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Highlights Overview: Back pain can be acute, subacute, or chronic, and more commonly occurs in the lower area of the back.
Acute back pain develops suddenly and lasts up to several weeks. Acute pain is the most common type of back pain. Subacute back pain is pain that lasts up to three months. Chronic back pain can begin abruptly or gradually, linger, subside and then come back, but it lasts longer than 3 months. With proper self-care, most acute cases resolve within 4 - 6 weeks. Two-thirds of those patients, however, will experience another episode of back pain within 12 months. Diagnosis: A medical history and a brief physical examination is always necessary for both acute and chronic back pain. The main goal of a physical exam is to try and determine the source of the pain and to detect warning symptoms. Imaging techniques such as x-rays or scans are rarely recommended in the first month unless the health care provider suspects a serious problem such as a tumor, fracture, infection, caud...
What is the definition of pain? If you ask ten experts, you would probably get ten different answers. With all this confusion, the treatment of pain seems nearly impossible if no one can agree on a definition. Beyond just the definition lies the meaning of pain. What does pain mean? If you have a headache, does it mean you have a tumor? If your finger hurts, is it a paper cut or something more sinister?
The problem with uncovering the meaning of pain is the fact that pain is not an accurate indicator of actual tissue damage. Those who believe that pain accurately measures the amount of tissue damage are wrong. This notion is a common misconception about pain that arises from the belief system of many doctors and patients who base their conception about pain on the antiquated bio-medical model.
The black-and-white terms of the bio-medical mindset is akin to the feeling that if something is broke, it needs to be fixed. In other words, if something is wrong, take a pill to ...
In the 14 years since I was "officially diagnosed" with osteoarthritis, I guess I've been quite lucky. Yes, I have nine artificial joints from the waist down, and I'm certainly NOT going to say the surgeries were my idea of fun - neither were all of the follow-up hours of physical-therapy - but yes, I've been lucky. I have only had minimal bouts of horrible pain pre-op and the fun of struggling to get a new joint working correctly, but the reality is, I was fairly ok.
A few short months ago, I suddenly seemed to be falling once in awhile for no obvious reason. This was rather strange for someone who had climbed part of Mt. Kilimanjaro for the SECOND time in January , as well as climbing in the mountains of Madagascar. I was there in February 2011 to photograph endangered animals - and I did so without EVER falling.
The pain in my left hip (yes, it's artificial) suddenly became excruciating with accompanying pain down my entire left leg. The pain in my entire ba...
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