Back Pain After A Fall Or Injury: Fractures
Osteoporotic fractures of the vertebral body are the most commonly encountered fractures among primary care doctors. These fractures are not always a result of great trauma and can, in some cases, cause few early symptoms.
Any history of a fall, a lifting injury, a motor vehicle accident or any other trauma, when it is associated with immediate back pain, suggests a muscle or bone injury. If you are osteoporotic, this trauma may be minimal a sneeze, fall from a chair, or slip and fall in the home. Localized pain over the spinal column most commonly the thoracic spine is suggestive enough of compression fracture that x-ray is warranted.
Localized pain over the involved vertebral level is usually present. Even patients with healthy bone can experience a compression fracture if the injury is significant enough. If you fall off of a roof, for instance, and end up with severe back pain in the middle of your lumbar spine, there’s a decent chance you could have a compression fracture, and you should get that x-rayed. Of course, please don’t do that!
Severe Pain In Crotch Groin And Sciatica Pain
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What Are Other Causes Of Lower Back Pain
Other causes of low back pain include kidney problems, pregnancy, ovary problems, and tumors.
Kidney infections, stones, and traumatic bleeding of the kidney are frequently associated with low back pain. Diagnosis can involve urine analysis, sound-wave tests , or other imaging studies of the abdomen.
Pregnancy commonly leads to low back pain by mechanically stressing the lumbar spine and by the positioning of the baby inside of the abdomen. Additionally, the effects of the female hormone estrogen and the ligament-loosening hormone relaxin may contribute to loosening of the ligaments and structures of the back. Pelvic-tilt exercises and stretches are often recommended for relieving this pain. Women are also recommended to maintain physical conditioning during pregnancy according to their doctors’ advice. Natural labor can also cause low back pain.
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Low Back Pain Exams And Tests
- Because many different conditions may cause back pain, a thorough medical history will be performed as part of the examination. Some of the questions you are asked may not seem pertinent to you but are very important to your doctor in determining the source of your pain.
- Your doctor will first ask you many questions regarding the onset of the pain. He or she will want to know what makes the pain better or worse. The doctor will ask you questions referring to the red flag symptoms. He or she will ask if you have had the pain before. Your doctor will ask about recent illnesses and associated symptoms such as coughs, fevers, urinary difficulties, or stomach illnesses. In females, the doctor will want to know about vaginal bleeding, cramping, or discharge. Pain from the pelvis, in these cases, is frequently felt in the back.
- Electromyogram or EMG is a test that involves the placement of very small needles into the muscles. Electrical activity is monitored. Its use is usually reserved for more chronic pain and to predict the level of nerve root damage. The test is also able to help the doctor distinguish between nerve root disease and muscle disease.
Sciatica Hip Pain Causes
Can sciatica cause hip pain? Sciatica and hip pain go hand in hand, as the sciatic nerve connects various nerves from within the spinal column that runs along the hip, buttock, leg, and into the foot.
Sciatica causes hip pain when the sciatic nerve is compressed. It can occur with inflammation, degenerative disc disease, a bulging or ruptured disc, or with a spinal stenosis condition.
Regular repetitive movements we do while running, jogging, squatting, and cycling can cause the pelvic muscles to become worn and damaged, which can result in inflammation and pain of the hip joint. Compression of the sciatic nerve can occur with internal health conditions, as well as with trauma or injury to one of the discs in the spinal column.
A slipped disc is the most common injury to the sciatic nerve. It includes the disc moving out of place, as well as rupturing or bulging against the nerve.
Infection or tumors can also cause sciatica hip joint pain. In the elderly, spinal degeneration due to the aging process can cause irritation of the sciatic nerve.
Aside from age, other factors associated with sciatic hip pain include pregnancy, smoking, obesity, prolonged sitting positions, and any repetitive movement that involves carrying heavy objects or twisting of the back.
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Just 10% Of Back Pain Requires Surgery And Minimally Invasive Procedures Work For Many
There are a lot of potential pain generators in the spine: discs, bones, nerves, muscle, and arthritis. Not all of these sensitive areas and progressive problems can be fixed with surgery. In fact, more than 90 percent of back pain is successfully treated nonsurgically.
As a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist, part of my role is to help treat patients with spine disorders without surgery. But an equally important responsibility is knowing who can benefit from back surgery and when is the best time to make that referral.
In complex cases and for certain conditions, surgery is the most appropriate and effective treatment.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of misconceptions that back surgery is always a major procedure with an extended hospital stay and long recovery period. In fact, many patients can be treated with minimally invasive surgery, while only the most complex cases require open surgery. Even then, our approach is to get you moving as quickly as possible to aid in your recovery.
