What Is Low Back Pain?


People have pain and stiffness in their lower back at some time in their lives. Often, low back pain gets better within a few days or weeks without treatment. Sometimes it can come and go over months or years. 


Back pain can be caused by:

  • Muscle or ligament strain from heavy lifting or a sudden movement

  • Bulging or damage of the disks that cushion the bones in your spine

  • Narrowing of the open spaces in your spine called spinal stenosis

  • Osteoporosis, which can weaken bones in your spine and lead to fractures

What Are the Warning Signs of Low Back Pain?

  • Most low back pain occurs suddenly and goes away or becomes less intense after a short time without treatment. If you have any of the following symptoms, it may be something more serious. See a doctor immediately if you have:

  • Pain that runs down the leg below the knee

  • No feeling (numbness) in the leg, foot, groin, or rectal area

  • Loss of bowel or bladder control

  • Fever, weakness, or sweating

  • Pain that is so bad you cannot move around or that does not get better after 2 to 3 weeks

  • Previous history of cancer

  • Been using medicines that weaken bones or your immune system, like corticosteroids

 

How Is Low Back Pain Diagnosis is made?


Sometimes, your doctor may not be able to find the exact cause of your back pain even after all investigations.
To learn more, your doctor will ask you questions about your back pain and about your medical history.
He will examine your back and try to find the cause of the pain.


Imaging tests, like an x-ray or MRI, are rarely needed. These tests are expensive,
maybe harmful, and usually do not help your doctor find the cause of your low back pain. Talk with your doctor about the need for an imaging test for your back pain.

Because the vestibular system interacts with so many other parts of the nervous system, secondary symptoms of memory problems, muscular stiffness/imbalance/weakness, fatigue, headaches and anxiety may be experienced.

How Is Low Back Pain Treated?

 

  • Avoid bed rest and try to keep active doing everyday activities, but do not lift heavy things.

  • Massage, a heating pad, or hot shower can help to relieve pain.

  • Your doctor may suggest other treatments such as medicines to relax your muscles, stretching. 

  • Talk to your doctor about physiotherapy, manual therapy. 

  • Surgery is rarely needed.

  • Pain and stiffness in the lower back is a common problem. It usually gets better within a few days or weeks without the need for any testing or treatment.

  • See your physiotherapist if the pain does not go away after a few weeks or if you have such symptoms as fever, muscle weakness, numbness, loss of bladder or bowel control, or previous history of cancer.

  • You will get better faster if you return to doing normal everyday activities as soon as possible.

Points To Remember About Back Pain

  • Back pain is one of the most common medical problems in the entire world.

  • Acute pain is the most common type of back pain and lasts no longer than 6 weeks. Chronic pain can come on quickly or slowly and lasts a long time, generally longer than 3 months.

  • Anyone can have back pain, but some things increase the risk.

  • Back pain is a symptom of a medical condition. It can get better even if you do not know the cause.

  • Treatment for back pain generally depends on how long your pain lasts.

  • Exercise, proper diet, and hot and cold packs can help you live better with back pain.

Back pain can be debilitating and if left untreated can profoundly affect your overall quality of life. The number of people experiencing back pain in America is on the rise. Approximately 80 percent of adults will have back pain at some point in their lives. Work injuries, obesity, pregnancy, and aging can all cause a degeneration of the spine.

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” –Theodore Roosevelt

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