Such a chronic pain it is!

Such a chronic pain it is!

Chronic back pain can be a very debilitating factor in people’s lives as they struggle with daily activities such as walking, running, bending, even sitting in one place for long, writes Dr Swagatesh Bastia

Chronic pain is the third most common persistent ailment in the society after hypertension and diabetes.

While people get medical attention to treat and control high blood pressure and high blood sugar due to the widespread awareness and understanding of the complications, chronic pain is mostly neglected and not managed well.

Some of the most common conditions associated with chronic pain are:

Back: Back pain is often described as the penalty we pay for bad posture. The lower back, especially, is very susceptible to damage owing to excessive movement and tremendous forces acting on this region. Some of the common conditions causing back pain are degenerative changes in the spine, facet joint arthritis, osteoporosis, intervertebral disc herniation (commonly known as slipped disc), spinal stenosis, piriformis syndrome, sacro iliac joint inflammation or arthritis.

Symptoms can range from constant back pain, back pain radiating to the buttocks or legs (sciatica), difficulty in sitting for long periods of time, prominent stiffness in back muscles, tingling and numbness, gradual decline in capacity for physical activity, unrelieved pain after surgery.

These conditions are most likely due to lifestyle imbalances like excessive weight, lack of exercise, poor posture, lifting heavy weights regularly and improper footwear, to name a few.

The best line of treatment includes a multidisciplinary approach including proper diagnosis.

Knee: The knee being the most important weight-bearing joint in the body is subjected to a lot of wear and tear. Knee arthritis represents the mechanical wear and tear of the articular cartilage (acts as a shock absorber) eventually leading to grinding between the bony articular surfaces of the knee.

Hip: Arthritis, labral tear, femoroacetabular impingement, avascular necrosis of the head of femur, perthe’s disease in younger people, trochanteric bursitis.

Ankle: Arthritis, chronic ligament injuries, chronic pain after surgery, bursitis.

Shoulder: Labral tear, rotator cuff injury, arthritis, recurrent dislocation, supraspinatus calcification, subacromial impingement syndrome

Neck: Disc disease, cervical spondylitis, facet joint disease, fibromyalgia, trigger points, chronic migraine and other headaches and cancer pains.

(The author is orthopaedist & co-founder of Alleviate Pain Management Clinic, Bengaluru)

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