What Is The Treatment For Chronic Nonspecific Low Back Pain
Initial treatment is similar to sudden-onset attacks. That is, aim to keep as active as possible. Also, painkillers can help. In addition to the painkillers listed above, your doctor may advise a course of an antidepressant medicine in the tricyclic group – for example, amitriptyline. Tricyclic antidepressants have other actions separate to their action on depression. They are used in a variety of painful conditions, including back pain.
Also, a national guideline , referenced below) recommends one or more of the following treatments should be considered. Each of these treatments has some evidence from research trials to suggest that they will help to ease symptoms in some people :
- Structured exercise programme. This means a programme of exercise supervised by a professional such as a physiotherapist. This is likely to be in a group setting. Exercises may include aerobic activity, movement instruction, muscle strengthening, posture control and stretching. It typically consists of up to eight supervised sessions over 8-12 weeks with encouragement to keep on doing the exercises at home between sessions.
- Manual therapy. Typically this includes several sessions of massage, spinal mobilisation and/or spinal manipulation. With spinal mobilisation the therapist moves the joints of the spine around in their normal movement range. In spinal manipulation, the therapist moves joints beyond the usual range of movement.
- A course of acupuncture. It is not clear how this may work.
Where Can I Get More Information
For more information on neurological disorders or research programs funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, contact the Institute’s Brain Resources and Information Network at:
Office of Communications and Public LiaisonNational Institute of Neurological Disorders and StrokeNational Institutes of HealthBethesda, MD 20892
NINDS health-related material is provided for information purposes only and does not necessarily represent endorsement by or an official position of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke or any other Federal agency. Advice on the treatment or care of an individual patient should be obtained through consultation with a physician who has examined that patient or is familiar with that patient’s medical history.
Back Spasms / Cramping
A sudden contraction or spasms in the back can cause a very severe pain. This condition is known as muscle cramping. However, this type of pain may disappear without you noticing it. With muscle spasms, this could either tell you that whatever it is you are doing should NOT be done again, or there is a more serious underlying issue in your spine. For immediate relief, seek muscle relaxant medication, heat/cold therapy, and slowly stretch the affected area by walking or rubbing it as much as possible. If the spasm occurs again and more frequently, seeking medical attention for the spasm would be in your best interest.
Avoid activities that could lead to back cramping or spasm.
When you experience any of these pains, it is good to visit a Pain Management Doctor to help you diagnose the source of your lower left side back pain. At first you may use over-the-counter pain relievers pain-relieving creams can be of help as well. However, as time goes by and this pain increases, your doctor may recommend certain medication or medical procedures if your pain is severe.
If medications arent helping, your Pain Management Doctor may recommend injections. These injections target irritated nerves by using a nerve root block method. Steroid medication are usually found in these injections. However, if you experience long back pain and is interfering with your daily life, then surgery may need to be an option for you.
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Back Pain
Back pain may be experienced anywhere along the spine from the neck to the buttocks. In some cases, pain may also be felt in one or both legs. Its common to be a bit restricted in daily activities such as bending, lifting, sitting and walking while youre experiencing back pain.
Movement of your torso may be limited by back pain. There may also be tenderness when pressure is applied to the joints of the spine. Reduction of reflexes, strength and sensation in the legs can be a sign of nerve compression.
Its common for people with back pain to feel distressed about their recovery. People with persistent back pain can develop fear of movement and activity , worrying that it will make things worse or increase their pain. Living with persistent back pain may also lead to mood issues, such as anxiety, irritability, frustration and depression.
Can Stress Cause Lower Back Pain
Back pain is arguably one of the most common and frustrating symptoms that we experience regularly. From causing difficulty working to trouble sleeping, there is no doubt that lower back pain is a major hassle. In many cases, the inability to pinpoint a cause or inciting event for the pain can be the most irritating thing about it, second only to the discomfort that interferes with your daily life. Your first thought may be that you pulled a muscle or moved the wrong way, leading to a sore back. However, you may be surprised to find out that a large number of back pain cases are actually caused by stress and its associated behaviors. The knowledgeable team at Interventional Orthopedics of Atlanta, led by Dr. Christopher Williams, is dedicated to helping patients determine the underlying cause of their condition and get quick relief from their painful symptoms.
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Causes For Back Pain In Young Adults
What Causes Back Pain in Young Adults?
Low back pain is not often considered to be a potential problem among young adults. So when back pain strikes at a young age, it comes as a surprise and a source of confusion as to the cause. In our youth, we may think we are indestructible, but it is not uncommon for back pain to appear in our twenties and thirties.
