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Can You Die From Back Pain

Back Pain Shows Significant Association With Mortality Among Older Women

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Date:
Boston Medical Center
Summary:
Researchers found that frequent, persistent back pain is associated with earlier death in a study of more than 8,000 older women who were followed for an average of 14 years.

Researchers at Boston Medical Center found that frequent, persistent back pain is associated with earlier death in a study of more than 8,000 older women who were followed for an average of 14 years. After controlling for important sociodemographic and health factors, women who reported frequent, persistent back pain had a 24 percent increased risk of death compared to women with no back pain. Published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, the study is the first to measure the impact of back pain persisting over time on mortality. The researchers also found that disability measured after back pain helped explain the association.

Back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and women aged 40-80 years have the highest prevalence of back pain. Also, women report more frequent and debilitating back pain compared to men. The proportion of adults over the age of 65 is increasing rapidly in the United States, and optimizing physical health in order to extend life for older adults is a well-documented public health goal.

While the study’s findings are consistent with prior studies that found older women with daily or disabling back pain had elevated mortality risk, why this association occurs remains unclear.

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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.

Who Should I See For Lower Back Pain

Your primary care physician knows you best and should be your first contact for lower back pain. If he or she is unable to diagnose or treat the issue, you may get referred to a specialist, such as a rehabilitation physician . These specialists practice a comprehensive approach to lower back pain, and can diagnose and treat a variety of conditions that have lower back pain as a symptom.

Later, you may get referred to a physical therapist, a chiropractor or another practitioner depending on the nature of your back pain. The good news is that surgery is rarely needed for lower back pain. Only about one in ten patients needs lower back surgery, Chhatre says.

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Yoga For Lower Back Pain

Research has shown that yoga is a very effective tool to quickly recover from lower back pain. A yoga professional will guide on which type of pose to perform depending with the severity of your pain or injury. The following yoga poses can help you reducing and healing of your lower back pain.

  • Two Knee Twist â In this yoga pose for lower back pain, you will bend your knees towards your chest as you lie on your back and bring your arms to a T-position. Then lower your knees to the floor on the right as you breath out. Lower your knees further from the right arm when a shoulder lifts and be in that position for about 2 minutes.
  • Supine Hamstring Stretch â In this yoga pose for treating lower back pain, you will lie on your back and bend your right knee towards the chest and put a rope or a cloth around the ball of your foot. Then straighten your leg towards the ceiling. Hold that pose for about 5minutes and repeat it with the other legs and both legs.
  • Legs Up The Wall â In this yoga pose for lower back pain you will scoot your buttock to the wall and start swinging your feet up the wall. This type of yoga pose for treating lower back pain helps in relaxing of the lower back muscles and drain out stagnant fluids from the feet and ankles. It is advisable to do this pose after a long drive or traveling by plane and after lifting heavy objects.

Home Remedies For Back Pain And Shortness Of Breath

Chest pain during exercise: Causes and what to do

Resting your back for one to two days and following your doctors recommendations can help your back pain improve. While youll want to rest your back, doing so for more than two days can lead to stiffness, which can work against the healing process.

Taking an over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen can help reduce pain.

If youve undergone surgery related to your symptoms, follow your doctors instructions regarding at-home care.

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You Feel Pain In The Side Too

Anyone whos had a kidney stone knows theyre quite agonizingand they may cause upper back pain, says Dr. Ghannad. Its unlikely that this is the only symptom youll notice though. You may also feel severe pain in your side and back below your ribs, the Mayo Clinic notes. Discomfort while peeing or red- or brown-hued urine may be other clues. The best advice? If pain is severe and persistent, its a good idea to be evaluated by a physician, says Ghannad.

When To Worry About Low Back Pain

And when not to! Whats bark and whats bite? Checklists and red flags and non-scary possible explanations for alarmingly back pain

The bark of low back pain is usually much worse than its bite. The pain almost always makes it seem worse than it is. Even when its unusually severe and/or constant, it probably isnt dangerous.

MRI and x-ray for low back pain are surprisingly unreliable,1 because things like bulging discs usually arent a big deal,2 most back pain goes away on its own,3 and trigger points are common and can be worrisomely intense but arent dangerous.4 Most patients are much better off when they feel confident about these things. The power of justified, rational confidence is a huge factor in back pain.5 Sadly, many healthcare professionals continue to perpetuate the idea of fragile backs,6 which undermines that valuable confidence.

