Health and Fitness

7 Ways To Treat dorsalgia

It generally refers to back or spine pain. It also includes spinal-related pain like lower back pain, mid back pain, and sciatica pain. However, when back pain lasts more than three months, it’s called dorsalgia.

In Dorsalgia, You may feel a sharp or stinging pain in your back or only your neck. This pain also carries a burning sensation. However, treatment of dorsalgia mainly relied on pain relief medications along with physical therapy.

What Causes Dorsalgia? 

Bulging or herniated discs can cause dorsalgia. Dorsalgia may also occur after an injury or be the result of overuse, such as in the case of extensive manual labor. Stress-related disorders can also result in dorsalgia.

However, The single most common cause of lower back pain is a torn or pulled muscle or ligament which causes back stiffness as well. So, People mostly complain that dorsalgia also causes back stiffness as well.

Is back stiffness a symptom of dorsalgia?

There are many underlying causes of a stiff back including dorsalgia, trauma, overuse or repetitive stress, and poor posture. A sudden traumatic injury from lifting improperly, a fall, or an accident, typically leads to pain, inflammation, and muscle spasms causing back stiffness.

In dorsalgia the disk falls or herniates which puts pressure on the sciatic nerve. Because Disks are areas of cartilage that cushion the vertebrae in the spine and help with spine flexibility. So, As a result when this disk gets damaged it generally makes your back stiff. 

What is the Diagnosis of dorsalgia?

Your doctor will examine your back and assess your ability to sit, stand, walk and lift your legs. Your doctor might also ask you to rate your pain on a scale of zero to 10 and talk to you about how well you’re functioning with your pain.

These assessments help determine where the pain comes from, how much you can move before pain forces you to stop, and whether you have muscle spasms. They can also help rule out more serious causes of back pain.

If there is reason to suspect that a specific condition is causing your back pain, your doctor might order one or more tests:

  • X-ray. These images show the alignment of your bones and whether you have arthritis or broken bones. 
  • MRI or CT scans. These scans generate images that reveal herniated disks or problems with bones, muscles.
  • Blood tests. These can help determine whether you have an infection or other condition causing your pain.
  • BIn rare cases, your scan: Your doctor might use a bone scan to look for bone tumors or compression fractures caused by rare cases.
  • Nerve studies. This test can confirm nerve compression caused by herniated disks or narrowing of your spinal canal.

7 Ways to Treat Dorsalgia:

Treatments like physical therapy, home remedies, and medication may be recommended for dorsalgia. If those treatments fail to relieve your pain, slightly more invasive therapies like dry needling or injections could help you. However, If your pain persists, then surgery may be necessary.

There are 7 ways to treat dorsalgia which includes:

  1. Medications:

Depending on the type of back pain you have, your doctor might recommend the following:

  • Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen or naproxen sodium, may help relieve back pain. 
  • Muscle relaxants. If your back pain doesn’t improve with pain relievers, your doctor might prescribe a muscle relaxant. However, Muscle relaxants can make you dizzy and sleepy.
  • Antidepressants. Some antidepressants, such as amitriptyline, have relieved chronic back pain. 


  1. Physical therapy:

Physical therapy is a first-line treatment for responding to backache associated with dorsalgia. Your physical therapist may recommend stretches or exercises to treat dorsalgia. However, In some cases of chronic back pain, physical therapy can be more effective than surgery.

  1. Aquatic Therapy:

The pool is a great place to take your workouts or physical therapy exercises. Here’s a look at five reasons why your back benefits from aquatic therapy.

Benefits of Water Therapy For Your Back:

Your back can benefit from a water therapy session, but it’s important to note that aqua therapy may not be right for everyone. If you are dealing with a fever, infection, or an open wound, water, and the chemicals in the pool can make the problem much worse.

Here’s a look at why your back can benefit from water therapy:

  • Decreased load bearing. If you are dealing with a disc issue that makes movement painful or if you are trying to re-strengthen your spine weeks after surgery, aqua therapy can take some of gravity’s stress off your spine, which allows you to focus on your therapy exercises.
  • Increased mobility. Along a similar vein, because of the buoyancy of the water, we are often able to twist and turn more freely in water, which allows us to do range-of-motion exercises that would not be possible on land. Increased mobility is a benefit of water-based therapy.
  • Decreased pain. Many people who suffer from back pain remark that it’s less painful to do a water workout than a normal land routine. This makes sense because the water helps to increase blood supply to sore muscles and joints. The feel of the water is also comforting, which helps take your mind off your pain.


  1. Ice Pack or Heating Pad:

Heat and ice may also help ease painful muscle spasms because they can immediately relieve dorsalgia pains. It can help reduce inflammation, while heat encourages blood flow to the painful area. Apply an ice pack to the painful area for 15 minutes once every hour, and then apply heat for 15 minutes every 2 or 3 hours.

However, always use a barrier to protect your skin when using heat or ice, and never sleep while using heat or ice therapy.

  1. Cortisone injections:

If other measures don’t relieve your pain, your doctor may inject cortisone — a strong anti-inflammatory drug into your spinal nerve. However, A cortisone injection helps decrease inflammation around the nerve roots, but the pain relief usually lasts only a month or two.

Botox: According to some early studies, Botox is thought to reduce paint rusted Source by paralyzing strained muscles in spasms. These injections are effective for about 3 to 4 months.

Traction: Pulleys and weights are used to stretch the back. This may result in a herniated disk moving back into position. It can also relieve pain, but only while traction is applied.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): CBT can help manage dorsalgia by encouraging new ways of thinking.

  1. Dry Needling:

Dry needling can treat pain in the thoracic spine. The therapist relaxes the muscles by inserting a small needle into a muscle’s trigger point and increasing blood flow in the painful area. However, It is commonly used in sports medicine.

  1. Back Surgery:

It is reasonable to consider spine surgery if the pain has not diminished after months of non-surgical treatment, if the pain does not respond to medication, or if you’re unable to complete basic daily activities. Some surgery options are minimally invasive (microdiscectomy for a  herniated disc) and allow for quick recovery, while other types of surgery (a posterolateral fusion for degenerative disc disease) are more extensive.

There are a few surgery options that you can discuss with a doctor: 

  • Discectomy: Quite literally, discectomy means “cutting out the disc.” For this procedure, a surgeon removes one or more damaged discs. The success rate is 80-90%.
  • Disc arthroplasty: This relatively new form of spinal surgery allows surgeons to replace damaged discs with artificial disc implants. The technology is still quite new for this surgery, but the results thus far seem to be positive.
  • Spinal fusion: Thanks to recent medical advancements, surgeons can now perform spinal fusion surgeries via small incisions. Spinal fusion eliminates movement between two or more vertebrae in the spine by fusing them together

Also, If you have unrelenting pain associated with progressive muscle weakness caused by nerve compression, you might benefit from surgery.

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