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Why Is My Low Back Hurting

Is It Possible To Prevent Low Back Pain

How Coughing Causes Low Back Pain (and what to do about it)

Avoiding injury to the low back is a method of preventing low back pain. Additionally, conditioning exercise programs designed to strengthen the lumbar area and adjacent tissues can help to minimize risk of injury to the low back. Specific programs to relieve and prevent back pain can be designed with the help of physical therapists and other treating health care professionals.

The Dangers Of The Cycle Of Morning Back Problems

As you go to bed, the following extensive chain of events occurs:

  • Natural endorphins or medications metabolize and the inflammatory symptoms reappear
  • Loose and warm muscles begin to cool down, reducing circulation
  • Muscles that were mobile throughout the day stop moving, reducing flexibility and circulation
  • Mobile and free joints come to rest, allowing the muscles to tighten and the joint space to swell
  • Looser muscles once in motion, stop, leading to muscle tightness and stiffness
  • Muscles which are already tight, become tighter due to all of the above factors
  • Reduced joint space from tightening leads to impingement of nerves and discs
  • Over tightened muscles cause antagonistic muscles to lose activity
  • The lumbar spine becomes arched, irritated and inflamed from these imbalances
  • Imbalanced muscles along with tighter joint spaces, contribute pressure on bulging discs
  • Increased disc pressure impinge on nerve roots affecting downstream sensitivity and motor function
  • Inflammatory pain contributes to generalized anxiety and interrupted sleep
  • Your sensitivity discomfort becomes heightened, increasing your need for medication
  • What once was believed to be appreciated as a restful period, actually becomes an ordeal of severe discomfort.

    What Are Some Other Causes Of Lower Back Pain

    The shape of your spine, and well as spinal diseases, are other culprits in lower back pain. Depending on a range of factors, your doctor may look for:

    Abnormal spinal curvature. A normal spine resembles a gently curved letter S when seen from the side. Abnormal curves include:

    • Lordosis, in which the spine curves too far inward at the lower back
    • Kyphosis, in which the spine is abnormally rounded in the upper back
    • Scoliosis, in which the spine curves from side to side, often in a C shape

    Normal and abnormal curves of the spineArthritis. There are more than 100 types of arthritis, many of which can cause lower back pain. The most common types include osteoarthritis , rheumatoid arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis.

    Cauda equina syndrome . Compression of the bundle of nerves that forms below the spinal cord in the lumbar spine. It is a rare but serious disorder that requires immediate medical attention and possibly emergency surgery. CES got its name from the fact that the fanned-out bundle of nerves resembles the base of a horses tail.

    Discitis or osteomyelitis.Both infections of discs and bone can cause severe pain and require prompt medical attention.

    Spinal tumors. When cells divide and multiply unchecked, the result is a tumor. Both benign and malignant tumors can cause lower back pain. They can either originate in the spine or metastasize there, meaning theyve spread from somewhere else in the body.

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    Lower Back Pain May Be A Symptom Of The Omicron Variant

    If you’re feeling new, unexplained pain in your back, it could be a sign of COVID. New data from the ZOE Covid Study App has revealed that lower back pain is one of the eight new symptoms of the Omicron variant, as reported by The Telegraph. This sign was first associated with the latest iteration of the virus early on by doctors in South Africa, who said they were seeing frequent instances of muscle aches that were manifesting as lower back pain in the Omicron patients they were treating, per The Washington Post.

    When Should I See My Healthcare Provider About Lower Back Pain

    Lower Right Back Pain : Symptoms, Causes &  Treatment of ...

    Lower back pain usually gets better with rest and pain relievers. Back pain that doesnt go away may be a sign of a more serious condition.

    See your provider if you have:

    • Pain that doesnt get better after about a week of at-home care.
    • Tingling, numbness, weakness or pain in your buttocks or legs.
    • Severe pain or muscle spasms that interfere with your normal activities.
    • Fever, weight loss, bowel or bladder problems or other unexplained symptoms.

    A note from Cleveland Clinic

    Millions of people live with low back pain. Stiffness, pain and limited movement can have a major impact on quality of life. But you may be able to avoid lower back pain by maintaining a healthy weight and staying active. Talk to your provider if back pain doesnt go away or if youre unable to do the activities you enjoy. Several treatments can relieve pain, help you move better and get more out of life.

    Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/18/2021.

    References

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    Sharp Pain In The Lower Back And Hip On One Side

    A shooting and sharp pain felt on one side on your lower back and hip may be caused by muscle spasm, joint dysfunction, and/or nerve compression in the region. Common conditions that cause this type of pain are discussed below.

    Spasm of the piriformis muscle located deep in the buttock may cause 5:

    • Moderate to severe lower back, hip, and buttock pain
    • Referred pain that may extend into the back of the thigh
    • Inability to sit for a long time

    The pain is typically felt on one side and may be worsened by hip movements, such as when getting out of bed.5

    Piriformis syndrome is commonly caused by overactivity of the hip rotator muscles or sitting on hard surfaces for prolonged periods of time. An injury to the buttock may also cause this pain.6

    Read more: What Is Piriformis Syndrome?

    Yoga: Stretching For Back Pain

    If back pain doesn’t go away in three months, there’s evidence that yoga can help. In one recent study, people who took 12 weeks of yoga classes had fewer symptoms of low back pain than people who were given a book about care for back pain. The benefits lasted several months after the classes were finished. The study suggests conventional stretching also works just as well. Make sure your instructor is experienced at teaching people with back pain and will modify postures for you as needed.

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    How Common Is Lower Back Pain

    Around four out of five people have lower back pain at some point in their lives. Its one of the most common reasons people visit healthcare providers.

    Some people are more likely to have lower back pain than others. Risk factors for lower back pain include:

    • Age: People over 30 have more back pain. Disks wear away with age. As the disks weaken and wear down, pain and stiffness can result.
    • Weight: People who are obese or carry extra weight are more likely to have back pain. Excess weight puts pressure on joints and disks.
    • Overall health: Weakened abdominal muscles cant support the spine, which can lead to back strains and sprains. People who smoke, drink alcohol excessively or live a sedentary lifestyle have a higher risk of back pain.
    • Occupation and lifestyle: Jobs and activities that require heavy lifting or bending can increase the risk of a back injury.
    • Structural problems: Severe back pain can result from conditions, such as scoliosis, that change spine alignment.
    • Disease: People who have a family history of osteoarthritis, certain types of cancer and other disease have a higher risk of low back pain.
    • Mental health: Back pain can result from depression and anxiety.

    Hot Or Cold Therapy For Low Back Pain

    Lower Back Pain From Running (Why this Happens)

    Hot or cold packs may help ease pain and reduce symptoms. The soothing relief from heat, or the dulling relief from a cold pack, is only temporary and will not treat more serious causes of back pain. However, they may provide greater mobility for people with acute, subacute, or chronic pain, allowing them to get up and get moving.

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    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.

    How Can I Prevent Low Back Pain

    You can prevent low back pain with physical therapy, exercises, and stretching. Supports and back belts do not prevent low back pain.

    Keep in shape, lose weight if you are overweight, and exercise regularly. Being inactive can lead to low back pain. Regular exercise like walking, swimming, or biking is good for your back. These activities put less stress on your back than sitting and standing.

    Don’t lift heavy objects by bending over at the waist. Bend your hips and knees and then squat to pick up the object. Keep your back straight and hold the object close to your body. Don’t twist your body while you are lifting.

    If you have to sit at your desk or drive for a long time, take breaks to stretch.

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    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.

    Rarity: Common

    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

    What Is The Function Of The Low Back

    Why Do I Have a Sharp Pain in My Lower Back?

    The low back, or lumbar area, serves a number of important functions for the human body. These functions include structural support, movement, and protection of certain body tissues.

    When we stand, the lower back is functioning to support the weight of the upper body. When we bend, extend, or rotate at the waist, the lower back is involved in the movement. Therefore, injury to the structures important for weight bearing, such as the bony spine, muscles, tendons, and ligaments, often can be detected when the body is standing erect or used in various movements.

    Protecting the soft tissues of the nervous system and spinal cord as well as nearby organs of the pelvis and abdomen is a critical function the lumbar spine and adjacent muscles of the low back.

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    Muscle Strain And Ligament Sprain

    A low back sprain or strain can happen suddenly, or can develop slowly over time from repetitive movements.

    • Strains occur when a muscle is stretched too far and tears, damaging the muscle itself.
    • Sprains happen when over-stretching and tearing affects ligaments, which connect the bones together.