At the UT Southwestern Spine Center, we participate in national surgical and nonsurgical spine registries so we can analyze trends and data to improve our patients care. Staying current on the latest research, and most importantly, listening to our patients, we can recommend the safest, most effective, and least invasive treatments to manage your pain.
Ask Your Doctor About Biofeedback
In recent years, biofeedback a type of mind-body technique that uses electrical sensors to help you make subtle changes in your body has grown in popularity as an effective way to manage back pain. A suggested that biofeedback could reduce the intensity of back pain and muscle tension, both as a standalone treatment and when combined with other treatments.
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Serious Causes Of Referred Back Pain
Back pain is back pain, right? Not so fast. Sometimes pain in your back can come from an entirely different region of your body, which could be serious.
Referred pain is when you feel pain in one part of your body caused by disease or an injury in another. It’s often due to problems with chest and belly organs. For example, an infection in your kidneys may cause pain in your back or sides.
Read on to learn about four causes of referred back pain that can signal you have a severe health problem.
Menstruation Or Uterine Dysfunction
Dysmenorrhea, a uterine dysfunction which is the origin of frequent and severe cramping for women during menstruation, also predisposes women to back pain. The condition is classified as either primary or secondary, and with both types, low back pain is a common symptom.
- Primary dysmenorrhea begins when a woman starts her period and perpetuates throughout her life. Its harsh and atypical uterine contractions can result in recurrent and severe menstrual cramping.
- Secondary dysmenorrhea usually begins later in life, and its caused by another condition such as endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease.
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Does Sciatica Cause Hip And Groin Pain
Arthritis is a major cause of hip pain when walking. There are over 100 types of arthritis and people of all ages can develop them.
Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are types of arthritis that affect the joints.
Arthritis typically causes pain and stiffness in the affected area.
Osteoarthritis is one of the most common types of arthritis. It is caused by the breakdown of cartilage between the bones, which eventually allows the bones to rub against each other.
This can lead to pain, stiffness, and restricted movement. A person with osteoarthritis of the hip may also experience pain in the groin, buttocks, and sometimes the inside of the knee or thigh.
Treatments for OA include:
Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when a persons immune system isnt working properly and attacks the joints.
A person with RA in the hip may have pain, stiffness, and swelling in the hip, thigh, or groin. Usually both hips are affected.
Treatments for RA include:
- Pain relievers, like an NSAID
Sprain or strain
Sprains or strains can occur when a person overuses the muscles and ligaments in their hips and legs. A person may feel a sharp pain that gets worse with activity.
Treatments for sprains and strains include:
- Calm, ice, compression, elevation
- Pain relievers, like an NSAID
Treatments for toxic synovitis include rest and pain medication such as an NSAID.
When Back Pain May Be A Medical Emergency
The underlying causes for most occurrences of back pain are non-emergent, but the intense pain and related symptoms often elevate anxiety and prompt a visit to the emergency room . While back pain is typically treated in a primary care setting or by a musculoskeletal specialist, physicians are often cautious and look for warning signs of neurologically impairing or life-threatening causes. These causes are rare, but if present, they are considered a medical emergency and warrant immediate treatment to preserve back and/or leg function.
Though rare, acute cauda equina syndrome is a serious medical emergency. It usually requires immediate medical attention. Watch Cauda Equina Syndrome Video
This article provides a comprehensive guide to when back pain may indicate a medical emergency and the associated red-flag symptoms to watch out for.
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Fix The Root Of The Problem
Muscle imbalances happen when certain muscles work too hard and others dont work hard enough.
Your muscles are designed to complement, not compete with one another. One overly weak or dominant muscle can literally pull everything off track.
I recommend learning more about my targeted Muscle Balance Therapy program.
Is Radiating Lower Back And Hip Pain Dangerous
Most back pain is harmless caused by sleeping in an awkward position, stretched muscles, overexertion, sitting down too long or falling on the ischial tuberosity , or minor hip injuries caused by twisting a certain way during sports like volleyball. Many injuries arise simply from improper form during exercise, sports injuries, or strains.
But there are some pretty serious causes for back and hip pain as well. Lower back pain, in particular, can be a sign of various serious conditions such as advanced kidney infections or a condition called interstitial cystitis, which can cause inflammation of the tissues of the bladder. Sciatica causes lower back pain, pain in the back of the knee, pain in right buttock cheek, unilateral pain, thigh pain, pain behind the knee and calf, and muscle weakness in legs as well.
Outer hip pain and lateral hip pain, though typically not cause for alarm , can be a sign of a serious bone condition, such as arthritis in the back, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, or tendonitis but can also indicate a more serious bone condition like a fracture, labral tear, or conditions such as snapping hip syndrome or osteonecrosis.
