What Are The Symptoms Of Lower Back Pain
Symptoms of lower back pain can come on suddenly or appear gradually. Sometimes, pain occurs after a specific event, such as bending to pick something up. Other times, you may not know what caused the pain.
Pain may be sharp or dull and achy, and it may radiate to your bottom or down the back of your legs . If you strain your back during an activity, you may hear a pop when it happened. Pain is often worse in certain positions and gets better when you lie down.
Other symptoms of lower back pain include:
- Stiffness: It may be tough to move or straighten your back. Getting up from a seated position may take a while, and you might feel like you need to walk or stretch to loosen up. You may notice decreased range of motion.
- Posture problems: Many people with back pain find it hard to stand up straight. You may stand crooked or bent, with your torso off to the side rather than aligned with your spine. Your lower back may look flat instead of curved.
- Muscle spasms: After a strain, muscles in the lower back can spasm or contract uncontrollably. Muscle spasms can cause extreme pain and make it difficult or impossible to stand, walk or move.
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.
When Should I Call My Healthcare Provider
- Can’t stand or walk
- Temperature over 101.0°F
- 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.
Also Check: When You Hurt Your Lower Back
Bulging Or Herniated Disc
The jelly-doughnut-looking cushions between our vertebrae are subject to injury and overall wear and tear. As we age, they dehydrate, become stiff, and sometimes balloon out and irritate neighboring nerve roots. Traumatic accidents and sudden movements can also put too much pressure on a disc and cause it to rupture, protrude, and create pain. While herniated disc symptoms vary, people can experience shooting pain down their legs.
Just hearing the words bulging disc can sound scary for some people because many assume that it means that they need back surgery. But Dr. Rifkin says this isnt often the case in fact, a disc abnormality doesn’t always mean trouble.
Most back pain is not about , he says. If you did spine MRIs on 100 patients over the age of 50, many would have disc problems, but no pain. So it is important to realize that surgery is only indicated for a relatively small proportion of back pain.
Causes Of Lower Back Pain When Looking Down
The most common sources of lower back pain from looking downwards are soft tissue problems that have caused the muscles of the region to change in strength and length. We have seen contrasting causations providing similar symptoms in many different patients and each type of muscular concern can be created by a wide range of possible contributors. This fact can make accurate diagnosis especially difficult.
Injury to the back muscles can cause them to shorten and tighten. Since the entire back musculature moves together when the neck is flexed, this tightness can cause guarding and eventually pain. Luckily, lumbar strain will usually resolve without any particular treatment, as long as it is not a chronic version of RSI.
Muscular imbalances can strengthen, shorten and tighten lumbar paraspinal muscles or elongate them and weaken them, depending on many factors. The thing to remember about muscle imbalances is that muscles work as opposing sets for either mobility or support. When one set is much tighter or stronger then its matched set, it will pull the weaker set out of alignment, making these soft tissues even weaker and more stressed due to constant tension. Therefore, if an imbalance is the source of pain, it would be logical, since the typical symptomatic expression involves tightness, guarding and sharp pulling pain.
Resolving Lower Back Pain When Looking Down
Dysfunction Of Sacroiliac Joints
Dysfunction of the sacroiliac joints is also called sacroiliitis. You have two sacroiliac joints, one on each side of your spine where it connects with the top of your pelvis. Sacroiliitis is inflammation of this joint. It can affect one or both sides.
Pain in your lower back and buttocks is the most common symptom. The pain is usually made worse by:
- unexplained weight loss
- pain after a fall or injury
If you need help finding a primary care doctor, you can browse doctors in your area through the Healthline FindCare tool.
How To Get Up From The Floor
To get up safely from lying face down:
Also Check: What Is Best To Take For Back Pain
Slipped Disc Herniated Disc Bulging Disc Whatchamacallit
There is a possibility that you might simply strain your back muscles. In that case, the most typical pain pattern is less of a stabbing pain, but more of a tenderness sore area aggravated by movement.
A more likely condition in above situation is lumbar disc injuries. When people talk about different degrees of disc injuries, terms such as “herniating”, “protruding”, “bulging”, or “slipped” are thrown around casually and used interchangeability. They all mean a break in the integrity of the gel-like disc in your lumbar spine.
Sometimes tears form in the outer layers. Other times the inner content bulges out of the disc into surrounding tissues. The inner fluid content may also leak out of the disc and irritate nerve tissues.
Acute herniated disc has these common features:
Lower Back And Groin Pain
28 November 2015
If you have a pain in your lower back and in your groin, then this article may be of interest. You may think that you have two separate conditions or problems, but these two pains, though they are in different parts of the body are more often linked or associated than not. This can apply even if one pain is quite mild and the other is quite severe.
Often the groin element can be what is known as a referred pain. This means that the pain is being referred to the groin from a problem or cause in another part of the body.
