Does Psychosocial Intervention Prevent Chronicity
Although evidence certainly shows the contribution of psychosocial factors to the development of chronic low back pain and disability, less is known about the efficacy of interventions aimed at patients identified with increased risk due to these factors. A recently published clinical trial did not find positive effects of a specifically designed intervention to be applied by general practitioners for patients with acute or subacute low back pain.20 The intervention focused on the identification of psychosocial prognostic factorsdiscussing these factors with the patient, setting specific goals for reactivation, and providing an educational booklet. Compared with usual care, however, no differences were found on any outcome measure during a year long follow-up. Also, in currently available clinical guidelines, no clear recommendations are given regarding the optimal treatment of patients at risk once they have been identified. The development and evaluation of interventions aimed at prevention of chronicity is of utmost importance in the coming years.
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Common Causes Of Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain is more common in individuals over the age of 40. For individuals aged 60 and above, lower back pain can become disabling, reducing their quality of life.²
As you age, the disks located on your lower back become thinner, making them less effective in supporting the spine. When the spine isn’t well-supported, you are more prone to injuries and poor posture, aggravating lower back pain.
In addition, lower back pain can also be linked to congenital disorders, which means you may acquire them at birth but present later in life.³
Below are more causes of lower back pain:
Sprains and strains
Strains and sprains in the lower back are among the top causes of back pain. These conditions strain and injure muscles, ligaments, and tendons and mainly occur when lifting heavy objects without any support. Some individuals may also sustain strains on their back when twisting, sneezing, bending, or coughing.
During impact accidents, bones in your spine can fracture, resulting in lower back pain. Also, some medical conditions, such as osteoporosis and spondylitis, increase the risk of fractures in the spine.
Disks in your vertebrae help keep your spine in position. When disks get out of position, they can press on nerves and cause lower back pain. With age, some disks degenerate, and others, such as the herniated disks, worsen pain in your back.
Bone weakening conditions
Facet joint dysfunction
Low Back Pain Surgery
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:
. 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 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.
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Ask About Prescription Medications
If your back pain hasnt resolved itself within four to six weeks, make an appointment with your doctor, who will examine your back and ask you to sit, stand, bend, walk, and lift your legs to see how your pain is affecting your mobility. Youll likely be asked to rate your pain on a scale of one to 10, and they may do imaging tests, like an X-ray or MRI. Then, he or she may recommend one of the following prescribed therapies:
- Muscle relaxants: Medications like cyclobenzaprine or baclofen can help relieve painful back spasms. If you go this route, just know that side effects can include fatigue and dizziness.
- Topical pain medications: These creams and ointments, like Voltaren gel, are meant to be rubbed directly on to the area thats hurting you.
- Cortisone shots: If other treatment measures fail, your doctor may recommend an injection of cortisone, a potent anti-inflammatory. There are risks, including thinning of nearby bone, and relief typically lasts just a few months, tops.
Treatment For A Pulled Back Muscle
Except in the cases of severe injuries, most of the time, a pulled back muscle may be treated at home with RICE .7 Working with a physical therapist may help move along your recovery because you may have access to more advanced treatments such as cryotherapy, active compression, and contrast therapy.
Just like most things in life that are worth having, it is going to take a lot of hard work and persistence to find relief from your chronic low back pain. Yoga is not a quick fix for your pain, but it is the most natural way to relieve lower back pain. Starting a regular yoga practice will slowly release years of aches and pains caused by any number of conditions in your body and is proven to heal chronic lower back pain overtime. So how long does it take to heal lower back pain with yoga?
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Lower Back Pain: Is It In Your Genes
One of the main reasons a person develops low back pain and another doesnt may lie in their genes. With disc degeneration, Andersson says, âIf you take twins one who is doing heavy physical work and one who is doing desk work and you compare their MRI exams, they are essentially identical. This tells you that genetic factors are very important.â
If you have chronic low back pain, youve likely inherited the tendency, and youre probably hardwired for it. The lower back contains sensitive receptors called nociceptive fibers, which send pain signals to the brain. Some people have a lot of nociceptive fibers for example, in their discs while others have relatively few, Wisneski tells WebMD. That may be why one person can lift heavy weights many times and never experience low back pain, while another who barely lifts anything is in constant agony.
Simple Stretches To Relieve Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain can be a debilitating and painful condition.
Fortunately, staying physically active may be the most effective and cost-efficient way to soothe or prevent it.
