Your Pain Extends To Other Body Parts
If you’re experiencing severe back pain that is coupled with pain in other areas such as shooting pain down your leg then you should see a doctor. This could be a sign that you have sciatica, a form of pain that affects the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back and through the buttocks before branching down each leg. This condition usually results from a herniated disk. A doctor will be able to offer a variety of ways that you can relieve this pain.
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.
What Causes Lower Back Pain In Women
Lower back pain doesnt have one specific cause. There is more to this problem than strains and sprains or pregnancy. As mentioned above, some people dont even know what causes pain in this area, but finding out is crucial in order to improve the quality of life and alleviate discomfort you experience.
Since lower back pain in women has a wide array of different causes and some of them arent even related to your back, well assess the most common factors separately below.
*All individuals are unique. Your results can and will vary.
Don’t Miss: Aleve Good For Back Pain
Complementary And Alternative Techniques Include:
- Acupuncture is moderately effective for chronic low back pain. It involves inserting thin needles into precise points throughout the body and stimulating them , which may cause the body to release naturally occurring painkilling chemicals such as endorphins, serotonin, and acetylcholine.
- Behavioral approaches include:
- Biofeedback involves attaching electrodes to the skin and using an electromyography machine that allows people to become aware of and control their breathing, muscle tension, heart rate, and skin temperature people regulate their response to pain by using relaxation techniques
- Cognitive therapy involves using relaxation and coping techniques to ease back pain
Spinal injections include:Trigger point injections can relax knotted muscles that may contribute to back pain. An injection or series of injections of a local anesthetic and often a corticosteroid drug into the trigger point can lessen or relieve pain.
Stomach And Back Pain: Common Causes Symptoms And Treatments
Medically reviewed by Dr. Brian Paris, D.C on Nov. 6, 2018.
Are you experiencing lower back pain that radiates to your abdominal area?
Stomach and back pain often go hand-in-hand. After all, they are two sides of the same coin.
Stomach pain is very common among people who suffer from chronic lower back pain.
Either your back and stomach pain have a single cause, or the two symptoms are unrelated.
So how are you supposed to tell the difference?
One clue is the timing of your symptoms.
If youve been experiencing back pain for years, but the pain only recently spread to your abdomen, it could be a cause for concern.
Sometimes pain in the back and stomach indicates a medical emergency. Other times, its a sign of a worsening back injury.
This article will give you a good overview of what could be causing your back and stomach pain, what you should do about it, and when you should start to worry.
Read Also: Is Aleve Good For Back Pain
Ready To Address Your Back Pain
The University of Maryland Spine Network can help you put your pain behind you. With convenient locations throughout the state, the UM Spine Network is home to the region’s leading spine surgeons and specialists that can help you identify the source of your pain and put an end to it for good.
Put an end to your back pain. Find a spine specialist near you.
In This Section:
Treatment Options For Acute Lower Back Pain
Most low back pain is due to muscle strain and spasm and does not require surgery. To treat the pain, medications such as acetaminophen , nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents , gabapentin or pregabalin can be used. NSAIDs suppress inflammation, pain and fever by inhibiting certain inflammation-causing chemicals in the body. Acetaminophen reduces pain and fever, but does not inhibit inflammation. Gabapentin and pregabalin, medications that have been used for antiseizure activity, also have the ability to block pain. Opioids provide pain relief and may at times be prescribed to manage severe back pain. However, opioids have many problems, such as habituation, constipation and lightheadedness, and are avoided when possible and used for the shortest possible duration. Epidural injection is an option if the back pain does not respond to these treatments. Each person is different in terms of response to medication.
Other nonsurgical treatments for lower back pain include Intradiscal electrothermal therapy , nucleoplasty, and radiofrequency lesioning.
Read Also: Does Aleve Help Lower Back Pain
Sensations That Might Indicate A Medical Emergency
1. Sharp pain rather than a dull ache: This could indicate a torn muscle or ligament, or a problem with an internal organ in the back or side.2. Radiating pain: This pain “moves” or shoots to the glutes or legs, which could indicate a nerve compression condition.
3. Sudden weakness in the legs: Limb weakness can be caused by compressed nerves in the spine due to conditions like sciatica or spinal stenosis. However, sudden leg weakness could also indicate a stroke.4. Incontinence: Back pain paired with inability to control the bowels or bladder might be a sign of serious nerve compression or a spine infection, such as discitis or meningitis.5. Numbness or pins and needles in the groin or glutes: This is known as saddle anesthesia and is also a sign of a serious nerve or spine condition.
