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How To Help Relieve Lower Back Pain

How Common Is Lower Back Pain

How to Fix Your Lower Back Pain for Good

Around four out of five people have lower back pain at some point in their lives. Its one of the most common reasons people visit healthcare providers.

Some people are more likely to have lower back pain than others. Risk factors for lower back pain include:

  • Age: People over 30 have more back pain. Disks wear away with age. As the disks weaken and wear down, pain and stiffness can result.
  • Weight: People who are obese or carry extra weight are more likely to have back pain. Excess weight puts pressure on joints and disks.
  • Overall health: Weakened abdominal muscles cant support the spine, which can lead to back strains and sprains. People who smoke, drink alcohol excessively or live a sedentary lifestyle have a higher risk of back pain.
  • Occupation and lifestyle: Jobs and activities that require heavy lifting or bending can increase the risk of a back injury.
  • Structural problems: Severe back pain can result from conditions, such as scoliosis, that change spine alignment.
  • Disease: People who have a family history of osteoarthritis, certain types of cancer and other disease have a higher risk of low back pain.
  • Mental health: Back pain can result from depression and anxiety.

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.

Massage Therapy For Low Back Pain

Studies have shown that massage treatments can help relieve chronic low back pain. Massage treatment can restore people to their usual activities of daily living and lessen pain. Massage therapy is limited, and would not be the most effective solution for patients with spinal complications, injuries, or disk problems since massage focuses on the release of muscle tension and not on the structure of the spine itself.

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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.

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:

Were Learning How Much Back Pain Is Mental And That Mind

5 Stretches To Prevent and Relieve Lower Back Pain in 10 Minutes

So where does physical therapy usually a combination of guided exercises, mobilization, superficial heat or cold, and health advice fit into the back pain treatment picture?

In AHRQs read of the evidence, it didnt seem to work better than simple advice to remain active when it came to reducing pain and improving function.

Nowadays, though, there are also several different kinds of physical therapies that also integrate psychotherapy or cognitive behavioral therapy, often called multidisciplinary rehabilitation.

Multidisciplinary rehab takes the biopsychosocial view of back pain again, that the pain arises from the interplay of physical, psychological, and social factors. It can of course be tricky to disentangle whether mood disorders like anxiety or depression contribute to peoples pain, or whether they arise out of the pain, but either way, the biopsychosocial model views the physical as only one part of the equation. So these practitioners deal with whats going on inside the head as part of their back pain therapy helping patients get treatment for their depression or anxiety, or guiding them through cognitive behavioral therapy to improve their coping skills.

Perhaps not surprisingly, multidisciplinary therapy appears to work slightly better than physical therapy alone for chronic back pain in both the short and long term. Patients who get these more holistic treatments are also more likely to return to work.

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How Can You Prevent Low Back Pain From Occurring In The First Place

Although back pain is a common problem, there are many things that people can do to prevent it from occurring in the first place. One of the most important things is to maintain good posture. When sitting, be sure to keep your back straight and your shoulders squared. When standing, avoid slouching or leaning to one side. Additionally, it is important to exercise regularly and stay in shape. Strong muscles help to support the spine and reduce the likelihood of injury. Finally, be sure to wear comfortable shoes and take breaks often when lifting heavy objects. By following these simple tips, you can help to prevent low back pain from becoming a problem in your life.

In conclusion, cold therapy can be an effective treatment for low back pain. However, it is important to speak with a doctor before beginning any treatment plan. Additionally, there are a number of other treatments that can be used in conjunction with cold therapy to help manage pain and swelling. Finally, rest is also an important part of recovery from an injury. By allowing the body time to heal, rest can help to prevent further damage and improve long-term outcomes.

If you are experiencing low back pain, please visit the Santamedical website to learn more about the benefits of cold therapy and other treatments that may help you get relief.

What Is Lower Back Pain

Low back pain can result from many different injuries, conditions or diseases most often, an injury to muscles or tendons in the back.

Pain can range from mild to severe. In some cases, pain can make it difficult or impossible to walk, sleep, work or do everyday activities.

