporosis leads to back pain, loss of height, and easy bone breakage.

    • Stress: Poor posture, excess weight, or inadequate exercise can lead to pressure on the muscles on the back. If the body is constantly hunched over, or muscles are left tight without stretching, the muscles in the back have to work extra hard to maintain mechanical mobility. This can lead to aching and soreness in the back.

    • Fibromyalgia: Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder that causes fatigue, pain in muscles and bones, tenderness, and cognitive disturbances (like lack of sleep). Fibromyalgia causes regions of pain that produce a constant dull aching. Because the nerves of the body are constantly being stimulated due to pain, the brain develops an abnormal nervous system response to pain, causing the pain receptors in the brain to overreact to pain and non-painful stimuli. Illness, trauma, stress, and genetic inheritance (family history of the disease) can cause fibromyalgia.

    Back pain is one of the most persistent and widespread conditions affecting Americans today, Sesame offers a range of care options such as chronic care visits, chiropractic visits, and physical therapy visits.

    How can I prevent back pain?

    The American Chiropractic Association states that at least one-half of working Americans experience back pain symptoms every year. Back pain is the leading cause of disability in America, and is responsible for nearly $100 billion dollars in health care costs, missed pay, and decreased productivity. There are several tips and strategies to help prevent or manage low back pain including:

    • Maintaining a healthy weight: Being overweight or obese can cause strain on back muscles, which can lead to tightness and strain. A healthy diet and exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight and put less stress on the musculoskeletal structures in your back.

    • Exercise: A low-impact exercise program that doesn’t strain the back can help improve mobility, and build strength. Physical activity that uses the back muscles and abdominal muscles helps to condition those areas and build core strength, which can prevent back injury. The Mayo Clinic recommends frequent walking and swimming as low-impact activities that can help build strength and endurance in the core and back. Exercise, along with a healthy diet, can help with weight loss, and general wellness.

    • Quit smoking: Smoking leads to loss of blood flow, which keeps oxygen and nutrients from getting to spinal tissues. Smoking increases your risk of lower back pain, and increases with the amount you smoke during the day. Quitting smoking can help prevent lower back pain, among a wide range of other health benefits.

    • Maintain proper posture: Slouching and improper posture can put strain on back muscles. If you are able, sit in chairs that feature lumbar support and change your position frequently. Try to stand and walk around every half-hour or so to prevent from back muscles tightening.

    • Lift properly: Lift heavy objects with your legs, keeping your back straight, and refrain from twisting while lifting. Hold the object you are lifting close to your body, and get help if the object seems too heavy. Lifting with improper technique, or lifting objects that are too heavy is one of the most common causes of herniated discs and lower back pain.

    Like with any medical condition, the cause of your back pain may be different. That's why it's best to connect direclty with a qualtiy doctor to assess you symptoms and craft a treatment plan that's right for you, your back, and your health.

    What is sciatica?

    The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body, stretching from the lumbar spine to the lower leg. Sciatica is the name for nerve pain caused by irritation and inflammation of this nerve, resulting in pain that radiates from the lower back, through the hips, and into the lower leg. Sciatica usually affects one leg at a time, but can be felt in both legs based on where the nerve is pinched or irritated in the back. Some risk factors associated with sciatica include:

    • Obesity: Being overweight can create stress on the muscles surrounding the spine. The more that muscles in the back have to work to carry weight in front, the more strained they become. Increased strain on muscles can lead to injury and herniated discs, which then cause irritation and inflammation of the sciatic nerve.

    • Age: Normal aging causes the wearing down of the bones and disc tissue, leading to curvature and herniated discs in the spine. These factors can inflame and pinch the sciatic nerve, causing sciatica. The Mayo Clinic states that age-related wear on the spinal cord is the most common cause of sciatica.

    • Lack of muscle strength: Lack of strength in the back muscles, and abdominal muscles leads to loss of support for the lower back. Building strength in the core muscles gives the lumbar spine, and the larger spinal column, more stability and support. This can help prevent herniation, injury to the spinal nerves, and acute low back pain.

