Lower Back Pain: How To Tell If Its Muscle
When a patient visits my office with back pain, its my job to uncover the pain generator. We talk through the patients history, discuss their symptoms, and make a determination as to next steps. If need be, I prepare their case to be looked at by a surgeon, but generally, my goal is to help patients avoid surgery and find relief with more conservative measures.
Most cases of back pain are not caused by serious conditions. But its important to always rule out the possibility that a patient has another internal issue that mimics back pain . Colitis, kidney stones, gallbladder issues, vascular problems, or an aneurysm are examples of serious conditions that are capable of causing pain to radiate into the back, making it feel like youre experiencing back pain.
A thorough fact-finding investigation should help determine the cause. When did the pain start? How long did it last? What makes it better or worse? Key to determining the pain generator is the patients description of their condition and their medical history. For example, if a patient describes the pain as having come on suddenly and causing nausea, nearly prompting a trip to the emergency room, then disappearing just as suddenly, they may be suffering from a kidney stone rather than back pain from a spinal condition.
- Muscle pain
- Disc pain
Lets take a look at each type in more detail.
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.
Check To Erase My Back Ache For Whole Pain Relief
In case you keep doing a physical pastime the hot/ice p.c. does nothing but pain. possibly. Doing exercises with again pain makes you absolutely bedridden for the subsequent couple of weeks.
Why does my lower back hurt after a deadlift? Perhaps you are doing it too frequently. however, whilst you feel better, you can do a little basic physical activities. it may be something like pelvic lifts, useless bugs, or even glute squeezes.
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What Are The Treatments For Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain usually gets better with rest, ice and over-the-counter pain relievers. After a few days of rest, you can start to get back to your normal activities. Staying active increases blood flow to the area and helps you heal.
Other treatments for lower back pain depend on the cause. They include:
- Medications: Your provider may recommend nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or prescription drugs to relieve pain. Other medications relax muscles and prevent back spasms.
- Physical therapy : PT can strengthen muscles so they can support your spine. PT also improves flexibility and helps you avoid another injury.
- Hands-on manipulation: Several hands-on treatments can relax tight muscles, reduce pain and improve posture and alignment. Depending on the cause of pain, you may need osteopathic manipulation or chiropractic adjustments. Massage therapy can also help with back pain relief and restore function.
- Injections: Your provider uses a needle to inject medication into the area thats causing pain. Steroid injections relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
- Surgery: Some injuries and conditions need surgical repair. There are several types of surgery for low back pain, including many minimally invasive techniques.
When To See A Specialist For Lower Back Pain
If you’re experiencing lower back pain that’s not responding to rest and self-care, it’s time to consider seeing a spine specialist.
“A spine specialist will likely perform a physical exam as well as one or more imaging scans to diagnose the root cause of your lower back pain. Depending on your diagnosis, he or she will then design a treatment plan aimed at alleviating your pain and preventing it from disrupting the everyday activities you enjoy,” says Dr. Palmer.
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Sharp Pain In The Lower Back
If youre experiencing a more sharp pain in the lower back when you lie down, this can quite often occur when you have hyperextension in the lower back or an anterior pelvic tilt. In simple terms, a hyperextension in the lower back is where you have more curve in the lower back than is ideal if you have this you may feel like you have a deeper curve in the lower back where your stomach is pushed slightly more forward. An anterior pelvic tilt may also cause hyperextension in the lower back to become more apparent, but with this kind of posture your pelvis will be tilted, angling more forward, meaning your bottom may appear more pronounced at the back. These two types of postural positions usually occur from having very tight hip-flexors from any hobbies you may have, or if youre based in a desk job where having tight hip-flexors can naturally occur when you spend lengthy periods of the day sat down. If you have this type of posture, when you lie down your back is pulled into extension, so its forced into a flatter position. This will give you that sharp pain at the bottom of the lumbar spine as the joints are effectively being more squashed, and pushed into one another.
Returning your spine to a neutral position, correctly supported can really help you lying on your back without pain and is an excellent exercise you can do at home with just a towel, theres a video further down on this page which will explain how to do this.
