You Feel Very Fatigued
In one eye-opening survey, 43 percent of Americans admitted to being too tired to function at work. The National Safety Council also found that 97 percent of survey respondents reported at least one risk factor for fatigue.
In short, Americans are all too familiar with fatigue and exhaustion. Unfortunately, the ubiquitous nature of fatigue is precisely why the problem is so overlooked even if theres a potential medical emergency. For example, a backache coupled with extreme fatigue, shortness of breath, and nausea could signify heart problems.
The symptoms mentioned above should also be considered a medical emergency.
What Is The Outlook For People With Lower Back Pain
The outlook depends on the cause of pain. Most people with back strains and sprains recover and do not have long-term health issues. But many people will have another episode within a year.
Some people have chronic back pain that doesnt get better after several weeks. Older people with degenerative conditions such as arthritis and osteoporosis may have symptoms that get worse over time. Surgery and other treatments are effective at helping people with a range of injuries and conditions live pain-free.
Is Lower Right Back Pain Serious
Lower right back pain can vary in severity. You will probably have the best idea of your pain level and when you should see a physician.
- Not serious: Mild pain may come on fairly suddenly after exercise and responds to rest and over-the-counter pain relievers.
- Moderately serious: In some cases, an injury that at first seems minor can become worse over time. Back injuries can easily become chronic if not treated quickly.
- Serious: If your back pain interferes with your normal activities and is becoming severe, you should see a physician as soon as possible.
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Top 7 Most Serious Causes Of Back Pain
Approximately 80% of adults in the United States will suffer from back pain at some point. Fortunately, most of the time that pain is due to a straightforward problem such as a herniated disc or degenerative disease in the spine. These problems are bothersome, and can even be dangerous if too much time is allowed to pass, but they are not considered a medical emergency.
On the other hand, anytime back pain is associated with weakness or loss of bladder or bowel control, it should be considered an emergency that requires immediate treatment. These symptoms can suggest compression of the spinal cord or cauda equina. Moreover, sometimes back pain can be a sign of more significant trouble. Here are some of the most serious causes of back pain that both doctors and patients must be careful not to miss.
The Lumbar Spine What Can Go Wrong
The low back supports the weight of the upper body and provides mobility for everyday motions such as bending and twisting. Muscles in the low back are responsible for flexing and rotating the hips while walking, as well as supporting the spinal column. Nerves in the low back supply sensation and power the muscles in the pelvis, legs, and feet.
Most acute low back pain results from injury to the muscles, ligaments, joints, or discs. The body also reacts to injury by mobilizing an inflammatory healing response. While inflammation sounds minor, it can cause severe pain.
There is a significant overlap of nerve supply to many of the discs, muscles, ligaments, and other spinal structures, and it can be difficult for the brain to accurately sense which is the cause of the pain. For example, a degenerated or torn lumbar disc can feel the same as a pulled muscle both creating inflammation and painful muscle spasm in the same area. Muscles and ligaments heal rapidly, while a torn disc may or may not. The time course of pain helps determine the cause.
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If Your Weight Has Been Creeping Up
The public has been urged to lose weight to ease back pain and joint pain as part of a new Government public health drive. The campaign will highlight six serious health conditions that can be improved by losing weight, with back pain being one of them. In 2019/20, of hospital admissions where obesity was a factor, joint pain was the second most common primary diagnosis and obesity was a factor in 18,180 admissions for hip pain. So if your weight has crept in recent years your back pain could be telling you that its time to lose a few pounds.
Back Pain Culprit: Chronic Conditions
Several chronic conditions can lead to low back pain.
- Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the space around the spinal cord, which can put pressure on the spinal nerves.
- Ankylosing spondylitis inflames the joints of the spine, and sometimes the shoulders, hips, ribs, and other areas too. It causes chronic back pain and stiffness. In serious cases, spinal vertebrae start to fuse .
- Fibromyalgia causes widespread muscle aches, including back pain.
