Osteoarthritis Of The Spine
The bones in your spine are separated by spongy discs, which act as shock absorbers. With age, these discs can wear or shrink, which narrows the space between the spinal joints, or facet joints. The facet joints are a series of small joints in the lower back that contain the same type of cartilage that is found in your knees, explains Louw. Disc changes can lead to more strain on the joints, which can cause the cartilage to wear down and the facet joints in the vertebrae to rub against one another, leading to the pain and stiffness of OA. It is not uncommon for these joints to refer pain into the buttocks, especially with prolonged standing or even walking, says Louw.
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How Common Is Low Back Pain In America
Low back pain is the second most common cause of disability. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is also the leading type of pain patients report. Almost 65 million American adults reported experiencing back pain recently, with 16 million suffering from chronic back pain.²
Low back pain is more common in adults than children and adolescents, but the figure is rising as young people spend more time on their screens.³
Lower back pain is common in people aged 18 or older and peaks at 80 to 89.
Lower back pain is more common among females than men. Females had a lower back prevalence of 8.01% in 2017, whereas males had 6.94% in the same year.
Fortunately, 95% of individuals affected by low back pain in America recover within a few months.
Causes Of Sciatica Pain
Sciatica can be a tingling sensation, or a pain or weakness caused by sciatic nerve irritation. The start of the sciatic nerve is located in the lower back and it ends at the feet, extending downwards at the back of both legs. Sciatica isnt a complete diagnosis, but rather a symptom of a condition that can involve persistent pain in one leg, difficulty moving, numbness and tingling, and pain that worsens when sitting down.
There are many possible causes of sciatica pain, that include:
Degenerative disc disease Piriformis syndrome Infections
There are also numerous factors that can increase sciatica pain, such as not getting enough exercise, sleeping on an unsuitable mattress, and being overweight.
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Other Conditions That Cause Back Pain
Sometimes pain felt in the back actually originates elsewhere in the body. Such problems may include: prostate trouble in men problems with reproductive organs in women kidney diseases, such as an infection or kidney stone diseases of the intestines or pancreas, such as cancer or a blockage cancer that has spread to the spine multiple myeloma, a form of cancer of the bone and bone marrow curvature of the spine rarely, a tumor on the spinal cord
Acute Injury: Treatment Strategies
With an acute injury, that is an injury which has happened recently, for example from a fall, bending and lifting, or even just sneezing, the following advice is useful to help return to normal activity as soon as possible. Keep active! Try to lead as normal a life as possible, avoid sustained positions for long periods. Over the counter pain medication can be used if required. Gradually build up to more active pursuits over a period of time. Most back pain will improve within the first few days and be gone within six weeks. Return to exercise? Generally, returning to moderate exercise is a good thing. Be sure that the exercise is well within your capability and that you avoid any impact type exercise or heavy lifting initially. Concentrate on mobility and stability training. Increase your training regime over a period of weeks, back to your normal routine. Role of physiotherapy If your back pain persists or you are in a lot of pain you should seek the expert advice of a physiotherapist. A physiotherapist will be able to provide you with a thorough assessment and examination, they will be able to develop a working diagnosis and a treatment plan specific to your needs. If required their treatment approach may include manual therapy techniques, the use of electrotherapy, specific exercise prescription, acupuncture and advice on posture and ergonomics.
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The Worst Back Pain Is Rarely The Scariest
People understandably assume that the worst back pain is the scariest. In fact, pain intensity is a poor indicator of back pain ominousness,10 and some of the worst causes are actually the least painful . For instance, someone could experience the symptoms of cauda equinae syndrome, and be in real danger of a serious and permanent injury to their spine, but have surprisingly little pain even none at all in some cases!
Meanwhile, many non-dangerous problems can cause amazingly severe back pain. A muscle cramp is a good analogy just think about how painful a Charley horse is! Regardless of whats actually going on in there, muscle pain is probably the main thing that back pain patients are feeling. The phenomenon of trigger points tiny muscle cramps, basically11 could be the entire problem, or a complication thats more painful and persistent than the original problem. Its hard to overstate how painful trigger points can be, but they are not dangerous to anything but your comfort.
Your Hips Or Quadriceps Feel Weak
Your quads are a group of muscles located at the front of your thigh. The three vastus muscles and rectus femoris make your thighs, one of the most powerful parts of the body, as they allow you to extend your knees and move your hips.
On the other hand, each hip is a ball-and-socket joint responsible for bearing most of your bodys weight. The hips have many ligament attachments for stability and muscular attachments to help control the motion of your leg and knee joints. The rectus femoris muscle crosses over from the quads and connects to the hip so if a problem occurs with the quad muscles, your hips will be affected.