Usually, lower back pain gets better with rest, pain relievers and physical therapy . Cortisone injections and hands-on treatments can relieve pain and help the healing process. Some back injuries and conditions require surgical repair.

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Which Low Back Exercise Is Right For You

If you are experiencing pain on one side of your back or leg, then try the first exercise and monitor symptoms as you exercise. Watch for centralization, which is a decrease in leg or thigh pain and an increase in low back pain. Centralization that occurs while you are performing an exercise is a good sign and indicates that the particular exercise is the correct one for you to be doing.

If your symptoms worsen, fail to centralize, or only centralize partially, move on to the next exercise in the list. Attempt the exercise, and monitor any changes in your symptoms. Remember pain that moves closer to your spine is a good sign.

Before starting any exercise for your back, it is a good idea to check in with your healthcare provider to be sure that exercise is safe for you to do. Your local physical therapist can help you decide on the best exercises for your specific condition.

Lumbar Flexion Rotation Stretch

Quick Lower Back Pain Relief With 3 Easy Steps

The flexion rotation stretch is started by lying on one side. Usually, your painful side is down on the table. Straighten your bottom leg, and tuck your top leg behind your bottom knee.

Reach your top hand to your top shoulder blade, and rotate your spine so your top shoulder moves backwards toward the floor. Hold this position for a second or two, and then return to the starting position. Repeat 10 repetitions, and note any changes in your symptoms.

Still dealing with symptoms? You may need to try a lumbar flexion progression. Check out the final step in this program to learn how to get started on that.

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Low Back Pain Fact Sheet

If you have had lower back pain, you are not alone. Back pain is one of most common reasons people see a doctor or miss days at work. Even school-age children can have back pain.

Back pain can range in intensity from a dull, constant ache to a sudden, sharp or shooting pain. It can begin suddenly as a result of an accident or by lifting something heavy, or it can develop over time as we age. Getting too little exercise followed by a strenuous workout also can cause back pain.

There are two types of back pain:

  • Acute, or short-term back pain lasts a few days to a few weeks. Most low back pain is acute. It tends to resolve on its own within a few days with self-care and there is no residual loss of function. In some cases a few months are required for the symptoms to disappear.
  • Chronic back pain is defined as pain that continues for 12 weeks or longer, even after an initial injury or underlying cause of acute low back pain has been treated. About 20 percent of people affected by acute low back pain develop chronic low back pain with persistent symptoms at one year. Even if pain persists, it does not always mean there is a medically serious underlying cause or one that can be easily identified and treated. In some cases, treatment successfully relieves chronic low back pain, but in other cases pain continues despite medical and surgical treatment.

Are You Making Your Back Pain Worse

Don’t be guilty of exacerbating your already achy back. Try these tips for preventing added low back pain:

  • Wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes if you are on your feet all day.
  • Don’t slouch when standing or sitting.
  • At home or work, make sure work surfaces are at a comfortable height.
  • Warm-up and stretch before exercise or other strenuous physical activity.
  • Don’t try to lift objects that are too heavy and don’t twist while lifting.
  • Live a healthy lifestyle, stop smoking, and keep off the extra weight.

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Tips To Relieve Lower Back Pain

If you are reading this, you are probably experiencing lower back pain or know someone who is.

Back pain is one of the most common medical complaints in the world. Studies show that up to 70% of adults will experience some kind of back pain during their lives. Worldwide, back pain is the main reason for missed work days and the second most common reason to visit a doctor.

Back pain may be caused by a sprain you suffered at work or from doing chores around the house. Or, the pain may result from an injury or a chronic condition, like arthritis.

If your pain is sudden or severe, you should get checked by your doctor. But, if you are experiencing a nagging pain or discomfort, there are things you can do to relieve the pain. Here are a few things to try.

1. Move. It may be uncomfortable, but one of the best things you can do to deal with lower back pain is to move around. Get on your feet and take a walk. Whether its a brisk walk around the block or a slow stroll, walking can help to strengthen back muscles, which will improve support for the spine.

2. Stretch. Often, lower back pain results from tight muscles. Stretching can increase flexibility and loosen muscles. Yoga is excellent to keep the body limber. Stretching exercises may also help.

