Symptoms Of Lower Back Pain
The symptoms of lower back pain can vary from person to person. It may come on suddenly, perhaps after youve lifted something heavy or moved in a way thats hurt your back. Or it may come on gradually over time or for no apparent reason. The pain can be mild or severe. Some people also have pain in the buttock or down one leg, sometimes as far as the calf or the toes. This is called sciatica.
Most people with back pain symptoms have whats called non-specific back pain. This means theres no clear or specific cause . It means that often tests cant really help because no specific damage to the spine or muscles around it would show up on them. This might sound unsettling, but it means that theres no serious cause for the pain.
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.
Best Painkillers For Severe Lower Back Pain
If it lasts three months or longer, back pain is taken into consideration persistent. It can go as well as come, frequently bringing momentary alleviation, adhered to by disappointment. Handling persistent back pain can be especially attempting if you do not understand the reason. Best Painkillers For Severe Lower Back Pain
Below are some easy manner ins which you can use to treat your back pain.
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When To See A Doctor For Back Pain
Most of the time, minor back pain responds well to home remedies. But sometimes, back pain is a sign of another medical condition. Seek medical care if the back pain:
- Comes on suddenly without an obvious cause.
- Is severe or unbearable.
- Lasts more than a day or two and doesnt respond to over-the-counter painkillers.
- Comes with other symptoms like fatigue or weight loss.
What kind of doctor should you see for back pain? Start with your primary care physician, who can rule out conditions that may be causing the pain, Dr. Bolash says. A pain management or spine specialist is an option for people who have severe or ongoing pain. A specialist can often work toward identifying the source of your pain and provide targeted treatment options.
Another option is to ask your doctor about seeing a spine-certified physical therapist. These therapists specialize in back pain and guide you through exercises to help relieve your specific issue.
Back pain is your bodys way of telling you somethings wrong. If the pain doesnt get better with home remedies, dont ignore it contact your doctor.
Sleep On A Quality Mattress
Lower back pain sufferers usually benefit from sleeping on a medium-firm mattress. However, your preferred sleep position also should influence your mattress selection. To maintain good posture, side sleepers should select a softer mattress. Back and stomach sleepers should choose a firmer mattress. If you have lower back pain, its a good idea to avoid sleeping on your stomach altogether.
If your lower back pain doesnt improve after 4 to 6 weeks of home care using these suggestions, you should see your doctor. You also should contact your doctor right away if you have any red flags, including:
- A history of cancer or a recent infection
- A recent fall or other accident
- Extreme fatigue
- Signs of infection, such as fever, chills, sweats
- Nerve problems, such as shooting pain, numbness or tingling
- Changes in bowel or bladder function
Other options for treating lower back pain may include physical therapy, pain management with cortisone injections or, in certain cases, surgery. Although lower back surgery can be beneficial for patients who are experiencing nerve problems and injured discs, its not typically recommended for patients with other types of lower back pain.
Download the Virtua Health Guide to Back Pain, or call to request a consultation with a Virtua back pain specialist.
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How Back Pain Can Affect You
If you suffer from back pain, you may find it harder to do certain things such as going up stairs and lifting heavy objects . You may also experience tingling and numbness. This can interrupt your daily routine and affect your quality of life.
*GSK Global Pain Index Research 2014 full report, p.20 **GSK Global Pain Index Research 2014 full report, p.11
Low Back Pain Treatment
Epidural Steroid Injection
Epidural steroid injections are most commonly used in situations of radicular pain, which is a radiating pain that is transmitted away from the spine by an irritated spinal nerve. Irritation of a spinal nerve in the low back causes pain that goes down the leg. Epidural injections are also used to treat nerve compression in the neck , referred to as cervical radiculopathy, which causes pain.
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What Can Cause Lower Back Pain
Most acute low back pain is mechanical in nature, meaning that there is a disruption in the way the components of the back fit together and move. Some examples of mechanical causes of low back pain include:
- Skeletal irregularities such as scoliosis , lordosis , kyphosis , and other congenital anomalies of the spine.
- Spina bifida which involves the incomplete development of the spinal cord and/or its protective covering and can cause problems involving malformation of vertebrae and abnormal sensations and even paralysis.
- Sprains , strains , and spasms
- Traumatic Injury such as from playing sports, car accidents, or a fall that can injure tendons, ligaments, or muscle causing the pain, as well as compress the spine and cause discs to rupture or herniate.
- Intervertebral disc degeneration which occurs when the usually rubbery discs wear down as a normal process of aging and lose their cushioning ability.