Now, the parts of the human body are connected like a chain. Even if you didnt experience an injury or a major trauma to your hips and quadriceps, you may suddenly feel like youre unable to move them at full strength. This is a condition that may be caused by a spinal problem since the nerves that control the motor functions of the quads are located between the vertebrae of the lumbar spine.
If those nerves become irritated or get pinched by the vertebrae, the movement of your hips and quads will be affected. Weakness in these areas will cause the knee joints to work harder and wear out faster, which explains the knee pain you might be feeling.
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Stretches To Relieve Chronic Back And Hip Pain
Several exercises and stretches can relieve the chronic pain in these areas brought about by several factors and conditions. Trying these activities may greatly help in reducing the severity of the pain and difficulty experienced.
This stretch helps lessen the pain in the back and the hips through the opening of the adductor muscles as well as the hip flexors.
- In a standing position, point the toes at 45 degrees with the feet open and heels in.
- Squat low as if in a sitting position while placing the hands on the inner thighs.
- Press the thighs open and feel the stretch in the groin and thighs for about 30 seconds.
This is a basic stretch that involves the entire back. It helps in opening and moving up the hips through proper stretching of the glutes.
- In a tabletop position, bring the toes together while taking the knees out and the hips back.
- Lower the forehead to the ground with the hands positioned straight forward.
- Relax the arms and keep the shoulders away from the ears for about 30 seconds.
Figure 4 Twist
This stretch reduces the lower back and hip pain. It increases the external hip rotation, providing the pain relief.
This stretch helps in relieving the pain with the movements done on the flexors, quadriceps, and even the abdominal muscles.
Supine Figure 4
This stretch exercise helps reduce the pain in the hips. It stretches the glutes and other muscles.
Leg Pain From Back Disorders
Leg pain coming from the low back, or the lumbar spine, is commonly referred to as sciatica. Sciatica could involve pain in the buttocks, down the thigh, into the leg or in the foot. It is often associated with numbness or tingling, and sometimes weakness. Sciatica has multiple possible causes, such as:
- Herniated or ruptured disc
- Lumbar spinal stenosis
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Iliac Crest Apophysis Avulsion
Avulsion fractures of the apophyses of the pelvis are rare injuries. This injury occurs mainly in young persons, between the ages of 8 and 14, before they’ve fully grown. That is because fusion of these bones does not occur until between the ages of 15 and 17 years. The cause is typically a contraction of muscles during extreme sports activity. Treatment includes rest and physical therapy as well as pain medications.
Can Endometriosis Cause Leg Pain
During regular menstruation, the uterus lining sheds and leaves the body through the vagina. This happens in response to changing hormone levels. When endometrial tissue grows outside the uterus, the cells still shed, but they cannot leave the body, causing painful symptoms.
In some cases, endometrial tissues grow in and around the many nerves that travel through the pelvis and hip. These nerves supply sensation to the leg.
Abnormal growths can put pressure on the pelvic nerves. This may cause pain and numbness in the hips, buttock, and legs. Nearly all of the documented cases of leg pain associated with endometriosis involve abnormal growths on the sciatic nerve or one of its branches.
The sciatic nerve is considered the largest and longest nerve in the human body. It begins in the lower back, runs through the pelvis, and down the leg into the foot, branching into several smaller nerves along the way. Pressure on this nerve can cause pain in the lower body.
The sciatic nerve provides sensation to most of the lower portion of the body. Pressure on the sciatic nerve can, therefore, cause a lot of different symptoms, most commonly pain, numbness, and tingling that radiates into the following areas:
- outside of the leg
- back of the thighs and calf
- sole, heel, and top of the foot
Everyday tips for finding relief include:
A person may also find that taking natural supplements that contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds can help with symptoms.
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The Diagnosis: Is It Your Hip
When you tell your doctor your hip hurts, the first thing she should do is confirm that your hip is actually the problem. Women might say they have hip pain, but what they may mean is that they have pain in the side of the upper thigh or upper buttock, or they may be experiencing lower back pain, says Stephanie E. Siegrist, MD, an orthopedic surgeon in Rochester, New York, and a spokeswoman for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Hip pain is often felt in the groin or on the outside of the hip directly over where the hip joint is located.
What Causes Painful Menstrual Cramps
Menstrual cramps happen when a chemical called prostaglandin makes the uterus contract . The uterus, the muscular organ where a baby grows, contracts throughout your menstrual cycle. During menstruation, the uterus contracts more strongly. If the uterus contracts too strongly, it can press against nearby blood vessels, cutting off the supply of oxygen to muscle tissue. You feel pain when part of the muscle briefly loses its supply of oxygen.
