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Why Does My Lower Back Side Hurt

Treating Lower Back Pain: How Much Bed Rest Is Too Much

Why does my lower back hurt? What causes and treatments of lower back pain?

Back pain is one of the most common reasons why people visit a health care provider. The good news is that the pain often goes away on its own, and people usually recover in a week or two. Many people want to stay in bed when their back hurts. For many years, getting bed rest was the normal advice. But current studies recommend no bed rest at all and stress that staying in bed longer than 48 hours not only wont help but it may, in fact, actually delay your recovery. Heres why:

Staying in bed wont help you get better faster.If youre in terrible pain, lying down for a day to help ease the distress may seem like a good idea, but moderating your activities and staying active in a limited way is a more effective way to control your symptoms. Research suggests that if you can find comfortable positions and keep moving, you may not need bed rest at all.Research shows that:

  • Lying down longer than a day or two day isnt helpful for relieving back pain.
  • People can recover more quickly without any bed rest.
  • The sooner you start moving, even a little bit, or return to activities such as walking, the faster you are likely to improve.

Who needs bed rest?Almost no one! The only people who might require time in bed are those with unstable spinal fractures awaiting surgery.

When should I see a health care provider?You should see your health care provider right away if:

  • Heat or ice
  • Ultrasound
  • Manipulation

Check with your health care provider before starting an exercise program.

Complete Guide To Low Back Pain

This article might ease your mind, but what about your back pain? If your pain is becoming chronic , or if you just keep having flare-ups, you may want to dive much deeper into the topic. There arent any easy answers for stubborn back pain, but there is evidence-based hope, and the PainScience.com back pain tutorial explores the topic extremely thoroughly. The main text is written for patients, but its also extensively referenced for keen readers and healthcare professionals. Read the introduction.

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.

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What Does It Mean If Lower Back Pain Is Shooting Into Legs

Lower back pain can radiate to other parts of the body: up or down from its place of origin. Sometimes lower back pain can be on one side of the back, which is also normal.

If the pain is shooting from the lower back into one or both legs, it could be sciatica , but its not always the case. There are many parts in the lower back that may cause the pain to radiate into the legs, such as facet joints, sacroiliac joints, muscles or inflammation of the bursa.

When To See A Doctor For Low Right Back Pain

FAQ Q13

Seek medical attention immediately if you also experience any of the following:

  • Pain is accompanied by fever or chills
  • Severe trauma or injury to your spine
  • Numbness and tingling in the leg or foot
  • Night sweats or weight loss rapidly
  • Difficulty controlling bladder or bowel function
  • Sudden abdominal or back pain that affects your daily activities
  • Some parts of the back can be painful to touch
  • Difficulty in moving around even with simple activities such as sitting and walking
  • Muscle spasms or lower back pain lasts for a long time

Even if you do not experience the symptoms mentioned above, but you are suffering from lower back pain, get to know the actual cause of the pain. You may be surprised by the conditions that are causing your discomfort.

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Possible Causes Of Pain When Standing

In some cases, your pain may be caused by a strain, a sprain, or simple muscle fatigue. If the pain has appeared after overexertion, an accident, or a sports injury, you may have stretched or twisted a tendon or ligament . Other causes of pain while standing include:

  • Spinal stenosis a narrowing of the spinal column that puts pressure on spinal nerves
  • Hyperlordosis curvature of the lower spine
  • Herniated disc when part of a disc that acts as a cushion between two vertebrae, slips out of place, possibly compressing a nerve
  • Spondylolisthesis when a lumbar vertebra slips forward onto the bone beneath it
  • Neuropathy damage to peripheral nerves that may cause weakness, numbness, tingling, or pain in the hands and feet
  • Osteoarthritis damage to joints of the spine, known as facet joints, usually as a result of aging
  • Pinched nerves resulting from pressure from bones, cartilage, muscles, or tendons
  • Sciatica pressure on the sciatic nerve that causes pain in the hips, buttocks, and legs

Treatments For Back Pain From A Specialist

A GP, specialist or physiotherapist may recommend extra treatments if they do not think your pain will improve with self-help measures alone.

These may include:

  • group exercise classes where you’re taught exercises to strengthen your muscles and improve your posture
  • manual therapy treatments, such as manipulating the spine and massage, which are usually done by a physiotherapist, chiropractor or osteopath
  • psychological support, such as cognitive behavioural therapy , which can be a useful part of treatment if you’re struggling to cope with pain

Some people choose to see a therapist for manual therapy without seeing a GP first. If you want to do this, you’ll usually need to pay for private treatment.