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Which Health Care Specialties Treat Low Back Pain
Physician specialties that evaluate and treat low back pain range from generalists to subspecialists. These specialties include emergency medicine physicians, general medicine, family medicine, internal medicine, gynecology, spine surgeons , rheumatology, pain management, and physiatry. Other health care providers for low back pain include physical therapists, chiropractors, massage therapists, psychologists, and acupuncturists.
How Can You Prevent Lower Back Pain
While you cant stop aging or change your genetic makeup, lifestyle changes can help manage and prevent lower back pain. Having a healthy lifestyle may make you less likely to suffer an accidental injury, too.
Improve your physical fitness. People who are not physically fit are more likely to develop lower back pain because strong core muscles help support the lower back.
Stay active. People who lead sedentary lives may be more likely to injure themselves when they do exert themselves. As far as back health is concerned, its better to do a smaller amount of physical activity most days of the week than to sit all week and over-exert yourself on the weekends.
Lose weight if necessary. The more you weigh, the more pressure you have on your lumbar vertebrae. Being overweight or obese can put stress on the back and lead to lower back pain.
Lift heavy objects the right way. Be sure to squat while lifting so that your hips and knees do much of the work. Keep the load close to your chest while you lift.
Your legs, not your lower back, should be the main driver when you’re lifting something heavy.Make your workspace as ergonomic as possible. If you sit at a desk, make sure your chair has plenty of low-back support and your hips are at a right angle to the floor.
Dont use tobacco products. In addition to all the other health problems tobacco use causes, it can restrict blood flow and oxygen to the discs, causing them to degenerate faster.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Lower Back Pain In Women
Pain in the lower back area can be acute or chronic . Paying attention to all symptoms you experience at the time can make management significantly easier. Symptoms of lower back pain in females depend on the cause.
As shown above, causes of pain in this area are numerous. In most cases, an affected person experiences a combination of the following symptoms:
- Dull or aching pain: refers to the pain that remains in the low back area. Pain can be stinging, burning, or sharp and it is usually accompanied by muscle spasms, pain in pelvis and hips, and decreased range of motion
- Pain feels better when changing positions: patients usually discover that some positions only enhance the pain in lower back while other positions alleviate it
- Pain gets worse after prolonged sitting: this symptom occurs in most cases of low back pain because sitting puts pressure on discs in your spine
- Pain is worse after waking up: a vast majority of patients who experience lower back pain report the discomfort is enhanced the first thing in the morning. However, pain decreases after getting up and moving
- Pain traveling to butt, legs, and feet: in some instances the pain doesnt remain in low back area, but it travels through your buttons down the legs and feet i.e. you experience symptoms of sciatica
If your lower back pain is accompanied by the following symptoms, you should seek immediate care:
- Fever and chills
- Loss of bowel and bladder control
- Severe abdominal pain
- Reproductive organs
Why Is Lower Back Pain Such A Common Problem
The bottom part of your back typically has just five vertebrae fewer than your neck and mid-back. And these vertebrae do a lot of heavy lifting! Your lower back is where your spine connects to your pelvis, bearing the weight of your upper body. This area experiences a lot of movement and stress, which may lead to wear, tear and injuries.
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Can I Prevent Lower Back Pain
You cant prevent lower back pain that results from disease or structural problems in the spine. But you can avoid injuries that cause back pain.
To reduce your risk of a back injury, you should:
- Maintain a healthy weight: Excess weight puts pressure on vertebrae and disks.
- Strengthen your abdominal muscles: Pilates and other exercise programs strengthen core muscles that support the spine.
- Lift the right way: To avoid injuries, lift with your legs . Hold heavy items close to your body. Try not to twist your torso while youre lifting.
Diagnosing Cause Of Back Pain
Living with back pain can be very difficult. Walking can be hard, sleeping might be disrupted, exercise can be painful, and your work can be affected by back pain.
To diagnose the cause of your back pain you will need to see a healthcare provider.
The most common causes of back pain are:
- Muscle sprain/strain
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If Your Pain Is Worse Working From Home
The shift to home working has been bad news for backs. Without daily commute, were moving less and our home office set up can be far from back-friendly.
