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How To Describe Lower Back Pain

What Is The Function Of The Low Back

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The low back, or lumbar area, serves a number of important functions for the human body. These functions include structural support, movement, and protection of certain body tissues.

When we stand, the lower back is functioning to support the weight of the upper body. When we bend, extend, or rotate at the waist, the lower back is involved in the movement. Therefore, injury to the structures important for weight bearing, such as the bony spine, muscles, tendons, and ligaments, often can be detected when the body is standing erect or used in various movements.

Protecting the soft tissues of the nervous system and spinal cord as well as nearby organs of the pelvis and abdomen is a critical function the lumbar spine and adjacent muscles of the low back.

Donkey Kicks How To Describe Lower Back Pain

This is one more glutes exercise step that functions as a lower-back helper.Just how to do it: Get down on your hands as well as knees, with your hands straight over your shoulders. Raise up your best leg, keeping your knee at a 90-degree angle, until your leg is parallel to the ground. Slowly lower it back down to the ground. Repeat for 90 seconds, then switch legs.

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Intensity Of Your Pain

Youll likely be asked to describe the intensity of your pain on a scale of 1 to 10. Generally, pain is indicated as follows:

  • 0: No pain is felt.
  • 1-3: Your pain is sometimes disruptive, but otherwise manageable.
  • 4-6: Your pain is moderate, but has an impact on your daily life.
  • 7-10: Your pain is severe and often debilitating to the point where it substantially reduces your quality of life.

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Percentage Of Pain By Location

  • What is the percentage of pain in the back vs. buttock and leg? This is important as the buttocks and posterior thigh region is typically associated with leg pain or nerve pain while the sacroiliac joint can originate from lower back or leg sources.
  • Is it 80% back vs. 20% buttocks and leg or the reverse? Is it 70/30, 60/40 or 50/50 . This percentage number is quite valuable to determine what type of pain the disorder is causing. The pain may be all posterior thigh or even only 100% in the foot .

What Prevail Causes Of Lower Pain In The Back

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Usual root causes of low pain in the back include lumbar stress, nerve irritability, lumbar radiculopathy, bony infringement, as well as problems of the bone and joints. Each of these is reviewed below.

Lumbar stress : A back stress is a stretch injury to the ligaments, ligaments, and/or muscles of the lower back. The extending incident cause microscopic tears of varying degrees in these cells. Back stress is considered one of one of the most typical causes of lower neck and back pain. How To Describe Lower Back Pain

The injury can happen because of overuse, improper usage, or trauma. Soft-tissue injury is commonly categorized as severe if it has actually existed for days to weeks. If the pressure lasts longer than three months, it is referred to as chronic. Back pressure most often occurs in individuals in their 40s, but it can take place at any age. The condition is defined by local pain in the lower back area with start after an occasion that mechanically emphasized the back tissues. The seriousness of the injury varies from light to serious, depending on the degree of strain as well as resulting spasm of the muscle mass of the lower back.

The diagnosis of back strain is based on the history of injury, the place of the pain, and exclusion of nerves injury. Normally, X-ray screening is only valuable to exclude bone irregularities.

Pressures happen when a muscle mass is stretched also much as well as rips, harming the muscle itself.

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How To Describe Back Pain To Your Doctor

About 8 in 10 people will experience back pain at some point in their lives, which can make it a troublesome issue to diagnose and treat. Because back pain is often vastly different from patient to patient, your particular back pain needs to be closely evaluated and treated. An important part of determining your diagnosis would be the quality of the back pain you experience.

So how would you describe your back pain to your doctor? Doctors will typically look for three things when testing back pain: location, intensity, and frequency. Once they have a clear idea of these three facets, they have a better chance of diagnosing the exact cause of your back pain and how to treat it.

The Intensity Of Acute Pain

Some people with back pain have an impulse to downplay the intensity of acute pain. This is not advisable you should honestly tell the doctor how much pain youre in. Intensity is a measure of the pain signals youre receiving. You may be asked to rate the intensity of pain on a scale of 10 or you may be asked to identify it from a chart of faces representing different emotions and intensity of pain.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Lower Back Pain

Symptoms of lower back pain can come on suddenly or appear gradually. Sometimes, pain occurs after a specific event, such as bending to pick something up. Other times, you may not know what caused the pain.

