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What Can Help Lower Back Pain

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Can yoga help chronic lower back pain?

If your back pain hasnt resolved itself within four to six weeks, make an appointment with your doctor, who will examine your back and ask you to sit, stand, bend, walk, and lift your legs to see how your pain is affecting your mobility. Youll likely be asked to rate your pain on a scale of one to 10, and they may do imaging tests, like an X-ray or MRI. Then, he or she may recommend one of the following prescribed therapies:

  • Muscle relaxants: Medications like cyclobenzaprine or baclofen can help relieve painful back spasms. If you go this route, just know that side effects can include fatigue and dizziness.
  • Topical pain medications: These creams and ointments, like Voltaren gel, are meant to be rubbed directly on to the area thats hurting you.
  • Cortisone shots: If other treatment measures fail, your doctor may recommend an injection of cortisone, a potent anti-inflammatory. There are risks, including thinning of nearby bone, and relief typically lasts just a few months, tops.

Tips For Dealing With Lower Back Pain

By Robert Greenleaf, MD, Spine Surgeon

Lower back pain is extremely common and one of the top reasons for missed workdays. Thats because the lower back supports the weight of the upper body and is subject to a lot of stress and strainespecially during everyday movements like lifting and twisting.

One of two things typically causes lower back pain: a sudden injury or the wear and tear of aging, arthritis and physical activity. No matter the cause of your lower back pain, here are 10 recommendations that can help you relieve it and prevent future problems.

Finding Lower Back Pain Relief

Nearly everyone will experience some form of back pain in his or her lifetime. The low back is the area behind the belly from the rib cage to the pelvis and is also called the lumbar region. Back pain is a major cause of missed work. Low back pain usually resolves on its own and is commonly the result of a strain injury. There are many treatments for low back pain.

At Risk for Lower Back Pain?

Low back pain can start in a person’s early twenties and continue on throughout adulthood. Studies have shown that up to 80% of the general population are affected by low back pain at some time during their lives. Learn to prevent lower back pain by knowing what activities could be putting you at risk.

Common Causes of Low Back Pain

  • Manual materials handling
  • Twisting of the trunk
  • Bending the trunk to the side
  • Excessive reaching
  • Extreme tallness

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Pain Medications To Treat Back Pain

A wide range of medications is used to treat both acute and chronic low back pain. Analgesic medications are specially formulated to relieve pain. They include over-the-counter acetaminophen and aspirin, as well as prescription opioids such as codeine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and morphine.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can also be used to relieve pain and inflammation. Over-the-counter NSAIDS include ibuprofen, ketoprofen, and naproxen sodium. Several others, including a type of NSAID called COX-2 inhibitors, are available only by prescription.

There are also many topical creams or sprays that can dull and soothe low back pain. These are applied to the skin and thus stimulate localized nerves to provide feelings of warmth or cold in order to dull the sensation of pain. Topical analgesics can reduce inflammation and increase blood flow.

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How Is Back Pain Diagnosed

10 Tips For Lower Back Pain To Help You Feel Better Faster

Most people who develop low back pain that comes on suddenly have nonspecific low back pain. If there are no other associated symptoms and the pain is not too bad, many people are confident to just ‘get on with it’ and treat it themselves – and indeed most get better quickly. However, if in doubt, see your doctor for a check-over and advice.

A doctor will usually want to ask questions about your symptoms and to examine you. Basically, the symptoms are usually as described above, with no other worrying symptoms to suggest anything serious or another cause of back pain . The examination by a doctor will not detect anything to suggest a more serious cause of back pain. Therefore, a doctor can usually be confident from his or her assessment that you have nonspecific back pain.

As a general guide, if any of the following occur then it may not be nonspecific low back pain, and there may be a more serious underlying cause. But note: the vast majority of people with low back pain do not have any of the following symptoms or features. They are included here for completeness and as an aid to what to look out for and to tell your doctor should they occur.

  • Symptoms that may indicate cauda equina syndrome. The main ones are, in addition to back pain:
  • Numbness around the back passage – the saddle area.
  • Bladder symptoms such as loss of bladder sensation loss of bladder control, incontinence, loss of sensation when passing urine.
  • Incontinence of stools .
  • If you inject street drugs.
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    Why Does My Back Hurt

    There are various causes of back pain, including muscle pain with or without muscles spasms, disc pain, joint pain, or nerve pain. In most cases, these are not harmful or dangerous.

