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Why Am I Getting Lower Back Pain

When Lower Back Pain Is Serious

Why am I getting LOWER BACK PAIN during pregnancy?

As a general rule, if your lower back pain does not subside within 1 to 2 weeks, you should visit your doctor. Odds are that your pain is not a sign of a medical emergency, but a doctor can provide you with an accurate diagnosis and recommend a treatment plan.

A good treatment plan will address your symptoms as well as the underlying condition causing them. Conversely, a wrong diagnosis and treatments can sometimes make your back pain worse.

Can Lower Back Pain Be A Sign Of Something Serious Like Cancer

Lower back pain can be related to cancer. In fact, it is one of the first symptoms of prostate cancer when it metastasizes and creates lesions. Almost any cancer can spread to the back and some, like sarcoma, can originate in the back. Be cautious, especially if you are experiencing other symptoms besides lower back pain. Talk to your doctor if you have additional symptoms or concerns.

Drugs Are Not Part Of The Latest Recommendations For Treating Mechanical Back Pain

What the researchers found was surprising: for acute and subacute low back pain, the best and safest treatments are not medicines. The ACP made the following strong recommendation:

Most patients with acute or subacute low back pain improve over time regardless of treatment and can avoid potentially harmful and costly treatments and tests. First-line therapy should include nondrug therapy, such as superficial heat, massage, acupuncture, or spinal manipulation. When nondrug therapy fails, consider NSAIDs or skeletal muscle relaxants.

Because most mechanical back pain improves no matter what, we dont want to prescribe treatment that can cause harm. Because some medications carry significant risks, we really shouldnt be recommending these right off the bat. Rather, we should be providing guidance on heating pad or hot water bottle use, and recommendations or referrals to acupuncturists, massage therapists, and chiropractors. These therapies were somewhat effective, and are very unlikely to cause harm.

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The Universal Guide To Lower Back Pain: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know Straight From The Experts

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If youve ever had lower back pain stop you from doing what you want, youre not alone. Lower back pain is one of the most common medical problems in the world. It is a leading reason why people visit a doctor, affecting more than 80% of adults at some point in their lives. According to the Global Burden of Diseasea significant study published in the Lancet medical journallower back pain is also a leading cause of disability.

While severe lower back pain can cause worry, pain severity is not always an indication something is seriously wrong. Photo Source: Shutterstock.

You may not be able to prevent lower back pain, especially as you age and your back loses some strength and resilience. Fortunately, there are many ways you can get relief, no matter the cause of your back pain.

Signs That Its Time To Call A Doctor For Your Back Pain

I am having cramps in my lower abdomen after taking I

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.

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Home Remedies For Lower Back Pain When Sitting

In addition to improving your posture when sitting, try these at-home remedies for lower back pain:

  • Change your position. Consider a standing desk or one thats ergonomically designed to help you maintain good posture by allowing you to adjust the height of your monitor.
  • Apply ice.Cold helps reduce inflammation that may be affecting your back. Leave the ice pack on for about 20 minutes, and then remove it. You can do this every hour or so.
  • Use a heating pad. After any inflammation is under control , many people find heat soothing. It also promotes healing by bringing blood to your back.
  • Take over-the-counter medication.Pain relievers like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can reduce discomfort and swelling.
  • Use a support. Placing a rolled-up towel or special lumbar pillow at the base of your spine while sitting will help you remember to sit up straight and provide you with some stability.
  • Get a massage. This can help loosen and relax tight muscles.
  • Consider yoga.Yoga is known for its ability to stretch and strengthen the body. Many programs allow for modification of the poses as needed.

There are several exercises that will help strengthen your lower back. Try these three stretching exercises to help make your back stronger and better toned:

What Are Some Complementary Alternative And Emerging Treatments For Lower Back Pain

In some cases, doctors suggest therapies that are not considered standard of care. They probably wont be covered by insurance, but they may be worth considering. Examples include:

Platelet-rich plasma . PRP treatments use a small sample of your own blood that has concentrated amounts of blood building blocks known as platelets. Your doctor then injects the PRP directly into a damaged disc. The theory is that PRP injections use your own healing system to accelerate improvement of injured tendons, ligaments, muscles, and joints. PRP treatment has a longer track record in knee osteoarthritis, but a recent review article in the Journal of Spine Surgery suggests it may have a useful role for back pain, too. PRP needs a lot more research before it can be considered a proven technique.

Stem cells. In this emerging treatment, your doctor injects stem cells harvested from your hip into the intervertebral disc or discs causing your pain. Doing so may lessen pain and the degenerative effects of aging, though, like PRP, more research is needed before stem cells for lower back pain could eventually become the standard of care.