    • Diabetes: Diabetes increases risk of nerve damage, which can lead to sciatica in the lower back.

    Sciatica usually goes away with time, and can be managed with self-care treatments done at home. Over-the-counter Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin, or ibuprofen, can help relieve pain and reduce inflammation. Some NSAIDs can cause serious side effects, such as internal bleeding and ulcers. If you are unable to take NSAIDs, acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) can be used to fight inflammation and reduce pain. Hot/ cold compresses can also be used to reduce inflammation and help with pain.

    If sciatica does not improve after a few days of self-care treatment, it is recommended that you contact a doctor to help with treatment. Some severe or persistent cases of sciatica can be treated with:

    • Prescription medication: If you are experiencing muscle spasms or severe pain caused by sciatica, a doctor may prescribe high-powered muscle relaxants, antidepressants, or pain medication to help with swelling and pain relief.

    • Steroid injections: Epidural steroid injections or corticosteroid injections may be used to reduce swelling and ease pain around the nerve roots in the spinal cord. The effects of these injections wear off after a few months, and administration of steroid injections must be limited due to negative side effects.

    • Alternative therapy: Alternative therapies such as acupuncture, yoga, and chiropractic treatment options (such as spinal manipulation or adjustment) are commonly used to treat lower back pain and sciatica.

    If you are experiencing lower back pain or pain caused by sciatica, connect with a doctor on Sesame to discuss treatment options that might be right for you.

    What can I do to relieve my lower back pain?

    According to the low back pain fact sheet released by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NIH), acute low back pain is the result of trauma or injury, and usually goes away within a few days or a few weeks. Most low back pain is caused by injury such as sprains, or disc herniation. There can be congenital causes of low back pain, such as scoliosis (abnormal curvature of the spine), as well as degenerative causes such as arthritis, spondylosis (the wearing down of the spine due to age), and spinal stenosis (the narrowing of the spine).

    Most forms of acute low back pain are treated with NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), coupled with hot/ cold presses, and gentle stretching. These treatments are meant to reduce inflammation, ease pain, and gain mobility in the back and core muscles. Most primary care physicians and chiropractors can offer medical advice to help treat low back pain with at-home remedies and over-the-counter medication.

    How can I treat chronic low back pain?

    Chronic low back pain is characterized by low back pain that persists for 12 weeks or longer. According to the NIH, roughly 20 percent of people who experience low back pain develop chronic back pain within the year. There may not be any underlying cause to low back pain that requires serious medical attention, and treatment plans may vary based on the patient’s risk factors.

    Chronic low back pain may require an x-ray, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) scan to examine soft tissue and check for any internal injuries or growths. Conditions such as kidney stones can cause acute low back pain, and a physical examination might be required to help diagnose any underlying causes of low back pain. Chronic low back pain can be treated by a doctor using treatment options such as:

    • Chiropractic adjustments: Doctors can use spinal manipulation to adjust or stimulate the spine and the soft tissues surrounding the spinal cord. This can help relieve pain and increase mobility, but is not recommended for people with underlying causes of low back pain, such as osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, or spondylosis.

    • Steroid injections: In some severe cases, a doctor may prescribe epidural or corticosteroid injection to help relax muscles and relieve pain. Steroid injections can have adverse effects if used frequently, and provide only temporary relief.

    • Surgery: Back surgery may be required for severe chronic low back pain, or low back pain that is caused by degenerative disease such as spondylolisthesis or arthritis. The exact surgical procedure varies based on the patient’s need, and back surgeries are not always successful. Surgery is often performed as a last resort to help relieve pain and regain some mechanical functionality in the back.

    Whether you are experiencing acute low back pain, or have been dealing with chronic low back pain for several weeks, Sesame offers care from real, quality doctors near you. Don’t let low back pain control your life. Connect directly with a doctor on Sesame today to discuss treatment options that will work for you.

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