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
When To See A Doctor
Back pain usually goes away on its own or with the help of home remedies that are effective for back pain. However, in some cases, its important to see a doctor for severe or chronic back pain. Doctors from the National Institutes of Health recommend visiting a doctor if you have the following types of back pain:
- Your back pain is severe and home treatments dont give relief from the pain.
- You have tingling in your arms and legs.
- You have back pain after suffering a trauma.
- You develop bladder or bowel problems.
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Types Of Low Back Pain
If your back pain is short-term — meaning it lasts a few days or a few weeks — doctors call it âacute.â If it has gone on for 3 months or more, itâs considered chronic.
You may hear the term âmechanicalâ low back pain. That means the problem involves the moving parts of your back — disks, vertebrae, ligaments, tendons, and muscles.
Other names for low back pain include lumbar syndrome and lumbago.
How your back pain feels can vary. You might describe yours as:
It may also radiate down into your butt, hips, or thighs.
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How Can You Prevent Lower Back Pain
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.
How To Get Out Of Bed
To get out of bed safely:
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Red Flags And Worrying Symptoms
You should seek medical help immediately if you have back pain and also have:
- chest pain
- numbness or tingling around your genitals or buttocks
- difficulty peeing
- loss of bladder or bowel control peeing or pooing yourself
- a swelling or a deformity in your back
- if the pain is coming from the top of your back, between your shoulders, rather than your lower back
- if your pain started after a serious accident, such as a car accident
- if your pain does not improve after resting or is worse at night
- if your pain is so bad you’re having problems sleeping
- if your pain is made worse when sneezing, coughing or pooing
These symptoms could be a sign of something more serious and need to be checked urgently. It’s also a good idea to see your doctor if:
- the pain is very severe or gets worse over time
- you’re worried about the pain or struggling to cope
- the pain does not start to improve within a few weeks
- the pain stops you from doing your day-to-day activities
If you don’t have these symptoms, but are concerned or uncomfortable due to your back pain, you should still see a doctor. They will be able to discuss your symptoms and talk to you about treatment options.
These might include self-help techniques, such as low-impact exercises to do at home. You might be referred to a specialist, such as a physiotherapist, for further tests and care.
Bone And Muscle Causes
Middle back pain refers to pain that occurs below the neck and above the bottom of the rib cage.
The area contains numerous bones, muscles, ligaments, and nerves. Pain can come directly from any of these. It can also come from nearby organs that can cause referred pain thats felt in the middle back.
There are a number of bone and muscle issues that can cause middle back pain on your left side.
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Two Back Pain Situations You Should Take Seriously Right Away No Delay
These two back pain scenarios might be medical emergencies. They do not necessarily mean something horrible is wrong, but its important to make sure.
Isnt it rather obvious that a potential spinal fracture is an emergency?
Youd think so. But consider this story of a motorcycle accident: many years ago, a friend hit a car that had pulled out from a side street. He flew over the car & landed on his head. Bystanders showed their ignorance of spinal fracture by, yikes, carelessly moving him. In fact, his thoracic spine was significantly fractured yet the hospital actually refused to do an X-ray because he had no obvious symptoms of a spinal fracture. Incredible! The next day, a horrified orthopedic surgeon ordered an X-ray immediately, confirming the fracture & quite possibly saved him from paralysis.
Pain + weakness in both legs as symptoms of cauda equina syndrome or not
That said, obviously you should be checked out if you are experiencing true saddle numbness.17 Even if its not CES, any significant malfunction of your plumbing should be taken seriously.
Is It Because Of Something I Did
Falling down, getting into a car accident, or even overdoing it in that pick-up game over the weekend can cause problems you feel in your lower back, like:
Spine/vertebral fractures: Your back may have a broken bone if it gets hit hard or you fall from a great height.
Sprains and strains: Lifting and twisting at the same time, or swinging a golf club, can pull or tear the ligaments, muscles, and tendons in your back.
Spasms: These are muscle contractions, and they hurt. They generally happen when you sprain or strain your lower back.
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Common Sources Of Lower Left Back Pain
Lower left back pain is typically caused by either of the following sources:
Most cases of lower back pain stem from minor injuries, such as a strained lower back muscle or ligament. While a muscle strain is minor and will heal within a few days or weeks, the pain may be severe and incapacitating.
Understanding possible causes of lower back pain, along with typical characteristics and symptoms, can help patients in consulting with their doctors for an accurate diagnosis and treatments.
