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.
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What Are The Symptoms Of A Strained Back
Symptoms of a strained back include:
- Stiffness in the lower back with range of motion reduction
- Muscle spasms at anytime
- Low back pain that can spread to the buttocks
- Stiffness and pain that prevents normal posture
- Pain that lasts for up to two weeks
Other conditions may mimic back strain symptoms. Infection in the lower back caused by osteomyelitis or an abscess can seem like back strain. Also, kidney conditions like kidney stones can cause back pain. Inflammation of the prostate in men and pelvic inflammatory disease in women can also mimic strained back pain. You should visit your doctor if your symptoms do not resolve in a few weeks.
Injection Treatment For Back Spasm
Injection treatment is also known as interventional therapy. Injection therapy involves insertion of needle and injection of medication or Steroid Injections. In this context, it is important to say that some of the medicines which work for some may not work for others. Therefore, it is important for the patient to consult a physician prior to taking medicines for back pain.
Trigger point injection Trigger point injection procedure for treating back spasm is performed by placing tip of the needle over the most painful trigger point within the muscle. Placement of needle is often done using X-Ray or ultrasound images. Once the needle is placed within the muscles then mixture of local anesthetics and corticosteroid amounting 3 to 5 ccs is injected. Procedure is repeated 2 or 3 times at 2 weeks interval.
Corticosteroid Epidural Injection- Corticosteroid epidural injection is performed to relieve back spasm when spasm is caused by irritation or pinch of spinal nerve. Thus, patient diagnosed of spinal stenosis and foraminal stenosis are considered for epidural steroid injection. The procedure is performed using X-Ray image intensifier.
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Your Pain Extends To Other Body Parts
If you’re experiencing severe back pain that is coupled with pain in other areas such as shooting pain down your leg then you should see a doctor. This could be a sign that you have sciatica, a form of pain that affects the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back and through the buttocks before branching down each leg. This condition usually results from a herniated disk. A doctor will be able to offer a variety of ways that you can relieve this pain.
How Long Do Back Spasms Last
Back muscle spasm caused by muscle fatigue lasts for 2 to 5 days. Rest, adequate fluid intake and treatment of pain helps to recover from muscle fatigue in 3 to 5 days and pain subsides in intensity from mild to none. Back spasm caused by muscle weaknesses remain for 2 to 4 weeks or longer. Muscle weakness caused by dehydration and mineral deficiency gets better when condition improves that may take 1 to 2 weeks. Back muscle weakness caused by long term chronic disease may take 8 to 12 weeks to recover after once the chronic disease is completely recovered.
Back muscle spasm caused by over use of back muscle gets better after 2 to 5 days of rest. The muscle overuse by manual worker or an individual lifting heavy weight may cause muscle tear. Muscle spasm associated with muscle tear often takes 6 to 8 weeks to heal. During healing period back muscle undergoes on and often in spasm.
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How Can I Prevent Low Back Pain
You can prevent low back pain with physical therapy, exercises, and stretching. Supports and back belts do not prevent low back pain.
Keep in shape, lose weight if you are overweight, and exercise regularly. Being inactive can lead to low back pain. Regular exercise like walking, swimming, or biking is good for your back. These activities put less stress on your back than sitting and standing.
Don’t lift heavy objects by bending over at the waist. Bend your hips and knees and then squat to pick up the object. Keep your back straight and hold the object close to your body. Don’t twist your body while you are lifting.
If you have to sit at your desk or drive for a long time, take breaks to stretch.
Key Points About Low Back Pain
- Specific treatment for low back pain depends on the cause of the pain and the severity. But it often includes pain medicines and muscle relaxers, physical therapy, and assistive devices such as a back support. It also may include lifestyle changes such as stress reduction, weight loss, and increased physical activity.
- A back rehab program may be used as part of the treatment for low back pain.
- Measures to prevent back pain include using safe lifting techniques, maintaining correct posture, staying at a healthy weight, not smoking, and reducing stress.
Can Further Bouts Of Back Pain Be Prevented
Evidence suggests that the best way to prevent bouts of low back pain is simply to keep active and to exercise regularly. This means general fitness exercise such as walking, running, swimming, etc. There is no firm evidence to say that any particular back strengthening exercises are more useful to prevent back pain than simply keeping fit and active. It is also sensible to be back-aware. For example, do not lift objects when you are in an awkward twisting posture.