Here are 8 simple stretches to relieve lower back pain.
Although its origin varies, changes in the lumbar, or lower back, structure due to musculoskeletal damage are considered to be the main cause .
Your musculoskeletal system is made up of bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and other connective tissues that provide form, support, stability, and movement to your body.
Other muscles that play an important role in maintaining the normal curvature of your spinal column are reported to be associated with lower back pain. These include the hip flexor and hamstring muscles .
Minor lower back pain normally gets better on its own within a few days or weeks. It can be considered chronic when it persists for more than three months .
In either case, staying physically active and regularly stretching can help reduce lower back pain or prevent it from returning .
The remainder of this article provides eight stretches for lower back pain, all of which you can do in the comfort of your own home with minimal or no equipment.
Summary Lower back pain is an incredibly common condition that can be relieved or prevented with regular exercise and stretching.
The knee-to-chest stretch can help lengthen your lower back, relieving tension and pain.
To perform the knee-to-chest stretch:
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Managing Low Back Pain
Manage back pain with regular exercise and professional help as requiredIf you have an attack of lower-back pain that is severe, continuous and not improving, assessment and treatment by a health care professional who focuses on the back or other musculoskeletal problems may help. These practitioners may use both active and passive techniques to help you feel better. Examples of passive techniques that may be used to get you moving include:
An active approach, like walking or water aerobics is usually the most effective. Exercise is often the best way to relieve lower-back pain.
Check with your health care provider before starting an exercise program.
Work with an expert. It may help to work with a health professional who can explain which activities are right for you.
Choose exercises you enjoy. Many activities can help relieve back pain. Try to include activities that strengthen the muscles around your trunk, your abdominal muscles as well as those in your lower back. Studies show the following activities help relieve back pain:
- Lifting light weights
How Long Does Lower Back Pain Usually Last
Lower back pain can be categorized as acute, subacute or chronic. Acute episodes of lower back pain usually last from a few days to 4 weeks and subacute lower back pain lasts between 4 to 12 weeks. However, according to the National Institutes of Health, about 20 percent of people with acute back pain go on to develop chronic back paindefined as pain that lasts 12 weeks or longer. Even in these cases, there are many different treatment options to help relieve lower back pain symptoms.
When your back is really killing you, you might worry something is seriously wrong. The same goes for back pain that seems unending. The good news is that while back pain is a major inconvenience, it is rarely an urgent medical issue. In fact, most of the time you dont have to treat it. Back pain usually resolves on its own unless you have a major underlying issue.
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How Is Low Back Pain Diagnosed
A complete medical history and physical exam can usually identify any serious conditions that may be causing the pain. Neurologic tests can help determine the cause of pain and appropriate treatment. Imaging tests are not needed in most cases but may be ordered to rule out specific causes of pain, including tumors and spinal stenosis. Occasionally the cause of chronic lower back pain is difficult to determine even after a thorough examination.
Blood tests are not routinely used to diagnose the cause of back pain but might be ordered to look for signs of inflammation, infection, cancer, and/or arthritis.
Bone scans can detect and monitor an infection, fracture, or bone disorder. A small amount of radioactive material is injected into the bloodstream and collects in the bones, particularly in areas with some abnormality. Scanner-generated images can identify specific areas of irregular bone metabolism or abnormal blood flow, as well as to measure levels of joint disease.
Discography involves injecting a contrast dye into a spinal disc thought to be causing low back pain. The fluids pressure in the disc will reproduce the persons symptoms if the disc is the cause. The dye helps to show the damaged areas on CT scans taken following the injection.
Electrodiagnostics can identify problems related to the nerves in the back and legs. The procedures include:
To Banish Lower Back Pain You Need To Find The Cause Heres How
Lower back pain can be caused by a number of culprits, from posture to sleeping position.
If you struggle with lower back pain but arenât sure exactly why, youâre in good company. Studies show that itâs consistently a common source of pain for American adults, but its cause remains a mystery for many people, who prefer to treat the pain itself instead.
Thatâs likely due in part to the fact that back pain has so many potential underlying causes, which can make it tough to narrow it down. Itâs also understandable to just want to get rid of the pain ASAP. But once the cause is identified, back pain can often be fixed with some simple efforts.
If youâve been struggling with back pain, the solution might be simpler than you think. Learn how to get rid of back pain through stretching, exercise and other drug-free treatments.
