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What Should I Do If My Lower Back Hurts

How To Relieve Back Pain

Why Does My Lower Back Hurt When I Sit and How Can I Relieve the Pain?

The following tips may help reduce your back pain and speed up your recovery:

  • stay as active as possible and try to continue your daily activities this is 1 of the most important things you can do, as resting for long periods is likely to make the pain worse
  • try exercises and stretches for back pain other activities such as walking, swimming, yoga and pilates may also be helpful
  • take anti-inflammatory painkillers, such as ibuprofen remember to check the medicine is safe for you to take and ask a pharmacist if you’re not sure
  • use hot or cold compression packs for short-term relief you can buy these from a pharmacy, or a hot water bottle or a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a cloth or towel will work just as well

Although it can be difficult, it helps if you stay optimistic and recognise that your pain should get better. People who manage to stay positive despite their pain tend to recover quicker.

Back pain usually gets better on its own within a few weeks or months and you may not need to see a doctor or other healthcare professional.

But it’s a good idea to get help if:

  • the pain does not start to improve within a few weeks
  • the pain stops you doing your day-to-day activities
  • the pain is very severe or gets worse over time
  • you’re worried about the pain or struggling to cope

If you see a GP they will ask about your symptoms, examine your back and discuss possible treatments.

They may refer you to a specialist doctor or a physiotherapist for further help.

Less Common Causes Of Low Back Pain

Inflammation of the joints of the spine sometimes causes back pain. Osteoarthritis is the common form of arthritis and usually occurs in older people. Ankylosing spondylitis is another form of arthritis that can occur in young adults and which causes pain and stiffness in the lower back. Rheumatoid arthritis may affect the spine but you are likely to have other joints affected too.

Various uncommon bone disorders, tumours, infection and pressure from structures near to the spine occasionally cause low back pain .

The rest of this leaflet is mainly about nonspecific low back pain – the common type of low back pain.

Exercise And Physical Therapy

Aside from aging, prolonged inactivity is a significant factor in developing sciatica. If you lead a sedentary lifestyle or dont get a lot of physical exercise, your joints and muscles will stiffen and freeze up. This can make standing, walking, or even sitting down painful.

Inactivity isnt solely caused by lifestyle choices either its also a frequent consequence of traumatic injuries or conditions that force the patient to stay in bed. Even after recovery, any kind of movement will be painful since the spine isnt used to bearing the bodys weight anymore.

Physical exercise is one of the best ways to address chronic pain. However, older patients need to balance the need for physical exercise with their special considerations. In cases like these, physical therapy is a better alternative since medical staff will be close by to assist them.

Exercise and physical therapy are two of the most effective ways to alleviate mild-to-moderate sciatica. Your therapist will put you through a strict training regimen designed to loosen your joints and strengthen your muscles, allowing your spine to better support your weight. They may also recommend some exercises that you can follow at home.

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Tips To Combine Heat And Cold Therapy In Your Daily Routine

Here are a few tips to help you incorporate the use of heat and/or cold therapy in your everyday activities:

  • Keep a heat patch near your beduse it first thing in the morning to warm up your muscles if you wake up with an achy or stiff back
  • Apply a cold patch before bed if you have exercised or exerted your back
  • Use heat therapy before sleeping and after waking up if you have chronic back pain
  • Carry a couple of self-activating heat patches and ice packs in your bag or car to use while driving or at work

You are more likely to benefit from heat and cold therapy when you make these treatments a part of your daily routine.

Why Is Lower Back Pain Such A Common Problem

My Back Hurts, What Should I Do?

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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Remedies For Scoliosis Pain

Here at the Scoliosis Reduction Center, weve learned a lot about the power of scoliosis-specific chiropractic treatment and pain management. Not only does our chiropractic-centered treatment approach have positive results in terms of managing the conditions progression and achieving a reduction, it also provides our patients with a lot of relief and helps restore function.

Why Some People Get Lower Back Soreness From Deadlifting

When it comes down to it, the only reason that your lower back should hurt from deadlifting is if you are making it take on too much of the weight.

For me, the big fix was when I stopped treating deadlifting as a pulling exercise, and instead started seeing it as a pushing exercise.

You see, my deadlifting routine used to go something like this. I would get to the gym, put some weight on the bar, and then get myself into position.

However, instead of starting the movement by driving with my legs and engaging my glutes, I would forcefully lift the weight up using my upper body, putting a tremendous amount of strain on my lower back.

My back would get pretty damn sore, Ill tell you that much.

But I thought this was normal, so I kept it up year after year.

Its a back exercise, right? My back is probably supposed to hurt.

And then, every so often, I would really hurt my back during a deadlift set.

