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How To Control Lower Back Pain

Support Your Body In A Warm Pool

Low Back Pain “Damage Control” Routine (do this if you tweak your back)

The buoyancy of the water lets you enjoy the benefits of exercise with less pain. Exercising in water also helps regulate the functioning of nerves and muscles, relieving pain.14

If you prefer warmer pools, look into water exercise classes and hydrotherapy pools. Water therapy exercises are often done in water that is about 83 degrees to 88 degrees. Hydrotherapy pool temperatures are often more than 90 degrees.

Avoid Prolonged Static Posture

It is important to pay attention to the joints and muscles of your spine and hip. Prevent fatigue and stresses on these joints by following simple tips, such as:

  • Avoid excessive sitting or consider using a standing desk while you work. When you sit for a long duration, the pressure on your spinal discs increase. Aim to get up every hour and walk a short distance to take the load off your discs.

When you have a flare-up of symptoms, consider less exertive activities, such as reading a book, listening to music, or crafting. These activities can help divert your mind from the pain and let your back rest at the same time.

Rub On Medicated Creams

Skin creams, salves, ointments, or patches may help when your back feels stiff, sore, and tense. Many of these products contain ingredients such as menthol, camphor, or lidocaine that can cool, heat, or numb the affected area.

Put on creams right where you hurt. Ask someone to apply it if you have trouble reaching the spot.

âIt’s not going to be a mainstay at providing significant relief, but it can calm things down,â Ray says.

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Emotional Effects Of Lower Back Pain

Back pain affects everyone differently. In some situations, back pain can be become chronic, which means it lasts a long time. Some emotional factors may increase the risk of back pain becoming chronic, including:

  • believing that physical activity isn’t helpful or having lots of bed rest
  • emotional problems such as feeling depressed, anxious or stressed
  • a lack of social support from family and friends
  • not wanting to play an active role in your treatment

Although you may think your pain is a warning sign to stop you doing certain activities, its important that you keep active to overcome it. If you have any questions about keeping active, talk to your physiotherapist or doctor. They can reassure you that keeping mobile and being positive about managing your back pain are the keys to helping you recover. Exercise will also help to prevent back pain in future.

What Type Of Doctor Should I See For Back Pain

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This depends on your condition or symptoms. If you have no obvious injury that would explain your pain, you may want to start by seeing a . This is a specialist in physical medicine who can diagnose back pain and determine whether nonsurgical treatments such as physical therapy may help. Depending on those findings, a physiatrist may also refer you to a , doctor or other type of back specialist, , for additional discussion.

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Age And Gender Issues

Age and gender are important factors to consider when diagnosing low back pain. In a young patient, a benign tumor of the spine called an osteoid osteoma may be the culprit. Inflammatory bowel disease in young people can be connected with spondylitis and sacroiliitis . Low back pain from disc disease or spinal degeneration is more likely to occur as people get older. Conditions such as abdominal aneurysm or multiple myeloma are also considered in older individuals.

Osteoporosis and fibromyalgia are much more common triggers of back pain in women than in men. Osteoporosis is a progressive decrease in bone density that leaves the bones brittle, porous and prone to fracture. Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder that causes widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and multiple tender points in the neck, spine, shoulders, and hips.

Hot Or Cold Therapy For Low Back Pain

Hot or cold packs may help ease pain and reduce symptoms. The soothing relief from heat, or the dulling relief from a cold pack, is only temporary and will not treat more serious causes of back pain. However, they may provide greater mobility for people with acute, subacute, or chronic pain, allowing them to get up and get moving.

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Tai Chi Instead Of Yoga

Alternative exercises like yoga are known to build strength and flexibility. But tai chi may be a better bet for alleviating pain from back arthritis.

Tai chi originated as a fighting technique, but has transformed into gentle, continuously moving stretches. Many poses work from the waist, which enhances spinal stretching.

Unlike yoga, tai chi puts little stress on the joints and helps improve balance. If youre new to tai chi, consider signing up for a class. The exercises can also be modified for severe arthritis back pain.

Fight Lower Back Pain

Motor Control Patterns in Low Back Pain

At some point in our lives, whether we like it or not, were going to experience lower back pain especially as we age. However, you dont have to face that pain alone. If you live in New Jersey, or anywhere near NJ, there is a pain management specialist who can help you manage your lower back pain. Dr. Ronak Patel is an expert when it comes to pain management.