Pain may be sharp or dull and achy, and it may radiate to your bottom or down the back of your legs . If you strain your back during an activity, you may hear a pop when it happened. Pain is often worse in certain positions and gets better when you lie down.

Other symptoms of lower back pain include:

  • Stiffness: It may be tough to move or straighten your back. Getting up from a seated position may take a while, and you might feel like you need to walk or stretch to loosen up. You may notice decreased range of motion.
  • Posture problems: Many people with back pain find it hard to stand up straight. You may stand crooked or bent, with your torso off to the side rather than aligned with your spine. Your lower back may look flat instead of curved.
  • Muscle spasms: After a strain, muscles in the lower back can spasm or contract uncontrollably. Muscle spasms can cause extreme pain and make it difficult or impossible to stand, walk or move.

Muscle Strain Or Sciatica

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Muscle strain is often the cause of back pain from heavy lifting or vigorous exercise. But sometimes itâs due to small jelly-filled disks meant to protect the space between vertebrae. When one of these disks bulges or breaks, it can push on a nerve. When itâs the sciatic nerve, pain runs from the buttock down one leg. This is sciatica.

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What Is The Anatomy Of The Low Back

To understand various causes of low back pain, it is important to appreciate the normal design of the tissues of this area of the body. Important structures of the low back that can be related to symptoms in this region include the bony lumbar spine , discs between the vertebrae, ligaments around the spine and discs, spinal cord and nerves, muscles of the low back, internal organs of the pelvis and abdomen, and the skin covering the lumbar area.

The bony lumbar spine is designed so that vertebrae “stacked” together can provide a movable support structure while also protecting the spinal cord from injury. The spinal cord is composed of nervous tissue that extends down the spinal column from the brain. Each vertebra has a spinous process, a bony prominence behind the spinal cord, which shields the cord’s nervous tissue from impact trauma. Vertebrae also have a strong bony “body” in front of the spinal cord to provide a platform suitable for weight bearing of all tissues above the buttocks. The lumbar vertebrae stack immediately atop the sacrum bone that is situated in between the buttocks. On each side, the sacrum meets the iliac bone of the pelvis to form the sacroiliac joints of the buttocks.

Home Remedies For Lower Back Pain

Self-care treatment at home is often effective for lower back pain. This includes:

  • Rest: Take a break from any activity that triggers lower back pain. Give your back time to heal before resuming it. It can take several weeks to months for a full recovery.
  • Ice: Applying an ice pack to your back for short periods of time every day can help relieve pain and inflammation.
  • Heat: Some people find heat to be more comforting and effective at relieving lower back pain.
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers: NSAIDs treat pain and swelling from minor injuries. Acetaminophen may work for pain, but not inflammation, if you cant take NSAIDs.

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Back Pain Culprit: Your Bag

Although you may wear your purse, backpack, or briefcase over your shoulder, it is the lower back that supports the upper body — including any additional weight you carry. So an overstuffed bag can strain the lower back, especially if you carry it day after day. If you must tote a heavy load, consider switching to a wheeled briefcase.

What Are Other Symptoms And Signs Sometimes Associated With Low Back Pain

Treatment for Lower Back Pain

Low back pain can cause a wide variety of symptoms and signs depending on the precise cause of the back pain as reviewed above. Symptoms that can be associated with low back pain include numbness and/or tingling of the lower extremities, incontinence of urine or stool, inability to walk without worsening pain, lower extremity weakness, atrophy of the lower extremity muscles, rash, fever, chills, weight loss, abdominal pains, burning on urination, dizziness, joint pain, and fatigue.

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Alternative Treatments For Lower Back Pain

and massage therapy are two popular choices for alternative treatments to manage lower back pain. Acupuncture can provide short-term pain relief and seems to work well as an add-on therapy. Massage therapy is another good option to add on to traditional treatment. It helps some people achieve their treatment goals more quickly than using traditional treatment alone.

