Healthy Living: Dealing with back pain
Nearly 80 percent of Americans, at some point in their life, have problems with their back. What causes it? Marcie Fraser takes a closer look.
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It's often hobbies that people love and do every day that cause back pain.
"The pain would come on unexpectedly. Uncontrollable. Radiating, it was the kind of thing that disabled me," said Bob Jacobson.
Bob Jacobson has been suffering from sciatica pain for years. Pain from the sciatic nerve is different for everyone.
"A muscular deep ache pain. If it is coming from a disc bulge or spinal stenosis, or narrowing of a certain region, you could feel the pain going down one or both legs and that pain can be a sharp shooting type of pain, a tingling type of sensation," said Dr. Aruna Sahoo, a pain management physician.
It's most often caused by over use.
"Shoveling snow, raking a lot of horseback riding, golfing, facet pain," he explained.
An MRI often finds the root cause. Added weight can make it worse.
"Extra weight, obesity, back packs can contribute to worsening of back pain," said Dr. Sahoo.
Conservative treatment begins with over-the-counter anti-inflammatory and injections, but it doesn't always work.
"I had tried injections in the past, but they were short-lived. I got tired of being a pin cushion," said Jacobson.
Before he received more invasive treatment like epidurals, he opted for physical therapy. He gets PT a few days a week, stretching, toning and strengthening his core.
Part of feeling better is self management. Bob has exercises he does twice a day, every day.
"I had the biggest stake in this, the more I did, the better and quicker I was going to get comfort and I have comfort," said Jacobson.