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Why Am I Having Pain In My Lower Back

Low Back Pain Symptoms And Signs

Why am I getting LOWER BACK PAIN during pregnancy?

Pain in the lumbosacral area is the primary symptom of low back pain.

  • The pain may radiate down the front, side, or back of your leg, or it may be confined to the low back.
  • The pain may become worse with activity.
  • Occasionally, the pain may be worse at night or with prolonged sitting such as on a long car trip.
  • You may have numbness or weakness in the part of the leg that receives its nerve supply from a compressed nerve.
  • This can cause an inability to plantar flex the foot. This means you would be unable to stand on your toes or bring your foot downward. This occurs when the first sacral nerve is compressed or injured.
  • Another example would be the inability to raise your big toe upward. This results when the fifth lumbar nerve is compromised.

When To Call The Doctor

Most back pain gets better after a few weeks. But you should call the doctor if:

  • Your pain is constant or intense, especially at night or when you lie down.
  • Your pain spreads down one or both legs.
  • You feel numbness or tingling in one or both legs.
  • Youâre losing weight without trying.

Go to the emergency room right away if you have any of these symptoms:

Here Are A Few Other Tips That Might Make It Easier For You To Get Through The Day:

  • Morning Stretching: Wake up your muscles and joints by gently stretching before you get out of bed. Bring your knees to your chest to get a lower-back stretch. Also, stretch your arms above your head and reach your feet in the opposite direction. Pay attention to the tight areas of your body, then talk to a physical therapist or doctor about the stretches that could help your situation.
  • Core Strength: Building the muscles in your core can improve your overall body structure, helping to reduce the back pain you are experiencing. No, were not talking about hundreds of crunches each day because certain ab exercises can exacerbate the problem. A physical therapist can provide personalized recommendations, which might include planks, stretching, gentle cardio, and other tips to support the overall structure of your body.
  • Medications: When the pain is intense, then medication can provide immediate relief to dull the discomfort. Talk to your doctor about over-the-counter medications such as NSAIDs or acetaminophen. For severe back pain, prescription medications can sometimes be used. But you need to be careful to avoid dependence on these pain relievers. Medication should be used as a short-term strategy until you can address the root problem.

Read Also: Mayo Clinic Lower Back Pain Exercises

When To See A Healthcare Provider

If the pain keeps you up at night, lasts longer than a week or if this is a recurrence rather than a first time experience of the symptoms, it’s best to consult with your healthcare provider. The same is true if youve had an injury or cancer.

Note that these are just a few of the signs that your back needs medical attention there are a number of others, as well.

Other Types Of Diagnosis

121 best images about Oh, my back!! on Pinterest ...
  • 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.

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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.

Myofascial Pain Syndrome And/or Fibromyalgia

There are two common causes for widespread moderate body pain, both somewhat mysterious and controversial, both known for affecting the back more than other areas, and both known for their morning hijinks:

  • Myofascial pain syndrome is an infestation of too many trigger points sore, aching patches of soft tissue that often seem to ease with massage and heat, but which are mostly unexplained and difficult to treat.
  • Fibromyalgia , a disease of increased soreness and sensitivity, fatigue, and sleep disturbance, exercise intolerance, and the infamous fibro fog .
  • Theres likely lots of overlap between these conditions. Fibromyalgia isnt really an explanatory diagnosis it just labels a common pattern of symptoms that could have several different causes. MPS is a hypothetical problem with muscle tissue that is a possile explanation for some body pain, and that type of pain is extremely common in fibromyalgia patients.

    Fibromyalgia is associated with morning back pain because:

  • People with FM rarely feel rested. The condition either causes or is caused by fragmented sleep and a lack of deep restorative sleep. Fatigue makes any pain worse, and this is probably felt mostly acutely in the morning, gradually yielding to the stimulations of the day: exercise, sunlight, coffee, people, noise and so on. The morning-ness of fibromyalgia pain could also just be one of those things, an unexplained rhythm of the disease.
  • Recommended Reading: Advil Good For Back Pain

    Lower Back And Stomach Pain: Possible Causes And Treatments

    Jenny Hills, Nutritionist and Medical Writer Health

    Lower back and stomach pain is an unpleasant and worrying experience for any person. Because there are a number of organs in the abdominal and lower back area, there are many different reasons for having pain there. Pain in the stomach and lower back can be caused by constipation, stones in the kidney or gallbladder, or a cyst. However, sometimes the pain could be a sign of a more serious condition like appendicitis or even a heart attack.

