What Are The Most Common Lower Back Surgery Procedures
Spine surgery is not necessary for most people who have lower back pain. If you do need it, your doctor will recommend an appropriate procedure to address your specific symptoms and medical situation. Common spine surgeries include:
Spinal Fusion. Two or more vertebrae are permanently fused together to limit excess spinal motion. Your surgeon will use a combination of bone, bonelike material, screws, plates and rods to hold the vertebrae together so they can heal into a single unit. Spinal fusion may be done to correct spinal deformities or to increase the spines stability in severe cases of spinal osteoarthritis or herniated discs.
Laminectomy and laminotomy. Laminectomy is a surgery in which your surgeon removes the back portion of one or more vertebrae to create more space for the spinal cord or other nerves. In people with severe arthritis, bone spurs within the spinal canal can grow large enough to press on the spinal cord, causing pain and limiting mobility. In a similar surgery known as laminotomy, your surgeon will remove a small piece of bone called the lamina from the back of the vertebra.
Causes Of Lower Back Pain During Your Period
Though the exact causes of lower back pain during periods arent yet fully understood, its usually associated with hormonal changes and their effect on ligaments in the spine. Researchers found that hormonal changes may influence collagen production, which can lead to ligament laxity, or loose ligaments. Loose ligaments can cause spinal instability and are sometimes accompanied by pain in the lower back.
Prostaglandins may also play a role. Prostaglandins are chemicals that cause many of the symptoms associated with menstrual discomfort. They are synthesized by many tissues in the body, including the endometrium . They stimulate contraction of the uterine muscles to shed the uterine lining during menstruation. Prostaglandins also cause cramps. Heavy contractions can lead to low-back pain, as the pain can radiate from the lower abdomen into the lower back.
People with increased prostaglandin activity may experience severe menstrual cramps and back pain during their period. Prostaglandins can also cause symptoms such as vomiting, headaches, and diarrhea that accompany painful menstruation .
Lower back pain can also be a symptom of early pregnancy. During pregnancy, the ligaments in the body naturally become softer and stretch to prepare for labor. This can put a strain on the joints of the lower back and pelvis, which can cause back pain.
Here are some of the differences between back pain from your period and back pain from pregnancy.
Lower Back Pain A Week Before Your Period
Lower back pain a week before your period may be a part of PMS. PMS is a combination of emotional, behavioral, and physical symptoms that occur before your period. PMS usually occurs in the second part of the luteal phase but can also begin right after ovulation and continue until the period starts. Lifestyle changes may help prevent the symptoms. If your symptoms are severe or unmanageable, talk to a health care provider.
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Stop Your Lower Back From Hurting
By | Submitted On April 25, 2010
Don’t let your back pain spoil your day! There are plenty of ways for you to get instant relief from the pain, even without taking any painkillers. All you have to do is make a little bit of space and start doing some simple exercises to loosen up your muscles. And that should be enough to stop your lower back from hurting and get you started to enjoy the rest of your day!
These exercises below work well to get the blood moving in your body, release the endorphins, and throw the pain in your back away, at least for the time being:
1. Knee Bends
Use a chair, desk, or table for support. Place your hands on the support, then slowly bend your knees to lower yourself as much as you can comfortably go. Remember to exhale while doing so. Then slowly bring yourself to stand back upright while inhaling. Do this motion for 10 times.
2. Waist Twist
Stand with your legs slightly apart. Let your arms fall loose to your sides. Then, gently swing your arms left and right, letting your hands pat the lower part of your back each time they reach around. This will gently massage your kidneys. Do this motion for about 10 times also.
3. Hip Roll
Remain standing with your legs shoulder-width apart. Tighten up your stomach muscles and place your hands on your hips. Imagine you are playing the hula and just start rotating your hips 5 times clockwise and 5 times anti-clockwise.
But don’t get me wrong here…
Find Relief Through Ice And Heat
Break out that bag of frozen peas for the first 48 hours after the pain sets in, and put it to use for 20 minutes a session, several sessions per day. After those two days are behind you, switch to 20-minute intervals with a heating pad.
Localized cooling shuts down capillaries and reduces blood flow to the area, which helps ease the swelling, says Lisa DeStefano, DO, an associate professor at Michigan State Universitys College of Osteopathic Medicine in East Lansing. Cold also thwarts your nerves ability to conduct pain signals. Heat, on the other hand, loosens tight muscles and increases circulation, bringing extra oxygen to the rescue.
