FROM OUR EXPERTS
Sometimes back pain is not strictly related to spinal structures. Sometimes back pain comes from other places, specifically internal organs. In a process called referred pain , internal organs can send pain signals to other parts of the body. For example, when someone is experiencing a heart attack, the left arm may ache. Nothing is wrong with the arm, but this limb hurts because the heart is referring pain to it. The neck, mid-back and low back are also potential targets for referred pain. Here are two examples when "back pain" has nothing to do with spinal problems.
Gallbladder : The gallbladder is a small organ tucked up near the liver that helps with digestion. Within this internal organ problems can arise like a blockage from a stone, an infection, or just an inflamed gallbladder attack. Sometimes the symptoms clearly point to a problem with the gallbladder. These classic symptoms include right upper quadrant abdominal pain just underneath the right chest wall, nausea, gas, ...
Spondylolisthesis (spaun-di-lo-lie-thee-sis) is a mouthful and is a common cause of low back pain (although it can exist anywhere in the spine, the lumbar spine is the most common area affected). The spinal column is a series of building blocks called vertebral bodies stacked on top of one another. Sometimes these blocks do not line up perfectly. This slight separation in the spinal column is called a spondylolisthesis .
"Doc says I have a spondy-something-or-other. Don't ask me what it is; all I know is that it hurts". Steve tries to explain his low back condition to his friend. But, he finds that he cannot explain what he does not understand. Steve has had back pain for a number of years. Every year the pain gets worse and has now become constant. His doctor sent him for x-rays recently. The x-rays showed a spondylolisthesis with disc degeneration at L5/S1. Steve could not understand his doctor's explanation of the condition. So, now he has pain and has confusion.
No reason to panic and no reason to think the worse; if your child is experiencing low back pain, just take a deep breath and read. And contrary to popular belief, low back pain in children is usually not caused from a backpack full of books. No, a majority of back pain seen between the ages of 10-18 years of age is related to sports. Children who are involved in football, gymnastics, wrestling, diving, volleyball, or racket sports tend to be the most likely kids who will experience back pain. Fortunately, these aches and pains usually go away with good conservative care because they rarely represent a dire problem.
Although dire problems like infections and tumors do rarely occur; thus, a child with low back pain should see a doctor just to be sure. A doctor will ask a lot of questions about what makes the pain worse or better, general health, and other feelings of numbness, pain or weakness. After these questions have been answered, the doctor will test the reflexes, strength...
You should know
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