After the common cold, lower back pain is known to be the most common type of disease affecting Americans and a clear reason of their absence from work. Lumbar area, commonly known as the low back area of the body carries out several functions from support and movement of body organs to protection of specific body tissues. While standing, it supports our entire body weight and when we twist and turn, it eases our movement process. Following this importance, any kind of pain felt in the back can be extremely hurting and dangerous.
While there are many causes of a painful lower back, but muscle strain and other diagnostic conditions like degenerated disc or lumbar herniated disc are known to be the major ones contributing towards severe ache in the lower back area.
Lower Back Pain Causes
Common causes of low back pain include the following:
Termed as the most common cause of low back pain, muscle strain or other soft tissue damage occurs when the body stretches to a level of injury affecting ligaments, tendons, or the muscles of the lower back. Low back strain can be both acute and chronic nature and the severity ranges from mild to critical, depending on the degree of strain and resulting stretch of the muscles of the low back.
Irritation and impingement in the nerves of the lower back spine mainly causes this condition, which includes lumbar disc disease (radiculopathy), bony encroachment, and inflammation of the nerves caused by a viral infection (shingles). Ache tends to be sharp, in one area, and linked with numbness in the area of that affected nerve supplies.
Herniated disk, also called a “slipped disk” happens when a disk between the bones of the spine dislocate and presses on nerves. This may be caused by twisting while lifting heavy objects or due to some back injury.
Injury to the bones and joints
Fractures of the lower back spine and sacrum bone include in this category. Mostly, the elderly facing osteoporosis confront vertebral collapses leading to fractures. In younger people, this condition may arise due to an injury resulting from trauma or some unfortunate accident.
Lower Back Pain Symptoms
There are two types of lower back pain, acute and chronic. Acute back pain is defined as a discomfort less than 6 weeks while chronic back pain is defined as a discomfort that has been present for over three months. However, these are the primary symptoms of low back pain:
Leg pain (sciatica) that spreads through the buttocks down the front, sides, or back of your leg.
Back pain symptoms may include weakness, numbness or tingling caused by a disc herniation in the lower spine. This type of condition becomes worse after a lengthy period of standing or sitting.
Certain body movements such as bending, twisting, running or extensive physical activities may cause a painful back, commonly caused by a syndrome called degenerative disc disease.
Often, lower back ache may become worse in the morning and in the evening, or the body may become stiff at these hours.
Lower Back Pain Diagnosis
Because several conditions may be responsible for causing a hurtful lower back, your doctor needs to first diagnose these causes in order to suggest proper medications and treatment.
You will be asked various questions related to the onset of the condition, what can be the possible causes, and your illness background. After providing the doctor with relevant info, the main diagnostic process will start.
X-rays, MRI, CT scans are also conducted to get a better idea of your body condition
For chronic pain, your specialist may even recommend having Electromyogram or EMG that helps to predict the level of root damage.
Lower Back Pain Treatment
Looking to treat lower back pain? We at AZ Pain Medicine Clinic can help. Don’t hesitate consulting our pain doctor if you’re in doubt about your lower back condition. If you feel back ache from time to time or are suffering from back ache that has increased with the passing time, it is advisable that you get evaluated by our expert physicians. We frequently alleviate lower back pain using the following lower back pain treatments: medication like acetaminophen, NSAIDs, oral steroids, narcotic drugs, muscle relaxants, and anti-depressants.
Using heat pads, ice pads, or a combination of both can relieve the irritation.
Manual therapies to reduce lower back pain by relieving pressure points, increasing flexibility, improving blood flow and reducing muscle tension.
Therapeutic massage therapy also works well with blood circulation and reducing muscle stiffness.
Special exercises, specific workout and yoga exercises are also used to relieve the discomfort.
Epidural injections are used to decrease lower back inflammation and irritation by injecting steroids through the spine.
Change in lifestyle factors may also contribute towards reducing lower back pain. These lifestyle changes may be quitting smoking, eating healthy and losing weight.
Prior to starting any type of treatment, it is always advisable to consult an expert pain specialist who will first analyze your individual condition and medical history before developing the treatment plan for you. If you are looking for a lower back pain treatment plan with complete guidance, please consult the AZ Pain Medicine Clinic for further assistance and help.
Lower Back Pain Prevention
“Prevention is better than cure”
Recurring back pain resulting from improper body movements or other non-traumatic reasons is often preventable to an extent. Here are some tips of prevention:
Exercise daily to keep your back strengthened
If lifting heavy objects, learn how to lift them safely without harming your back
Sit, stand and sleep with the right posture
Wear low heeled shoes
Try maintaining a healthy weight by opting for a more balanced nutrition plan
Quit smoking, because it makes you vulnerable to ache by tightening the arteries and by decreasing the amount of oxygen in the blood.
Don’t stress and monitor depression into your life and try managing them effectively