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Right Side Pain In The Lower Back From Internal Organs Causes And Treatments
A constant dull ache in your right lower back or sharp, agonizing back pain could also come from inflammation or disease in an internal organ below your ribs. The lower right side of your back includes the right kidney, which is located towards your back, just below the rib cage.
Part of your stomach, intestines, and colon are also located on the right side of your abdomen and, usually, if you have any digestive problems, the digestive-related pain may also be felt on the lower right side of your back.
Women also have part of their reproductive system on the right side of their body. For example, ovarian cyst on the right ovary can also be a source of pain in women in the lower part of their back.
How Are Back Strains And Sprains Treated
The treatment for strains and sprains is similar, and often takes place in two phases.
The goal of the first phase is to reduce the pain and spasm. This may involve rest, and the use of ice packs and compression , especially for the first 24 to 48 hours after the injury. An over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, such as ibuprofen , may be recommended to help reduce pain and swelling.
After the first 24 to 48 hours, returning to normal activities, as tolerated, is advisable. Extended bed rest or immobility simply prolongs symptoms and delays recovery.
Most people with lumbar strain/sprain symptoms improve in about 2 weeks. If symptoms continue for more than 2 weeks, additional treatment may be required.
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Nonspecific Low Back Pain
This is the most common type of back pain. The majority of cases of sudden-onset low back pain are classed as nonspecific. This is the type of back pain that most people will have at some point in their lives. It is called nonspecific because it is usually not clear what is actually causing the pain. In other words, there is no specific problem or disease that can be identified as the cause of the pain. The severity of the pain can vary from mild to severe. This type of back pain is discussed further below.
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How Is Lumbar Strain Diagnosed
In addition to a complete medical history and physical exam, diagnostic procedures for low back pain may include the following. However, during many initial assessments and exams, specialized tests aren’t usually recommended.
- X-ray. A diagnostic test that produces images of internal tissues, bones, and organs onto film.
- Computed tomography scan . This is an imaging test that uses X-rays and a computer to make detailed images of the body. A CT scan shows details of the bones, muscles, fat, and organs. A CT scan shows detailed images of bones, muscles, fat, and organs.
- Magnetic resonance imaging . A diagnostic procedure that uses a combination of large magnets, radiofrequencies, and a computer to produce detailed images of organs and structures within the body.
- Radionuclide bone scan. A nuclear imaging technique that uses a very small amount of radioactive material, which is injected into the bloodstream to be detected by a scanner. This test shows blood flow to the bone and cell activity within the bone.
- Electromyogram . A test to evaluate nerve and muscle function.
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Inflammation And Muscle Spasm
When soft tissues in the low back are stretched or torn, the surrounding area will typically become inflamed.
Inflammation, or local swelling, is part of the bodys natural response to injury, in which blood is rushed to an injured tissue in order to restore it. Inflamed muscles may spasm, feel tender to the touch, or cramp , and contract tightly, causing intense pain.
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.
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Acupuncture For Back Aches
Acupuncture is a traditional eastern medicine practice shown to reduce back pain for most people who try it. During this therapy, a trained acupuncturist inserts extremely thin needles at strategic points and varying depths throughout your body. This stimulates your central nervous system, jump-starting your bodys natural healing ability. Acupuncture may help reduce inflammation that causes chronic back pain.
Will Bed Rest Resolve Lower Back Pain
Most people are inclined to rest when they experience lower back pain. Medical practitioners commonly prescribed bed rest to relieve lower back pain in the past. Recent studies, however, show that staying in bed for more than 48 hours doesn’t help you heal faster but rather delays recovery.
Extended bed rest causes your muscles to lose their strength and flexibility, leading to more pain and the potential to reinjure the tissue. Prolonged bed rest is only an option for people with back pain due to severe spine injuries.
To get the most benefit from your rest, limit how long you lay down to a few hours at a time and for no more than a day or two. You can rest on a sofa or bed in a comfortable position.
A good way to reduce strain is placing a pillow between your knees and beneath your head when lying on your side, under your hips when lying on your stomach, and under your knees when lying on your back. These positions help reduce the strain that sitting and standing put on your back.
Staying active during your discomfort is a better way of managing lower back pain, and its recommended to engage in active rest. Active rest refers to moving as much as can be tolerated while avoiding activities that make your back pain worse, such as heavy lifting or jogging. Alongside appropriate stretches and exercise, active rest can help you quickly recover from lower back pain.
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