How To Relieve Back Pain
The following tips may help reduce your back pain and speed up your recovery:
- stay as active as possible and try to continue your daily activities this is 1 of the most important things you can do, as resting for long periods is likely to make the pain worse
- try exercises and stretches for back pain other activities such as walking, swimming, yoga and pilates may also be helpful
- take anti-inflammatory painkillers, such as ibuprofen remember to check the medicine is safe for you to take and ask a pharmacist if you’re not sure
- use hot or cold compression packs for short-term relief you can buy these from a pharmacy, or a hot water bottle or a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a cloth or towel will work just as well
Although it can be difficult, it helps if you stay optimistic and recognise that your pain should get better. People who manage to stay positive despite their pain tend to recover quicker.
Back pain usually gets better on its own within a few weeks or months and you may not need to see a doctor or other healthcare professional.
But it’s a good idea to get help if:
- the pain does not start to improve within a few weeks
- the pain stops you doing your day-to-day activities
- the pain is very severe or gets worse over time
- you’re worried about the pain or struggling to cope
If you see a GP they will ask about your symptoms, examine your back and discuss possible treatments.
They may refer you to a specialist doctor or a physiotherapist for further help.
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How To Manage Severe Lower Back Pain During Your Period
The following may be able to help with severe lower back pain during your period:
- Pain medication Taking over-the-counter pain medication or anti-inflammatories a few days before your period may alleviate lower back pain. If your pain doesnt get better with over-the-counter pain medication, consult your health care provider.
Some of these methods may also ease abdominal cramps, which commonly affect lower back pain:
- Heat Applying a warm water bottle or heating pad on the lower back may help reduce back pain during your period.
- Warm shower or bath Taking a warm shower or bath may help you relax and relieve back pain during your period.
- Massage Gently massaging the abdomen and lower back may also relieve back pain.
- Exercise Regular physical activity may help with the pain during your period. Although its easy to be tempted to avoid exercising during your period, physical activity can help reduce lower back pain. Try gentle exercises such as walking, cycling, and swimming. You can talk to a health care provider to determine what physical activity is best for you.
- Relaxation techniques Relaxation activities such as meditation may help distract you from feelings of discomfort and pain.
Some lifestyle changes may also affect pain during your period.
- Maintain a healthy diet and talk to a health care provider about taking nutritional supplements with vitamin B and magnesium.
Acupuncture For Low Back Pain Relief
Acupuncture can be moderately effective for chronic low back pain. With acupuncture, fine needles are inserted into various points around the body.
Acupuncture practitioners hypothesize that when these thin needles are inserted into the skin and then stimulated by twisting or tapping, naturally occurring chemicals such as endorphins, serotonin, and acetylcholine are released to relieve pain.
Anecdotal evidence suggests acupuncture can be an effective pain reliever. Further scientific and clinical studies are underway to prove the efficacy of acupuncture therapy.
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Symptoms Of Low Back Pain
These might range from a dull ache to a stabbing or shooting sensation. The pain may make it hard to move or stand up straight. Pain that comes on suddenly is âacute.â It might happen during sports or heavy lifting. Pain that lasts more than 3 months is considered âchronic.â If your pain is not better within 72 hours, you should consult a doctor.
When To Get Help
If your back pain is disrupting your daily life, impacting your ability to care for your children, go to work, or you find yourself taking pain medicine regularly, then its time to take to your doctor. He or she can identify the underlying cause of your back pain and will help you to put a plan in place to help you mitigate your discomfort and resume your normal activities.
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Lower Back Pain: What Could It Be
Do you have lower back pain? You are not alone. Anyone can experience lower back pain at any time, even if you dont have a prior injury or any of the risk factors. It is not always serious and can often get better on its own. But in some cases pain is your bodys way of telling you that something isnt right.
Learn more about lower back pain and what causes it from rehabilitation physician Akhil Chhatre, M.D., who specializes in back pain in the Johns Hopkins Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
Other Conditions That Cause Back Pain In Older Adults
We often see a range of less serious but still painful spine conditions in seniors. Most patients with these conditions will not require surgery. Physical therapy, medication, injectable anesthetics, or a combination of treatments usually can control symptoms.