    For practical purposes, it does not matter whether the muscle or ligament is damaged, as the symptoms and treatment are the same.

    Common causes of sprain and strain include:

    • Lifting a heavy object, or twisting the spine while lifting
    • Sudden movements that place too much stress on the low back, such as a fall
    • Poor posture over time
    • Sports injuries, especially in sports that involve twisting or large forces of impact

    While sprains and strains do not sound serious and do not typically cause long-lasting pain, the acute pain can be quite severe.

    Sooner Or Later Any Posture Gets Awkward The Trouble With Tissue Stagnacy Regardless Of Position

    Being still always gets uncomfortable, regardless of what position were in. We like to move, and sitting or lying down always gets uncomfortable in time. Forced immobilization is a potent torture method. Working in stagnant postures like sitting in at a desk, no matter how well we do it can start to feel more like a kind of torture as we age.21

    Sleeping is an obvious potential source of tissue stagnancy, of course, but beds are more comfortable than chairs in every way, physically and psychologically. Healthy young people are relatively immune to simply being still in bed, but as we age and develop assorted vulnerabilities and sensitivities things like fibromyalgia, myofascial pain syndrome, and chronic inflammation it starts to become a problem.

    Trigger points may be aggravated by stillness, for instance.22 Morning pain could be a wake-up call , letting you know that you have a bumper crop of mostly asymptomatic trigger points that flare up overnight. In Litas case, trigger points could account for the consistency of her symptom timing, and for the peculiar way in which she is fine at 6am, yet cant stay in bed past 7am, but then is fine again by 8am as she gets moving and her trigger points calm down.

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    Which Lifestyle Factors Contribute To Lower Back Pain

    There are three major lifestyle factors that may affect your chances of developing lower back pain:

    • Multiple studies have established a link between smoking and lower back pain. Smoking raises inflammation inside the body and hinders the body from healing itself.
    • Obesity is also associated with several types of chronic pain, including lower back pain. In people with high body mass index , the stress on the spine increases, contributing to even more wear and tear.
    • Your level of physical activity can also play a role in your lower back health. While a sedentary lifestyle could increase your risk of developing lower back pain, so can excessive or strenuous physical activity. Check with your doctor if you are unsure about your ideal level of physical activity.

    What Is Lower Back Pain

    Why Does My Lower Back Hurt?

    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.

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    Low Back Pain Symptoms: Does Your Back Hurt

    Low back pain symptoms range from sharp and stabbing to a dull ache. The pains can be constant or intermittent and positional. Acute low back pain can appear suddenly after injury. Chronic back pain is defined as pain lasting more than three months. Consult a doctor if you have prolonged back pain longer than 72 hours.

    Low Back Pain In Older Adults

    While older adults can experience pain related to any of the conditions that also affect younger adults, individuals over age 60 are more likely to suffer from pain related to degeneration of the joints in the spine. Two of the most common causes of lower back pain in older adults include osteoarthritis and spinal stenosis.

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    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.

    The Tricky One: Cancer As A Cause Of Low Back Pain And The Necessity Of Testing Just In Case When The Symptoms Justify It

    Why Does My Lower Back Hurt? Causes of Lower Back Pain

    Sorry I have to use the C word I know its kind of a bummer. But C happens.

    A few cancers in their early stages can be hard to tell apart from ordinary back pain a bone cancer in the vertebrae, for instance and these create a frustrating diagnostic problem. They are too rare for doctors to inflict cancer testing on every low back pain patient just in case. And yet the possibility cannot be dismissed, either! This is an unsolveable problem.

    Most cancers and ominous problems will inevitably start to cause other, distinctive, ominous symptoms, and it wont be long before someone catches on that theres more going on than just back pain. So it truly is an extraordinary circumstance for back pain to be ominous without causing other symptoms that raise the alarm.

    For example, in 2017, the New England Journal of Medicine reported on a creepy case of slowly growing neurological deficit caused by a very stealthy cancer, which took a lot of diagnostic effort to solve.25shudder So sneaky cancers happen but they are crazy rare.

    This is an unholy combination of factors: the exact same symptoms can have either an extremely rare but serious cause, or an extremely common but harmless cause that can be greatly aggravated by excessive alarm!

    My favourite epitaph: I told you I was sick!

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