How To Treat Severe Back Pain
Those of us that have reached a stage of nearly giving up, and are thinking that we will never lead a normal life, will try anything to relieve the debilitating effects of suffering from a bad back.
There are no simple words to describe the agony and side effects that we have to endure. Friends and family may be sympathetic to our faces, but they simply dont understand what we are going through, both physically and mentally.
Back sufferers have to think about everything they do. Those that dont have back pain cannot understand why we are unable to:
- drive a car without using specialist support.
- walk very far without purpose-made walking shoes and walking canes.
- use the toilet without a high seat.
- step in and out of a bath.
- turn suddenly if someone calls their name.
- tie the laces in their shoes.
- bend to put on and take off socks.
- wash all of their body when taking a shower.
- stand throughout a football match or rock concert.
- sneeze without taking precautions.
- pick up their children or grandchildren.
- sleep at night without using special pillows.
And the list goes on and on
If you recognize some or all of these problems, then join the millions of people worldwide who are in the same club. Its not nice, and its not funny!
Lower back pain impacts an estimated 540 million people worldwide, and most of them are treated in a manner that is not consistent with best practice treatment guidelines.
What Are The Symptoms Of Low Back Pain
Low back pain is classified as acute and chronic. Acute low back pain lasts from a few days to a few weeks. Most acute low back pain will resolve on its own. Chronic low back pain lasts for more than 3 months and often gets worse. The cause of chronic low back pain can be hard to find. These are the most common symptoms of low back pain. Symptoms may include discomfort or pain in the lower back that is:
- Protruding or herniated disk
What Is Arthritis Back Pain
Arthritis is caused by inflammation of the joints and it affects every single joint in the human body. Once diagnosed with arthritis, a person can only slow down the effect and reduce the symptoms. This situation cant be cured.
Almost 28% of the US adults are affected by this condition. Arthritis causes immobilization and reduces flexibility.
Depending upon the body part affected, there are over 100 different types of arthritis. Some of the most common forms of arthritis are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis, reactive arthritis, Polymyalgia rheumatic, fibromyalgia, Enteropathic arthritis, Cervical spondylosis that affect various parts of the body.
One of the common arthritis is spinal arthritis that specifically affects the spine. One of the common symptoms is an intense back pain.
*All individuals are unique. Your results can and will vary.
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Can Further Bouts Of Back Pain Be Prevented
Evidence suggests that the best way to prevent bouts of low back pain is simply to keep active and to exercise regularly. This means general fitness exercise such as walking, running, swimming, etc. There is no firm evidence to say that any particular back strengthening exercises are more useful to prevent back pain than simply keeping fit and active. It is also sensible to be back-aware. For example, do not lift objects when you are in an awkward twisting posture.
What Can Be Done
If you have plantar fasciitis or bunions, both conditions are treatable. You can use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen or naproxen and ice packs to reduce the pain
You can also get bunion pads to help relieve the pressure on your feet if you have bunions. And with both conditions, wearing proper footwear is essential. Wear supportive shoes with plenty of room in the toe area. In some cases, we may also need to do surgery to remove bunions.
You can also get custom orthotics to wear in your shoes. These inserts are custom-made to uniquely fit your feet and help you to maintain better posture, alleviate pain, and restore your balance.
If youre having lower back pain, it could help to schedule an appointment with one of our Run Doctor specialists. Contact the Washington Foot & Ankle Sports Medicine providers or request an appointment online.
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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:
The Changing Face Of Spinal Surgery
Only a small percentage of patients with back pain are candidates for surgery, but for these patients, advances in techniques have made recovery a much easier road, says Boden of The Emory Orthopaedics and Spine Center.
Fifty years ago, a spine fusion meant a two-week hospital stay, a body cast or brace for months, and a minimum of six months away from normal activities. A spinal fusion is performed by fusing the vertebrae together with bone grafts to eliminate motion between two adjacent vertebrae where motion is causing lower back pain.
Today, minimally invasively techniques allow for smaller incisions, less blood loss, and faster recovery time, Boden says. Some spine fusion techniques can be done on an outpatient basis.
Fifty years from now, Boden predicts that disc replacement will be an alternative to spinal fusion. Moreover, gene therapy will be able to prevent or reverse disc degeneration, and genetic research will help discover genetic sources of back pain, he says.
“Gene therapy for disc regeneration may be more than five years off, but less than 20,” he predicts.
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How Is Low Back Pain Diagnosed
Along with a complete medical history and physical exam, tests for low back pain may include:
Lower Back Pain Causes
Nonspecific low back pain means that the pain is not due to any specific or underlying disease that can be found. It is thought that in some cases the cause may be an over-stretch of a ligament or muscle. In other cases the cause may be a minor problem with a disc between two spinal bones , or a minor problem with a small facet joint between two vertebrae. There may be other minor problems in the structures and tissues of the lower back that result in pain. However, these causes of the pain are impossible to prove by tests. Therefore, it is usually impossible for a doctor to say exactly where the pain is coming from, or exactly what is causing the pain.
To some people, not knowing the exact cause of the pain is unsettling. However, looked at another way, many people find it reassuring to know that the diagnosis is nonspecific back pain which means there is no serious problem or disease of the back or spine.
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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.
When Are Diagnostic Tests For Lower Back Pain Necessary
Many patients do not need X-rays in the first few weeks of pain because their pain will end up resolving. Many more do not need CT scans or MRI imaging, which are overly sensitive and often reveal abnormalities not related to the patients pain. These forms of imaging can be extremely useful, however, if a person has chronic or severe pain, and/or neurological symptoms. Blood tests may be ordered if an infection or tumor is suspected.
