What is Low Back Pain and How Can It Be Treated?
The area below the ribcage is known as the low back. At some point in your life, virtually everyone experiences low-back pain. It is one of the top reasons for missing work in the U.S., but it can usually be treated on its conservatively. You have other options for treatment if this doesn’t work.
Low back pain symptoms
These can range in intensity from a dull ache to a stabbing and shooting sensation. The pain could make it difficult to stand or move. It is known as “acute” if the pain comes on suddenly and without warning. This can happen when you perform heavy lifting or play sports. If you have pain that persists for longer than three weeks, you should consult a spine doctor.
Urgent Care – Symptoms that Require a Referral to a Doctor:
If you have back pain due to a fall or injury. In addition, it is important to seek help when you have back pain in conjunction with bladder or bowel control, leg weakness and fever, as well as pain when you urinate or cough.
Sciatica, Muscle Strain, or Muscle Strain:
Muscle strain is often caused by exercise and heavy lifting. Sometimes it’s because of the small jelly-filled discs that are meant to protect the space in between vertebrae or backbones. It can push on nerves if one of these small jelly-filled disks breaks or bulges. It is the sciatic nerve that causes pain to run down one leg from the buttock. This is referred to as sciatica or sciatic nerve pain.
Back Pain: It’s Your Job:
If your work requires lifting, pulling, or doing anything that twists the back, it could cause back pain. There are risks to sitting at your desk all day, especially if it is uncomfortable or you are prone to slouch.
Back Pain Culprit: Your bag
You may not be able to carry your purse, backpack, or briefcase across your shoulders, but your lower back supports the upper body. Overstuffed bags can strain the lower back especially if they are carried day after day. Consider switching to a wheeled briefcase, if you are required to carry heavy items.
Your Workout Could Result in Back Pain:
High levels of activity at the gym is one of the leading causes of low back pain. You are especially at risk if your workweek is inactive and you then spend hours on softball or gym workouts, for example.
Your Posture Could Be the Cause of Back Pain:
Moms had it right when they said, “Stand up straight!” If you don’t slouch, your back will be able to support the weight. This means that your spine should be supported by a good lumbar cushion, your shoulders back, and your feet should rest in a comfortable position. Keep your weight evenly balanced when standing.
Back Pain: Herniated disc
The gel-like, jelly-like discs surrounding the spine’s vertebrae provide cushioning. They are susceptible to wear and tear due to aging or injuries. A weaker disc can bulge or burst, putting pressure upon the spinal nerve roots. This is called an injured, bulging, herniated, or protruding disc. It can cause intense pain.
Chronic Conditions Can be the Source of Back Pain:
Low back pain could be caused from several chronic conditions.
Spinal stenosis, which is a narrowing and compressing of the spinal cord’s space, can result in spinal nerve pressure. Ankylosing Spondylitis causes pain in the spine and can also cause inflammation in the hips, shoulders, and hips. It can cause chronic back pain and stiffness. It can cause spinal vertebrae to fuse in severe cases. Fibromyalgia leads to widespread muscle aches, which can include back pain.
Who is at most significant risk for low back pain?
When they are in their 30s, the majority of people experience backache. Your chances of suffering from additional attacks rise with age. There are several other reasons that your low back can hurt:
- Being overweight
- Being sedentary
- Lifting heavy loads on the job
Diagnoses of low back pain
When visiting your doctor, please be specific about your pain and the time it started. Include any previous chronic conditions. Before you begin treatment, your doctor might need to order X-rays.
Home Care for Low-Back
You can take steps that will make your back more comfortable. Warm baths and heating pads may temporarily relieve pain.
The Debate About Bed Rest For Back Pain
It is common to feel uncomfortable getting out of bed when your back hurts. However, doctors recommend getting back to normal activities as soon as possible if you have a muscle strain. Prolonged rest, such as a couple of days in bed, can lead to more severe pain and reduce muscle flexibility.
Yoga is a good option for back pain that persists. One study found that those who participated in 12 weeks of yoga classes had less pain than those who read books about back pain. The benefits lasted several weeks. For your safety, ensure you are receiving expert instruction.
Some chiropractors and osteopathic doctors might try to “adjust” the spine’s joints for low back pain. They apply pressure to your bones and surrounding tissues using their hands. This treatment isn’t right for everyone. Make sure you tell your provider all of your symptoms and health problems.
When massage is combined with stretching, exercise, and low back pain, it may help. Researchers discovered that patients who did exercise and massage had better mobility and were less likely to experience long-term or short-term pain.
Can acupuncture treat back pain? Short-term back pain sufferers have mixed results. Research shows that these people are as happy with sham acupuncture and real acupuncture. According to other studies, people who suffer from back pain that is chronic or ongoing showed improvements after receiving acupuncture treatments.
Mild back pain is often relieved by taking over-the-counter pain medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol). Pain-relieving creams can be helpful for muscular aches. Prescription medication might be prescribed for severe pain or chronic pain.
If the above-mentioned treatments fail to help, your doctor could recommend injections in the back. A nerve root blocking procedure treats irritated nerve structures. Steroid medication is commonly used for injections of back pain.
If you suffer from persistent back pain and have tried all other remedies unsuccessfully, surgery may be an option. Depending upon the source of the pain, a surgeon could remove the herniated disc, increase the space around it, or fuse the two spinal vertebrae.
If you’ve been suffering from back pain that has kept you out of action for a while, a rehabilitation program may be able to help you strengthen and return to your everyday activities. A physical therapist guides patients through stretching, strength exercises, and low-impact cardio to help them get more fit without straining the back.
Strengthening the Back
Strength training can benefit your lower back. To stretch and strengthen your back and hip muscles, do flexion exercises. Extension exercises are where you bend backward to improve the spine muscles. Talk to your doctor or physical therapist if you have back pain. They can recommend safe steps to take if you need help with your lower back pain symptoms.