Tuesday, February 27, 2024
HomeFactsWhat Does Pain In Your Lower Back Mean

What Does Pain In Your Lower Back Mean

Other Types Of Diagnosis

Neuro-Spine Surgery: What Does Your Low Back Pain Mean?
  • A chiropractor will diagnose through touch, or palpation, and a visual examination. Chiropractic is known as a direct approach, with a strong focus on adjusting the spinal joints. A chiropractor may also want to see the results of imaging scans and any blood and urine tests.
  • An osteopath also diagnoses through palpation and visual inspection. Osteopathy involves slow and rhythmic stretching, known as mobilization, pressure or indirect techniques, and manipulation of joints and muscles.
  • A physical therapist focuses on diagnosing problems in the joints and soft tissues of the body.

What Are Some Other Causes Of Lower Back Pain

The shape of your spine, and well as spinal diseases, are other culprits in lower back pain. Depending on a range of factors, your doctor may look for:

Abnormal spinal curvature. A normal spine resembles a gently curved letter S when seen from the side. Abnormal curves include:

  • Lordosis, in which the spine curves too far inward at the lower back
  • Kyphosis, in which the spine is abnormally rounded in the upper back
  • Scoliosis, in which the spine curves from side to side, often in a C shape

Normal and abnormal curves of the spineArthritis. There are more than 100 types of arthritis, many of which can cause lower back pain. The most common types include osteoarthritis , rheumatoid arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis.

Cauda equina syndrome . Compression of the bundle of nerves that forms below the spinal cord in the lumbar spine. It is a rare but serious disorder that requires immediate medical attention and possibly emergency surgery. CES got its name from the fact that the fanned-out bundle of nerves resembles the base of a horses tail.

Discitis or osteomyelitis.Both infections of discs and bone can cause severe pain and require prompt medical attention.

Spinal tumors. When cells divide and multiply unchecked, the result is a tumor. Both benign and malignant tumors can cause lower back pain. They can either originate in the spine or metastasize there, meaning theyve spread from somewhere else in the body.

Concerned About Your Back Pain Symptoms We Can Help

Most back pain goes away on its own. But if your back pain has been lingering for more than two weeks without improvement, its been coming and going for some time, or if youre experiencing any alarming symptoms, dont delay the care you need. After all, its much easier to take care of yourself when you can move without pain.

Think PNBC may be right for you? Schedule a consultation.

Read Also: What Causes Severe Lower Back And Hip Pain

Causes Of Chronic Lower Back Pain

Pain is considered chronic once it lasts for more than three months and exceeds the bodys natural healing process. Chronic pain in the low back often involves a disc problem, a joint problem, and/or an irritated nerve root. Common causes include:

Lumbar herniated disc. The jelly-like center of a lumbar disc can break through the tough outer layer and irritate a nearby nerve root. The herniated portion of the disc is full of proteins that cause inflammation when they reach a nerve root, and inflammation, as well as nerve compression, cause nerve root pain. The disc wall is also richly supplied by nerve fibers, and a tear through the wall can cause severe pain.

Degenerative disc disease. At birth, intervertebral discs are full of water and at their healthiest. As people age over time, discs lose hydration and wear down. As the disc loses hydration, it cannot resist forces as well, and transfers force to the disc wall that may develop tears and cause pain or weakening that can lead to a herniation. The disc can also collapse and contribute to stenosis.

See Lumbar Degenerative Disc Disease

Facet joint dysfunction. There are two facet joints behind each disc at each motion segment in the lumbar spine. These joints have cartilage between the bones and are surrounded by a capsular ligament, which is richly innervated by nerves. These joints can be painful by themselves, or in conjunction with disc pain.

See Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

The Sacrum And L: The Spiritual Source Of Lower Back Pain

So, You Hurt Your Lower Back  Steven Low

âLow back pain, at the area of the lumbar spine,â explains Naluai, âhas to do with genealogy. Each vertebra of the lumbar spine has a different focus.â In the lineage teachings Naluai received, it is important to consider pain at the level of each vertebra and the one above and below it and to consider where the back meets the hips as well.

The sacrum, that triangular bone that sits at the base of your spine, represents your roots and where you are on the planet. The spine articulates with the pelvis at the sacroiliac joints. The pelvis has to do with drive and power and the ability to move towards choices and directions. âIt’s how we move through our time here,â explains Naluai. âPeople who are not grounded, not rooted energetically or spiritually, typically have pain in the sacrum or pelvis

L5 is the lowest vertebrae. It articulates with your sacrum and involves flexibility in your relationship to your time on Earth. In Naluaiâs lineage teachings, âIt has a lot to do with genetic history and ancestral lineage. How you walk forward in life with, or without, the support of family or ancestors.â

Don’t Miss: How To Relieve Back Pain From Standing All Day

What Are Some Common Lower Back Pain Causes

The causes of lower back pain are sometimes viewed as being mechanical, organic or idiopathic. Sometimes spinal conditions are congenital or acquired meaning the disorder develops later in life.

