Millennium Post

'Prolonged back pain can lead to serious medical complications'

Kolkata: A persistent back pain which is a common cause of spinal instability and nerve entrapment can eventually lead tremendous nerve pain, said a city-based doctor.

The doctors have suggested that the patients with prolonged back pain must consult a physician before it is too late. According to the doctors, back pain affects a sizeable number of population in the state at some point in their lifetime.

A senior doctor said people sometimes tend to ignore when they feel a back pain. In initial level there is nothing to worry about but it could complicate the situation if not treated on time. It can be caused due to sleeping in a wrong posture or even by having a minor injury. In some cases, back pain can be acute, recurrent or chronic and can appear anywhere along the spine. Back pain is caused by the degeneration of the spine.

A minor trauma or unusual activity can cause back pain, which can led to muscle pain and spasms while there is degeneration.

Bone spurs or osteophytes develop in and around the facet joint and discs. The ligaments can thicken and compress the spinal cord, causing central spinal stenosis or nerve root entrapment.

Spondylolisthesis, may occur, which can cause instability and movement in the spinal column. This may produce pain or weakness, particularly in an arm or leg. Spondylolisthesis is a slipping of vertebra that occurs, in most cases, at the base of the spine.

Low back pain associated with leg pain is a more serious issue.

Low back pain along with leg pain often signifies the nerve roots being compressed either by ostrophytes or a prolapsed disc in the lumbosacral region. If kept unattended it can lead to numbness and finally weakness of the leg, urinary problems, bowel problems and sexual dysfunction can also be caused due to long standing back pain with nerve root compression.

Dr Tapas Chatterjee, a senior consultant of department of neuroscience in a city hospital said: "Sometimes lower back pain is not a specific condition, but a symptom of something else. Low back pain is more common in women than men. Connective tissues surrounding muscles in the back normally have alternating layers of fibers that handle substantial loads and glide easily. People with prolonged low-back pain have decreased gliding motion between connective tissue layers, which could contribute to functional impairment."

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