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The Big Three Signs That You Should Investigate For An Ominous Cause Of Persistent Low Back Pain

You shouldnt worry about low back pain until three conditions have been met:

  • its been bothering you for more than about 6 weeks19
  • its severe and/or not improving, or actually getting worse
  • there is at least one other red flag
  • The presence of the big three does not confirm that something horrible is going on. It only means that you need to check carefully.

    Andy Whitfield as Spartacus

    At his physical peak, not long before getting sick. The first sign of his cancer was steadily worsening back pain. He may have already been in pain at this time.

    The story of actor Andy Whitfield is a disturbing and educational example of a case that met these conditions for sure the first two, and probably the third as well if we knew the details. Whitfield was the star of the hit TV show Spartacus . The first sign of the cancer that killed him in 2011 was steadily worsening back pain. Its always hard to diagnose a cancer that starts this way, but Whitfield was in the middle of intense physical training to look the part of historys most famous gladiator. Back pain didnt seem unusual at first, and some other symptoms may have been obscured. Weight loss could have even seemed like a training victory at first! It was many long months before he was diagnosed not until the back pain was severe and constant. A scan finally revealed a large tumour pressing against his spine.

    Is back pain a symptom of COVID-19?

    Other Reading On Painsciencecom About Back Pain

    Lil Durk – Shootout @ My Crib (Lyrics)

    And the big one

    • Complete Guide to Low Back Pain Everything on one mighty page: an extremely detailed guide to the myths, controversies, the nature of the beast and the highlight dozens of detailed, evidence-based reviews of treatment and therapy options. This huge tutorial also focusses on a topic I think is neglected: the role of muscle in back pain.

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    When Back Pain Is A Symptom Of Lung Cancer

    Research suggests that the time between the onset of symptoms and a diagnosis of lung cancer is around 12 months. This is often because a person does not recognize the symptoms, or because they hope that they’ll go away. Back pain is one such symptom.

    It is not uncommon for people to have back pain with lung cancer, or even to have back pain as their first symptom. In fact, there are certain defining symptoms that point to cancer as the cause of back pain.

    Chief among them are the location and types of pain, which may be quite different from your typical, chronic backache. All told, around 25% of people with lung cancer will report back pain as a symptom at some point in their disease.

    This article looks at how back pain is linked to lung cancer, and how this pain differs from other kinds of back pain. It also explains why early treatment for back pain is so important.

    Verywell / Hugo Lin

    Patient History And Examination

    His past medical history was remarkable for having diabetes mellitus diagnosed 9 months prior to the accident. Routine blood tests that he took for employment had revealed this problem and had required hospitalization. Prior to his barge accident, the patient had numerous other medical problems including: a contusion of the right heel, chronic left shoulder pain due to having rotator cuff tendinitis documented on MRI scanning, a question of carpal tunnel syndrome, ulnar compression of the right wrist, and kidney stones treated with lithotripsy. Conspicuous in its absence was any mention of low back musculoskeletal problems prior to the accident.

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    Five Common Causes Of Sudden Unexpected Death Every Ems Provider Should Know

    Youre called to the scene where a 50-year-old male was working in his yard when his wife witnessed him collapse. Hes found pulseless and apneic with no signs of trauma. His wife is performing CPR when you arrive.

    What are the five common causes of sudden death that could have led to his demise, and what are some symptoms the patient may have been experiencing in the hours or days leading to his arrest?

    Introduction

    EMS providers are often faced with patients in cardiac arrest. Many of these patients have complicated medical histories and have been ill for a long period of time. This article will discuss the five major causes of acute sudden death that may occur without warning in previously healthy patients, with a focus on the etiology, recognition and treatment of these conditions. The article is written to better allow prehospital providers to consider these causes and initiate appropriate time-sensitive care whenever possible.

    The five causes of sudden death discussed in this article are: fatal arrhythmias, acute myocardial infarction, intracranial hemorrhage/massive stroke , massive pulmonary embolism and acute aortic catastrophe.

    1. Arrhythmia

    These complaints should always prompt EMS providers to consider arrhythmia as a potential cause of the patients symptoms. To that end, patients with these complaints always need what we refer to as the opening gambit: oxygen, oxygen saturation monitoring, IV access, continuous cardiac monitoring and a 12-lead ECG.

    The Worst Back Pain Is Rarely The Scariest

    Why Does Herniated Disc Pain Hurt More at Night?