    Lower back and abdominal pain should never be ignored. Some home remedies can help you find relief from some of the symptoms of lower abdomen and back pain. However, if your symptoms last for more than a few days, or you experience intense or severe pain in your stomach and back, you should visit your doctor for a checkup. This is especially true if the pain is accompanied by nausea, vomiting, severe cramps, or pains in your chest.

    Lets look at the different reasons why you can experience lower back and stomach pain. This will help you find the root cause of your pain and discomfort and discover if there are any natural home remedies to give you relief.

    What Are The Warning Signs Of A Serious Problem

    Why does my lower back hurt? | Reasons for lower back pain

    Very rarely back pain or pain that travels down the leg is a sign of a serious problem.

    If you have any of the following symptoms, you should seek urgent medical attention:

    • difficulty controlling or passing urine
    • loss of control of your bowels
    • numbness around your back passage or your genitals
    • serious weakness in your legs so you find standing really difficult
    • severe and ongoing back pain that gets worse over several weeks.

    The above symptoms could potentially be linked to a rare but serious condition that needs urgent medical attention.

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    Lower Back Pain During Your Period: Causes Diagnosis And Treatment

    Many people experience bloating, headaches, and abdominal pain during their period. Another common symptom that people experience during their period is lower back pain. This pain often occurs as part of premenstrual syndrome . Less commonly, it can occur as a result of diseases such as endometriosis.

    Back pain caused by your period may range from mild discomfort to debilitating pain that interferes with daily activities. Back pain associated with your period can start a few days before it starts and get better after your period is over. This type of back pain is typically muscular and caused by hormonal changes. Lets discuss how to manage lower back pain before, during, and after your period.

    What Can I Do To Help With The Pain

    • Try not to do things that make the pain worse, like sitting for a long time, lifting heavy objects, or bending or twisting.

    • Stick to your normal activities as much as you can. Gentle exercise like walking helps you get better more quickly.

    • Some over-the-counter medicines can help pain or swelling. These include ibuprofen , naproxen , and acetaminophen . Your doctor may give you medicine to help with pain or muscle spasms.

    • Try using heating pads or taking a warm bath or shower.

    • Your doctor can show you some gentle exercises to help stretch your back and make the muscles stronger.

    • A physical therapist, massage therapist, or chiropractor may help with your pain and make you feel better.

    Recommended Reading: Is Motrin Good For Back Pain

    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.

    Whats New In This Article

    DIY Lower Back Pain Relief Exercises and Education from a ...

    Seventeen updates have been logged for this article since publication . All PainScience.com updates are logged to show a long term commitment to quality, accuracy, and currency. moreWhens the last time you read a blog post and found a list of many changes made to that page since publication? Like good footnotes, this sets PainScience.com apart from other health websites and blogs. Although footnotes are more useful, the update logs are important. They are fine print, but more meaningful than most of the comments that most Internet pages waste pixels on. I log any change to articles that might be of interest to a keen reader. Complete update logging of all noteworthy improvements to all articles started in 2016. Prior to that, I only logged major updates for the most popular and controversial articles.See the Whats New? page for updates to all recent site updates.

    2020 New section, Poor quality sleep and insomnia are probably major causes of morning back pain. Also made some minor improvements to the introduction and article summary.

    2020 Comprehensive editing. Re-wrote the summary. Refined advice on treating inflammation. Explained fibromyalgia more clearly and accurately. Added more about mattresses. Improved organization, in-document navigation, and added a few sprinkles of humour.

    2018 Significant science update: cited Steffens on back pain risk factors, a fascinating study that adds some important data to this article.

    2007 Publication.

    Recommended Reading: Back Pain Advil

    What Causes Lower Back Pain

    Many injuries, conditions and diseases can cause lower back pain. They include:

    • Strains and sprains: Back strains and sprains are the most common cause of back pain. You can injure muscles, tendons or ligaments by lifting something too heavy or not lifting safely. Some people strain their back by sneezing, coughing, twisting or bending over.
    • Fractures: The bones in the spine can break during an accident, like a car crash or a fall. Certain conditions increase the risk of fractures.
    • Disk problems: Disks cushion the vertebrae . Disks can bulge from their position in the spine and press on a nerve. They can also tear . With age, disks can get flatter and offer less protection .
    • Structural problems: A condition called spinal stenosis happens when the spinal column is too narrow for the spinal cord. Something pinching the spinal cord can cause severe sciatic nerve pain and lower back pain. Scoliosis can lead to pain, stiffness and difficulty moving.
    • Arthritis: Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis to cause lower back pain. Ankylosing spondylitis causes lower back pain, inflammation and stiffness in the spine.
    • Disease:Spine tumors, infections and several types of cancer can cause back pain. Other conditions can cause back pain, too. These include kidney stones and abdominal aortic aneurysm.
    • Spondylolisthesis: This condition causes the vertebrae in the spine to slip out of place. Spondylolisthesis leads to low back pain and often leg pain as well.