In my experience, if groin pain is a referral from the lower back, it tends to be one of four causes – so lets look at each of them in turn
Don’t Miss: Will My Lower Back Pain Go Away
You Have Pain In Your Kidneys
In addition to flu-like symptoms,kidney infections can also cause persistent back pain.
“This pain is commonly associated in the flank area of the back on either side, under the side of the ribs,” explained Conrad. The pain can come on suddenly or build up over time. He also pointed out that kidney pain may have sharp pain if you push on the sides of your back which overlap the kidneys.
Can Further Bouts Of Back Pain Be Prevented
Evidence suggests that the best way to prevent bouts of low back pain is simply to keep active and to exercise regularly. This means general fitness exercise such as walking, running, swimming, etc. There is no firm evidence to say that any particular back strengthening exercises are more useful to prevent back pain than simply keeping fit and active. It is also sensible to be back-aware. For example, do not lift objects when you are in an awkward twisting posture.
Don’t Miss: How To Help Lower Back Strain
What Structures Make Up The Back
The lower backwhere most back pain occursincludes the five vertebrae in the lumbar region, which supports much of the weight of the upper body. The spaces between the vertebrae are maintained by round, rubbery pads called intervertebral discs that act like shock absorbers throughout the spinal column to cushion the bones as the body moves. Bands of tissue known as ligaments hold the vertebrae in place, and tendons attach the muscles to the spinal column. Thirty-one pairs of nerves are rooted to the spinal cord and they control body movements and transmit signals from the body to the brain.
Other regions of vertebrate are cervical , thoracic , and sacral and coccygeal segments.
Mckenzie Positional Relief For Acute Lower Back Pain
Robin McKenzie is an Australian physiotherapist when became famous for the school of positional treatment for lower back pain that he developed in the 1950s. The McKenzie treatments are still used across the world to treat acute and transient lower back pain today because of its simplicity.
The rumor says that McKenzie discovered this treatment method by accident after leaving a patient on an extended treatment table and almost forgot about him. After rushing back to this patient, the patient has already been laying there with his back arched backward for almost 20 mins. His patient told him that his back pain has gone away in the past 20 mins and that he kind of feels great.
Science has not been able to tell us why McKenzie method works. However, it is still worth a try. If you suffer from acute lower back pain AND you feel more comfortable laying on your stomach than your back, you can try the McKenzie technique. You might find fast and easy pain relief.
Step 1: Lay on your stomach. Prop your upper body up on your elbows and stay there for about 5 mins. If you experience symptom improvement, you can continue hanging out in this position, or try step 2.
Image via hep2go.com
Step 2: Lay on your stomach. Press your upper body up on your hands with straight elbows. If you have pain with this position, return to step 1. If no pain, perform 3 sets of 10 press ups with 30 seconds of resting in between.
Image via hep2go.com
Recommended Reading: What Causes Lower Back Pain Just Above The Buttocks
Common Causes Of Chronic Lower Back Pain
“Chronic lower back pain is less likely to be caused by injury to your muscles and ligaments and more likely to be due to issues with the lumbar disks, nerves, joints or vertebrae,” says Dr. Palmer. “There are several potential causes of chronic pain in the lower back.”
In general, osteoarthritis and degenerative disk disease are the underlying cause of many types of chronic lower back pain. However, lower back pain can also be caused by accident-related trauma and acute stress.
What Home Remedies For Lower Back Pain Actually Work
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.
Don’t Miss: How To Reduce Back Pain
What Is 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.
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:
Read Also: What Can Cause Lower Back Pain When Sitting
Signs That Your Spine Is The Source Of Your Pain
Whereas groin pain is a telltale sign that the pain is linked to the hip, pain above the waistline that travels down the body typically indicates a low back issue. A low back problem may also be responsible for other types of lower body pain, including thigh, buttock, and below-the-knee pain.
Among the most common degenerative conditions that affect the lumbar spine are herniated discs, spinal stenosis, and spondylolisthesis. These conditions cause pain by irritating your low back nerves, resulting in pain that shoots down your legs , weakness, numbness, and reducing your range of motion.
The pattern of pain coming from the lumbar spine can be variable, depending of the specific issue causing the pain. Commonly, pain from arthritis of the spine occurs during transitions such as getting out of bed in the morning or raising up from sitting. It can often then improve after getting moving. In contrast, pain from spinal stenosis or nerve pressure is often worse with prolonged standing or walking and relieved with sitting.
What Is The Outlook
Most of us will have a bout of nonspecific low back pain at some point in our lives. The severity can vary. However, it is difficult to quote exact figures as to outlook . This is partly because it is so common and many people with back pain do not consult a doctor. Roughly, it is thought that:
- Most nonspecific back pains ease and go quickly, usually within a few weeks.
- In about 4 in 10 cases, the pain has completely gone within four weeks.
- In about 7 in 10 cases the pain has completely gone within one year.
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.
You May Like: How Do You Ease Lower Back Pain
Lower Back And Stomach Pain: Possible Causes And Treatments
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.