WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) We all get the occasional aches and pains in our necks and lower back due to our daily routines, active habits, chronic conditions or in a worst case scenario…unexpected accidents. When it comes to treating the pain, we need a doctor who knows what to look for.
Dr. Brandon Ohman with United Regional say there are two types of back pain.
“There’s the acute back pain and then there’s chronic back pain. Acute back pain happens when you bend down or you do too much one day. Chronic back pain happens with a longer term issues of the back. Severe pain that happens to you whether it’s picking up something or certainly a fall, that needs to be looked at.”Dr. Ohman
The most common causes of back and neck pain come from:
- poor posture
- working at a desk
- certain sleep positions
- harsh exercises
- chronic illnesses (arthritis, osteoporosis, herniated disk, etc.)
The source of lower back can occur in several different spots along the spine.
“In the facet joints between the vertebrae can have arthritis that can develop, in between the vertebral disk you can develop disportusions or herniations and that can cause some impingement on the spinal nerves and can cause sciatica which some people hear about…”Dr. Ohman
Also according to Dr. Ohman, more and more cases of neck pain and abnormalities are caused by our trusted technology.
“There was a study that came out recently about iPhone use, cell phone use and kids actually looking down on their cell phone so much that it looks like we’re growing horns out of the back of our heads. Ergonomics plays a big role when it comes to neck pains. ”Dr. Ohman
There is good news, though! There are ways to treat lower back pain and neck pain without being wheeled into surgery.
“Certain types of strengthening exercises, physical therapy, trying to get their function back without introducing medicine or even drugs if we can …Facet joint injections in certain areas for arthritic pain, if there are disproportions in the back. In the whole spine, there’s epidural injections that can help the swelling around the nerves that can help with the pain.”Dr. Ohman
When it comes to the use of pain medication such as opioids, Dr. Ohman says there are much better alternatives.
“In general, the majority of patients can use ice, over the counter medications, and even some stronger medications, prescription-strength that are less addictive than the opioids that our nation is having a hard time with.”Dr. Ohman
There are also home remedies that include:
- Icing the area first for a few days, then using a hot compress.
- Over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatories
- Stay away from heavy lifting
- Stretch the neck and back area regularly
- Change the way you hold and use your phone, tablet or laptop
- Check with a massage therapist or chiropractor
- Contact your PCP if symptoms get worse