    People understandably assume that the worst back pain is the scariest. In fact, pain intensity is a poor indicator of back pain ominousness,10 and some of the worst causes are actually the least painful . For instance, someone could experience the symptoms of cauda equinae syndrome, and be in real danger of a serious and permanent injury to their spine, but have surprisingly little pain even none at all in some cases!

    Meanwhile, many non-dangerous problems can cause amazingly severe back pain. A muscle cramp is a good analogy just think about how painful a Charley horse is! Regardless of whats actually going on in there, muscle pain is probably the main thing that back pain patients are feeling. The phenomenon of trigger points tiny muscle cramps, basically11 could be the entire problem, or a complication thats more painful and persistent than the original problem. Its hard to overstate how painful trigger points can be, but they are not dangerous to anything but your comfort.

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    Women Who Suffer From Chronic Back Pain At Increased Risk Of Death

    Researchers at Boston Medical Center found that frequent, persistent back pain is associated with earlier death in a study of more than 8,000 older women who were followed for an average of 14 years. After controlling for important sociodemographic and health factors, women who reported frequent, persistent back pain had a 24 percent increased risk of death compared to women with no back pain. Published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, the study is the first to measure the impact of back pain persisting over time on mortality. The researchers also found that disability measured after back pain helped explain the association.

    Back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and women aged 40-80 years have the highest prevalence of back pain. Also, women report more frequent and debilitating back pain compared to men. The proportion of adults over the age of 65 is increasing rapidly in the United States, and optimizing physical health in order to extend life for older adults is a well-documented public health goal.

    After taking baseline measurements of back pain, researchers followed up with participants two years later and measured back pain again. In year four, participants were asked about and observed doing common activities of daily living. The study found that disability following the measurements of back pain explained much of the association with mortality.

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    Is Lower Right Back Pain Worrisome

    Pain on the right side of the back is not particularly worrisome, no. Same with the left. There are two main kinds of back pain that occurs only on one side:

  • Back pain that could occur on either side, but just happens to be on the right or the left exclusively. This is very common. Most ordinary back pain dominates one side of the back.
  • Back pain that comes specifically from structures that exist only on one side. This is a small category.
  • Most of the anatomy of the low back and abdomen is symmetrical. Some of the guts are not symmetrical, and only some of those is a plausible cause of right-sided back pain. Heres some of the key anatomy to consider:

      • Bones & muscle All the musculoskeletal structures of the low back are 100% symmetrical, except for small local variations. Injury, pathology, and developmental can occur more one side of course. For instance, intervertebral discs rarely bulge exactly in the centre, but to one side or the other.
      • Kidneys The kidneys are a matched pair. One painful kidney can cause back pain on one side or the other. Kidney pain can feel like back pain, and may occur on only one side. It is usually quite lateral, and just barely low enough to qualify as low back pain. However, when kidney stones descend through the ureters, they can cause pain in the low back. Kidney stone pain is often so severe and develops so rapidly that it isnt mistaken for a back pain problem.

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    What Does It Mean If Lower Back Pain Is Shooting Into Legs

    Lower back pain can radiate to other parts of the body: up or down from its place of origin. Sometimes lower back pain can be on one side of the back, which is also normal.

    If the pain is shooting from the lower back into one or both legs, it could be sciatica , but its not always the case. There are many parts in the lower back that may cause the pain to radiate into the legs, such as facet joints, sacroiliac joints, muscles or inflammation of the bursa.

    Strong Link Found Between Back Pain And Mortality

    Lil Baby – Okay (Lyrics)

    A prospective analysis of back pain and rates of disability may help explain the association between back pain and mortality.

    Back pain is very common, affecting millions of people worldwide.

    It is also a major cause of disability and missed work days.

    Risk factors such as posture, sedentary lifestyle, weight gain, obesity, and age can all contribute to the development of this condition.

    The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke suggest that around of adults experience back pain at least once in their life.

    A United States telephone survey showed that the prevalence of chronic back pain more than doubled in the 14-year interval between 1992 and 2006, and that it was greater in women.

    Back pain can be acute or chronic. Acute back pain can last for a few days to a couple of weeks, and it usually resolves on its own. Approximately 20 percent of people with acute low back pain develop chronic low back pain.

    Chronic back pain lasts for 3 months or longer. Chronic back pain may be due to underlying conditions such as osteoporosis and cancer.

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