Acupuncture. Your doctor probably doesnt perform acupuncture , but may support you trying it as a complementary therapy. Acupuncture involves careful insertion of fine, sterile needles into specific points on your body. This may stimulate the release of your natural pain-killing chemicals.

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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.

All The Red Flags For Ominous Causes Of Back Pain

How To Stop Lower Back Pain While Sitting (TRY THIS)

Red flags are signs or symptoms that something medically ominous may be going on. Red flags are not reliable, and their presence is not a diagnosis. When you have some red flags, it only indicates a need to look more closely. Sometimes red flags are missing even when there really is something serious going on and sometimes they are a false alarm.24 Check off all that apply hopefully none or few or only the least alarming of them!

Some of these red flags are much less red than others, especially depending on the circumstances. For instance, weight loss is common and often the sign of successful diet! Obviously, if you know of a harmless reason why you have a red flag symptom, it isnt really a red flag . But every single actual red flag in combination with severe low back pain thats been going on for several weeks is definitely a good reason to get yourself checked out.

Most people who check off an item or two will turn out not to have an ominous cause for their low back pain. But why not check?

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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.

All Of The Worst Possible Causes Of Back Pain And Their Major Features

None of these are common. All of them usually cause serious symptoms that are easy to take seriously. Some of them can fly under the radar in early stages, but usually not for long. The names of the conditions link to carefully chosen articles from good sources.

The worst possible causes of back pain

what is it?

Finucane LM, Downie A, Mercer C, et al. International Framework for Red Flags for Potential Serious Spinal Pathologies. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2020 Jul 50:350372. PubMed #32438853

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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

How To Relieve Back Pain

Pin on How To Get Rid Of Your Back 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.

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When To Contact A Doctor

Sometimes, people know the cause of their sharp lower back pain. For example, the pain may happen after they bend to pick something up or after an intense workout at the gym. In these cases, rest and home care may be enough to help the body heal.

However, there are some occasions when a person should contact a doctor, including:

  • when the pain does not respond well to home treatments
  • when pain that has no known cause lasts for longer than a couple of days
  • when they experience tingling or weakness in the legs

People should take note of any symptoms as they appear to share with the doctor. The doctor will likely ask the person to describe their symptoms and how long they have persisted. They may also ask the person to do a series of movements to try to find the exact point of pain in the back and determine the underlying cause.

In some cases, the doctor may also order imaging tests, such as X-rays or MRI scans, to help with the diagnosis.

Who Should I See For Lower Back Pain

Your primary care physician knows you best and should be your first contact for lower back pain. If he or she is unable to diagnose or treat the issue, you may get referred to a specialist, such as a rehabilitation physician . These specialists practice a comprehensive approach to lower back pain, and can diagnose and treat a variety of conditions that have lower back pain as a symptom.

Later, you may get referred to a physical therapist, a chiropractor or another practitioner depending on the nature of your back pain. The good news is that surgery is rarely needed for lower back pain. Only about one in ten patients needs lower back surgery, Chhatre says.

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Persistent Low Back Pain

Nonspecific low back pain is classed as chronic if it lasts for longer than six weeks. In some people it lasts for months, or even years. Symptoms may be constant. However, the more usual pattern is one in which symptoms follow an irregular course. That is, reasonably long periods of mild or moderate pain may be interrupted by bouts of more severe pain.

When Should I Call My Healthcare Provider

Why am I always in pain? Unlocking the causes of chronic pain
  • Can’t stand or walk
  • Temperature over 101.0°F
  • Chills
  • 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.

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Following Up With Your Doctor

After making treatment recommendations, a doctor will typically ask to see you again in 6 to 12 weeks. In the interim, if your chronic back pain symptoms do not improve or even get worse with treatment, you can contact your doctors office and ask about adjusting the treatment plan.

For example, if you have been diagnosed with chronic lower back pain caused by degenerative disc disease, you may be prescribed a muscle relaxant or advised to take an over-the-counter pain reliever. If you find the recommended medication causes side effects that you cant tolerate, your doctor can recommend alternatives.

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.

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When To Get Help

If your back pain is disrupting your daily life, impacting your ability to care for your children, go to work, or you find yourself taking pain medicine regularly, then its time to take to your doctor. He or she can identify the underlying cause of your back pain and will help you to put a plan in place to help you mitigate your discomfort and resume your normal activities.

Why Is Lower Back Pain Such A Common Problem

Left side of back hurts when i lay down

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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