Ix Referred Pain To The Lumbar Spine

Pain in the area of the lumbar spine may be due to important problems that are actually unrelated to the back.Referred pain occurs when a problem in one place in the body causes pain in another place. The pain travels down a nerve. For example, a pinched nerve in the neck may cause pain that is felt in the arm or hand. Sources of referred pain may include abdominal aneurysm , tubal pregnancy, kidney stones, pancreatitis, and colon cancer. Clues to these maladies include pain that waxes and wanes over a short period, with frequent peaks of intense pain, weight loss, abnormalities found during abdominal exam, and trace amounts of blood in the urine.

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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.

    Non Specific Low Back Pain

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    Non-specic low back pain is dened as low back pain not attributable to a recognizable, known specic pathology .

    Non-specific low back pain is usually categorized in 3 subtypes: acute, sub-acute and chronic low back pain. This subdivision is based on the duration of the back pain. Acute low back pain is an episode of low back pain for less than 6 weeks, sub-acute low back pain between 6 and 12 weeks and chronic low back pain for 12 weeks or more.

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    What Are Other Uncommon Causes Of Low Back Pain

    Infection of the cartilage and/or bone of the spine

    Infection of the discs and bone is extremely rare. These conditions lead to localized pain associated with fever. The bacteria found when these tissues are tested with laboratory cultures include Staphylococcus aureus and Mycobacterium tuberculosis . TB infection in the spine is called Pott’s disease. These are each very serious conditions requiring long courses of antibiotics. The sacroiliac joints rarely become infected with bacteria. Brucellosis is a bacterial infection that can involve the sacroiliac joints and is usually transmitted in raw goat’s milk.

    Aneurysm of the aorta

    In the elderly, atherosclerosis can cause the weakening of the wall of the large arterial blood vessel in the abdomen. This weakening can lead to a bulging of the aorta wall. While most aneurysms cause no symptoms, some cause pulsating low back pain. Aneurysms of a certain size, especially when enlarging over time, can require surgical repair with a grafting procedure to repair the abnormal portion of the artery.


    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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    When To Contact A Medical Professional

    • Back pain after a severe blow or fall
    • Burning with urination or blood in your urine
    • History of cancer
    • Loss of control over urine or stool
    • Pain traveling down your legs below the knee
    • Pain that is worse when you lie down or pain that wakes you up at night
    • Redness or swelling on the back or spine
    • Severe pain that does not allow you to get comfortable
    • Unexplained fever with back pain
    • Weakness or numbness in your buttocks, thigh, leg, or pelvis

    Also call if:

    • You have been losing weight unintentionally
    • You use steroids or intravenous drugs
    • You have had back pain before, but this episode is different and feels worse
    • This episode of back pain has lasted longer than 4 weeks

    How To Describe Back Pain To A Doctor Accurately

    Pin on Back Pain Advice

    People with back pain know that they have an area of the body that hurts, but may struggle to come up with an accurate description of their pain. If youre looking for how to describe back pain to a doctor accurately, here are some tips from the Harvard-trained pain doctors at Pain Treatment Specialists:

  • Keep a Pain Journal: A great tip for how to describe back pain to a doctor is to keep a pain journal that details your activities and pain levels in the weeks before your doctors visit. This allows you to reference specific incidents or activities that were difficult recently. Take a look at the following tips to help you develop the language and vocabulary for how to describe back pain to a doctor.
  • Describe the Intensity of Your Pain: If youve seen pain charts with smiling or angry faces in your doctors office, this is whats used to describe the intensity of your pain. When youre sitting or standing, is the pain mildly annoying, or is it enough to bring you to tears? Use this scale to help you describe your pain levels during different activities such as sitting, standing, bending over, walking, or driving.
  • Use Specific Words to Describe Your Pain: If youre unsure how to describe back pain to a doctor, search for words that describe the feeling of your pain. This can help your pain doctor determine if youre dealing with issues like a herniated disc or degenerative disc disease, or a muscle strain or sprain. Some questions to help you isolate your words include:
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