Exactly How Common Is Lower Back Pain
Around 4 out of 5 people have lower back pain at some time in their lives. Its one of one of the most typical reasons individuals go to healthcare providers.
Some people are most likely to have lower back pain than others. Risk elements for lower back pain include:
Age: People over 30 have much more back pain. Disks deteriorate with age. As the disks weaken and also wear down, discomfort as well as stiffness can result.
Weight: People that are obese or carry additional weight are more likely to have back pain. Excess weight taxes joints as well as disks. Overall health: Compromised abdominal muscles can not sustain the spine, which can lead to back pressures and sprains.
Individuals who smoke, drink alcohol excessively or live a sedentary lifestyle have a greater threat of back pain.
Occupation and way of living: Jobs as well as tasks that call for hefty training or bending can increase the danger of a back injury.
Structural troubles: Severe back pain can result from conditions, such as scoliosis, that change back alignment.
Illness: Individuals that have a family history of osteo arthritis, certain types of cancer cells as well as various other illness have a higher danger of low back pain. Mental health and wellness: Back pain can result from clinical depression and anxiety.
How Is Back Pain Treated
Acute back pain usually gets better on its own. Acute back pain is usually treated with:
- Medications designed to relieve pain and/or inflammation
- analgesics such as acetaminophen and aspirin
- non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen may be sold over the counter some NSAIDS are prescribed by a physician
- muscle relaxants are prescription drugs that are used on a short-term basis to relax tight muscles
- topical pain relief such as creams, gels, patches, or sprays applied to the skin stimulate the nerves in the skin to provide feelings of warmth or cold in order to dull the sensation of pain. Common topical medications include capsaicin and lidocaine.
Exercising, bed rest, and surgery are typically not recommended for acute back pain.Chronic back pain is most often treated with a stepped care approach, moving from simple low-cost treatments to more aggressive approaches. Specific treatments may depend on the identified cause of the back pain.
What Are The Symptoms Of Lumbar Strain
The following are the most common symptoms of a lumbar strain. However, each person may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
- Sudden lower back pain
- Spasms in the lower back that result in more severe pain
- Lower back feels sore to the touch
The symptoms of a lumbar strain may resemble other conditions and medical problems. Always talk with your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
Don’t Miss: What Can Pregnant Women Do For Back Pain
Why Your Back Hurts
About 80 percent of American adults deal with back pain, according to the federal Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. For some the pain is acute, meaning it lasts for a few days to a few weeks, says the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. For others it’s chronic, lasting longer than 12 weeks.
When it comes to back pain after lifting weights, most acute cases are related to sprains or strains, which can happen if you lift weights improperly or try to lift something too heavy. In many cases, your muscles are fatigued beyond their natural ability, and this can lead to small tears and irritation, explains Rahul Shah, MD, an orthopedic spine and neck surgeon with Premier Orthopaedic Spine Associates of southern New Jersey.
If a back injury moves beyond the muscles, Dr. Shah says, it can affect the spine. “The spine moves in two broad areas of hinges in the disc and the joints and if either is affected, you can get back pain,” he says. And if the disc is affected and it hits the spinal nerve, this can shoot pain down the back, which then trickles down into the leg, he adds.
The most common signs of a pulled back muscle, says Dr. Shah, are tightness and pain in the back along with stiffness, tightness and localized swelling or spasms. One area of the back may feel more painful or swollen than the rest.
Carefully Move To A Bed Or Comfortable Flat Surface To Remain Temporarilyimmobile
That spasm that you have is a nasty but very clear warning sign that you must not continue to move. Your body is literally locking up to guard you against injuring another part of your back that is weakened or injured.
Although this locked up muscle may hurt as it tightens, it is not usually the source of the injury.
By laying down, you can help to stop triggering these muscles and can reduce the intensity and duration of the pain.
You can lie on the floor using cushions and pillows as a support and just be patient. Its better for you to focus on being somewhere calm so you can make yourself the priority.
Remember though that this is only a temporary measure as prolonged immobility could make things worse.
Did your contraction happen while reaching for, or lifting something? Did it happen just out of the blue and during a very simple activity? If so, you should follow this One Simple Rule to help reduce your chances of back spasms.
Read Also: What To Do For Bad Back Pain
Symptoms Of A Pulled Back Muscle
Symptoms of a pulled back muscle depend on where the injury is. The spine is divided into three major sections: the neck, upper back and shoulders, and lower back.
For a pulled muscle in the neck, you might experience:3
- Pain in the neck and upper back area
- Limited range of motion in the neck
- Stiffness in the neck
- Pain radiating to the shoulders or arms
Pulled muscles in the shoulders and upper back may cause:
- Pain in the area between the spine and shoulder blade
- Muscle spasms in the upper back
- Knots and tightness in the upper back and shoulders
- Pain when moving the shoulders
In lower back strain injuries, many people experience symptoms such as:3
- Aching and stiffness in lower back muscles
- Pain that worsens with movement
- Pain that radiates to the hips and legs
- Limited range of motion
- Muscle spasms in lower back area
- Pain when sitting, standing, or walking
What Are Some Common Lower Back Pain Causes
The reasons for lower back pain are sometimes considered as being mechanical, organic or idiopathic. In some cases spine conditions are genetic or acquired suggesting the problem develops later on in life.
