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Back Massage


Acute Back Pain

Acute pain is known to last anywhere between a few days to 6 months and disappears when the underlying cause has been treated. Acute back pain is usually sudden and intense, ranging in severity from a minor muscle sprain that heals in just a few days to serious, life-altering spinal damage. Sports injuries are a frequent cause and without the proper treatment, may not heal appropriately and result in chronic back pain. Other common causes include:

  • Lifting heavy items

  • Using incorrect lifting technique

  • Moving awkwardly

  • Twisting suddenly

  • Overexerting yourself

  • Falling over or from a height

Lower Back Pain

Your spinal cord is located in your spinal column and is made up of a collection of nerves from which the peripheral nerves spread throughout the rest of the body. The concentration of nerves in and around your spinal column is susceptible to pinching or pressure from the surrounding tissue and bones in your spinal column, making back pain a common problem.

Lower back pain can develop from an injury or the gradual deterioration of one or more components of the spinal column. Common causes include:

  • Poor posture

  • Exceeding fitness level

  • Using wrong technique lifting heavy items

  • Herniated lumbar discs

  • Sciatica

  • Degenerative disc disease

  • Lumbar spinal stenosis

  • Osteoarthritis

  • Other types of arthritis

  • Facet arthropathy

  • Piriformis syndrome

  • Osteoporosis

Chronic Back Pain

Experiencing chronic back pain can feel as though you’re stuck in an endless loop of discomfort or waiting for the pain to return- coming and going without reason. It may feel like a sharp, piercing pain or a dull ache, causing a burning or tingling sensation in the affected area. Chronic back pain can lead to acute pain attacks in some instances.

A common cause of chronic back pain is overuse and repetitive strain. Repetition of the same movements for months or years at a time can lead to excessive inflammation and wear and tear in the affected area. It could be as simple as continuous bad posture. Chronic back pain usually develops gradually and is often a result of a disease or degenerative condition of the spine, such as:

  • Osteoarthritis

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • Degenerative Disc Disease

  • Osteoporosis

  • Scoliosis

  • Spinal Stenosis

  • Herniated Disc

  • Spondylosis

  • Spondylolisthesis

How to Treat Back Pain

We recommend treatments based on a variety of factors, such as the cause, the effects it's having along with your age and general health. We begin with a physical exam and review your medical history. Diagnostic imaging methods like X-rays, CT or MRI scans, and electromyography (EMG) can usually help us identify the problem area. From there, we will work together to develop an individualized treatment plan. Some common treatments include:



At APEX Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, board-certified physician John H. Bissell, M.D., provides a wide variety of treatments for pain management that not only relieves your symptoms but improves the overall health of your afflicted area. If you're struggling to identify the cause and manage your pain, call us to set up an appointment. 

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