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What Can Help You Stick To It
In order for it to help in the long run too, you have to stick to your exercise program. This requires a lot of motivation, and many people find it tough after a while particularly if they have a very busy job or home life. It is then important to find a way to fit the exercise into your daily routine.
Many people find it easier to exercise regularly if they sign up for a class or exercise together with friends. Some make sure they pack their sports bag before going to work, or increase their motivation by rewarding themselves with a treat afterwards. It is also a good idea to have check-ups with a physiotherapist or doctor to adjust the exercise program if necessary.
If you spend a lot of time sitting in an office, you can be kind to your back by taking regular breaks and moving your body for instance, by getting up out of your chair, stretching, doing short exercises and going on a walk in your lunch break. Some people find it helpful to wear a fitness tracker watch, or to set reminders on their mobile phone or computer.
Other ways to get more exercise into your daily routine include the following:
- Not using escalators or elevators , and always taking the stairs instead.
- Regularly getting off one stop before your actual bus or tram stop, and walking the rest of the way.
- Trying to walk or cycle as much as possible.
- Getting up and walking around while you’re talking on your mobile or cordless phone.
Whats New In This Article
Fourteen updates have been logged for this article since publication . All PainScience.com updates are logged to show a long term commitment to quality, accuracy, and currency. moreWhens the last time you read a blog post and found a list of many changes made to that page since publication? Like good footnotes, this sets PainScience.com apart from other health websites and blogs. Although footnotes are more useful, the update logs are important. They are fine print, but more meaningful than most of the comments that most Internet pages waste pixels on. I log any change to articles that might be of interest to a keen reader. Complete update logging of all noteworthy improvements to all articles started in 2016. Prior to that, I only logged major updates for the most popular and controversial articles.See the Whats New? page for updates to all recent site updates.
2020 Minor science update, added a citation to a cancer case study.
2020 Added information about back pain as a symptom of COVID-19.
2018 Cited Premkumar et al on red flag reliability .
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Or You Could Be Dying What Are The Odds That Back Pain Is Something Scary
Of course there are cases of low back pain that have alarming causes, but its reassuringly rare. Once in a while back pain is a warning sign of cancer, autoimmune disease, infection, or a handful of other scary culprits.7 Over the age of 55, about one in twenty cases turns out to be a fracture, and one in a hundred is more ominous.8 The further you are from 55, the better your odds.
But how can you tell? It can be tricky. This is a concise, readable guide to symptoms that need better-safe-than-sorry investigation with your doctor. In other words, this article explains the difference between dangerous and just painful as clearly as possible. Tables, checklists, and examples ahead.
Guidelines For Office Chair Setup
An ergonomic office chair is a tool that, when used properly, can help one maximize back support and maintain good posture while sitting. However, simply owning an ergonomic office chair is not enough – it is also necessary to adjust the office chair to the proportions of the individual’s body to improve comfort and reduce aggravation to the spine.
The first step in setting up an office chair is to establish the desired height of the individuals desk or workstation. This decision is determined primarily by the type of work to be done and by the height of the person using the office chair. The height of the desk or workstation itself can vary greatly and will require different positioning of the office chair, or a different type of ergonomic chair altogether.
Once the workstation has been situated, then the user can adjust the office chair according to his or her physical proportions. Here are the most important guidelines – distilled into a quick checklist – to help make sure that the office chair and work area are as comfortable as possible and will cause the least amount of stress to the spine:
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Sleep On A Quality Mattress
Lower back pain sufferers usually benefit from sleeping on a medium-firm mattress. However, your preferred sleep position also should influence your mattress selection. To maintain good posture, side sleepers should select a softer mattress. Back and stomach sleepers should choose a firmer mattress. If you have lower back pain, its a good idea to avoid sleeping on your stomach altogether.
If your lower back pain doesnt improve after 4 to 6 weeks of home care using these suggestions, you should see your doctor. You also should contact your doctor right away if you have any red flags, including:
- A history of cancer or a recent infection
- A recent fall or other accident
- Extreme fatigue
- Signs of infection, such as fever, chills, sweats
- Nerve problems, such as shooting pain, numbness or tingling
- Changes in bowel or bladder function
Other options for treating lower back pain may include physical therapy, pain management with cortisone injections or, in certain cases, surgery. Although lower back surgery can be beneficial for patients who are experiencing nerve problems and injured discs, its not typically recommended for patients with other types of lower back pain.
Download the Virtua Health Guide to Back Pain, or call to request a consultation with a Virtua back pain specialist.