Most often, back pain experienced at a young age is the result of overly strenuous exercising, a job that requires lifting objects that are too heavy, or a sudden awkward movement such as bending over to pick up a toddler. This type of back pain is usually due to Back Strain.
What Is a Back Strain?
Back Strain can be extremely painful and will unexpectedly put your life on hold. Treatment can consist of standard practices such as alternating ice and heat on the areas of injury, taking anti-inflammatories and doing non-rigorous, specific stretches or lower back relaxation techniques.
A strain is a stretching or tearing of muscle or tendon, which is a fibrous cord of tissue that connects muscles to bones. A Back Strain is often signified by a dull ache in the back when walking or standing. There may also be a feeling of stiffness in your back when bending, feeling sore in specific areas that are also tender to the touch, or pain in a localized area that does not mimic sciatica, which causes radiating pain in the legs.
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Concerned About Your Back Pain Symptoms We Can Help
Most back pain goes away on its own. But if your back pain has been lingering for more than two weeks without improvement, its been coming and going for some time, or if youre experiencing any alarming symptoms, dont delay the care you need. After all, its much easier to take care of yourself when you can move without pain.
Think TRIA Neck and Back Strengthening Program may be right for you? Schedule a consultation.
Not ready for an intensive physical therapy program? Start with physical therapy.
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Other Conditions That Cause Back Pain In Older Adults
We often see a range of less serious but still painful spine conditions in seniors. Most patients with these conditions will not require surgery. Physical therapy, medication, injectable anesthetics, or a combination of treatments usually can control symptoms.
- Degenerative disc disease, which can cause whole spine pain, and lumbar arthritis, which usually causes low-back pain, commonly develop with age and are considered wear-and-tear conditions.
- Sacroiliitis is an inflammation of the joints that connect your spine and pelvis. This condition can cause pain in the low back, glutes, and upper legs.
- Ankylosing spondylitis is an inflammatory arthritis that causes patients spines to become inflexible, resulting in a continual hunched forward position and spine pain.
- We also check for adult degenerative scoliosis and kyphosis, spine-curving conditions that can result in back pain and weakness in the lower extremities.
What Can I Do For Low Back Pain At Home
If your lower back pain has just started, the best thing you can do is start a log. Record your symptoms, times, dates and which activities trigger the pain or make it worse or better. Take this information to your family physician if the pain doesnt resolve on its own. It will make diagnosing the cause much easier.
Once you know which motion or position causes your lower back pain, try to avoid it and see if you get better. Icing the painful spot can also help. And so can over-the-counter pain relievers that help reduce inflammation. Just remember that pain killers treat only the symptom pain and not its cause.
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How Can You Care For Yourself At Home
There are several things you can do at home to help reduce your pain. For example:
- Rest. If your back hurts a lot, take a break. But try not to let too much time pass before you get moving again. Instead, return to your activities slowly.
- Use over-the-counter pain medicines, such as acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs . These can reduce pain and swelling. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
- Use over-the-counter muscle relaxants, such as methocarbamol . These can relax muscles and may reduce pain, but they may cause drowsiness, dizziness, or lightheadedness.
- Use a heating pad or ice pack. Heat can reduce pain and stiffness. Ice can help reduce pain and swelling.
- Exercise. Exercises that stretch and strengthen the muscles in your back, shoulders, and stomach can help improve your posture, decrease your chance of injury, and reduce pain.
- Practice good posture. Be sure to stand or sit tall. Don’t slump or slouch.
- Learn ways to reduce stress. You might try deep breathing and relaxation exercises or meditation.
Diagnosing Lower Back Pain
To diagnose lower back pain, a doctor will first do a physical exam. Theyll look at how well you move and if your back has any visible issues.
Then theyll take a medical history. This will cover your symptoms, any recent injuries, previous back issues, and the severity of your pain.
A physical exam and medical history are often enough for a doctor to determine the cause of your pain. However, they may also need to do an imaging test. Potential tests include:
- X-ray, which can find broken or misaligned bones.
- CT scan, which shows soft tissues such as the discs between vertebrae and potential tumors
- myelogram, which uses dye to enhance the contrast in a CT scan or X-ray to help a doctor identify nerve or spinal cord compression
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Lower Back Pain And Frequent Urination Signs And Symptoms
Aside from pain experienced in the lower back and more frequent urination, you may experience bloody or cloudy urine, a constant urge to urinate, pain that moves from the lower back to the groin, difficulty beginning urination or fully emptying the bladder, painful ejaculation, fever, nausea, and vomiting.