The sciatic nerve is a long nerve that runs all the down both sides of the body, beginning at the bottom two vertebra of the back, through the hip area, and all the way down the legs. The pain is usually unilateral with this disorder.
For Your Convenience We’ve Divided These Causes Into Five Categories As Follows
- Low risk: This can be easily managed with over-the-counter medications or by avoiding the movement/stressor causing your pain.
- Low-medium risk: Usually managed as an outpatient by your doctor with prescription medication.
- Medium risk: May require a visit to your doctor or hospitalization. Prescription medication may be necessary.
- Medium-high risk: Hospitalization or urgent intervention. Although not life-threatening get help immediately of some kind.
- High risk: Serious and potentially lethal complications possible emergent intervention needed Intensive Care Unit care often needed.
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What Does The Sacroiliac Joint Do
The SI joints support the weight of your upper body. They act as shock absorbers during the transfer of loads from the trunk of your body into your pelvis and legs. They also support your range of motion when you bend or twist at your hips.3
What Is A Sacroiliac Joint
- The joint surfaces are covered with cartilage, held together by a fibrous capsule, and surrounded by synovial fluid .2
- Several ligaments surround the joint, providing strength and limiting its mobility.2
You have one of these joints on each side.1
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Stomach And Back Pain: Common Causes Symptoms And Treatments
Medically reviewed by Dr. Brian Paris, D.C on Nov. 6, 2018.
Are you experiencing lower back pain that radiates to your abdominal area?
Stomach and back pain often go hand-in-hand. After all, they are two sides of the same coin.
Stomach pain is very common among people who suffer from chronic lower back pain.
Either your back and stomach pain have a single cause, or the two symptoms are unrelated.
So how are you supposed to tell the difference?
One clue is the timing of your symptoms.
If youve been experiencing back pain for years, but the pain only recently spread to your abdomen, it could be a cause for concern.
Sometimes pain in the back and stomach indicates a medical emergency. Other times, its a sign of a worsening back injury.
This article will give you a good overview of what could be causing your back and stomach pain, what you should do about it, and when you should start to worry.
Common Causes Of Lower Back And Pelvic Pain In Premenopausal Women
Prior to menopause, a lot of women experience both pelvic and lower back pain during their menstrual cycles. During a womans period, her pelvic muscles contract and remain tense, and her uterine contracts, causing painful cramps. This is known as dysmenorrhea. Women who suffer from these painful menstrual cramps often find the pain extends to their lower backs.
Things like stress, anxiety, dehydration and a lack of exercise can make dysmenorrhea worse, so make sure to get enough rest, drink plenty of water and try to do some moderate physical activity like walking, swimming or riding a bike.
I know, thats probably the last thing you want to do when youre feeling achy, bloated and suffering from abdominal pain. But its been shown that aerobic activity inhibits prostaglandin, a main driver of uterine contractions, and may reduce cramping.
A 2006 study published in the Journal of Research in Health Science found that low-impact aerobic activities shortened the duration and reduced the severity of severe menstrual cramps in study participants.
Aerobic exercise also makes your body produce endorphins. These are your bodys natural pain relievers, and they work much the same way many prescription pain meds do. They bind to the opioid receptors in your brain, which blocks the perception of pain.
No need to go all-out with the cardio, though thats counterproductive. Just choose something light and easy. The key is to just move enough to get those endorphins going.
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Signs That Your Hip Is The Source Of Your Pain
One of the biggest signs that your pain is caused by a problem in your hip is the presence of groin pain. Your hip joint is located behind the groin, thats why groin pain usually means the hip is the root cause of pain. In some cases, this groin pain will radiate downward toward your knee.
Another obvious sign that your hip is the source of your pain is pain around or over the hip joint. However, hip problems can also refer pain to your low back, contributing to the confusion over where the true source of the pain is located.
Hip-related pain is most often caused by osteoarthritis in the hip. In addition to groin pain, people who have osteoarthritis in their hip joint often report pain in their buttock, front of thighs, and knees. They may also limp when they walk and report reduced range of motion in their hips, pain that worsens with activity and improves with rest, and discomfort that begins as occasional but becomes more regular.
While osteoarthritis is the most common cause, hip pain may also derive from piriformis syndrome, avascular necrosis in the hip, and/or sacroiliac joint dysfunction.
- Piriformis syndrome causes dull, mild pain in the low back and buttocks and can cause pain radiating down the legor sciatica.
- On the other hand, the hip pain associated with avascular necrosis is severe and constant.
- Sacroiliac joint pain might be attributed to both the hip and the low back, as the sacroiliac joints connect the sacrum in spine to the hip bones.