If you have leg weakness, incontinence, and numbness together, you might have cauda equina syndrome, a serious illness characterized by spinal cord nerve damage. This is a medical emergency, and patients usually need surgery immediately to decompress the nerves and reduce permanent damage.
Related reading: Get help for back, neck, and leg pain caused by spinal stenosis
When Should I Call My Healthcare Provider
- Can’t stand or walk
- Temperature over 101.0°F
- Frequent, painful, or bloody urination
- Severe belly pain
- Pain or numbness in your leg
- Pain in a new area of your back
- The pain isnt decreasing after more than a week
- Pain radiating down the leg.
- Pain that is accompanied by fever or chills, leg weakness, or loss of control of the bladder or bowels.
Also Check: Does Motrin Help With Back Pain
How Is Low Back Pain Diagnosed
A complete medical history and physical exam can usually identify any serious conditions that may be causing the pain. Neurologic tests can help determine the cause of pain and appropriate treatment. Imaging tests are not needed in most cases but may be ordered to rule out specific causes of pain, including tumors and spinal stenosis. Occasionally the cause of chronic lower back pain is difficult to determine even after a thorough examination.
Blood tests are not routinely used to diagnose the cause of back pain but might be ordered to look for signs of inflammation, infection, cancer, and/or arthritis.
Bone scans can detect and monitor an infection, fracture, or bone disorder. A small amount of radioactive material is injected into the bloodstream and collects in the bones, particularly in areas with some abnormality. Scanner-generated images can identify specific areas of irregular bone metabolism or abnormal blood flow, as well as to measure levels of joint disease.
Discography involves injecting a contrast dye into a spinal disc thought to be causing low back pain. The fluids pressure in the disc will reproduce the persons symptoms if the disc is the cause. The dye helps to show the damaged areas on CT scans taken following the injection.
Electrodiagnostics can identify problems related to the nerves in the back and legs. The procedures include:
Fractures And Lower Back Pain
are often very difficult pain problems and indicate the possible presence of . In patients with severe osteoporosis, spinal fractures can occur with no early warning and no significant trauma the patient does not have to fall to fracture a vertebrae.
Patients with spinal compression fractures experience spasms and, often, very high pain levels.
In patients with low back pain where the cause is difficult to determine, especially for elderly patients with osteoporosis, a fracture in the sacrum may be the cause of the pain. A standard X-ray or bone scan may not show a sacral fracture. Imaging techniques such as CT scan or MRI can often reveal these fractures.
It is very important that patients with acute lumbar compression fractures be tested for osteoporosis. A bone density study is needed, unless the patient has no other osteoporosis risk factors and has had a very high impact fracture. Studies have shown that many patients with fractures in the U.S. are discharged from hospitals with no plans for management of their bone density problems, which then are left to worsen.
Although pain can be very intense, it is best for patients with lumbar fracture to resume activity as soon as possible. This is especially true for elderly patients, who can too easily become weakened, and develop other complications, if mobility is reduced for too long. may be needed for pain control, for as brief a period as possible.
Recommended Reading: Is Aleve Or Ibuprofen Better For Back Pain
Signs That Its Time To Call A Doctor For Your Back Pain
Most people have experienced back pain at some point in their lives. It’s actually the leading cause of disability worldwide and the most common reason people call out of work. Back pain can come in many different forms, ranging from a dull ache that lasts only a few days to severe pain that lasts for weeks.
Depending on the intensity of the pain, there are many treatments you can try at home to help. But how do you know when it’s time to stop home remedies and see a physician?
If any of the following applies to your back pain, then it’s time to make an appointment with a doctor as soon as possible.
You’re Having Problems With Your Bowels Or Urination
If your back pain is paired with a loss of control over your bowels or urination, then it’s time to seek help immediately at a local emergency room. These symptoms point to cauda equina syndrome, where the nerves in the lower spine have become paralyzed. While rare, this syndrome can be permanently damaging to the nerves if left untreated. If you experience these symptoms, especially accompanied by numbness in the legs, then you may need surgery to decompress the nerves and preserve their overall function.
Don’t Miss: Will Aleve Help Back Pain
If Youre Over 55 And Your Back Pain Is Triggered By Walking
This could be neurogenic claudication, says Brown.