Mechanical lower back pain is usually caused by spine activity as well as involves back structures, such as the aspect joints, intervertebral discs, vertebral bodies , ligaments, muscle mass or soft tissues.
Organic lower back pain is credited to condition, such as back cancer cells.
Idiopathic describes an unidentified cause.
These are several of the important things your medical professional might seek or eliminate when you schedule a go to for back pain.
Strains and strains. Tendon strains as well as muscular tissue or tendon strains are the most usual causes of lower back pain. Theyre frequently related to overuse.
Degenerative disc illness. While the name sounds worrisome, it just indicates you have actually a harmed disc triggering discomfort. With time, discs end up being thinner and flatter because of wear and tear. That leaves them much less able to cushion the vertebrae and also more likely to tear .
Spondylolisthesis. A vertebra slides onward out of setting, disrupting your backs alignment and also sometimes compressing nerve roots. It is most usual in the lumbar region, but can take place anywhere along the spine. This slippage is usually brought on by either disc degeneration or a fractured vertebra .
You May Like: What To Do For Severe Back Pain
Lower Back Pain Prevention
Prevention is worth weeks of sitting on the sidelines, and preventing lower back pain from lifting often means training smart by keeping your health above your ego.
Keep these tips in mind the next time you plan to lift weights:
- Use lighter weights with more repetitions as opposed to heavier weights.
- Opt for an exercise machine instead of free weights. This can help to keep your posture correct, but it has the added benefit of additional support. Machines can be used properly by someone with little or no supervision.
- If you choose to use free weights, use a spotter to protect your back from excess strain.
- Pay particular attention to your shoulders when lifting weights. Keeping them stable and engaged will help to keep you from rounding your back.
- Squeeze your glutes when youre lifting weights up. This will engage your pelvis and can keep you from straining your lower back.
- Do not perform weightlifting moves such as clean-and-jerk, dead-lift, snatch or squat without supervision.
- Consider wearing a belt for weightlifting. If nothing else, this will serve as a constant reminder to maintain proper form with each lift.
Although lower back pain from lifting is common, it can be easily prevented. If you think you may have hurt your back, feel free to call and speak with one of our chiropractors over the phone. Theyre always happy to answer questions and help you to make the right decision.
What Can I Do To Help With The Pain
Try not to do things that make the pain worse, like sitting for a long time, lifting heavy objects, or bending or twisting.
Stick to your normal activities as much as you can. Gentle exercise like walking helps you get better more quickly.
Some over-the-counter medicines can help pain or swelling. These include ibuprofen , naproxen , and acetaminophen . Your doctor may give you medicine to help with pain or muscle spasms.
Try using heating pads or taking a warm bath or shower.
Your doctor can show you some gentle exercises to help stretch your back and make the muscles stronger.
A physical therapist, massage therapist, or chiropractor may help with your pain and make you feel better.
You May Like: Can You Have Lower Back Pain With A Uti
Is Your Work Causing Back Pain
A task that entails pulling, lifting, or twisting with the reduced back can trigger injury and also low back pain. Also long term being in an uncomfortable position can trigger low back pain. Standing on your feet for hours on end? That can trigger lower back pain also. The best means to prevent back pain is to recognize if you are at risk.
Causes Of Lower Back Spasms
Back spasms can be the result of injuries to the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the back, or they can be related to more serious medical conditions. Heavy lifting is a common cause of back spasms.
In addition to heavy lifting, any activity that puts excessive strain on the muscles and ligaments in the lower back can cause an injury. Sports such as football and golf can lead to back spasms because they demand that the back turn suddenly and repeatedly.
Your back muscles may be more vulnerable if you have weak abdominal muscles, which help support the back. Weak or stiff muscles in the back itself can be injured more easily than muscles that are stronger and more limber.
Back spasms may occur if you have arthritis or a ruptured disc in your spine. Arthritis in the lower back can put pressure on the spinal cord, which may cause pain in the back and the legs. A ruptured or bulging disc in the vertebrae may also pressure a nerve and result in back pain.
Don’t Miss: How To Alleviate Middle Back Pain
Stop Looking For A Specific Diagnosis
Stop focusing on a specific diagnosis. Up to 85% of low back pain can be classified as “non-specific.” This means that the origin of your pain cannot be localized to one specific structure or problem.
While common diagnostic tests for low back pain can show the bones, discs, and joints with great detail, no test can tell the exact cause of your pain with 100% accuracy.