Surgery is generally only considered in the small number of cases where back pain is caused by a specific medical condition.

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When Should You Seek Treatment For Acute Or Chronic Back Pain

Whether you think your back pain is acute or chronic, anytime youre experiencing pain that lasts longer than two weeks without any improvement in symptoms, we strongly suggest you get the care you need.

If you think you need care right away, you can also go to your nearest orthopedic urgent care location.

If the pain is new or you know youve tweaked something, a great place to start is to find a physical therapy location and make an appointment. Our physical therapists will tailor strengthening and mobility exercises to your unique needs, and you can plan on about six visits.

That said, acute back pain will usually heal itself over a few weeks. But chronic pain usually doesnt get better without medical intervention. Why? While home remedies and short-term back pain treatments are helpful, they provide temporary relief and dont address those underlying causes of chronic pain.

So, if youre regularly experiencing signs of chronic back pain, dont ignore it. While chronic pain is long-lasting, it doesnt have to be permanent and you probably dont need surgery. This is where the Physicians Neck & Back Center spinal strengthening program can help.

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

Why Does My Lower Back Hurt?

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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Concerned About Your Back Pain Symptoms We Can Help

Most back pain goes away on its own. But if your back pain has been lingering for more than two weeks without improvement, its been coming and going for some time, or if youre experiencing any alarming symptoms, dont delay the care you need. After all, its much easier to take care of yourself when you can move without pain.

Think PNBC may be right for you? Schedule a consultation.

You Might Be Overdoing That Area

Talk to any personal trainer and theyll stress the importance of varying the specific muscles you train throughout the week. Doubling-down on an area over and over again could be the cause of that pesky, lingering ache, Dr. Dave notes. This is especially true if youre unsure of your actual capabilities and trying to match those who are a bit more prepared than you are.

People overdo a workout by lifting too much weight, doing weight-bearing exercise while overweight, running too much without training, or overusing or overextending low back muscles, he says. Lower back pain can happen when someone tries to max out their lifting when their core and lower back are not strong enough for the stress.

To avoid this, start at a comfortable lifting weight or try bodyweight exercises with the Aaptiv app to avoid back pain due to heavy lifting.

Build your way up by focusing on your abdominals, your biceps, your quads, and every other muscle group. After all, if your middle-body is tough, your back will reap the benefits.

Pay close attention to the sensations you experience in your back. More often than not, it wont be anything serious, but dont push it. If youre concerned about your lower back pain, talk to your doctor who will be able to directly diagnose your discomfort.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Lumbar Strain

. Each person’s symptoms may be different. Symptoms may include:

  • Sudden lower back pain
  • Spasms in the lower back that result in more severe pain
  • Lower back feels sore to the touch

Some of these symptoms may be caused by other health problems. Always talk with your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.

Your Posture Could Be Causing The Pain

Why Does My Lower Back Hurt?

The way you hold your body when walking can play a major role in your comfort level and ease of walking. While good posture can result in little to no pain or stress, bad or inefficient posture can cause lower back pain and postural stress.

What are the Symptoms of Postural Stress?

Beyond lower back pain, if youre suffering from postural stress, you may also experience:

  • Aches and pains in other parts of the body, such as the neck, shoulders, and knees
  • Slumped or rounded shoulders
  • Looking down at a cell phone while walking4

Can Correct Posture While Walking Prevent Lower Back Pain?

Maintaining good posture while walking may help prevent pain in the lumbar spine. Study the way you hold your body when you are walking. Are you following these steps?

Stand up straight, without leaning forward or back.Pull in your stomach and rotate your hips forward with your buttocks in.Keep your eyes forward with your chin parallel to the ground.

It is also a good idea to increase strength in your hamstrings and back muscles to help maintain good posture. Stress management may also help decrease postural stress.5

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Where Can I Get More Information

For more information on neurological disorders or research programs funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, contact the Institute’s Brain Resources and Information Network at:

Office of Communications and Public LiaisonNational Institute of Neurological Disorders and StrokeNational Institutes of HealthBethesda, MD 20892

NINDS health-related material is provided for information purposes only and does not necessarily represent endorsement by or an official position of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke or any other Federal agency. Advice on the treatment or care of an individual patient should be obtained through consultation with a physician who has examined that patient or is familiar with that patient’s medical history.