  • Mechanical lower back pain is often triggered by spinal movement and involves spinal structures, such as the facet joints, intervertebral discs, vertebral bodies , ligaments, muscles or soft tissues.
  • Organic lower back pain is attributed to disease, such as spinal cancer.
  • Idiopathic refers to an unknown cause.

These are some of the things your doctor might look for or rule out when you schedule a visit for back pain.

The common symptoms of lower back pain.

Sprains and strains. Ligament sprains and muscle or tendon strains are the most common causes of lower back pain. Theyre often related to overuse.

Degenerative disc disease. While the name sounds worrisome, it just means you have a damaged disc causing pain. Over time, discs become thinner and flatter due to wear and tear. That leaves them less able to cushion the vertebrae and more likely to tear .

Herniated disc. The protective covering on intervertebral discs can tear over time. When this happens, the soft inner disc tissue may push through the outer layer. A disc that bulges or slips out of place is known as a herniated disc, bulging disc, or slipped disc. The herniation may press on nerve roots, leading to symptoms such as pain, tingling, numbness or weakness in the area that the nerve serves

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:

Congenital

  • 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.

Injuries

  • 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.

Degenerative problems

  • 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

Non-spine sources

Don’t Miss: What Will A Doctor Prescribe For Back Pain

How Spinal Cancer May Cause Back Pain

Tumors in the spinal column may cause back pain by:

  • Expanding and/or weakening the bone
  • Causing the vertebrae to easily fracture
  • Compressing the spinal cord and/or spinal nerve roots

Additional factors, such as spinal instability, may also be involved in spinal tumors causing back pain.

See Spinal Tumors and Back Pain

Can Back Pain Be Prevented

10. Backpain – What does it mean when I have referred pain from my lower back?

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

Read Also: Do Canes Help With Back Pain

When To Contact A Medical Professional

  • Back pain after a severe blow or fall
  • Burning with urination or blood in your urine
  • History of cancer
  • Loss of control over urine or stool
  • Pain traveling down your legs below the knee
  • Pain that is worse when you lie down or pain that wakes you up at night
  • Redness or swelling on the back or spine
  • Severe pain that does not allow you to get comfortable
  • Unexplained fever with back pain
  • Weakness or numbness in your buttocks, thigh, leg, or pelvis

Also call if:

  • You have been losing weight unintentionally
  • You use steroids or intravenous drugs
  • You have had back pain before, but this episode is different and feels worse
  • This episode of back pain has lasted longer than 4 weeks

What Does Back Pain From Pneumonia Feel Like

Back pain from pneumonia is a pleuritic-type chest pain. Pleura is the medical name for the lining of the lungs. The pain is sharp because the outer pleura is very sensitive to pain. It gets worse anytime the outer lining gets stretched, which happens with coughs, deep breaths, and movement. Back pain from pneumonia feels like a deep-seated sharp pain in the back, usually on one side, unless you have pneumonia on both sides. The pain gets worse whenever you cough or take a deep breath.

Don’t Miss: When Is Lower Back Pain Serious

Muscle Strain Or Sciatica

Muscle strain is often the cause of back pain from heavy lifting or vigorous exercise. But sometimes itâs due to small jelly-filled disks meant to protect the space between vertebrae. When one of these disks bulges or breaks, it can push on a nerve. When itâs the sciatic nerve, pain runs from the buttock down one leg. This is sciatica.

What Is Lower Back Pain

Lower Back Pain

Low back pain can result from many different injuries, conditions or diseases most often, an injury to muscles or tendons in the back.

Pain can range from mild to severe. In some cases, pain can make it difficult or impossible to walk, sleep, work or do everyday activities.

Usually, lower back pain gets better with rest, pain relievers and physical therapy . Cortisone injections and hands-on treatments can relieve pain and help the healing process. Some back injuries and conditions require surgical repair.

You May Like: Why Do I Have A Sharp Pain In My Back

Signs Your Back Pain Might Be An Emergency

In our 20s and 30s, normal back pain often can be attributed to factors of daily life, such as sitting too long, picking up children, or overdoing it while exercising.

In our 40s and older, work injuries and the beginnings of arthritis and degenerative conditions are more common.

Back pain is so common, in fact, that many patients shrug off symptoms that might indicate a medical emergency.