A sharp, searing pain would radiate through my lower back, forcing me to abruptly put down the weight and limp out of the gym.

Whenever this happened, I would typically be in really bad pain for a few days, which would gradually subside over the course of a week.

This would understandably scare me away from deadlifting for awhile, as similar experiences have scared away countless people from this exercise over the years.

But it doesnt have to be like that

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Unexplained Acute Low Back Pain

Unexplained low back pain means chronic pain that comes on gradually, over time, with no specific injury, event, or illness causing it.

Common causes:

  • Prolonged sitting and lack of fitness can weaken back muscles and cause pain from lack of support.
  • Ankylosing spondylitis, a form of arthritis.
  • Spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal column that puts pressure on the spinal cord.
  • Certain types of cancer, in rare cases.

Those most susceptible are over 30, overweight and/or pregnant, and not physically fit. Smoking interferes with healing after any sort of stress to the back.

If there are additional symptoms, medical care should be sought: fever, unexplained weight loss, leg weakness or numbness, or trouble urinating.

An exact diagnosis is made through blood tests and through imaging such as x-rays, CT scan, or MRI.

Once more serious causes are ruled out, treatment may include medications to ease pain, swelling, and inflammation. Steroid injections are useful in some cases.

Overall, exercise and maintaining a healthy weight can be very helpful with easing chronic low back pain.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: lower back pain, back pain that shoots to the butt, fever, back pain

Symptoms that always occur with unexplained acute low back pain:lower back pain

Symptoms that never occur with unexplained acute low back pain:buttocks numbness, thigh numbness, involuntary defecation, fever

Urgency: Self-treatment

What Home Remedies For Lower Back Pain Actually Work

Why Your Back Hurts When You Plank And How To Take Care Of It

Unless youve had a major injury, such as a fall or car accident, you probably dont need to rush to the doctor for back pain. You may want to try these simple self-care strategies first.

Avoid bed rest. When lower back pain strikes, people often think complete rest will relieve back pain. However, a review of many clinical studies found that patients who retreated to bed actually experienced more pain and recovered more slowly than patients who stayed fairly active

Use ice and/or heat. Many people find that using ice or cold packs for periods of up to 20 minutes at a time helps reduce pain and swelling. Always wrap ice or a cold pack in a thin towel before putting it on your body so you dont injure your skin. You may also find that heat, such as a heating pad or warm bath, eases pain. Ice is recommended in the first 48 hours after injury then you can try a combo of ice and heat.

Try over-the-counter remedies. Short-term use of OTC pain relievers, such as the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs ibuprofen and naproxen, may ease your lower back pain. Also consider OTC creams, gels, patches, or sprays applied to the skin. They stimulate the nerves in the skin to provide feelings of warmth or cold in order to dull the sensation of pain.

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When Is Lower Back Pain An Emergency

Most episodes of lower back pain eventually resolve on their own, but there are times when you should seek urgent medical attention. Some of these situations include:

  • Patient is a child
  • Pain is severe, constant, suddenly or progressively worsens, and/or doesnt go away
  • Pain interrupts sleep

While some situations may warrant immediate intervention, most cases are not urgent and can be scheduled at a time convenient for the patient.

How To Tell If Your Lower Back Pain Is Muscle

by Dr. Don DuffAug 20, 2019

The low back is a fairly complicated structure, so its no wonder the majority of peopleexperts estimate up to 80% of usexperience pain in this area of our bodies at some point in our lives. In fact, back pain is one of the most common reasons for visits to the doctors office.

The key to relieving back pain is understanding the cause. But diagnosing the of a patients pain isnt always a straightforward exercise. It could be muscle, joint, or disc-related in some cases, it may even arise from issues unrelated to the back. So how can you tell if your back pain is muscle- or disc-related, or attributable to something else entirely? Well cover all the possibilities in this post.

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Stop Listening To Back Pain Horror Stories

Stop listening to other peoples horror stories. You know the scenario: You are bent over in obvious pain, waiting to see the healthcare provider, and the person next to you tells you a 10-minute tale of how their Uncle Gordon had low back pain that required injections and surgery. But the pain still didnt go away.

Stop listening to these terrible stories. Most low back pain is short-lived and can be managed quite effectively with exercise and postural correction. Of course, some low back conditions are serious and require surgery, but that is a conversation you should have with your healthcare provider, not the guy in the waiting room.

Understanding The Lower Back

Should I worry about my lower back pain (LBP)?

The lower back is also called the lumbosacral area of the back. It is the part of the back between the bottom of the ribs and the top of the legs.