    Muscle pain is the most common acute back pain. The period of acute pain is usually limited and may be treated at home or by primary care doctors. Sometimes, these patients may be referred to doctors who specialize in back pain. Some back pain can be a symptom of a more serious problem, like a fracture, infection, or cancer in the spine, said H. Michael Guo, MD, a Duke physiatrist who specializes in spine care. These patients should be seen by spine doctors. Fortunately, spine infections and cancer are very rare and usually only affect people with special risk factors. Spine fractures are also rare and may be associated with thinned spine bones or injuries.

    Should You See A Chiropractor For Low Back Pain

    If youve ever seen a doctor for back pain, youre not alone. An estimated 85% of people experience back pain severe enough to see a doctor for at some point in their life. Yet despite how common it is, the precise cause of pain is often unclear. And a single, best treatment for most low back pain is unknown. For these reasons, doctors recommendations tend to vary. “Standard care” includes a balance of rest, stretching and exercise, heat, pain relievers, and time. Some doctors also suggest trying chiropractic care. The good news is that no matter what treatment is recommended, most people with a recent onset of back pain are better within a few weeks often within a few days.

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    Lower Back Pain Causes: 8 Reasons For Sudden & Chronic Pain

    Sometimes, you know exactly why your back is hurting. Maybe you lifted something awkwardly and felt the pain right away. Or maybe your doctor has been warning you for years that your bad posture would lead to lower back pain.

    But other times, the source of back pain can feel like a mystery.

    “Your lumbar spine, located in your lower back, plays a crucial role in supporting the weight of your upper body. It’s also responsible for everyday movements, such as bending, twisting and coordinating the muscles in your hips, pelvis legs and feet,” says Dr. Kenneth Palmer, orthopedic surgeon specializing in spine surgery at Houston Methodist. “Due to heavy use, the bones, muscles, ligaments, disks and nerves found in your lumbar spine are quite susceptible to both injury and wear and tear over time causing pain in the lower back.”

    Lower back pain symptoms include:

    • Dull ache in your hips and/or pelvis
    • Muscle spasms or tightness
    • Sharp, tingling pain that starts in your lower back and travels down one leg
    • Pain that worsens with sitting and quickly improves while walking
    • Pain that is noticeably worse in the morning

    “Typically, a person experiences some combination of these symptoms, which can develop suddenly or over time. In some cases, lower back pain can feel like it comes and goes flaring up now and then, but generally getting progressively worse over time,” explains Dr. Palmer.

    Speaking of the various causes of lower back pain…

    Press Up With Hips Off Center

    Exercises to help with lower back pain

    The press ups with hips of center is simply a press up with your hips moved to one side or the other. To do this, prop onto your elbows and shift your hips to one side. Most often, people benefit from moving their hips away from the painful side.

    Once your hips are off to one side, perform a press up. You may notice that you are not able to press up as far as you did with the regular press up, but still, try to press up as far as possible. Perform 10 repetitions of the press up with your hips off center, and monitor your pain for centralization. If your symptoms persist, you may need to take the next step in the progression: lumbar side glide in standing.

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    Less Common Causes Of Low Back Pain

    Inflammation of the joints of the spine sometimes causes back pain. Osteoarthritis is the common form of arthritis and usually occurs in older people. Ankylosing spondylitis is another form of arthritis that can occur in young adults and which causes pain and stiffness in the lower back. Rheumatoid arthritis may affect the spine but you are likely to have other joints affected too.

    Various uncommon bone disorders, tumours, infection and pressure from structures near to the spine occasionally cause low back pain .

    The rest of this leaflet is mainly about nonspecific low back pain – the common type of low back pain.

    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.
  • Heat and/or ice may help ease pain, reduce inflammation, and improve mobility for some people
  • Gentle stretching upon advice by your healthcare professional
  • 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.

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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.

    Find Back Pain Relief: Lighten Your Bags

    Lower Back Pain

    Carrying an overstuffed purse, briefcase, or handbag can strain the low back. If you must carry a heavy load, consider using a wheeled briefcase instead. By reducing the amount of weight you’re carrying, you reduce the amount of pressure on the spine. Help keep your kids’ backs healthy by making sure their backpacks are not overloaded. A heavy backpack could mean future back pain for your little ones.

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    Herniated Disk In The Lower Back

    The backbone, or spine, is made up of 26 bones called vertebrae. In between the bones are soft disks filled with a jelly-like substance. These disks cushion the vertebrae and keep them in place. Although people talk about a slipped disk, nothing actually slips out of place. The outer shell of the disk ruptures, and the jelly-like substance bulges out. It may be pressing on a nerve, which is what causes the pain.A slipped disk is more likely to happen due to strain on the back, such as during heavy lifting, and older individuals are at higher risk.