- Degenerative disc disease, which can cause whole spine pain, and lumbar arthritis, which usually causes low-back pain, commonly develop with age and are considered wear-and-tear conditions.
- Sacroiliitis is an inflammation of the joints that connect your spine and pelvis. This condition can cause pain in the low back, glutes, and upper legs.
- Ankylosing spondylitis is an inflammatory arthritis that causes patients spines to become inflexible, resulting in a continual hunched forward position and spine pain.
- We also check for adult degenerative scoliosis and kyphosis, spine-curving conditions that can result in back pain and weakness in the lower extremities.
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Is Lower Right Or Left Back Pain Worrisome
Pain on one side of the back is not particularly more worrisome than central pain. There are three main kinds of one-sided back pain:
Most of the anatomy of the low back and abdomen is symmetrical. Some of the guts are not symmetrical, and only some of those is a plausible cause of back pain on one side. Heres some of the key anatomy to consider:
The side of the pain on its own doesnt tell us much, and most of the one-sided sources of pain are viscera that usually cause abdominal pain instead of back pain, or in addition to it. In other words, the only reason to worry about right or left lower back pain is if it is otherwise worrisome: if you have other red flags or significant non-back symptoms.
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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.
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The Question: I Have My Period And My Back Hurts Why Also Ow
We’re just going to say it: periods aren’t fun.
It’s understandable if you just want to crawl into bed and never come out during that time of the month. Especially when body aches — particularly the lower back pain — kick in.
And, really, what’s the deal with that? Why is your back throbbing when your uterus is the one doing all the work?
Let’s break it down.
First of all, nothing’s wrong with you. Lower back pain during your period is totally common. It’s caused by contractions in the uterus, which radiate through the web of nerves within your pelvic region. As your body contracts to rid itself of the uterine lining, it can sometimes press on blood vessels in the area, limiting or cutting off the supply of oxygen to the nearby muscles.
“Many women get back pain during their periods,” Dr. Houman Danesh, director of integrative pain management at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, told The Huffington Post. “This pain is from the uterus contracting to shed the lining which has built up since the last cycle… The phenomenon is described as ‘referred pain.'”
“Referred pain” is pain felt in a part of the body other than its actual source. If you’re just about to get your period, your uterus might be contracting in preparation for the upcoming activity. This is totally common and normal, and the pain can affect your thighs as well as your lower back.
Reasons Why Your Lower Back Hurts When You Walk
As a lower back specialist who has worked with thousands of people suffering with lower back pain and having experienced over a year of lower back pain myself and every possible intervention known to man I know for a fact that the number one difficulty when someone has back pain is walking. Now Im here to share with you why that is. Here are the 5 most common reasons why walking is so hard and painful when your back hurts.
If you would like to learn more about Lower Back Pain and Sciatica and strategies to reduce pain and allow for pain free walking you should consider attending our lower back pain and sciatica workshop. You can click the image below to learn more.
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What Are The Risk Factors For Developing Low Back Pain
Anyone can have back pain. Factors that can increase the risk for low back pain include:
Age: The first attack of low back pain typically occurs between the ages of 30 and 50, and back pain becomes more common with advancing age. Loss of bone strength from osteoporosis can lead to fractures, and at the same time, muscle elasticity and tone decrease. The intervertebral discs begin to lose fluid and flexibility with age, which decreases their ability to cushion the vertebrae. The risk of spinal stenosis also increases with age.
Fitness level: Back pain is more common among people who are not physically fit. Weak back and abdominal muscles may not properly support the spine. Weekend warriorspeople who go out and exercise a lot after being inactive all weekare more likely to suffer painful back injuries than people who make moderate physical activity a daily habit. Studies show that low-impact aerobic exercise can help maintain the integrity of intervertebral discs.
Weight gain: Being overweight, obese, or quickly gaining significant amounts of weight can put stress on the back and lead to low back pain.
Genetics: Some causes of back pain, such as ankylosing spondylitis , have a genetic component.
Smoking: It can restrict blood flow and oxygen to the discs, causing them to degenerate faster.
Backpack overload in children: A backpack overloaded with schoolbooks and supplies can strain the back and cause muscle fatigue.