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Pain In Your Buttocks May Be Due To Arthritis Here Are The Clues To Look Out For
When you have arthritis, buttoning a shirt or fastening a clasp can be a pain in the butt. So is folding laundry with achy joints, blow drying your hair, or even signing paperwork. But then theres actual pain that can occur in your buttocks and it may actually be caused by arthritis.
The buttock is a large area, with many different structures within it, explains Claudette Lajam, MD, orthopedic surgeon with NYU Langone in New York City. The giant muscle at the surface of the buttocks is called the gluteus maximus. It overlies other layers of muscle and two major joints: the hip joint and sacroiliac joint, which is situated on each side of your spine, and connects the sacrum to the ilium .
Buttock pain may indicate a problem in either of the sacroiliac joints, the lumbar spine , muscles of the pelvis or any of those other layers, says Dr. Lajam, who also serves as spokesperson for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
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What Causes Low Back And Hip Pain When Walking
Once again, poor posture could be the culprit in back and hip pain while walking. To potentially improve your pain, make sure to:
- Avoid looking down too much when you walk, which reduces neck and back strain.
- Avoid slouching when you walk.
- Keep your hips level when walking, avoid unnatural hip swaying.
- Pull in your stomach and engage your core to take the pressure off your lower back.
- Make sure your feet hit the ground heel-first, then roll through the ball of your foot.
- Own comfortable shoes, especially if you have flat feet which can cause back pain.
Another potential cause of hip and back pain when walking is being overweight. According to a review by the American Journal of Epidemiology, people who are overweight are at a higher risk of developing sciatica. This is because the lower back supports more weight as a person gets heavier, naturally causing pain. Stretches that target your back and hips can ease the pain, and frequent exercise keeps you fit while fighting muscle pains caused by a sedentary lifestyle.
If improving your posture, stretching, and exercising doesnt improve your back or hip pain, stop by SPORT Orthopedics + Rehabilitation and well take care of you.
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When Back Pain May Mean Arthritis
Many forms of arthritis and related conditions can cause back pain, stiffness and swelling.
About 80% of back pain is acute and usually lasts one to seven days. Otherwise, its considered chronic and may be caused by arthritis. The lower back is the most common site of arthritis back pain. Several types of arthritis are part of a group of conditions called spondylarthropathies . Spondylarthropathies can affect adults and children.
If you are experiencing pain, swelling and stiffness in the back, you may have one of the following types of arthritis or related conditions.
Axial spondyloarthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease that primarily affects hip joints and the joint that connects the bone at the bottom of the spine to the pelvis .
There are two types of axSpA: Radiographic axSpA includes damage to the sacroiliac joints and spine that can be seen on X-rays, and nonradiographic axSpA does not include damage you can see on X-rays but it may show up on magnetic resonance images .
Psoriatic arthritis is a form of arthritis that affects joints and usually the skin . For about 20 percent of people with PsA, the disease involves the spine . In some cases, bony overgrowth can cause two or more vertebrae to grow together , causing stiffness.
Getting a Proper Diagnosis
Chronic Lower Back And Hip Pain: Causes & Reliefs
Are you experiencing pain in the lower back or pain in the hips? Some may tend to experience both symptoms at once. This condition is known as the combination symptom syndrome. Actually, the factors leading to the pain in the hips are usually related to those that cause the pain that occurred in the lower back. The combination of both is terrible and difficult, and can greatly affect the persons action and mobility. Read on and learn more about these symptoms for better guidance and knowledge.
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How Doctors Get To Root Of Your Pain
If you have pain in your lower body and arent sure whether your back or hip is to blame, a good first course of action is to visit your personal doctor. He or she will review your medical history and may perform a series of physical exam tests to get to the root of your pain. Alternatively, your personal doctor may refer you to a doctor who specializes in the hip or spine to make an accurate diagnosis.
Your doctor will ask you to describe your pain, including its location, when it worsens/is relieved, and what the pain feels like .
After listening to your description of your pain, your doctor may have you perform several maneuvers or movements as part of a physical exam. The goal of these maneuvers is to determine what movements recreate your pain. One such maneuver is called the Flexion Abduction External Rotation test, which helps determine if the disorder is sourced in your hip and may illuminate sacroiliac joint problems. During this test, you lie down your back while flexing and rotating your hips. Your doctor may also palpate the area of pain.
Next, your doctor may also order imaging scans, such an x-ray to view your bones or an MRI to view soft tissues , which may help reveal the true nature of the spinal or hip problem. It is important for your doctor to then determine if your complaints and exam findings can be explained by what is seen on the images.