To schedule an appointment, you can call him at 269-4451 or .

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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:

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.

What Research Is Being Done

The mission of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke is to seek fundamental knowledge of the brain and nervous system and to use that knowledge to reduce the burden of neurological disease. NINDS is a component of the National Institutes of Health , the leading supporter of biomedical research in the world.

As a primary supporter of research on pain and pain mechanisms, NINDS is a member of the NIH Pain Consortium, which was established to promote collaboration among the many NIH Institutes and Centers with research programs and activities addressing pain. On an even broader scale, NIH participates in the Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee, a federal advisory committee that coordinates research across other U.S. Department of Health and Human Services agencies as well as the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs.

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Work The Neglected Deep Core Muscles

Working the core is crucial to avoiding future back pain, but that doesnt mean shredding your abs to look like Chris Hemsworth. Popular core-strengthening exercises, such as crunches or situps, primarily work the larger, exterior muscles, while neglecting the deeper muscles.

For instance, the transverse abdominis is a delicate sheetlike deep muscle that wraps the midsection like a corset. There is also the multifidus, a muscle that lines the spine, with a number of extensions that wrap each individual vertebrae, similar to the way a bicycle chain wraps the sprocket.

It doesnt take that much effort to activate these deep muscles, but they are neglected because you cant see them when you are at the beach, said Femi Betiku, a physical therapist at the New Jersey Center of Physical Therapy who specializes in treating lower back pain. People with six-packs can still have lower back pain, he added, if they are working only the stronger, outer muscles.

The deeper muscles get engaged during movements requiring more control than raw power. One way to activate your deep core muscles is , whether its a regular plank, a side plank or some of the many other variations.

If holding a regular plank is uncomfortable, start with your knees on the ground, then progress to balancing on your toes.

How Is Low Back Pain Diagnosed

Motor control exercises can be your best defence against lower back pain

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.

Tests include:

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:

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The Best Exercises For Arthritis Back Pain

Arthritis can feel like a real pain in the back. In fact, the back is the most common source of pain among all individuals.

Unlike acute, or short-term back pain, arthritis can mean long-term chronic discomfort.

Symptoms that may accompany back pain include:

  • rashes
  • swelling
  • tingling

Your symptoms may be so severe that you dont feel like moving. But with your doctors consent, you may find that exercise can be one of the best ways to relieve arthritis back pain.

How Is Low Back Pain Treated

Treatment may include:

  • A prevention program
  • Surgery
  • Assistive devices

Rehabilitation is often a part of treatment for low back pain. Generally, there are 3 phases of low back pain rehab.

  • Acute phase. During this initial phase, the physiatrist and treatment team develop a plan to reduce the initial low back pain and source of inflammation. This may include using ultrasound, electrical stimulation, or specialized injections.
  • Recovery phase. Once the initial pain and inflammation are better managed, the rehab team focuses on helping you return to normal daily activities while starting a specialized exercise program to regain flexibility and strength.
  • Maintenance phase. In this phase, you will learn ways to prevent further injury and strain to the back. You will also learn how to start a fitness program to help further increase strength and endurance.

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What Are Some Other Causes Of Lower Back Pain

The shape of your spine, and well as spinal diseases, are other culprits in lower back pain. Depending on a range of factors, your doctor may look for:

Abnormal spinal curvature. A normal spine resembles a gently curved letter S when seen from the side. Abnormal curves include:

  • Lordosis, in which the spine curves too far inward at the lower back
  • Kyphosis, in which the spine is abnormally rounded in the upper back
  • Scoliosis, in which the spine curves from side to side, often in a C shape

Normal and abnormal curves of the spineArthritis. There are more than 100 types of arthritis, many of which can cause lower back pain. The most common types include osteoarthritis , rheumatoid arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis.

Cauda equina syndrome . Compression of the bundle of nerves that forms below the spinal cord in the lumbar spine. It is a rare but serious disorder that requires immediate medical attention and possibly emergency surgery. CES got its name from the fact that the fanned-out bundle of nerves resembles the base of a horses tail.

Discitis or osteomyelitis.Both infections of discs and bone can cause severe pain and require prompt medical attention.

Spinal tumors. When cells divide and multiply unchecked, the result is a tumor. Both benign and malignant tumors can cause lower back pain. They can either originate in the spine or metastasize there, meaning theyve spread from somewhere else in the body.