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Exercises To Correct Imbalances Associated With Standing To Prevent Injury For Relief
It is vital to correct any muscle imbalances in these muscles groups to bring much-needed protection and relief to the lumbar spine. Even when, there already is significant injury such as disc wear and facet joint inflammation, it can still be reduced dramatically, long term when you recondition and exercise these areas properly and effectively.
These groups each require specific exercises and stretches unique to what you need. Learn more about the exercises involved for relief. Follow this exercise to help you.
If you are ready for a comprehensive system that teaches you exactly what movements and corrections to use, scroll below.
You will be trained to perform many exercises, but the effort will be well worth it.
Achieving relief is not a quick fix, and this program does not rely on such methods.
IN USING THE PROGRAM, I NOTICE THAT BONES AND MUSCLES ARE LOOSENING UP AND IM LESS TENSE. I CAN DO THE EXERCISES ANYWHERE I WANT WITH THE TIPS GIVEN IN THE EBOOK.
I have been able to walk better and be able to bend over without much pain. This book is really recommended, and I thank this author for what he has done to help people, such as myself, achieve great back health.
Low Back Pain Shouldn’t Sideline You
Explore the common but under treated and misunderstood issues that accompany chronic back pain in our Back Pain Series. Part 1 explains the latest treatments that could relieve that aching back.
Many Penn State alumni fondly remember David K., now 34, as the student who crawled to class. Mired by back pain throughout his four years of college, David saw tons of doctors from top neurosurgeons to psychologists for the pain. Instead of listening to the popular college music of his day like REM, he listened to the soothing sounds of pain expert John E. Sarno, MD, on cassette tapes called Mind Over Back Pain when he drove his Mustang around the college campus.
“If you don’t have chronic back pain, you can’t possibly imagine what it feels like,” he says. “It’s unbearable — literally.” He says that there were many times he couldn’t walk and would have to crawl from his fraternity house all the way to class so he would not miss a midterm or final exam. “My fraternity brothers made a lot of fun of me,” he says. “Still do.”
About 80% of Americans — or four in five — experience low back pain at some point in their lives and understand David’s plight all too well. Many people with chronic low back pain are working age and for them, back pain is the most frequent case of lost productivity. Treatment for back pain costs roughly $100 billion a year, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons in Rosemont, Ill.
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Rest To Prevent Painful Spinal Arthritis Flare
Treatment plans for osteoarthritis should include regularly scheduled rest and breaks, including taking breaks from such tasks as using a computer. Patients will benefit from learning to recognize the bodyâs signals, and knowing when to stop or slow down.
Resting sore joints decreases stress on the joints and muscles, and relieves pain and muscle spasms. Patients are asked to simply decrease the intensity and/or frequency of the activities that consistently cause them joint pain until they can get their muscles stronger.
When To See A Doctor
If your lower back pain is so severe that youre unable to perform daily activities, its time to see your doctor. They might perform a variety of tests to see whether you have endometriosis or another condition causing your severe pain.
Even if theres no underlying condition, you and your doctor can discuss both medical and at-home treatment methods to reduce the pain.
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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.
Overcoming Back Pain Starts With Understanding It
There are many types of back injuries, and everyone is a little different. So, unfortunately, theres no one-size-fits-all approach to relieving back pain. But, one thing thats true for everyone is that its not usually enough just to treat back pain symptoms. You have to have a deeper understanding of what contributes to low back pain to get long-term relief.
Back pain can cause a lot of fear and worry. But, suppose you understand why your back hurts, whats contributing to it, how to identify a problem before it gets worse and how to keep it under control. Imagine truly having power over your back pain isnt that what we all really want?
Lets review five universal truths that may help you understand why your back behaves the way it does so you can take control of your back health.
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How Is Lower Back Pain Diagnosed
Your provider will ask about your symptoms and do a physical exam. To check for broken bones or other damage, your provider may order imaging studies. These studies help your provider see clear pictures of your vertebrae, disks, muscles, ligaments and tendons.
Your provider may order:
- Spine X-ray, which uses radiation to produce images of bones.
- MRI, which uses a magnet and radio waves to create pictures of bones, muscles, tendons and other soft tissues.
- CT scan, which uses X-rays and a computer to create 3D images of bones and soft tissues.
Depending on the cause of pain, your provider may also order blood tests or urine tests. Blood tests can detect genetic markers for some conditions that cause back pain . Urine tests check for kidney stones, which cause pain in the flank .
When Back Pain Is Unbearable
If youre at your wits end with back pain, then contacting a physician like Dr. Zaky who specializes in pain management may be a good option for you. Dr. Zaky has over 15 years of experience helping his patients get their mobility and quality of life back.
If youre interested in talking with Dr. Zaky about your pain management options, mention him to your primary care physician, who can make a referral to a pain management specialist. Dr. Zaky sees patients in Sandusky, Norwalk and Vermilion.
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Low Back Pain Diagnosis
Getting diagnosed with a specific cause of low back pain is the first step to getting treatment. If you land in your doctors office hoping for back pain relief, theyll use a variety of diagnostic tools and methods, such as:
A thorough medical history including any recent injuries, other diagnoses, family history of disease, and your job, activities and other lifestyle considerations
Physical exams, which may include manipulating the painful area or reflex or other neurological tests
Electromyography, which measures muscle and nerve function
ImagingX-rays can show bone spurs and damage to bone, while CT scans and MRIs can depict damage to soft tissue like discs or ligaments