All NINDS-prepared information is in the public domain and may be freely copied. Credit to the NINDS or the NIH is appreciated.

Chronic Low Back Pain Of No Specific Origin

Low back pain is defined as pain, tightness, and stiffness between the lower end of the rib cage and the buttocks. “Chronic” means the pain has lasted for twelve weeks or longer, and “no specific origin” means the pain cannot be traced to any specific cause, incident, or injury.

Most susceptible are individuals who perform heavy physical work, especially when there is ongoing anxiety, depression, and emotional stress at the same time. The longer the stress and back pain continue, the more difficult it is to ease the symptoms and return the patient to normal functioning.

Treatment involves nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and sometimes opioid medications for pain, though both have risks when used long term. Antidepressants may also be tried, along with psychological counseling.

Corticosteroid injections for the back are effective for some patients, and fusion surgery is sometimes attempted. Lifestyle changes in the form of improved diet, exercise, and stress management are very helpful in most cases.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: lower back pain, unintentional weight loss, back pain that shoots to the butt, fever, involuntary defecation

Symptoms that always occur with chronic low back pain of no specific origin: lower back pain

Symptoms that never occur with chronic low back pain of no specific origin: thigh numbness, buttocks numbness, lower back pain from an injury

Urgency: Primary care doctor

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When To See A Provider About One

If you have pain in the left or right side of your backthat started for no particular reason, it will most often resolve on its own orwith minimal treatment, says Dr. DeMicco. Typically, we see 50% of casesresolving within two weeks and 75% resolving by six to eight weeks.

Have you been dealing with intense pain for 10 days andover-the-counter pain relievers arent cutting it? Time to call your doctor,who may recommend:

  • Stronger medicines: Prescription-strength muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatory medications could take the edge off as your body heals.
  • Manipulation: A physical therapist, chiropractor or osteopath could perform hands-on treatment that deliver relief.

If your pain extends beyond six weeks, your doctor willlikely recommend imaging, says Dr. DeMicco. An X-ray is usually the firststep to ensure there isnt a broken bone or some other obvious reason for thepain.

Symptoms Of Back Pain

Why Does My Lower Back Hurt When I Squat & How Do I Fix This?

Symptom-wise, acute pain and chronic pain can be very similar. Back pain symptoms can include:

  • Shooting, burning or aching pain that doesnt go away or returns after using home remedies like icing or over-the-counter medications, or massage or physical therapies
  • Regular tightness or stiffness, especially after laying, sitting or standing for long periods
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Lower extremity weakness

So, how do you tell the difference between acute and chronic back pain?

It can be hard to tell the difference between acute back pain and chronic back pain, but timeframe is the biggest indicator.

The most common symptom of acute back pain is a shooting, burning or aching pain that comes on suddenly. With a little time and at-home remedies such as over-the-counter pain relief medications, cold and heat therapy, acute pain can start going away quickly as soon as two weeks.

But with chronic back pain, your symptoms can come on quickly or build over time, but they last for more than six weeks or are recurrent.

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The Big Three Signs That You Should Investigate For An Ominous Cause Of Persistent Low Back Pain

You shouldnt worry about low back pain until three conditions have been met:

  • its been bothering you for more than about 6 weeks16
  • its severe and/or not improving, or actually getting worse
  • there is at least one other red flag
  • The presence of the big three does not confirm that something horrible is going on. It only means that you need to check carefully.

    Andy Whitfield as Spartacus

    At his physical peak, not long before getting sick. The first sign of his cancer was steadily worsening back pain. He may have already been in pain at this time.

    The story of actor Andy Whitfield is a disturbing and educational example of a case that met these conditions for sure the first two, and probably the third as well if we knew the details. Whitfield was the star of the hit TV show Spartacus . The first sign of the cancer that killed him in 2011 was steadily worsening back pain. Its always hard to diagnose a cancer that starts this way, but Whitfield was in the middle of intense physical training to look the part of historys most famous gladiator. Back pain didnt seem unusual at first, and some other symptoms may have been obscured. Weight loss could have even seemed like a training victory at first! It was many long months before he was diagnosed not until the back pain was severe and constant. A scan finally revealed a large tumour pressing against his spine.

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