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Why My Lower Back Is Paining

Unexplained Acute Low Back Pain

Low back pain- The most common causes of lower back pain

Unexplained low back pain means chronic pain that comes on gradually, over time, with no specific injury, event, or illness causing it.

Common causes:

  • Prolonged sitting and lack of fitness can weaken back muscles and cause pain from lack of support.
  • Ankylosing spondylitis, a form of arthritis.
  • Spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal column that puts pressure on the spinal cord.
  • Certain types of cancer, in rare cases.

Those most susceptible are over 30, overweight and/or pregnant, and not physically fit. Smoking interferes with healing after any sort of stress to the back.

If there are additional symptoms, medical care should be sought: fever, unexplained weight loss, leg weakness or numbness, or trouble urinating.

An exact diagnosis is made through blood tests and through imaging such as x-rays, CT scan, or MRI.

Once more serious causes are ruled out, treatment may include medications to ease pain, swelling, and inflammation. Steroid injections are useful in some cases.

Overall, exercise and maintaining a healthy weight can be very helpful with easing chronic low back pain.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: lower back pain, back pain that shoots to the butt, fever, back pain

Symptoms that always occur with unexplained acute low back pain:lower back pain

Symptoms that never occur with unexplained acute low back pain:buttocks numbness, thigh numbness, involuntary defecation, fever

Urgency: Self-treatment

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 .

More Advanced Care Options

Surgery When other therapies fail, surgery may be considered to relieve pain caused by worsening nerve damage, serious musculoskeletal injuries, or nerve compression. Specific surgeries are selected for specific conditions/indications. However, surgery is not always successful. It may be months following surgery before the person is fully healed and there may be permanent loss of flexibility. Surgical options include:

Implanted nerve stimulators

  • Spinal cord stimulation uses low-voltage electrical impulses from a small implanted device that is connected to a wire that runs along the spinal cord. The impulses are designed to block pain signals that are normally sent to the brain.
  • Dorsal root ganglion stimulation also involves electrical signals sent along a wire connected to a small device that is implanted into the lower back. It specifically targets the nerve fibers that transmit pain signals. The impulses are designed to replace pain signals with a less painful numbing or tingling sensation.
  • Peripheral nerve stimulation also uses a small implanted device and an electrode to generate and send electrical pulses that create a tingling sensation to provide pain relief.

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What Is The Outlook For People With Lower Back Pain

The outlook depends on the cause of pain. Most people with back strains and sprains recover and do not have long-term health issues. But many people will have another episode within a year.

Some people have chronic back pain that doesnt get better after several weeks. Older people with degenerative conditions such as arthritis and osteoporosis may have symptoms that get worse over time. Surgery and other treatments are effective at helping people with a range of injuries and conditions live pain-free.

Signs That Its Time To Call A Doctor For Your Back Pain

Pin on Lower Back Pain

Most people have experienced back pain at some point in their lives. It’s actually the leading cause of disability worldwide and the most common reason people call out of work. Back pain can come in many different forms, ranging from a dull ache that lasts only a few days to severe pain that lasts for weeks.

Depending on the intensity of the pain, there are many treatments you can try at home to help. But how do you know when it’s time to stop home remedies and see a physician?

If any of the following applies to your back pain, then it’s time to make an appointment with a doctor as soon as possible.

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Ready To Address Your Back Pain

The University of Maryland Spine Network can help you put your pain behind you. With convenient locations throughout the state, the UM Spine Network is home to the region’s leading spine surgeons and specialists that can help you identify the source of your pain and put an end to it for good.

Put an end to your back pain. Find a spine specialist near you.

In This Section:

Degenerative Spine Conditions And Autoimmune Diseases

Certain diseases like osteoporosis and osteoarthritis can cause lower back pain. Osteoporosis causes bones to become weak and brittle, potentially leading to fractures in the spine, while osteoarthritis is a progressive joint disease that breaks down protective cartilage. There is also back pain that’s part of different autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, adds Dr. Rifkin, but these are rarer cases.

