Types of Back Pain

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Amir Mahajer, Interventional Spine Specialist at Baptist Health Neuroscience Center, explains the difference between chronic low back pain and acute low back pain. “It’s really a time course, you have acute pain which means pain being going on for less than four weeks and then you have chronic pain when the pain is going on for greater than twelve weeks,” he says.

He also explains the mattress plays a big role. If you have no back pain, you can sleep in whatever position you want, but if you have back pain, you want to have a firm mattress and the preferred sleeping position is on your back.

Transcript
What’s the difference between chronic low back pain and acute low back pain? Right so it’s really a time course right so you have acute which means pain has been going on for less than four weeks and then you have chronic and the pains been going on for greater than 12 weeks that really what tells us between acute and chronic acute pain is something that will mostly likely experience whether we’re overdoing it moving some furniture things like that we’ll all experience a little bit of acute pain but and generally that should resolve within a couple weeks chronic pain is unfortunately on the rise as we talked about earlier and that’s the kind of problem that we have and that’s the pain that lasts greater than 12 weeks and in general more than four days per week. What’s that pain you have if you have it just in the morning a lot of people just wake up with that stiff back what is that? Right so you have a couple different types of stiffness in the morning so if you get up and you’re having a little bit of stiffness and you’re middle-aged or later in life then that can be osteoarthritis you can think of osteoarthritis or just kind of regular arthritis it’s kind of a rusty hinge you kind of have to get up move around and they kind of improves that that stiffness is kind of less than thirty minutes if you get up and you’re younger or middle-aged and you have stiffness that’s lasting hours and hours that’s something we really need investigate and that could be an inflammatory condition. Okay and what about the mattress how big of a role does that play? It plays a big role it’s important I get that question a lot should I spend this much money on mattress I spent the most money on a mattress life in general for back pain if you have no back pain you can sleep in whatever position you want we’ve been doing it for all of human society right but if you have back pain you want to kind of have a high coil spring mattress kind of a firm mattress and the preferred sleeping position is on your back so on your back and many of us don’t do that in the United States the predominant sleeping position is either on one side or the other sleeping on your sides if you’re gonna do that just take a pillow between the knees and just maintain a neutral spine neutral spine means your head is between your shoulders your ears are on top of your shoulders and kind of over your hips and that your knees are not crossing that’s kind of the best position. So a firm mattress so what about those I don’t want to say brand name tempur pedic but if those really mushy that conform to your body and they’re super expensive. Generally the softer mattresses if you have no back problems or find if you have a back problem I would suggest a firm mattress.
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