Approximately 80% of adults will experience back pain in their lives, so its important to be able to identify the severity of your symptoms and track how long the pain lasts.

If back pain can be associated with a specific activity, such as lifting or twisting wrong, and the pain goes away within 72 hours after resting and applying ice, its usually nothing to worry about. However, if pain creeps on gradually, appears suddenly, or doesn’t go away, you might have a more serious condition.

Is Your Job Causing Back Pain

A job that involves pulling, lifting, or twisting with the low back can cause injury and low back pain. Even prolonged sitting in an awkward position can cause low back pain. Standing on your feet for hours on end? That can cause lower back pain too. The best way to prevent back pain is to know if you are at risk.

Jobs That Can Cause Lower Back Pain

  • Airline crew
  • Surgeons
  • Office personnel

Also Check: How To Relieve Lower Back Pain From Uti

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.

When To Seek Medical Care For Back Pain

What Does Pain In Your Upper Right Back Mean?

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has identified 11 red flagsthat doctors look for when evaluating a person with back pain. The focus of these red flags is to detect fractures , infections, or tumors of the spine. Presence of any of the following red flags associated with low back pain should prompt a visit to your doctor as soon as possible for complete evaluation.

  • Recent significant trauma such as a fall from a height, motor vehicle accident, or similar incident
  • Recent mild trauma in those older than 50 years of age: A fall down a few steps or slipping and landing on the buttocks may be considered mild trauma.
  • History of prolonged steroid use: People with asthma, COPD, and rheumatic disorders, for example, may be given this type of medication.
  • Anyone with a history of osteoporosis: An elderly woman with a history of a hip fracture, for example, would be considered high risk.
  • Any person older than 70 years of age: There is an increased incidence of cancer, infections, and abdominal causes of the pain.
  • Prior history of cancer
  • Unexplained weight loss

The presence of any of the above would justify a visit to a hospital’s emergency department, particularly if your family doctor is unable to evaluate you within the next 24 hours.

Also Check: What Are The Best Sneakers For Lower Back Pain

Causes Of Lower Back Pain During Your Period

Though the exact causes of lower back pain during periods arent yet fully understood, its usually associated with hormonal changes and their effect on ligaments in the spine. Researchers found that hormonal changes may influence collagen production, which can lead to ligament laxity, or loose ligaments. Loose ligaments can cause spinal instability and are sometimes accompanied by pain in the lower back.

Prostaglandins may also play a role. Prostaglandins are chemicals that cause many of the symptoms associated with menstrual discomfort. They are synthesized by many tissues in the body, including the endometrium . They stimulate contraction of the uterine muscles to shed the uterine lining during menstruation. Prostaglandins also cause cramps. Heavy contractions can lead to low-back pain, as the pain can radiate from the lower abdomen into the lower back.

People with increased prostaglandin activity may experience severe menstrual cramps and back pain during their period. Prostaglandins can also cause symptoms such as vomiting, headaches, and diarrhea that accompany painful menstruation .

Lower back pain can also be a symptom of early pregnancy. During pregnancy, the ligaments in the body naturally become softer and stretch to prepare for labor. This can put a strain on the joints of the lower back and pelvis, which can cause back pain.

Here are some of the differences between back pain from your period and back pain from pregnancy.

Symptoms Of Low Back Pain

These might range from a dull ache to a stabbing or shooting sensation. The pain may make it hard to move or stand up straight. Pain that comes on suddenly is âacute.â It might happen during sports or heavy lifting. Pain that lasts more than 3 months is considered âchronic.â If your pain is not better within 72 hours, you should consult a doctor.

Don’t Miss: How To Cure Your Lower Back Pain

Symptoms Of Lower Back Pain

Sometimes a pain may develop immediately after you lift something heavy, or after an awkward twisting movement. Sometimes it can develop for no apparent reason. Some people just wake up one day with low back pain.

Although nonspecific back pain is sometimes called simple back pain, simple does not mean that the pain is mild. The severity of the pain can range from mild to severe. Typically, the pain is in one area of the lower back but sometimes it spreads to one or both buttocks or thighs. The pain is usually eased by lying down flat. It is often made worse if you move your back, cough, or sneeze. So, nonspecific low back pain is mechanical in the sense that it varies with posture or activity.

Most people with a bout of nonspecific low back pain improve quickly, usually within a week or so, sometimes a bit longer. However, once the pain has eased or gone it is common to have further bouts of pain from time to time in the future. Also, it is common to have minor pains on and off for quite some time after an initial bad bout of pain. In a small number of cases the pain persists for several months or longer. This is called chronic back pain .

RELATED ARTICLES

Most Popular