- Spondylosis the general degeneration of the spine associated with normal wear and tear that occurs in the joints, discs, and bones of the spine as people get older.
- Arthritis or other inflammatory disease in the spine, including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis as well as spondylitis, an inflammation of the vertebrae.
Nerve and spinal cord problems
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.
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Special Considerations When Taking Opioids
Reports of opioid addiction and resulting deaths have made some doctors hesitant to prescribe the medications to their patients. Similarly, some doctors prescribe doses that are too low to adequately manage severe chronic pain. They might do this out of fear that their patients may experience adverse side effects.
Exacerbating the problem is the fact that its quite common for people to develop a tolerance to opioids, which requires increasing the dose to help deliver better pain relief. This makes determining the right dose a somewhat tricky process. All people develop some level of tolerance, and it can become a difficult cycle.
Another problem is that people may resist taking an opioidor take it less often than directedout of fear of becoming addicted to it. This results in less or loss of pain control, which is the purpose for taking the opioid in the first plan. If pain medication is taken as prescribed, it can help you stay ahead of the pain.
The seriousness of opioids addictive potential should not be overlooked or taken lightly. However, opioids are effective medications against pain when they are used exactly as your doctor directs.
Back Pain: Finding Solutions for Your Aching Back. A Harvard Medical School Special Health Report. Boston, MA: Harvard Medical School 2014. Accessed July 19, 2017.
Dews TE, Mekhail N. Safe use of opioids in chronic noncancer pain. Clev Clin J Med.2004 71:897-904.
Pinpointing The Source Of Low
Approximately 80% of people will experience low-back pain at some point in their lives, and 20% of those people develop chronic low-back pain, meaning it lasts 12 weeks or longer.
How we treat back pain depends on its cause. It was long thought that low-back pain was largely due to trouble in the discs, the cushions that separate each of the spines bones from each other.
Today we know that low-back pain can also originate inside the vertebrae specifically from the nerves in the vertebral endplates, where the bone meets the discs. Just like other parts of the body, the vertebral endplates are vulnerable to deterioration and nerve damage. Nerves carry the messages between your body and brain that help you feel sensations, including pain.
This is known as vertebrogenic low-back pain, and it was designated as an official diagnosis with an International Classification of Diseases code in October 2021.
While anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, or cortisone injections can help some patients, conservative treatments are not always effective for vertebrogenic low-back pain. Fortunately, we now have this new, highly effective procedure to offer our patients.
by North Texas Medical Center | Jan 28, 2020 | Physical Therapy
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Bird Dog Hip Extension
Why its beneficial: The bird dog hip extension trains your core muscles to work as a group, instead of each in isolation. Better core strength can reduce back pain over time.
Put your hands and knees on the floor with your hands directly underneath your shoulders and your knees directly beneath your hips.
While keeping your back flat and core muscles engaged, extend both your left leg and your right arm straight out.
Return to the starting position.
Repeat using the opposite limbs, so your right leg and left arm.
Perform 10 repetitions on each side.
Modifications: If this causes you any discomfort, you can modify by raising only one limb at a time or by keeping your raised limbs closer to the floor.
What Should I Know About Back Pain
Back pain is a very common problem and will affect many of us at some point during our lives.
The good news is that in most cases it isnt a serious problem, and it might just be caused by a simple strain to a muscle or ligament.
As far as possible, its best to continue with your normal everyday activities as soon as you can and to keep moving.
Being active and exercising wont make your back pain worse, even if you have a bit of pain and discomfort at first. Staying active will help you get better. Taking painkillers can help you do this.
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Emotional Effects Of Lower Back Pain
Back pain affects everyone differently. In some situations, back pain can be become chronic, which means it lasts a long time. Some emotional factors may increase the risk of back pain becoming chronic, including:
- believing that physical activity isn’t helpful or having lots of bed rest
- emotional problems such as feeling depressed, anxious or stressed
- a lack of social support from family and friends
- not wanting to play an active role in your treatment
Although you may think your pain is a warning sign to stop you doing certain activities, its important that you keep active to overcome it. If you have any questions about keeping active, talk to your physiotherapist or doctor. They can reassure you that keeping mobile and being positive about managing your back pain are the keys to helping you recover. Exercise will also help to prevent back pain in future.
