Back Pain Specialist

Maine Rehabilitative Health

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation & Osteopathic Medicine located in Scarborough, ME

Back pain keeps thousands of people on their couch and away from the things they’d love to be doing. It only adds to the problem that the cause of back pain can be tricky to diagnose and treat, leaving you frustrated and in pain. At Maine Rehabilitative Healthcare in Scarborough, Maine, Vincent Herzog, DO, works on evaluating the cause of your back pain and determining the best treatment. Call the office today to set up your appointment, or schedule it online anytime.

Back Pain Q & A

Maine Rehabilitative Health

Why do I have back pain?

If it seems like most people you know have dealt with back pain before, don’t be surprised. About half of working Americans say they have back pain at least yearly, and it’s estimated that 80% of people will feel the pain at least once in their lifetime. You hope your back pain passes quickly and without incident, but chronic back pain can linger as a persistent obstacle in your daily life.

There could be a lot of reasons you have back pain, but the most common are usually:

Muscle or ligament strain

It’s possible you have a soft-tissue injury from work, exercise, or any strenuous physical activity. This could be the result of a repetitive action over time, or just one awkward twist or turn.

Bulging or ruptured disc

Your spine has a set of discs between each vertebra to cushion these bones while you go about your day. Damage or degradation to these discs can cause pain and difficulty moving. It is also possible to have this problem but not feel back pain at all.

Arthritis

Arthritis can present itself in your lower back, and in some cases, narrow the spinal cord, causing what’s called spinal stenosis.

Scoliosis or another spinal irregularity

Scoliosis, a curvature of the spine, can cause back pain over time, especially in people over 50 years old.

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis, or a breakdown in the strength of your bones that causes them to turn hollow and brittle, can cause your vertebrae to strain against each other or crack, causing back pain.

How can I prevent back pain?

The best way to deal with back pain is to prevent it in the first place. While there’s no guarding against traumatic injuries, there are steps you can take to ensure your back is as healthy as possible and prepared for whatever life can throw at it:

  • Always sit and stand with good posture
  • Do back strengthening exercises two to three times a week
  • Sleep sideways, not flat on your back
  • Eat a balanced diet, and try to keep from gaining too much weight
  • Find ways to reduce your stress
  • Quit smoking

The goal of these tactics is to make sure the back is strong, flexible, and not subjected to unnecessary pressure or strain. While injury or pain still may occur, these exercises ensure you will be in the best shape possible to heal from your injury.

When should I see a doctor for back pain?

If you’re worried about your back pain, here are some indications that you might need a trip to see the team at Maine Rehabilitative Healthcare:

  • Severe pain lasting more than a week
  • Numbness or weakness in extremities
  • Pain extends down your leg
  • Pain increases when you cough or bend over
  • Pain is accompanied by vomiting, diarrhea, fever, or painful urination

Back pain could be the first sign of a more serious problem, especially if you are experiencing unintentional weight loss or if you’re over the age of 65, so it’s important to diagnose your back pain early.

If you’re interested in getting help for your back pain, or just have some questions, call the Maine Rehabilitative Healthcare office or set up an appointment online.