Surgery For Lower Back Pain
Because the vast majority of patients recover from their low back pain with little help from a doctor, the rationale behind choosing surgery must be convincing. Eighty percent of patients with sciatica recover eventually without surgery.
Severe progressive nerve problems, bowel or bladder dysfunction and the cauda equina syndrome make up the most clear-cut indications for back surgery. Back surgery will also be considered if the patients signs and symptoms correlate well with studies such as MRI or electromyogram .
In the most serious cases, when the condition does not respond to other therapies, surgery may well be necessary to relieve pain caused by back problems. Some common procedures include:
- , such as a or removal of a portion of a
- a bone graft that promotes the vertebrae to fuse together
- removal of the lamina to create more space and reduce irritation and inflammation
Are There Risk Factors For Developing Back Pain
Back pain can affect anyone. However, there are several risk factors, such as:
- Age. Lower back pain usually affects older people. Several painful conditions can develop with age, such as osteoporosis, spinal stenosis, and osteoarthritis.
- Being overweight. Being obese puts significant stress on the back.
- Fitness level. Weak abdominal muscles provide insufficient support for the spine.
- Genetics. Some hereditary conditions can lead to lower back pain, such as ankylosing spondylitis in which the joints of the spine fuse.
- Work-related risks, like lifting heavy things. Sitting at a desk all day and poor postures can also cause back pain.
- Mental health issues. Depression, anxiety, and stress can alter one’s perception of pain. Chronic pain can also contribute to mental health problems that can lead to physical problems.
- Pregnancy. The increased weight gain during pregnancy can lead to lower back pain.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Back Pain
Back pain may be experienced anywhere along the spine from the neck to the buttocks. In some cases, pain may also be felt in one or both legs. Its common to be a bit restricted in daily activities such as bending, lifting, sitting and walking while youre experiencing back pain.
Movement of your torso may be limited by back pain. There may also be tenderness when pressure is applied to the joints of the spine. Reduction of reflexes, strength and sensation in the legs can be a sign of nerve compression.
Its common for people with back pain to feel distressed about their recovery. People with persistent back pain can develop fear of movement and activity , worrying that it will make things worse or increase their pain. Living with persistent back pain may also lead to mood issues, such as anxiety, irritability, frustration and depression.
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How Lumbago Can Affect Daily Life
Dr. Curry-Winchell emphasizes, It can be debilitating. The muscles in the back help you stay active and allow small and big movements to occur. Everyone experiences back pain differently however, it is often associated with severe pain and impacts your ability to sit down or stand up. If you experience loss of control of your bowels, fever, or tingling/numbness this can be a medical emergency and its important to seek out care as soon as possible.
What Are The Chances My Back Pain Will Get Better On Its Own Without Treatment
Dr. Ludwig answers the question: ‘Will Back Pain Get Better On Its Own?’
& #151 — Question: If I Do Not Get Treatment, What Are The Chances My Back Pain Will Get Better On Its Own?
Answer: Back pain usually goes away on its own. About 90 percent of patients with low back pain will recover within 6 weeks.
Many things can cause back pain and some people recover faster than others. The pain may feel either sharp or dull, it can be felt constantly or intermittently, and the pain can range from mild to severe.
The most common type of back pain is often referred to as mechanical and is characterized as low back pain that gets worse with certain activities low back pain that gets worse with certain positions such as sitting for long periods of time and low back pain that is relieved by rest.
Again, with time the symptoms should get better. However if low back pain persists for more than 6 to 8 weeks, then additional testing may be advised to diagnose and treat the source of low back pain.
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% Of People Will Experience Back Pain At Some Time But There Are Ways To Find Relief
As people enter middle age, they are more likely to experience bouts of low back pain. In fact, according to the Harvard Special Health Report Mens Health: Fifty and Forward, back pain affects about four in five Americans at some point in their lives and equally strikes men and women.
Age is often the culprit. Over time, the bones and joints in your lower back begin to change. Your discs tend to wear out and sometimes become fragmented. These structural alterations sometimes cause pain.
Another cause of low back pain, although it occurs less often, is a herniated disc. Sometimes, a disc pushes outside the space between the bones and compresses a nerve at the point where it branches off the spinal cord. When the sciatic nerve that leads into the buttocks and leg is affected, the pain is called sciatica.
Yet, most cases of low back pain stem from strain or sprain due to simple overuse, unaccustomed activity, excessive lifting, or an accident. In most cases the best move is to wait and see if the pain resolves on its own. If the pain does not improve after three to four days, then its time to see a doctor.
However, depending on the source of your back pain and its severity, you might try a few home remedies for low back pain to help ease the pain until your back returns to normal. Here are several options to consider:
Complementary therapies. Several types of complementary therapy may be helpful for relief from low back pain. These include:
Is My Lower Back Pain Serious
If back pain symptoms persist after a few weeks, seeing a doctor to accurately diagnosis the cause of your back pain is a good first step. ReadLower Back Pain Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment
Each case of back pain is unique, but the information below can help you determine if your lower back pain is serious.
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Low Back Pain Surgery
Spine surgery is not necessary for most people who have lower back pain. If you do need it, your doctor will recommend an appropriate procedure to address your specific symptoms and medical situation. Common spine surgeries include:
. Two or more vertebrae are permanently fused together to limit excess spinal motion. Your surgeon will use a combination of bone, bonelike material, screws, plates and rods to hold the vertebrae together so they can heal into a single unit. Spinal fusion may be done to correct spinal deformities or to increase the spines stability in severe cases of spinal osteoarthritis or herniated discs.