    How Is Lower Back Pain Diagnosed

    Your provider will ask about your symptoms and do a physical exam. To check for broken bones or other damage, your provider may order imaging studies. These studies help your provider see clear pictures of your vertebrae, disks, muscles, ligaments and tendons.

    Your provider may order:

    • Spine X-ray, which uses radiation to produce images of bones.
    • MRI, which uses a magnet and radio waves to create pictures of bones, muscles, tendons and other soft tissues.
    • CT scan, which uses X-rays and a computer to create 3D images of bones and soft tissues.
    • Electromyography to test nerves and muscles and check for neuropathy , which can cause tingling or numbness in your legs.

      Depending on the cause of pain, your provider may also order blood tests or urine tests. Blood tests can detect genetic markers for some conditions that cause back pain . Urine tests check for kidney stones, which cause pain in the flank .

    Read Also: How Does A Diuretic Help Back Pain

    Is There Such A Thing As Poor Posture When Sleeping

    Yes, but I believe its rare for it to be bad enough to matter much. As discussed already, most awkward postures during sleep involve relatively minor postural stresses being a little twisted this-a-way or that-a-way that we tolerate for too long because were unconscious. Such postural stresses arent a bad habit in any meaningful sense. But it is also possible to be so habitually careless with sleeping position that it does constitute poor posture. If you know that a particular sleeping position is uncomfortable for you, but you keep sleeping like that, thats a poor sleeping posture.

    Or is it a bad habit if you cant stop it? If its something you do habitually but unconsciously? This is a philosophical puzzle for the reader to work out.

    Habitual sleeping position is clearly a factor in some back pain. Just about the only study ever done on this topic showed a small improvement in a few back pain patients who were instructed regarding the recommended way to sleep which basically meant a more neutral position.24 The benefit was real but small. I think conscious sleep positioning is only a minor factor in low back pain, and tough to fix. Usually we dont even suspect a problem with our sleep posture until its too late! For most people, trying to work on sleeping position probably does not offer particularly good bang for buck.

    Articles Like This Dont Write Themselves

    Why Do I Have Lower Back Pain?

    Suggested price to continue reading is $6 USD.? Dont want to pay? Just keep on scrollin by! Like passing a street busker.

    You do not have to pay to continue reading. The suggested price really is just a suggestion. I refuse to clutter my pages with typical internet advertising so instead you get a strongly worded suggestion to support my work. But only in a few of the most substantive and popular articles.

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    But, if youve come this far with me, you can see that this is a super deep dive into the topic of morning back pain, like a small ebook that I could easily be selling to Kindle users . Certainly its more than a mere article: its an actively maintained resource, heavily referenced, and ad-free for millions of readers over the years. Please help it exist.

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    Read Also: Exercise For Lower Back Pain Mayo Clinic

    What Type Of Doctor Should I See For Back Pain

    This depends on your condition or symptoms. If you have no obvious injury that would explain your pain, you may want to start by seeing a . This is a specialist in physical medicine who can diagnose back pain and determine whether nonsurgical treatments such as physical therapy may help. Depending on those findings, a physiatrist may also refer you to a , doctor or other type of back specialist, , for additional discussion.

    Inflammation Sleep Stress And Pain

    The link between sleep and pain is based on some superficially simple inflammatory biology: bad sleep is inflammatory and inflammation makes it harder to sleep, which is not widely appreciated. That means that sleeping badly can actually make it harder to sleep well!17 This is a vicious cycle every extremely frustrated insomniac is familiar with: being exhausted from a sleepless is not a guarantee that you will sleep well the next night.

    And that vicious cycle is relevant to night and morning pain, which is known to be significantly mediated by the immune system signalling molecule interleukin-6. IL-6 and inflammation are almost synonymous more of one means more of the other. Everyone knows that stress makes it harder to sleep, but how? Its not just because your mind is racing its because stress makes us produce IL-6, which is inflammatory, and inflammation in turn makes it harder to sleep! And then the bad sleep also makes us pump more IL-6

    And thats why its important to get your sleep!

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