Can Back Pain Lead To Complications
The good news is that most people recover from back pain within a few weeks.1 See your doctor if you experience additional symptoms, such as:
- loss of bowel and/or bladder control
- severe pain that gets worse instead of better over time
- problems with passing urine or bowel movements
- numbness or a pins-and-needles sensation in your legs, back or elsewhere
- unexplained weight loss
- back redness or swelling
For some people, back pain becomes an ongoing problem. Around 1 in every 2 people who experience back pain will experience it again, and for 1 in 5 people, back pain may last beyond 8 to 12 weeks. Possible complications that result from persistent, long-term back pain include:
- dependence on strong pain medicines, such as opioids
- reduced quality of life
- more difficulty finding work and keeping active
See your healthcare professional if your back pain is unresolved and limits your movement and activities. A health care professional can help you find ways to manage your pain and regain a better quality of life.
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Improve Your Posture To Reduce Back Pain
Most of us spend a good part of our day sitting down, which may be more harmful than you realize. You can minimize the impact by maintaining good posture. Correct posture in a chair means having all the bones in your spine lined up neatly, like a stack of perfectly aligned blocks. You should keep your feet flat on the floor and your computer keyboard within easy reach so youre not leaning forward or slumping. This is part of proper office ergonomics.
Many apps and devices exist that can help you enhance your posture. If you work at a computer all day, try the software and app Posture Man Pat. This free app interacts with the webcam on your screen, tracking where your face is relative to your screen. If your posture starts to droop and curve, the app will alert you.
If you are looking to get really tech-savvy, try the Lumo Lift Posture Coach. This wearable device has a sensor that will vibrate when you change your posture from what the posture coach is calibrated to.
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Overlooked Remedies For Lower Back Pain Relief
When lower back pain persists and continues to interfere with your quality of life, multiple treatment options may be needed for adequate relief. Below are some back pain treatments that are commonly overlooked or underused. Try one or more of these remedies to see which one, or combination, works best for you.
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What Are The Benefits Of Back Pain Relief Medicines For Back Spasms
There are many properties of medicines for best back pain relief that is helpful not only in relieving pain but also as a tier in the overall strategy treatment for best back pain relief and general muscle spasms.
Best back pain relief medicines serve as a pain reliever for all kind of muscle pains. NSAIDs is not just a drug for best back pain relief but also use to relieve one on the significant burden of neck pain, arthritis, and rheumatic diseases due to its powerful anti-inflammatory and depressant properties.
Best back pain relief medicines reduce muscle tension: There is a reason muscle relaxant are called for what they are. They relax muscle fibers, easing any tightness and rigidness while alleviating musculoskeletal pain and spasms.
Best back pain relief medicines prevent future spasms. By decreasing muscle tensions, best back pain relief meds increase the mobility of the muscles affected by spasms and frees one of all the afflictions of spasms.
Best back pain relief medicines are a gateway to other best pain relief treatment. The goal of these oral medications as best back pain relief is to reduce spasms and relieve back pain which serves as a foundation for treatment of inflammation in and around the joint. Additionally, they can also be used in simultaneously with other therapy and surgical treatment for best back pain relief
Standing Single Leg March
Why its beneficial:Its a great first exercise to use as a warm-up for the others.
Our expert says:This exercise is designed to increase your body temperature to prepare for exercise. Performing an exercise like the standing leg march warms up the hip muscles, including your glutes and hip flexors. -TJ SnedikerTry it:
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
Bend your knee and lift it for ten reps, hold a railing with one hand if you need the support.
Switch, and perform ten reps on the other leg.
Modifications:If this position causes discomfort, you can modify it by performing it lying or sitting down.
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What Are The Risk Factors For Developing Low Back Pain
Anyone can have back pain. Factors that can increase the risk for low back pain include:
Age: The first attack of low back pain typically occurs between the ages of 30 and 50, and back pain becomes more common with advancing age. Loss of bone strength from osteoporosis can lead to fractures, and at the same time, muscle elasticity and tone decrease. The intervertebral discs begin to lose fluid and flexibility with age, which decreases their ability to cushion the vertebrae. The risk of spinal stenosis also increases with age.
Fitness level: Back pain is more common among people who are not physically fit. Weak back and abdominal muscles may not properly support the spine. Weekend warriorspeople who go out and exercise a lot after being inactive all weekare more likely to suffer painful back injuries than people who make moderate physical activity a daily habit. Studies show that low-impact aerobic exercise can help maintain the integrity of intervertebral discs.
Weight gain: Being overweight, obese, or quickly gaining significant amounts of weight can put stress on the back and lead to low back pain.
Genetics: Some causes of back pain, such as ankylosing spondylitis , have a genetic component.
Smoking: It can restrict blood flow and oxygen to the discs, causing them to degenerate faster.
Backpack overload in children: A backpack overloaded with schoolbooks and supplies can strain the back and cause muscle fatigue.