. Laminectomy is a surgery in which your surgeon removes the back portion of one or more vertebrae to create more space for the spinal cord or other nerves. In people with severe arthritis, bone spurs within the spinal canal can grow large enough to press on the spinal cord, causing pain and limiting mobility. In a similar surgery known as laminotomy, your surgeon will remove a small piece of bone called the lamina from the back of the vertebra.
Dont Rest An Achy Back
Doctors used to prescribe bed rest for back pain. But now we know that lying still is one of the worst things you can do. It can make back pain worse and lead to other complications. Dont rest for more than a day or two. Its important to get up and slowly start moving again. Exercise has been found to be one of the most effective ways to relieve back pain quickly. Try swimming, walking, or yoga.
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Youre Running A Fever
The flu can definitely make you run a fever and achiness, including in your back. However, if the fever is unresponsive to standard OTC medications, you could have a serious infection that needs treatment immediately. If you go to a doctor and they find an infection, they may prescribe antibiotics and a few days rest.
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 TRIA Neck and Back Strengthening Program, formerly known as the Physicians Neck and Back Center spinal strengthening program can help.
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Can Lower Back Pain Be Related To Weather
If you feel like your lower back pain worsens on days when its cold or the weather is changing, you are not imagining things. Back pain can indeed be related to barometric pressure and outdoor temperature. Changes in pressure can sometimes cause pain in arthritic joints, including the spine. Muscles and joints in general react to the environment, which can make them stiffer and more likely to suffer an injury.
What Is A Back Brace
A back brace is a device a person may wear to support their back. Some people believe they may reduce back pain, prevent injuries, promote recovery, and encourage correct posture and proper spine alignment.
A back brace usually features elastic compression bands and rigid plastic or metals, or a combination of both. They come as either custom-fitted or prefabricated designs. Prefabricated or off-the-shelf types are readily available and do not require fitting and molding.
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Why Back Pain Requires A Team Approach To Care
Whether back pain requires surgery or is manageable with conservative treatment, its important to see a spine specialist for diagnosis and care. The doctors at our Spine Center work as a team with experts in nerve, muscle, and bone conditions, as well as nurses and physical therapists who work closely with patients to manage symptoms and reduce the risk of recurrence.
Each week, our multidisciplinary team meets to discuss challenging cases and educate each other on the latest research and techniques. Together, we see a range of patients with complex medical needs. For example, if a patient with a spinal infection is taking a medication that suppresses the immune system, such as immunotherapy for cancer, we work together to find an effective treatment that is safe for their unique needs.
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.
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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.
What Causes Back Pain
Back pains can have numerous reasons. But often no specific cause can be tracked, and the pain will stop. There can be two types of back pains: Chronic and acute. If the pain in the back is present for less than a month, then the pain is acute. And if the pain has been there for a more extended period, then the pain is chronic. Chronic illnesses are often less common than acute pains and last more than three months.
The pain can be caused by injuries such as a fracture, muscle strain or ruptured disk. Medical conditions such as skeletal irregularities, osteoporosis, arthritis, etc. can also be a reason for back pain but are more on the severe side.
The most common causes of back pain can be a persons age, excess weight, lack of exercise, diseases, smoking, psychological conditions, improper lifting, etc.
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Exercise For Lower Back Pain
There are a number of exercise therapy you can undertake for faster recovery from lower back pain. But it is important that you inquire from your therapist on which type of exercise to perform depending on your condition. Some exercises are extreme and can cause more harm rather than helping. Let your doctor recommend which ones are good for you. Here are some of the exercise that helps in reducing and treatment of lower back pain.
- Hamstring â This is whereby you pull your legs as you sit or lay on your back, then you straighten them.
- Back Flex â In this exercise for lower back pain you will push your body off the floor as you keep your hips on the floor.
- Hip Flex â In this exercise for lower back pain you keep your abdominal muscle tight and you slowly lean forward until you feel a stretch in your groin and hip.
- Lumbar Arc â here you will lie down, fit your hips until your spine is lined with the floor and your buttock and abdomen muscle tight.
- Half Sit Up â In this type of exercise for lower back pain, sit on the floor, put your legs in rectangular position and your heels in a hip width position and apart on the ground, your tip toes should point up cross your arms on your chest and keep your upper part in a straight posture and leaning a little bit backwards. Then slowly bend backwards and do not roll backwards and also ensure that your head is kept straight and up.
Age And Gender Issues
Age and gender are important factors to consider when diagnosing low back pain. In a young patient, a benign tumor of the spine called an osteoid osteoma may be the culprit. Inflammatory bowel disease in young people can be connected with spondylitis and sacroiliitis . Low back pain from disc disease or spinal degeneration is more likely to occur as people get older. Conditions such as abdominal aneurysm or multiple myeloma are also considered in older individuals.
Osteoporosis and fibromyalgia are much more common triggers of back pain in women than in men. Osteoporosis is a progressive decrease in bone density that leaves the bones brittle, porous and prone to fracture. Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder that causes widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and multiple tender points in the neck, spine, shoulders, and hips.
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What Are Spine Injections
Frequently, doctors use spine injections in patients with chronic back pain. With these, back doctors can administer pain medication right to the site of pain.
This procedure can alleviate back pain for weeks, months, or even years. As it is a temporary solution, you may have several injections for long-term pain management, although the exact number of injections varies in each case.
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.
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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