It takes eight to 10 minutes of walking you could almost set a clock by it then they’ll start to get some symptoms. It might be pain and might be tingling and numbness that spreads out from the buttocks, or weakness in the legs. Then sitting will relieve those symptoms.
This particular problem does respond to surgery, but most of us wont need it as the problem progresses very slowly. Physiotherapy can help. If you’re standing, moving, walking and you’re not in that arch back position, you’re going to do better. And if you have better hip mobility, youre going to do better.
Triggers And Consequences Of Lumbago
Uncontrolled turning, bending, standing or lifting something heavy can be all it takes to trigger acute lumbago. One wrong move and the deep muscles of the spine cramp up. In order to prevent pain in the lower back, the brain reacts reflexively. The muscles tense up, so that we no longer move. It is one of the bodyâs protective mechanisms. As a result, the muscles tense up even more, too much strain is put on them and they become hardened. It is a vicious circle because this makes the back pain even worse.
The most common causes of lumbago are a blocked vertebra in the lumbar region, muscle tension or strain, and degenerative disc disease. Sudden-onset lumbago can be caused by vertebral flaring and protrusion. The pain results from the bulge which touches the nerve directly or from the resulting inflammation.
Herniated disk or lumbago?
Lumbago can be a symptom of a herniated disc. In case of a herniated disk, neurological symptoms often occur: a tingling feeling in the leg or temporary paralysis of the leg muscles. Those affected find it difficult to stand on their toes or heels. A doctor can diagnose lumbago or a herniated disc. For example, he or she checks sensation in the lumbar vertebrae and legs, mobility and reflexes.
Also Check: Will Naproxen Help Back Pain
Can Back Pain Be Prevented
Recurring back pain resulting from improper body mechanics may be prevented by avoiding movements that jolt or strain the back, maintaining correct posture, and lifting objects properly. Many work-related injuries are caused or aggravated by stressors such as heavy lifting, contact stress , vibration, repetitive motion, and awkward posture.Recommendations for keeping ones back healthy
Back Pain Conditions That Mainly Affect Women
Several conditions are more common in women. Back pain-related problems are typically seen in the post-menopausal age . Read on to learn more about the common causes of back pain in women and the reasons why they occur.
Pain originating from spasms in your piriformis muscle, a large muscle located deep in the buttock, is called piriformis syndrome.2 Women are affected more due to hormone and pregnancy-related changes in the pelvis.
Piriformis syndrome often causes irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve, mimicking sciatica pain. Piriformis syndrome may cause3:
- Chronic pain in the buttock and hip area that is worsened by hip movements
- Pain when you get out of bed
- Inability to sit for a long time
- Radiating pain in the back of your thigh and leg
The symptoms typically get better when you lie on your back.
Pain from your sacroiliac joint that connects the bottom of your spine to your pelvis is called sacroiliac joint dysfunction or sacroiliitis. SI joint problems are among the more common causes of lower back pain.
Women typically have a smaller SI joint surface area compared to men, resulting in a higher concentration of stresses across the joint. The sacrum is also wider, more uneven, less curved, and tilted more backward in women, which may cause problems in the SI joint.4
Degenerative spondylolisthesis can cause9:
Also Check: Is Aleve Good For Lower Back Pain
How Is Back Pain Diagnosed
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.
Range Of Symptoms That May Accompany Sharp Pain The Lower Back
Acute pain in your lower back may be limited to one or both sides. You may also feel that the pain originates from a particular spot on the left or right side of your lower back. Sharp lower back pain typically includes one or more of the following symptoms and characteristics:
- Severe lower back pain is typically associated with increased tension and spasm in the surrounding muscles, causing stiffness and a decreased range of motion.
- Radiate through nerves. If your lower back problem originates from your spinal nerve roots, a shooting pain may radiate into your leg through the affected nerve.
- Cause neurologic deficits. Lower back pain that is caused by irritation or compression of nerves may be associated with neurologic symptoms, such as numbness, tingling, a pins-and-needles sensation, and a general feeling of weakness in the leg.
These symptoms may be aggravated or relieved by specific postures or activities, such as sitting, standing, walking, and lying down. While spinal pain typically resolves in a few days to weeks, the symptoms can become debilitating, significantly affecting your daily activities.
Recommended Reading: Advil Vs Ibuprofen For Back Pain