How To Relieve Back Pain

3 Motor Control Exercises to Reduce Low Back Pain

The following tips may help reduce your back pain and speed up your recovery:

  • stay as active as possible and try to continue your daily activities this is 1 of the most important things you can do, as resting for long periods is likely to make the pain worse
  • try exercises and stretches for back pain other activities such as walking, swimming, yoga and pilates may also be helpful
  • take anti-inflammatory painkillers, such as ibuprofen remember to check the medicine is safe for you to take and ask a pharmacist if you’re not sure
  • use hot or cold compression packs for short-term relief you can buy these from a pharmacy, or a hot water bottle or a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a cloth or towel will work just as well

Although it can be difficult, it helps if you stay optimistic and recognise that your pain should get better. People who manage to stay positive despite their pain tend to recover quicker.

Back pain usually gets better on its own within a few weeks or months and you may not need to see a doctor or other healthcare professional.

But it’s a good idea to get help if:

  • the pain does not start to improve within a few weeks
  • the pain stops you doing your day-to-day activities
  • the pain is very severe or gets worse over time
  • you’re worried about the pain or struggling to cope

If you see a GP they will ask about your symptoms, examine your back and discuss possible treatments.

They may refer you to a specialist doctor or a physiotherapist for further help.

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Complementary And Alternative Techniques Include:

  • Acupuncture is moderately effective for chronic low back pain. It involves inserting thin needles into precise points throughout the body and stimulating them , which may cause the body to release naturally occurring painkilling chemicals such as endorphins, serotonin, and acetylcholine.
  • Behavioral approaches include:
  • Biofeedback involves attaching electrodes to the skin and using an electromyography machine that allows people to become aware of and control their breathing, muscle tension, heart rate, and skin temperature people regulate their response to pain by using relaxation techniques
  • Cognitive therapy involves using relaxation and coping techniques to ease back pain
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation involves wearing a battery-powered device which places electrodes on the skin over the painful area that generate electrical impulses designed to block or modify the perception of pain
  • Physical therapy programs to strengthen core muscle groups that support the low back, improve mobility and flexibility, and promote proper positioning and posture are often used in combination with other interventions
  • Spinal injections include:Trigger point injections can relax knotted muscles that may contribute to back pain. An injection or series of injections of a local anesthetic and often a corticosteroid drug into the trigger point can lessen or relieve pain.

    Fractures And Lower Back Pain

    are often very difficult pain problems and indicate the possible presence of . In patients with severe osteoporosis, spinal fractures can occur with no early warning and no significant trauma the patient does not have to fall to fracture a vertebrae.

    Patients with spinal compression fractures experience spasms and, often, very high pain levels.

    In patients with low back pain where the cause is difficult to determine, especially for elderly patients with osteoporosis, a fracture in the sacrum may be the cause of the pain. A standard X-ray or bone scan may not show a sacral fracture. Imaging techniques such as CT scan or MRI can often reveal these fractures.

    It is very important that patients with acute lumbar compression fractures be tested for osteoporosis. A bone density study is needed, unless the patient has no other osteoporosis risk factors and has had a very high impact fracture. Studies have shown that many patients with fractures in the U.S. are discharged from hospitals with no plans for management of their bone density problems, which then are left to worsen.

    Although pain can be very intense, it is best for patients with lumbar fracture to resume activity as soon as possible. This is especially true for elderly patients, who can too easily become weakened, and develop other complications, if mobility is reduced for too long. may be needed for pain control, for as brief a period as possible.

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    Exercise To Loosen Muscles

    Although it may seem counterintuitive to exercise when lower back pain is causing you grief, the right kind of movement can help eliminate the discomfort. Its always important to consult your physician before you engage in exercise when you have pain, but this conversation is well worth having if youre suffering.

    First, you should keep in mind that not all exercise is beneficial in combating back pain. Try to avoid toe-touch exercises and sit-ups, which may add to the stress on your spine instead of relieving it. Leg lifts are another exercise to stay away from when you are hurting. If your core is not strong, leg lifts could be too demanding on your body if youre already experiencing pain.

    Several types of exercises can be useful when you need to relieve back pain. Partial crunches can aid in strengthening your core without applying too much pressure to the area. Slow and controlled wall-sit exercises may also be useful. Other repetitions to consider include bringing each knee to the chest in succession, pelvic tilts, and swimming.

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