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Some Of The Most Common Issues That Contribute To Morning Back Pain Include:

  • Sleeping Position: Its possible that the way you are sleeping at night is putting a strain on your spine. Pay attention to your sleeping posture by noticing your body position when you go to sleep, wake up during the night, and get up in the morning. Some of these sleeping positions cause the natural curve of the spine to flatten, which can lead to morning back pain. Avoid sleeping on your stomach because it puts pressure on the lower spine. Instead, try sleeping on your back with a pillow beneath your knees.
  • Mattress Quality: Investing in a good mattress might be the best thing you can do to reduce morning back pain. If you have a mattress that is more than 10 years old, then you might not have enough support for your body while you are sleeping. A quality mattress is a great investment because it reduces stress on the body and helps to improve sleep quality, which results in reduced back pain. Factors that influence the quality of a mattress include thickness, materials, firmness, your weight, and your preferred sleeping positions.
  • Disc Degeneration: People with degenerative disc disease experience age-related wear and tear that affects the spinal discs . When the discs deteriorate, it can result in intense pain, often worsening in the morning hours. Sometimes, this pressure is higher in the morning, causing extreme discomfort when you get out of bed.
  • This list outlines some of the most common reasons why you might be experiencing back pain in the morning.

    Treatment For Morning Back Pain

    What causes lower back pain & when should I be worried?

    What should you do if you often wake up with back pain in the morning? The first step is to talk to a pain specialist to find the underlying cause that could be contributing to your issues. Sometimes, a simple lifestyle change can make the biggest difference such as replacing your old bed with a quality mattress.

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    What Is The Treatment For Chronic Nonspecific Low Back Pain

    Initial treatment is similar to sudden-onset attacks. That is, aim to keep as active as possible. Also, painkillers can help. In addition to the painkillers listed above, your doctor may advise a course of an antidepressant medicine in the tricyclic group – for example, amitriptyline. Tricyclic antidepressants have other actions separate to their action on depression. They are used in a variety of painful conditions, including back pain.

    Also, a national guideline , referenced below) recommends one or more of the following treatments should be considered. Each of these treatments has some evidence from research trials to suggest that they will help to ease symptoms in some people :

    • Structured exercise programme. This means a programme of exercise supervised by a professional such as a physiotherapist. This is likely to be in a group setting. Exercises may include aerobic activity, movement instruction, muscle strengthening, posture control and stretching. It typically consists of up to eight supervised sessions over 8-12 weeks with encouragement to keep on doing the exercises at home between sessions.
    • Manual therapy. Typically this includes several sessions of massage, spinal mobilisation and/or spinal manipulation. With spinal mobilisation the therapist moves the joints of the spine around in their normal movement range. In spinal manipulation, the therapist moves joints beyond the usual range of movement.
    • A course of acupuncture. It is not clear how this may work.

    What Can I Do For Low Back Pain At Home

    If your lower back pain has just started, the best thing you can do is start a log. Record your symptoms, times, dates and which activities trigger the pain or make it worse or better. Take this information to your family physician if the pain doesnt resolve on its own. It will make diagnosing the cause much easier.

    Once you know which motion or position causes your lower back pain, try to avoid it and see if you get better. Icing the painful spot can also help. And so can over-the-counter pain relievers that help reduce inflammation. Just remember that pain killers treat only the symptom pain and not its cause.

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    When Should I See A Doctor If I Have Lower Back Pain

    In many cases lower back pain stops on its own. But if it doesnt, here are some guidelines on when you may want to start seeking professional help:

    • If the pain lasts four weeks or longer
    • If the pain keeps getting worse as time goes by
    • If you are experiencing other symptoms, such as fever, major weight loss or weight gain, loss of function or weakness in extremities, bladder problems, etc.

    What Can Affect Posture

    Why Does My Lower Back Hurt After Golfing?

    Slouching isnât just a bad habit. There can be some physical reasons that contribute to poor posture. Muscles that are too tight or that have a smaller range of motion can make it harder for you to position parts of your body correctly.â

    The strength of your legs and core muscles can also affect your posture and the way you carry yourself. Your core muscles include muscles in the:

    These muscles connect your top and bottom halves. Weak core muscles can cause you to slouch or to move your top half forward more than the bottom half.â

    Additionally, our modern lifestyles may contribute to poor posture. Looking down at our phones or sitting at a desk for several hours a day working on a computer changes the way we hold ourselves. You may notice that you are slumped forward when performing these activities, rather than sitting or standing up straight.