3. Exercise. Beyond stretching, you should exercise to strengthen your core, which provides important support for your back. Pilates and tai chi are useful for strengthening the core.

Support Your Body In A Warm Pool

How to relieve back pain: 6 best yoga poses

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.

See Water Therapy Exercise Program

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Imaging And Blood Tests

Most people do not need additional testing however, sometimes doctors order tests to rule out a specific cause for your pain or to confirm a cause for your back pain. Your doctor may order the following.

  • X-rays only show bones and can help diagnose:
  • Broken bones or fractures.
  • Changes due to aging.
  • Changes in the alignment of the spine.
  • MRI uses energy from a powerful magnet to produce signals that create a series of cross-sectional images. These images or slices are analyzed by a computer to produce an image of the back. MRI can help diagnose damage or disease of the soft tissues, such as the discs, ligaments, and nerve roots in and around the spine.
  • Computerized axial tomography uses a scanner to take images of the back at different angles. The images are analyzed by a computer to create three-dimensional views of the back. As with MRI, CAT scans help diagnose problems with the spinal canal and the surrounding tissues.
  • Electrophysiological tests, such as an electromyography or EMG, which helps measure the electrical activity in muscle. This test helps doctors check for problems with the muscles and nerves.
  • Bone scans use small amounts of radioactive materials to help doctors see more details in the spine, such as fractures and infections.
  • Blood tests help identify a possible cause for the back pain, such as inflammatory or medical disorders.
  • 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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    When Is Surgery A Good Idea For Back Pain

    These red flags can be indicators for surgery, if theyre found to berelated to your spine condition:

    • New or progressing bowel/bladder issues
    • Weakness in limbs
    • Gait and balance problems
    • Evidence of increased reflexes

    Surgery can also be an option for chronic back pain if there is a knowncause confirmed by imaging and if other treatments didnt help. Getopinions from at least two surgeons, suggests Nava, as pain can stillcome back after the surgery.

    Yoga: Stretching For Back Pain

    How to Fix Lower Back Pain off to the Side

    If back pain doesn’t go away in three months, there’s evidence that yoga can help. In one recent study, people who took 12 weeks of yoga classes had fewer symptoms of low back pain than people who were given a book about care for back pain. The benefits lasted several months after the classes were finished. The study suggests conventional stretching also works just as well. Make sure your instructor is experienced at teaching people with back pain and will modify postures for you as needed.

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    Tips For Easing Back Pain

    Use these self-care tips to ease your back ache and pain associated with arthritis.

    1. Relief is Possible
    2. Get Wet
    3. Move and Strengthen It
    4. Find Your Zen
    5. Cinch It In
    6. Trim It Down
    7. Visit China
    8. Manipulate It
    9. Apply Pressure
    10. Put It Together
    11. Medicate It
    Managing Pain

    Yoga Pilates And Tai Chi Seem To Help But Its Not Clear That Theyre Any Better Than Other Exercise

    Theres lots of research on back pain and yoga. Not all of it is high-quality, but taken together, the evidence pretty uniformly suggests yoga can both decrease pain and improve back-related function.

    The most recent Cochrane systematic review on yoga and chronic low back pain, published in 2017, sums up the results of the best available studies, which mostly focused on the Iyengar, Hatha, or Viniyoga forms of yoga:

    There is low- to moderate-certainty evidence that yoga compared to non-exercise controls results in small to moderate improvements in back-related function at three and six months. Yoga may also be slightly more effective for pain at three and six months, however the effect size did not meet predefined levels of minimum clinical importance.

    So again, this isnt an end-all treatment but the evidence we have points in the direction of a benefit.

    Importantly, the review authors also noted that its not clear whether yoga is better than other exercises, since there were few head-to-head comparisons tracking yoga against other kinds of workouts.

    For Pilates, the evidence was a little more mixed: It was associated with small or no effects on pain and no effects on function compared with other types of exercise. Again, though, pretty much every back expert I spoke to said any exercise is better than no exercise, so if Pilates is something you enjoy, do it.

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