You Have Unexplained Weight Loss
If you experience sudden weight loss that can’t be explained by diet and lifestyle changes, then you should always pay attention to what your body is telling you. This is especially true when the unexplained weight loss is accompanied by back pain. See your doctor to rule out the possibility of a more severe condition, such as an infection or tumor.
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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
When To See A Doctor
If the pain has not eased after 12 weeks, a person should see a doctor.
In some circumstances, a person may need to go to the emergency department or call 911. It is important to seek medical help if:
- a person hears a crack when they sustain the injury
- the injured part of the back is numb, discolored, or cold to the touch
- sit in a chair with lumbar support
The following tips may also be beneficial:
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How Can I Tell If My Back Pain Is Serious
You should get medical care right away if:
You are older than 50
The pain was caused by an injury such as a fall or car crash
You have trouble sleeping because of the pain
You lose weight without trying or have a fever, chills, or a history of cancer
You have trouble urinating or controlling your bowels
Medication For Treating Lower Back Pain
Your physician will recommend some medication for you depending on the period of time you have suffered from lower back pain, your medical history and evident symptoms. The following medications can be recommended for you:
Acetaminophen and Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs such as naproxen and ibuprofen may be prescribed to relieve lower back pain. You can buy them over counter but for stronger ones the doctor will advice and prescribe.
- Muscle Relaxants â These drugs helps in reduction of muscle pains and spasms.
- Opiate Pain Relievers â This is a very powerful and strong medicine prescribed to alleviate severe lower back pain in cases where other types of medicines have not succeeded.
- Anti-depressants â These are drugs such as duloxetine and amitriphyline which are used in treatment of depression but are also prescribed in treatment of chronic lower back pain.
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When Should I See My Doctor
If you have back pain and have lost feeling or movement in your limbs or are having problems controlling your bowels or bladder, call triple 000 immediately and ask for an ambulance.
You should see your doctor or other health care professional for further advice if:
- your pain bothers you
- your back pain doesnt improve after a few weeks or worsens
- you have symptoms such as weight loss, tingling or numbness in the legs, or problems with bladder and/or bowel control
- you have osteoporosis
You should see your doctor as soon as possible, if you have a history of cancer, are prone to infection, or use intravenous drugs.
For most people, back pain will resolve in a few weeks with appropriate self-care. After 2 months, 9 out of 10 people will recover from back pain.
Who Can Get A Back Strain
Does your back hurt? You are not alone. Most people at one time or another will suffer from a slight back problem. In the United States, back pain is one of the most common medical problems.
Back injuries often occur during sports, tasks at work, or home projects. When the lower spine muscles become swollen and inflamed, this is known as a strain. A strain can lead to muscle spasms and pain. Though less complicated than a fracture, the healing process depends on the cause and treatment.
Over a lifetime, more than eighty percent of people will have low back pain. It is seen more commonly among people ages 40 to 80, and in women. Over 100 billion dollars are spent each year in the United States because of low back pain factoring in decreased wages and absence from work.
A few people are more likely to develop a back strain. Risk factors include a family history of back pain, long periods of sitting, lifting of heavy items, and diseases such as arthritis or osteoporosis.
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Risks Involved With Esi
This procedure has very few risks, except temporary localized pain from the injection. Rarely, there may be a puncture of the sack containing spinal fluid, or other rare complications such as infection, bleeding, nerve damage, etc. Side effects of the injected steroid are generally temporary and include hot flushing, temporary weight gain, a short-term increase in blood sugar, etc.
What Are The Risk Factors For Developing Low Back Pain
Anyone can have back pain. Factors that can increase the risk for low back pain include:
Age: The first attack of low back pain typically occurs between the ages of 30 and 50, and back pain becomes more common with advancing age. Loss of bone strength from osteoporosis can lead to fractures, and at the same time, muscle elasticity and tone decrease. The intervertebral discs begin to lose fluid and flexibility with age, which decreases their ability to cushion the vertebrae. The risk of spinal stenosis also increases with age.
Fitness level: Back pain is more common among people who are not physically fit. Weak back and abdominal muscles may not properly support the spine. Weekend warriorspeople who go out and exercise a lot after being inactive all weekare more likely to suffer painful back injuries than people who make moderate physical activity a daily habit. Studies show that low-impact aerobic exercise can help maintain the integrity of intervertebral discs.
Weight gain: Being overweight, obese, or quickly gaining significant amounts of weight can put stress on the back and lead to low back pain.