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    You Arent Drinking Enough Milk

    Its not the milk per se, but the vitamin D it comes with some studies have found that those with the most severe back pain had the lowest levels of vitamin D.

    The vitamins effect on bone health could help explain the connection. Research in the journal Menopause found that among postmenopausal women considering spine surgery, those with severe vitamin D deficiency had more severe disc degeneration and back pain. Stronger bones can help protect against back pain and other disabling issues. Consult your physician about your vitamin D levels, says A.N. Shamie, M.D., professor and chief of spine surgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

    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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    Complementary And Alternative Techniques Include:

    • Acupuncture is moderately effective for chronic low back pain. It involves inserting thin needles into precise points throughout the body and stimulating them , which may cause the body to release naturally occurring painkilling chemicals such as endorphins, serotonin, and acetylcholine.
    • Behavioral approaches include:
    • Biofeedback involves attaching electrodes to the skin and using an electromyography machine that allows people to become aware of and control their breathing, muscle tension, heart rate, and skin temperature people regulate their response to pain by using relaxation techniques
    • Cognitive therapy involves using relaxation and coping techniques to ease back pain
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation involves wearing a battery-powered device which places electrodes on the skin over the painful area that generate electrical impulses designed to block or modify the perception of pain
  • Physical therapy programs to strengthen core muscle groups that support the low back, improve mobility and flexibility, and promote proper positioning and posture are often used in combination with other interventions
  • Spinal injections include:Trigger point injections can relax knotted muscles that may contribute to back pain. An injection or series of injections of a local anesthetic and often a corticosteroid drug into the trigger point can lessen or relieve pain.

    What Should I Know About Back Pain

    Why so many of us struggle with 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.

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    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.

    How Is Back Pain Treated

    Acute back pain usually gets better on its own. Acute back pain is usually treated with:

    • Medications designed to relieve pain and/or inflammation
    • analgesics such as acetaminophen and aspirin
    • non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen may be sold over the counter some NSAIDS are prescribed by a physician
    • muscle relaxants are prescription drugs that are used on a short-term basis to relax tight muscles
    • topical pain relief such as creams, gels, patches, or sprays applied to the skin stimulate the nerves in the skin to provide feelings of warmth or cold in order to dull the sensation of pain. Common topical medications include capsaicin and lidocaine.
  • Heat and/or ice may help ease pain, reduce inflammation, and improve mobility for some people
  • Gentle stretching upon advice by your healthcare professional
  • Exercising, bed rest, and surgery are typically not recommended for acute back pain.Chronic back pain is most often treated with a stepped care approach, moving from simple low-cost treatments to more aggressive approaches. Specific treatments may depend on the identified cause of the back pain.

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    How Do You Stop Lower Back Pain When Running

    – Wear proper shoes and replace them often. Running in shoes that aren’t supportive enough can overwork low back muscles. … – Keep your hamstrings loose. … – Work those core muscles. … – Cross-train. … – Run on soft surfaces. … – Warm-up before a run. … – Back off at the first sign of a problem.

    Back Pain When Running? – Fix It Fast

    Chronic Lower Back Pain

    Lower Back Pain Relief &  Causes

    When back pain continues for more than three months, it is considered chronic. Although for most people an episode of back pain is over by that time, in some cases it progresses and can have a major impact on ones ability to function. For some patients, physical therapy with local heat or ice application , combined with a home exercise program and education in proper positions for lifting and other movement techniques can make a major difference. Patients must learn to tolerate a certain degree of pain, or they may allow themselves to become more disabled than necessary. Patients at the Hospital for Special Surgery have had success with graded exercise to work through the pain, gradually increasing the exercise quota at each session so they can learn to tolerate more exercise in spite of the pain, and get back to work and activities. Read more detail on this topic in .

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