Most of the lower back is made up from muscles that attach to, and surround, the spine. The spine is made up of many bones called vertebrae. The vertebrae are roughly circular and between each vertebra is a disc. The discs between the vertebrae are a combination of a strong fibrous outer layer and a softer, gel-like centre. The discs act as shock absorbers and allow the spine to be flexible.

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How Common Is Lower Back Pain

Around four out of five people have lower back pain at some point in their lives. Its one of the most common reasons people visit healthcare providers.

Some people are more likely to have lower back pain than others. Risk factors for lower back pain include:

  • Age: People over 30 have more back pain. Disks wear away with age. As the disks weaken and wear down, pain and stiffness can result.
  • Weight: People who are obese or carry extra weight are more likely to have back pain. Excess weight puts pressure on joints and disks.
  • Overall health: Weakened abdominal muscles cant support the spine, which can lead to back strains and sprains. People who smoke, drink alcohol excessively or live a sedentary lifestyle have a higher risk of back pain.
  • Occupation and lifestyle: Jobs and activities that require heavy lifting or bending can increase the risk of a back injury.
  • Structural problems: Severe back pain can result from conditions, such as scoliosis, that change spine alignment.
  • Disease: People who have a family history of osteoarthritis, certain types of cancer and other disease have a higher risk of low back pain.
  • Mental health: Back pain can result from depression and anxiety.

Stop Trying Passive Treatments

Passive treatments like heat, ice or ultrasound may feel good, but their effect is usually only temporary. Most research indicates that active self-care exercise and postural correction is an effective remedy for low back pain.

A visit to your physical therapist can help determine which exercises are best for your specific condition.

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When To See A Specialist For Lower Back Pain

If you’re experiencing lower back pain that’s not responding to rest and self-care, it’s time to consider seeing a spine specialist.

“A spine specialist will likely perform a physical exam as well as one or more imaging scans to diagnose the root cause of your lower back pain. Depending on your diagnosis, he or she will then design a treatment plan aimed at alleviating your pain and preventing it from disrupting the everyday activities you enjoy,” says Dr. Palmer.

Chronic Back Pain: Long

Lower back pain treatment: What can I do to relieve my low back pain?

Chronic back pain, on the other hand, can be serious. Chronic pain is serious because the symptoms are strong enough to impact your health, mobility and quality of life for an extended period of time.

While chronic back pain can come on suddenly, it usually builds gradually and lasts more than six weeks. Chronic back pain can also be recurrent, meaning itll go away at times but regularly come back.

What causes chronic back pain? Chronic pain can be triggered by a new injury, but underlying conditions are usually the real cause. Muscle deconditioning is one of the most common contributors.

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How About Some Walking

One often overlooked form of exercise for people with sore backs is walking. Substituting walking for a harder workout may help you keep the health benefits of aerobic activity goingnot to mention alleviating some or all of your pain.

That said, walking may only be a short-term pain relief solution.

A 2015 study published in the Archives of Physical Medicine Rehabilitation found that while walking is associated with improvement in chronic musculoskeletal pain, including back pain, its effectiveness as a long term fix is not certain. The study authors caution that walking needs to be supplemented with specific strategies that target your back or other problem area.

A Herniated Or Slipped Disc

If you feel severe, sharp pain shooting through your lumbar region when walking, you might be experiencing sciatica from a slipped disc.

The bones that make up your spine are cushioned by small discs. These discs absorb shock and help protect the spinal cord. If a disc slips out of place, it can press on the spinal nerve and cause severe pain.9

What are the Symptoms of a Herniated Disc?

Symptoms may vary depending on the location and size of the injured disc. If the disc is pressing on a nerve, the symptoms may be more severe, as with sciatica.

Sciatica may cause a shooting pain, burning, tingling or numbness that occurs anywhere along the sciatic nerve from the buttocks to the legs.

Other symptoms may include:

  • Lumbar spinal pain
  • Severe, electric shock-like pain
  • A sedentary lifestyle11

What To Do If You Think You Have A Herniated or Ruptured Disc

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What Are The Symptoms Of Serious Back Injury

Severe back injuries include fractures , wounds, extensive bruising and damage to your spinal cord and internal organs.

Any of the following symptoms could indicate a severe back injury. You should see a doctor right away if you have:

  • difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • problems with urinating or passing stool
  • numbness or pins and needles to the arms, legs, hands or feet
  • fever
  • paralysis
  • blood in the urine

Seek medical assistance immediately by calling an ambulance on triple zero . Do not move the person unless they are in danger and advise the person to not move their back. Support their head, neck and spine and prevent twisting or bending movements.

How Can You Prevent Lower Back Pain

Chronic Lower Back Pain Management Tips &  Treatment ...

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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