General Health And Lifestyle Issues
If youre a woman, lower left back pain may be a symptom of a gynecological disorder.
And, if youre overweight , this could be the culprit behind any pain you have in the left side of your lower back.
Generally speaking, weight loss and a healthy diet and lifestyle can significantly reduce lower back pain.
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What Should I Know About Back Pain
Back pain is a very common problem and will affect many of us at some point during our lives.
The good news is that in most cases it isnt a serious problem, and it might just be caused by a simple strain to a muscle or ligament.
As far as possible, its best to continue with your normal everyday activities as soon as you can and to keep moving.
Being active and exercising wont make your back pain worse, even if you have a bit of pain and discomfort at first. Staying active will help you get better. Taking painkillers can help you do this.
Stretching Exercises For Back Pain Relief
According to physiotherapist Dr. Phil Page, gentle back stretches can help to release muscular tension and at the same time strengthen the back.20
Prayer stretch to release tension from your middle back:
Framing the door exercise:
This exercise helps to increase mobility in your middle and upper back and can help to alleviate thoracic back pain.
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When Does A Lower Back Pain Require Medical Attention
However, there are certain lower back pains that cant be remedied by time and over-the-counter medications. You need to see your doctor if your pain doesnt get better after a few weeks and/or theres tingling, weakness, and numbness, especially in your legs. The same goes for sudden and severe pain as well. Other red flags include difficulties in urinating, fever, unexplained weight loss, and bowel control issues.
Herniated Disk In The Lower Back
The backbone, or spine, is made up of 26 bones called vertebrae. In between the bones are soft disks filled with a jelly-like substance. These disks cushion the vertebrae and keep them in place. Although people talk about a slipped disk, nothing actually slips out of place. The outer shell of the disk ruptures, and the jelly-like substance bulges out. It may be pressing on a nerve, which is what causes the pain.A slipped disk is more likely to happen due to strain on the back, such as during heavy lifting, and older individuals are at higher risk.
Top Symptoms: lower back pain, moderate back pain, back pain that shoots down the leg, back pain that gets worse when sitting, leg weakness
Urgency: Primary care doctor
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Pain In Lower Left Side Of Stomach And Back Causes Treatment Remedies
Pain is an unpleasant subjective sensation which is capable of causing significant discomfort. Pain in any part of the body can also often disable a person can disrupt his/ her daily routine activities.
Stomach pain, for the matter, is one of the most common complaints with which people present to the clinic. It also accounts for the maximum number of leaves for both children as well as adults. Similarly, back pain is also one of the most commonly occurring complaints especially among the adult population. According to a study, an estimate of about 60-80% population experience back pain at least once in their lifetime.
Back pain can be due to a cause within the back or spinal cord or it may be referred from adjacent body structures in presence of some disease or infirmity. Stomach pain and back pain can be acute or chronic, depending entirely upon the onset, duration and progress of the patients complaints.
Plenty of genetic as well as environmental factors play a role in the development of pain in lower left hand side of stomach and back.
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Preventing Upper Back Pain
While back pain is common, its possible to lower your risk of getting upper back pain. Here are some tips:
- Practice good posture. Sit and stand up straight. When you sit, position your hips and knees at 90 degrees.
- Exercise.Cardio and resistance training will strengthen your back muscles and lower your risk of injury.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Excess weight can place stress on the back.
- Quit or avoid smoking. This will help you quickly heal after a back injury. Quitting is often difficult, but a doctor can help you develop a smoking cessation plan right for you.
Other Reading On Painsciencecom About Back Pain
- 6 Main Causes of Morning Back Pain Why is back pain worst first thing in the morning, and what can you do about it?
- 34 Surprising Causes of Pain Trying to understand pain when there is no obvious explanation.
- Dont Worry About Lifting Technique The importance of lift with your legs, not your back to prevent back pain has been exaggerated.
- Chronic Low Back Pain Is Not So Chronic The prognosis for chronic low back pain is better than most people realize especially for Australians in Australia!
- Spinal Subluxation Can your spine be out of alignment? Chiropractics big idea has been misleading patients for more than a century.
- Back Pain & Trigger Points A quick introduction to the role of trigger points in back pain
And the big one
- Complete Guide to Low Back Pain Everything on one mighty page: an extremely detailed guide to the myths, controversies, the nature of the beast and the highlight dozens of detailed, evidence-based reviews of treatment and therapy options. This huge tutorial also focusses on a topic I think is neglected: the role of muscle in back pain.
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