Back pain can have many causes. They range from wear-and-tear to accidents or lifestyle habits that make the back susceptible to injury. Symptoms can sometimes be difficult to diagnose. Take this quiz to learn about some of the causes of back pain, their presentation and treatment.
When do symptoms of "failed back" syndrome occur?
after lifting a heavy object
The symptoms of failed back syndrome appear after surgery if a nerve was accidently cut or damaged. Symptoms can include diffuse, dull and achy pain that radiates into the hips, buttocks and thighs.
Which intervertebral disks are most frequently injured?
L4 and L5
The sciatic nerve stems from the area near the L4 and L5 intervertebral disks, which are the two disks most frequently injured. When injured, the discs bulge and may make contact with the nerves around them, causing pain.
What is a sign that the source of back pain is from the kidneys?
The pain is no different when you press on the kidney area.
The pain lingers for a long time.
The pain goes away when the infection is cured.
Kidney pain generally goes away once the infection is cured or the stone is passed. Pain coming from the kidneys will be tender to touch and may also present with pain during urination, fever, chills and blood in the urine. Back pain usually lingers, but is not usually worsened by pressing over the sore area.
that the body will heal stronger than it was before
Following an injury the body should heal stronger than it was before, in order to prevent further injury. The key to healing is that the body should be able to supply enough blood to the injured area to promote healing.
Smoking causes atherosclerosis, which is when plaques build up inside blood vessels, decreasing blood supply through those vessels. Blood is supplied to the spine through many small blood vessels which get blocked by smoking and are unable to supply the necessary amount of blood required for proper healing.
What part of the nervous system is involved with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)?
the spinal cord
the parasympathetic system
the sympathetic system
CRPS affects the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for functions including heart rate, sweating, skin temperature changes and blood pressure. CRPS can be a very difficult disease to diagnose as symptoms vary and sometimes only a couple of symptoms appear.
Which of the following clothes can be uncomfortable for diabetics?
Diabetics suffer from what is known as "stocking and glove" syndrome. Due to the nerve damage in their peripheries where the delicate nerves sit, diabetics often find it painful to wear gloves and socks.
People with fibromyalgia have been found to have clumps within their muscles. What do these clumps feel like?
In 1990 doctors at the American College of Rheumatology came up with a criteria for diagnosing fibromyalgia. To be diagnosed with fibromyalgia, patients have to show clear signs of muscle clumps, which feel somewhat like rubbery Rice Krispies, in 11 out of 18 identified spots on the body.
Shingles is a form of the chicken pox virus, a member of the herpes family but different to the virus that cause genital herpes. Once you have had the chicken pox, the virus remains in the body but is usually inactive.
What triggers the dormant chicken pox virus to develop into shingles?
a week immune system
Shingles can erupt due to a short weakening of the immune system as a result of illness or even stress. It is treated by treating the virus with an anti-viral drug and by treating the nerve pain with anti-convulsants.
A discogram is a type of X-ray used to determine disk damage. What is used to enable the radiographer to see the disks?
A discogram involves a contrast dye being injected into a spinal disk using a needle. An X-ray is then taken to see if the disk is bulging or ruptured. Under X-ray, if damage is found, fluid can be injected back into the disk to maintain pressure in the disk.