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Dating someone with a spinal cord injury

Pain that is accompanied by red flags such as trauma, fever, a history of cancer or significant muscle weakness may indicate a more serious underlying problem and is classified as needing urgent or specialized attention.

The symptoms can also be classified by duration as acute, sub-chronic (also known as sub-acute), or chronic.

Diffuse pain that does not change in response to particular movements, and is localized to the lower back without radiating beyond the buttocks, is classified as nonspecific, the most common classification.

In the common presentation of acute low back pain, pain develops after movements that involve lifting, twisting, or forward-bending.

The symptoms may start soon after the movements or upon waking up the following morning.

A number of other options are available for those who do not improve with usual treatment.

Opioids may be useful if simple pain medications are not enough, but they are not generally recommended due to side effects.

Small joints called facet joints limit and direct the motion of the spine.

When a disc degenerates as a result of injury or disease, the makeup of a disc changes: blood vessels and nerves may grow into its interior and/or herniated disc material can push directly on a nerve root.

The lumbar (or lower back) region is made up of five vertebrae (L1–L5), sometimes including the sacrum.

In between these vertebrae are fibrocartilaginous discs, which act as cushions, preventing the vertebrae from rubbing together while at the same time protecting the spinal cord.

When warranted, imaging such as MRI can provide clear detail about disc related causes of back pain (L4–L5 disc herniation shown) For acute pain that is causing only mild to moderate problems, the goals are to restore normal function, return the individual to work, and minimize pain.

The condition is normally not serious, resolves without much being done, and recovery is helped by attempting to return to normal activities as soon as possible within the limits of pain.

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