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Back Issues

Experiencing back issues is a common occurrence that can happen at least once in your life, especially as your body ages. Around 8 out of 10 people in the US experience back pain, impacting daily activities and overall quality of life.

Back conditions, such as chronic back pain, herniated discs, or degenerative disc disease, can limit your mobility and hinder daily activities like walking or standing. Dealing with these back issues can be uncomfortable.

Lifestyle choices, injuries, medical conditions, and lumbar spine structure can all contribute to your back problems. Identifying these factors is crucial to prevent complications and find effective solutions.

At Kimball Health Services, we aim to provide comprehensive care tailored to your specific back problem, improving your overall well-being.

Anatomy of Lumbar Spine

Back issues mainly arise from problems in the lumbar spine. The lumbar spine's anatomy comprises several components, including:

  1. Vertebrae: The vertebrae are responsible for supporting and safeguarding the spinal cord. Vertebrae are mobile structures that envelop each intervertebral disc.
  2. Intervertebral discs: These discs absorb shock during activities like jumping or walking and contribute to the flexibility of the lumbar spine.
  3. Spinal cord: The spinal cord is a collection of nerves that run through the spinal canal.
  4. Spinal nerves: the spinal nerves branch off the spinal cord and extend to various body parts such as the legs, hips, feet, and back, facilitating innervation.

Types of Back Issues

Back issues are a common occurrence but can have diverse forms. They may arise from routine activities or more significant factors like aging or injury. 

Whether your back problem requires personal care or professional medical attention can depend on a variety of factors.

Chronic Back Pain

Back pain is a common problem that may result in varying intensity and duration of pain based on its cause. Minor muscle injuries and exertion can result in temporary acute back pain. However, the condition can also become chronic in case of underlying problems like ruptured or herniated discs. 

The treatment options for your condition can vary depending on the type and severity of your back pain. It can be as simple as over-the-counter pain relief and hot/cold therapy or a more specialized treatment for severe cases.

Herniated Discs

Herniated discs, also known as ruptured or slipped discs, occur when an intervertebral disc is damaged or displaced. 

The spinal discs act as shock-absorbing cushions between your vertebrae. When your spinal column tears open and the discs protrude outward, they can press on or "pinch" nearby spinal nerves, resulting in a herniated disc.

The symptoms of herniated discs include numbness, spine weakness, and severe back pain. Proper and timely professional intervention is crucial to avoid complications. 

Treatment options for herniated discs can include self-care, non-surgical, and surgical options. Depending on your condition, our team at Kimball Health Services can help you with a personalized treatment plan for your condition. 

Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative disc disease occurs when discs between vertebrae, the intervertebral discs, break down, causing pain. The rubbery discs add flexibility to the lumbar spine and act like shock absorbers. 

Despite its name, this condition is not a disease but a natural part of aging. The continuous deterioration of these discs limits movement and causes symptoms such as back pain, leg numbness, and related discomfort. 

Timely treatment is crucial or the condition can worsen, resulting in more severe symptoms.

Symptoms of Back Issues

Symptoms for the various types of back problems are common and usually involve varying pain intensity and duration. The symptoms of back issues can include:

  • Back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Numbness and tingling in your back
  • Weakness in the spine
  • Limited movement

The intensity of pain may increase over time, especially during activities such as sitting or bending. 

Causes of Back Issues

Although each condition is unique, several factors can contribute to the development of back problems:

  • Aging: As you age, the cushion protecting intervertebral discs wears down and becomes more vulnerable to back issues and chronic pain.
  • Genetics: A family history of spinal disorders raises the risk of developing disc problems, such as degenerative disc disease.
  • Lifestyle: Lack of exercise, an unbalanced diet, and habits like smoking or heavy drinking can weaken your spine, potentially leading to back issues.
  • Physical Trauma: Physical trauma, such as injuries, can cause severe damage to the spine. Tears in the spinal area can contribute to back problems like herniated discs.

Diagnosis of Back Issues

Since the symptoms of different back problems closely resemble each other, imaging tests for your spine can help diagnose your condition. 

The diagnosis process will involve:

  1. Medical history assessment: Our team will review your medical history and background to identify potential contributing factors, such as genetics or past injuries, that could lead to back issues.
  2. Physical condition evaluation: A comprehensive physical examination involves inspecting your body's overall state, including your neck, back, and spine, to detect abnormalities.
  3. Imaging tests: Imaging studies like X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans of your back are conducted for a precise diagnosis of spinal issues.  

Treatment for Back Issues

The treatment for back problems varies based on the nature and intensity of your condition. Treatment may involve non-invasive, non-surgical options, surgical interventions, or a combination of both. Surgery is typically recommended only in rare instances.

Non-Surgical Treatment 

  1. Physical therapy: Our trained healthcare team will guide you through tailored exercises to improve your strength and flexibility.
  2. Medications: Prescribed muscle relaxers and anti-inflammatory drugs are recommended to alleviate pain. 
  3. Lifestyle changes and self-care: We offer guidance on adjusting daily habits to better care for your spine health.
  4. Radiofrequency neurotomy: Electric currents disrupt pain signals to the brain.
  5. Spinal injections: We administer injections directly into your spine to help reduce inflammation. 

Surgical Treatment

Non-surgical methods are often effective in treating back issues, but when they are not, our providers will work with you to find a surgeon, who can effectively address various back issues.

Comprehensive Care for Back Problems In Kimball, NE

Our team at Kimball Health Services offers proper attention and personalized care for your back issues. We tailor a comprehensive treatment plan for your condition.

In case of an emergency, call 911 or walk into our emergency department anytime. For appointments, call ahead or fill out our online form. We're here for you whenever you need us. 

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