Genetics: Some causes of back pain, such as ankylosing spondylitis , have a genetic component.
Smoking: It can restrict blood flow and oxygen to the discs, causing them to degenerate faster.
Backpack overload in children: A backpack overloaded with schoolbooks and supplies can strain the back and cause muscle fatigue.
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Conservative Treatments For Lower Back Pain
Conservative treatment is basically alleviation of lower back pain without any surgical means. Conservative treatments for lower back pain include the following:
- Physical therapy for lower back pain is a type of treatment is administered to strengthen your back muscles. This therapy ranges from water therapies to more specialized massage techniques.
- Medications for lower back pain is the most effective way of reducing inflammation, controlling pain and calming of muscle spasms.
- Injections are whereby the lumbar epidural steroid Injections are administered to help in strengthening of the back to reduce pain. A set of two to three injections will be administered into the Lumbar Spine.
Other Conditions That Cause Back Pain
Sometimes pain felt in the back actually originates elsewhere in the body. Such problems may include: prostate trouble in men problems with reproductive organs in women kidney diseases, such as an infection or kidney stone diseases of the intestines or pancreas, such as cancer or a blockage cancer that has spread to the spine multiple myeloma, a form of cancer of the bone and bone marrow curvature of the spine rarely, a tumor on the spinal cord
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Massage For Lower Back Pain
Massage has been proven as one of the effective means for alleviating lower back pain. Massage can provide effective pain relief and healing of low back pain caused by strains and tensions of the back muscles. There are two major types of massage used in treatment or reduction of lower back pain. They are:
Quadratus Lumborum Muscle Massage to Relieve Lower Back Pain
This type of massage for lower back pain helps a lot in reduction and elimination of adhesions and contractures habouring in the QL muscles. This state can be caused by repetitive strainious injuries, bending frequently, other traumatic injuries that cause damage to muscles and structures found in the iliolumbar part or the lower back through accident or slip and fall and healing state after traumatic muscle strains.
Gluteus Medius Massage
Request your physiotherapist to give more time in performing these two types of massage. You will experienced a great relief from back pains if performed well.
You’re Having Problems With Your Bowels Or Urination
If your back pain is paired with a loss of control over your bowels or urination, then it’s time to seek help immediately at a local emergency room. These symptoms point to cauda equina syndrome, where the nerves in the lower spine have become paralyzed. While rare, this syndrome can be permanently damaging to the nerves if left untreated. If you experience these symptoms, especially accompanied by numbness in the legs, then you may need surgery to decompress the nerves and preserve their overall function.
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Can I Prevent Lower Back Pain
You cant prevent lower back pain that results from disease or structural problems in the spine. But you can avoid injuries that cause back pain.
To reduce your risk of a back injury, you should:
- Maintain a healthy weight: Excess weight puts pressure on vertebrae and disks.
- Strengthen your abdominal muscles: Pilates and other exercise programs strengthen core muscles that support the spine.
- Lift the right way: To avoid injuries, lift with your legs . Hold heavy items close to your body. Try not to twist your torso while youre lifting.
How Is Back Strain Diagnosed
Unless pain has persisted for more than six weeks, diagnostic testing may not be needed. But if pain has persisted that long, it is important to rule out other things like a herniated disk. The following tests may be ordered by a doctor:
X-ray: Your doctor will look at the structure of your backbones and joints.
MRI: This 3D image is more specific than an x-ray. It can show the spinal cord, roots of the nerve, and soft tissue problems like enlargements or tumors.
Your doctor will also conduct a history and physical to see what exactly caused your strain.
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Treatment Options For Acute Lower Back Pain
Most low back pain is due to muscle strain and spasm and does not require surgery. To treat the pain, medications such as acetaminophen , nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents , gabapentin or pregabalin can be used. NSAIDs suppress inflammation, pain and fever by inhibiting certain inflammation-causing chemicals in the body. Acetaminophen reduces pain and fever, but does not inhibit inflammation. Gabapentin and pregabalin, medications that have been used for antiseizure activity, also have the ability to block pain. Opioids provide pain relief and may at times be prescribed to manage severe back pain. However, opioids have many problems, such as habituation, constipation and lightheadedness, and are avoided when possible and used for the shortest possible duration. Epidural injection is an option if the back pain does not respond to these treatments. Each person is different in terms of response to medication.
Other nonsurgical treatments for lower back pain include Intradiscal electrothermal therapy , nucleoplasty, and radiofrequency lesioning.