Back Pain

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Here Is What You Need To Know About Lower Back Pain

If you’ve ever experienced low back pain that constrains your daily life activities and stops you from performing what you want, you’re not alone. It’s one of the leading causes people see a doctor or a physiotherapist, affecting the lives of more than 60- 80 percent of adults at some point in their lives.

Low back pain can result from various health conditions, including injuries and medical disorders. Mainly, it occurs due to damage to the back muscles or tendons. The pain can range from mild to moderate to severe. In some cases, pain can make it hard or impossible to carry out our daily life activities.

Fortunately, various treatment options can help relieve pain and promote healing. Typically, lower back pain recovers with rest, painkillers, and physical therapy (PT). However, you can go for surgical repair if the medicines and physiotherapy don’t work for specific conditions.

Symptoms of Lower Back Pain

Symptoms of lower back pain may vary, ranging from muscle tenderness and stiffness to a burning, shooting or stabbing sensation. The pain can also radiate down toward the legs and lower limbs and can worsen by bending, lifting, twisting, standing, or walking.

Causes of Lower Back Pain

Low back pain usually develops without a cause that displays in a test or imaging study. Various injuries, diseases, and conditions can result in lower back pain, including:

  • Muscle strains and sprains: These are the most significant cause of lower back pain. The lower back muscles may get stretched or torn due to excessive activity, leading to symptoms such as muscle spasms, pain, and stiffness in the lower back.
  • Fractures: The bones in the spine can fracture due to any trauma or injury, such as during a car crash or fall. Certain medical conditions (like spondylolysis or osteoporosis) increase the risk of fractures.
  • Disc problems: Discs are small spinal bones that provide protection. These discs can bulge from their original position in the spine and press a nerve, resulting in lower back pain.
  • Structural problems: Spinal stenosis occurs due to degeneration of the discs between the vertebrae. This results in compression of the nerve roots and spinal cord by soft tissues or by bony spurs, resulting in severe low back pain, numbness and weakness, and trouble walking.
  • Arthritis: Osteoarthritis is a common type of arthritis that causes lower back pain. Additionally, Ankylosing spondylitis also causes lower back pain, stiffness, pain, and inflammation in the spine.
  • Other Causes: Various additional disease conditions like Spine tumors, cancers, and infections can also cause low back pain.

Risk Factors of Lower Back Pain

You have an increased risk of lower back pain if:

  • Old age
  • Overweight or obese
  • Occupation involving heavy lifting, driving, and vibration of the whole body
  • Mental Health problems
  • Various Diseases like arthritis
  • Structural issues

Treatment of Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain generally improves with rest, ice, and over-the-counter painkillers. In addition, staying active is also crucial as it enhances blood flow toward the area and helps you heal. After a few days of rest, medications, and physical therapy, you can return to your normal daily activities.

Other treatments for lower back pain include:

  • Medications: Your doctor may recommend nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Naproxen and ibuprofen or various prescription drugs to relieve pain. Other medications include muscle relaxants that relax muscles and prevent back spasms.
  • Physical therapy (PT): PT helps strengthen muscles, restore functions, and improve flexibility to support your spine. PT also enables you to avoid other injuries.
  • Surgery: Some injuries and conditions do not respond to medications and other remedies and need surgical repair. There are numerous types of surgery for lower back pain, including many minimally invasive techniques.
  • Injections: Your doctor may recommend steroid injections into the lower back area to relieve pain and lessen inflammation.
  • Other remedies may include:
  • Massage
  • Use of Ice packs
  • Exercises like stretching
  • Maintaining proper posture
  • Use of comfortable chairs to support back

In a Nutshell

Causes of knee pain range from natural wear and tear to joint injuries to genetic conditions. Knee pain can become serious if not treated earlier. You can take some measures to heal it and prevent it from recurring. Commit to a proper plan of action that brings you positive results. Take time for yourself, rest, do ice therapy, and practice exercising and stretching. See your doctor if your normal activities and movements are affected.