Causes Of Lower Back Pain When Coughing
Sometimes, back pain can actually be caused by chronic coughing. The act of coughing can put a strain on the back and make it contract more than normal. However, when coughing isnt chronic, the pain is most often due to an issue with your back.
Lower back pain can have many causes. Some of the most common causes include:
- Herniated disk. Disks are the cushions between the bones in your spine. A herniated disk occurs when the softer part of the disk pushes out to the harder part.
- Muscle strain. A strain can affect a muscle or a tendon. In the back, the muscle or tendon can get pulled, torn, or twisted.
- Muscle sprain. A sprain affects the ligaments that connect bones at a joint. With a sprain, the ligaments get stretched or torn.
- Muscle spasm.Spasms and cramps happen when a muscle cant relax after contracting. The spasms can last seconds to over 15 minutes at a time. Sometimes, you can see the muscle twitch. The muscle can also be extra hard or look different than normal.
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Could Lower Back Pain Be Kidney Pain
It absolutely can. Kidneys are located on the back side of your body and kidney pain can sometimes feel like back pain. The only true way to tell the difference is to visit a doctor who can conduct a thorough examination.
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What To Do For Yourself To Manage Back Pain
Fortunately, most back pain gets better relatively quickly and there are simple things that can be done to recover and reduce the chance of pain returning. It’s important to keep doing your normal work or daily activities, or return to doing these as soon as you can. You can use heat or ice packs, pain relief medication and exercise or massage if these reduce your pain. Read more about treatment options for back pain.
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Techniques For Good Posture:
- Sit in a firm chair with armrests to relieve pressure in your back and shoulders.
- Keep your upper back straight and shoulders relaxed. Keep stomach muscles pulled in, and maintain the proper curve in your lower back. You can do this by tightening your stomach and buttocks. Some people are more comfortable sitting with the back of the chair at a 15- to 20-degree angle. A small cushion behind the lower back to maintain the natural curve of the back also can be quite helpful.
- Keep your knees slightly higher than your hips.
- Use a footstool or book under your feet if necessary.
- Keep your feet flat on the floor or other surface.
- Don’t sit for a long period of time. Stand up every now and then to stretch tight muscles and give them a chance to relax.
- Stand with weight equal on both feet.
- Avoid locking your knees.
- Ease tension in your back by placing one foot on a footstool.
- If you stand for long periods of time, wear flat or low-heeled shoes.
- Keep your back straight by tightening your stomach muscles and buttocks.
- When sleeping,
Lie on your side with your knees bent.
- If more comfortable, place a pillow between your knees while sleeping on your side.
- If you sleep on your back, ask your doctor or physical therapist if placing pillows under your knees would help your lower back pain or make it worse.
- Use a firm mattress.
Can Back Pain Be Prevented
Recurring back pain resulting from improper body mechanics may be prevented by avoiding movements that jolt or strain the back, maintaining correct posture, and lifting objects properly. Many work-related injuries are caused or aggravated by stressors such as heavy lifting, contact stress , vibration, repetitive motion, and awkward posture.Recommendations for keeping ones back healthy
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Back Pain Symptoms That May Indicate A Serious Problem
See your doctor if back pain doesnt improve within 2 weeks of developing. There are times when back pain can be a symptom of a serious medical problem.
Symptoms that can indicate a more serious medical problem are:
These tips can help ease back pain when it happens. They can also help you prevent back pain in the first place.
Heavy briefcases, laptop bags, suitcases, and purses can add unnecessary stress and strain to your neck and spine.
Try to reduce what you need to carry, and use bags that distribute the weight more evenly, such as a backpack. If you can, use a bag with wheels to keep weight off your back entirely.
Work your core
The muscles in and around your abdomen and back help keep you upright and carry you through your physical activities. Strengthening them can also reduce the chances of pain, strain, or damage to your back.
Improve your posture
- are a smoker
- have been diagnosed with a specific condition like arthritis
Can Lower Back Pain Be Related To Weather
If you feel like your lower back pain worsens on days when its cold or the weather is changing, you are not imagining things. Back pain can indeed be related to barometric pressure and outdoor temperature. Changes in pressure can sometimes cause pain in arthritic joints, including the spine. Muscles and joints in general react to the environment, which can make them stiffer and more likely to suffer an injury.
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