Preventing Low Back Pain
Steps to lower your risk of back pain as you age include exercising regularly , maintaining a healthy weight, lifting with the legs and not the low back, and optimizing your workstation.
After any period of prolonged inactivity, a regimen of low-impact exercises is recommended. Speed walking, swimming, or stationary bike riding 30 minutes daily can increase muscle strength and flexibility and protect your low back from injury or strain. Frequent stretching can help loosen muscle tension, strengthen your core muscles, and improve over-all posture for a healthier back.
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Housekeeping With Good Body Mechanics Is A System
When you think about it, most of the ergonomic tips for housekeeping tasks revolve around the same ideas: Keep your spine neutral, avoid twisting where ever possible, find and develop core support and dont overdo it.
And, if you love to garden, the good body mechanics system works well for those tasks, too.
When To Start Exercising
When back pain is severe, remain up and around to the extent possible. Extended bed rest is not good during a bout of severe back pain, but neither is rushing into stretching and strengthening exercises, according to research.
“If you have an episode of low back pain and try to start exercising the next day, that turns out not to be that helpful,” Dr. Katz says. Instead, resume your normal activities as soon as possible, but avoid lifting heavy weight and engaging in physical activities that exert sudden stresses on your back, like jogging or shoveling snow.
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Back Pain With No Definitive Cause
Its more than possible for you to develop back pain that has no cause whatsoever. When things like this happen, you may find that the focus tends to be on the symptoms rather than the source. Your chiropractor or doctor will help you to find ways to manage the pain that you are in as well so that they can give you the support you need to make a full recovery.
Stop Trying Passive Treatments
Passive treatments like heat, ice or ultrasound may feel good, but their effect is usually only temporary. Most research indicates that active self-care exercise and postural correction is an effective remedy for low back pain.
A visit to your physical therapist can help determine which exercises are best for your specific condition.
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Stop Looking For A Specific Diagnosis
Stop focusing on a specific diagnosis. Up to 85% of low back pain can be classified as “non-specific.” This means that the origin of your pain cannot be localized to one specific structure or problem.
While common diagnostic tests for low back pain can show the bones, discs, and joints with great detail, no test can tell the exact cause of your pain with 100% accuracy.
What Should I Know About Back Pain
Back pain is a very common problem and will affect many of us at some point during our lives.
The good news is that in most cases it isnt a serious problem, and it might just be caused by a simple strain to a muscle or ligament.
As far as possible, its best to continue with your normal everyday activities as soon as you can and to keep moving.
Being active and exercising wont make your back pain worse, even if you have a bit of pain and discomfort at first. Staying active will help you get better. Taking painkillers can help you do this.
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When Is Lower Back Pain An Emergency
Most episodes of lower back pain eventually resolve on their own, but there are times when you should seek urgent medical attention. Some of these situations include:
- Patient is a child
- Pain is severe, constant, suddenly or progressively worsens, and/or doesnt go away
- Pain interrupts sleep
While some situations may warrant immediate intervention, most cases are not urgent and can be scheduled at a time convenient for the patient.
Bonus Tip: Soothe The Pain With Cold And/or Hot
Don’t underestimate the pain reduction of simply applying cold packs and/or hot packs to help reduce your lower back pain.
- Cold therapy helps reduce inflammation and pain. Some examples include wrapping ice in a cloth, a pack of frozen peas from the freezer, or a cold gel pack. Always keep at least one layer between your skin and the ice/cold pack.
- Heat therapy helps improve blood flow, relaxation, and pain relief. Heat therapy can come in many forms. It’s best to try several to find what works best for you. Taking a warm bath or shower, soaking in a hot tub, or using a heating pad or heat wrap are all ways to bring warmth to your lower back.
Whether applying ice or a heat pack, limit applications to 15 or 20 minutes with at least 2 hours of rest in between to protect your skin. Never sleep with a heating pad or frozen pack as this can lead to permanent skin damage.
Hopefully these overlooked remedies can help you try some new approaches to better manage your lower back pain and find lasting relief.
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Release Your Inner Endorphins
Endorphins are hormones made naturally in your body. What many people dont know is that endorphins may help block pain signals from registering in your brain. Endorphins also help alleviate anxiety, stress, and depression, which are all associated with chronic back pain and often make the pain worse.
Relax And Stay Positive
Trying to relax is a crucial part of easing the pain as muscle tension caused by worrying about your condition may make things worse.
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Although it can be difficult, it helps to stay positive and recognise that your pain should get better. People who manage to stay positive despite their pain tend to recover quicker.
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