What Structures Make Up The Back
The lower backwhere most back pain occursincludes the five vertebrae in the lumbar region, which supports much of the weight of the upper body. The spaces between the vertebrae are maintained by round, rubbery pads called intervertebral discs that act like shock absorbers throughout the spinal column to cushion the bones as the body moves. Bands of tissue known as ligaments hold the vertebrae in place, and tendons attach the muscles to the spinal column. Thirty-one pairs of nerves are rooted to the spinal cord and they control body movements and transmit signals from the body to the brain.
Other regions of vertebrate are cervical , thoracic , and sacral and coccygeal segments.
Read Also: Can A Chiropractor Help With Lower Back Pain
Deadlifts Target Major Muscle Groups
The deadlift is an exercise that stimulates muscles in both the upper and lower body. Back, glutes and legs are forcefully contracted throughout the movement. The deadlift is one of the most effective movements for all-around physical conditioning.
But, the deadlift must be performed with proper form to reap the greatest benefits and prevent lower back injury.
Lower back pain after deadlifts is almost always the result of poor form.
How Can I Prevent Low Back Strain
Here are some tips to help you avoid low back strain:
- If you feel any low back pain during physical activity, stop.
- If you feel low back pain within a day of stepping up your workout, take it easy for a few days.
- Get your back in shape. Exercise and stretch your back muscles regularly.
- Avoid sleeping on your stomach. Sleep on your back or your side, and wedge a pillow under or beneath your legs.
- When picking up something heavy, bend at the knees, not at the waist.
- Lose weight if you are overweight.
- Adopt good posture. Sit straight in chairs, with your back against the chair’s back.
Don’t Miss: How To Relieve Bulging Disc Pain In Back
What Are Some Less Invasive Or Noninvasive Back Pain Treatments
Your doctor has a wide range of treatments that may help your lower back pain. In general, expect your doctor to take a stepped care approach. That means starting with simple, low-cost treatments and moving to more aggressive approaches later. Keep in mind that many treatments take time to reach their full effect.
Medications. When over-the-counter pills and topicals dont do enough to relieve back pain, your doctor may recommend a prescription drug. Examples include:
- Antiseizure medication, such gabapentin or pregabalin, for nerve-related pain
- Muscle relaxants, such as baclofen or carisoprodol
- Prescription NSAIDs, such as celecoxib, diclofenac, or fenoprofen
- Opioids, such as oxycodone or hydrocodone, on a short-term basis.
Physical therapy . PT for lower back pain involves passive and active therapies to help the patient build core muscle strength, improve spinal flexibility and range of motion, correct posture and more. Your physical therapy sessions may include:
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation
You May Need To See Your Doctor For These Potential Underlying Illnesses
Dont just treat a back spasm as temporary discomfort. It may not merely be muscular in nature as they are often a big warning sign.
There may be something more serious that you are not aware of. This may be what your body could be reacting to.
In cases where treatment does not help, it is possible that you may have a disc issue such and a bulge or herniated disc. It is important to know when you should see a doctor to diagnose any serious injury that may be an underlying cause.
- Herniated Disc
Read Also: What Can I Do To Relieve Back Pain
Stop Trying Passive Treatments
Passive treatments like heat, ice or ultrasound may feel good, but their effect is usually only temporary. Most research indicates that active self-care exercise and postural correction is an effective remedy for low back pain.
A visit to your physical therapist can help determine which exercises are best for your specific condition.
Avoid Rushing Into The 2 Most Common Mistakes For Treatment
MISTAKE #1. Do not to rush into basic strengthening exercises such as sit-ups, crunches or lower back extensions. This may help for some, but in most cases, these areas are already tight, short and strong. Tightness and overly strong muscle conditioning is usually the case with the lower back and hamstrings.
MISTAKE #2. Simply resting and returning to your daily whatever. Werent you doing this JUST BEFORE it happened? No, my friend. There needs to be a plan and you are here for actual solutions right?
Observe the degree of your pelvic tilt. The three common positions are neutral, anterior and posterior. An excessive angle can trigger another spasm.
Exercises such as sit-ups and crunches can help but should not be done first as they are considered as isolation type exercises. They do not condition the core muscle groups to protect you. If you are in need of some specific exercises, begin with these 10 exercises.
Also Check: How To Treat Back Pain
Look Into Getting A New Mattress
How old is your bed? You may be surprised to learn that the average life span of a mattress is less than 10 years. Theres no hard-and-fast rule, says Sean Mackey, MD, PhD, chief of the division of pain medicine at Stanford University, but if your mattress is sagging significantly or is more than six to eight years old, Id think about getting a new one.
Something else to consider: A firm mattress may not do your back any favors, says Carmen R. Green, MD, a physician at the University of Michigan Back & Pain Center. A number of studies over the years suggest that people with lower back pain who sleep on medium-firm mattresses do better than those with firm beds, she says.