    Rarity: Common

    Top Symptoms: lower back pain, moderate back pain, back pain that shoots down the leg, back pain that gets worse when sitting, leg weakness

    Urgency: Primary care doctor

    Will Bed Rest Help Back Pain

    Doctors often recommend continuing your usual activities of daily living as soon as possible. Studies suggest that strict bedrest can often prolong or worsen low back pain. Bed rest can also lead to secondary complications such as depression, decreased muscle tone, and blood clots in the legs. You should try and keep moving while avoiding activities that noticeably aggravate or worsen back pain. By staying active, those who suffer from low back pain can gain greater flexibility and quicker recovery.

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    Arthritis Of The Spine

    Arthritis of the spine the slow degeneration of the spinal joints is the most frequent cause of lower back pain. All of us experience wear and tear as we age, and it is normal for your lower back to start acting up as you get older. As the cartilage breaks down between the spinal joints, surrounding tissues may become inflamed. The inflammation and the thinning of cartilage increase friction in the joints, which may cause pain in the lower back.

    Understanding The Lower Back

    Functional Dry Needling How it Can Help Treat Low Back Pain

    The lower back is also called the lumbosacral area of the back. It is the part of the back between the bottom of the ribs and the top of the legs.

    Most of the lower back is made up from muscles that attach to, and surround, the spine. The spine is made up of many bones called vertebrae. The vertebrae are roughly circular and between each vertebra is a disc. The discs between the vertebrae are a combination of a strong fibrous outer layer and a softer, gel-like centre. The discs act as shock absorbers and allow the spine to be flexible.

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    The Power Of Movement For Back Pain And Better Posture

    I signed up to an online Pilates for back pain course with physiotherapist and Pilates teacher Helen OLeary , who confirmed my suspicions. Sitting at a desk and inactivity is bad for your posture and causes lower back pain because it reduces blood flow to connective tissues, like discs and ligaments. Increased pressure on the discs in the lumbar spine contributes to pain and inflammation, she explains. Movement is an antidote. Any kind of movement is good, and variety is better. We need to move more and sit less. We need good muscle strength, and a full range of movement with good endurance.

    According to OLeary, a lack of movement also explained my general grumpiness. Posture is affected by mood, and vice versa. If youre feeling low, your posture is likely to be worse. Movement and exercise, getting outside and socialising with others helps to reduce pain. Sitting for long periods at a desk is the opposite of this. Psychological stress, explains OLeary, is also linked to back pain and poor posture.

    According to sports scientist Professor Greg Whyte OBE, non-specific lower back pain can be down to a complex combination of biological, psychological and socio-environmental factors, and needs to be treated holistically . The NHS also states that non-specific back pain is associated with feeling stressed or run down. With this in mind, says Whyte, all components of your life need to be addressed before lower back pain becomes chronic.

    All Studies Have Limitations

    And this one is no exception. While this study suggests that chiropractic care may be helpful for low back pain, some aspects of the study make it hard to be sure. For example:

    If any of these factors had been different, the results might have been different. For example, its possible that if an older population of people with chronic low back pain had been studied, “usual care” might have been the better treatment.

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    Inflammatory Lower Back Pain

    Although comparatively few patients have low back pain due to a systemic inflammatory condition, the problem can be life long and can impair function significantly. The good news is that treatments can help essentially all patients, and can lead to major improvements.

    Seronegative spondyloarthropathies are a group of inflammatory diseases that begin at a young age, with gradual onset. Like other inflammatory joint diseases, they are associated with morning stiffness that gets better with exercise. Sometimes fusion of vertebrae in the cervical or lumbar regions of the spine occurs. Drugs called TNF-alpha blocking agents, which are used for rheumatoid arthritis, are also used to treat the stiffness, pain, and swelling of spondyloarthropathy, when the cases are severe and not responsive to traditional medications

    People who have spondyloarthropathy have stiffness that is generally worst in the morning, and have decreased motion of the spine. They also can have decreased ability to take a deep breath due to loss of motion of the chest wall. Its important for the physician to look for problems with chest wall expansion in patients with spondyloarthropathy.

    syndrome is one of the forms of spondyloarthropathy. It is a form of arthritis that occurs in reaction to an infection somewhere in the body, and it carries its own set of signs and symptoms. The doctor will look for:

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