Osteopath Boniface Verney Carron, co-founder of the preventive health platform Oona Series, says that back pain is often down to postural issues and that most of us need to adjust our screen height, especially if we are working from a laptop.
If you are constantly looking down at a screen, that C-shape in your spine puts pressure on the discs, says Verney Carron. Make sure you’re putting enough books under your computer so that the centre of the screen is at the level of your eyes. Its probably more than you think.
He also suggests creating a backrest with a rolled-up towel tucked between the chair and lower back to support the lower spine.
What Are The Most Common Lower Back Surgery Procedures
Spine surgery is not necessary for most people who have lower back pain. If you do need it, your doctor will recommend an appropriate procedure to address your specific symptoms and medical situation. Common spine surgeries include:
Spinal Fusion. Two or more vertebrae are permanently fused together to limit excess spinal motion. Your surgeon will use a combination of bone, bonelike material, screws, plates and rods to hold the vertebrae together so they can heal into a single unit. Spinal fusion may be done to correct spinal deformities or to increase the spines stability in severe cases of spinal osteoarthritis or herniated discs.
Laminectomy and laminotomy. Laminectomy is a surgery in which your surgeon removes the back portion of one or more vertebrae to create more space for the spinal cord or other nerves. In people with severe arthritis, bone spurs within the spinal canal can grow large enough to press on the spinal cord, causing pain and limiting mobility. In a similar surgery known as laminotomy, your surgeon will remove a small piece of bone called the lamina from the back of the vertebra.
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Symptoms That Require Immediate Attention
Sometimes low back pain can signal a serious underlying medical condition. People who experience any of the following symptoms are advised to seek immediate care.
- Loss of bladder and bowel control
- Recent weight loss not due to lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise
- Fever and chills
Additionally, people who experience pain symptoms after a major trauma are advised to see a doctor. If low back pain interferes with daily activities, mobility, sleep, or if there are other troubling symptoms, medical attention should be sought.
Chronic low back pain is usually correlated with other symptoms. Most people with ongoing low back pain and/or leg pain report difficulty with sleeping , depression and anxiety.
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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A Weakness Of The Legs
If, after lifting something heavy, you feel that discomfort accompanied by weakness or numbness of the legs, you could have a herniated disc. Herniated discs, also commonly referred to as slipped discs or a slipped disc can lead to severe complications if left untreated.
The discomfort of the upper back and neck and weakness of the legs also links to arthritis.
Omicron Covid Variant Symptoms
Symptoms for the new COVID Variant Omicron are given below.
Note: Symptoms are classified in most common symptoms, less common symptoms & serious symptoms.
Most common symptoms
Most common symptoms for the new COVID Variant Omicron are fever, cough, tiredness, loss of taste or smell.
Less common symptoms
Less common symptoms for the new COVID Variant Omicron are sore throat, headache, aches, pains, diarrhoea, a rash on skin, discolouration of fingers or toes
red or irritated eyes.
Serious symptoms for the new COVID Variant Omicron are difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, loss of speech or mobility, or confusion or chest pain.
Note: If anyone has any of these symptoms then he/she should urgently take the COVID test.
After the detection of a new variant of COVID, the WHO has advised the country and every individual to follow the SOPs .
In an article that was published on 28 November 2021 on who.int, it is mentioned that It is not yet clear whether Omicron is more transmissible compared to other variants. It may be more transmissible, studies are ongoing, in order to get transmissible details.
In the same article, WHO has said even this It is not yet clear whether infection with Omicron causes more severe disease compared to infections with other variants, including Delta
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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.
Lower Back Pain Symptoms Diagnosis And Treatment
The lumbar spine, or low back, is a remarkably well-engineered structure of interconnecting bones, joints, nerves, ligaments, and muscles all working together to provide support, strength, and flexibility. However, this complex structure also leaves the low back susceptible to injury and pain.
This article presents a model for understanding symptoms, physical findings, imaging studies, and injection techniques to come to a precise diagnosis.
Once an accurate diagnosis of the cause of the lower back pain is attained, treatment options can be selected based on todays best medical practices.
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When To Seek Medical Care For Back Pain
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.