Lower Back Pain: The lower back where back pain occurs includes five vertebrae (known as L1-L5) in the lumbar region, which supports the weight of the upper body. The spaces between vertebrae are maintained by round-rubbery pads called intervertebral discs that act shock absorbers to cushion the bones as the body moves. Ligaments hold the vertebrae in place, and the tendons attached to the muscles of the spinal column. Thirty-one pairs of nerves are rooted in the spinal cord and they control body movement and transmit body signals to the brain. You May Also Like:
- What Is Lupus | Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Drugs & Prevention
- What Is Hives (Urticaria) | Causes, Types, Symptoms, Treatment & Drugs
- Shingles (Herpes Zoster)| Cause, Symptom, Treatment, Drugs &Vaccines
Causes of Lower Back Pain
Most back pain is mechanical in nature. In many other cases, low back pain is also associated with spondylosis, a term that refers to degeneration of the spine associated with wear and tears that occur in the joints, discs, and bones of a spine as get older people. Examples of mechanical causes of low back pain include:
Sprains and strains account for acute back pain. Sprains are by overstretching or tearing ligaments, and strains occur are tears in tendon or muscle. Such forms of movement may trigger spasms in the back muscles, which can be painful.
Intervertebral disc degeneration is also the most prevalent mechanical cause of low back pain, and it occurs when the conventionally rubbery discs lose integrity as a process of aging. In a healthy back, intervertebral discs provide height and sanction bending, flexion, and torsion of a lower back. As the discs deteriorate, they lose their cushioning facility. Herniated discs can occur when the intervertebral discs become compressed and bulge outward, causing low back pain.
Less prevalent causes include the following:
- Spinal stenosis–narrowing of the nerve passages in the spine
- Spondylolisthesis–when a vertebra slips out of position
- Spinal injury or infection
- A magnification within the spine–such as a tumor
- Cauda equina syndrome is an infrequent but serious condition caused by the compressed and damaged nerve of the spinal cord.
Risk Factors for Developing Lower Back Pain
- Age: The first attack of low back pain occurs between the ages of 30 and 50, becoming more common with advancing age.
- Fitness level: Back pain is also more common who are not physically fit. Weak back and abdominal muscles may not properly adequate support the spine.
- Pregnancy: This results in pelvic changes that alterations in weight loading.
- Weight gain: Overweight, obese, or quickly gaining significant amounts of weight that can stress on the back and lead low back pain.
- Genetics: Ankylosing spondylitis, a form of arthritis that involves the fusion of spinal joints leading some immobility of the spine, may have a genetic component.
- Occupational risk factors: Heavy lifting, pushing, or pulling, particularly when it involves twisting the spine, can lead to injury and back pain. Desk job may also lead to or contribute to pain.
- Mental health factors: Anxiety and depression can muscle tension, which leads to low back pain.
- Backpack overload in children: Backpack overloaded with schoolbooks cause muscle fatigue and lead back Pain in children.
Lower Back Pain Diagnosis
A brief medical history and physical exam can conventionally identify any earnest conditions that may be causing the pain. During the exam, physicians will ask about the onset, site, and astringency of the pain; duration of symptoms and any inhibitions in movement; and history of previous episodes or any health conditions that might be cognate to the pain. Along with back examination, neurologic tests are conducted to determine the cause of pain and congruous treatment. The cause of chronic lower back pain is often arduous to determine even after an examination.
Imaging is not warranted in most cases. However, imaging may be authoritatively mandated to rule out concrete causes of pain, including tumors and spinal stenosis. Imaging and other types of tests include:
- Computerized tomography (CT)
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
Blood tests are not routinely used to diagnose the cause of back pain; however, in some cases, they may be an indicator of inflammation, infection, or presence of arthritis. Tests include erythrocyte sedimentation rate(ESR), complete blood count(CBC), and C-reactive protein. Blood tests may additionally detect HLA-B27, a genetic marker in people with ankylosing spondylitis.
Back Pain Treatment
The condition conventionally heals itself, given adequate time and rest. Approximately 80% to 90% of patients get better typically within several weeks.
Nonsurgical treatment is aimed at availing manage your pain without long-term medications. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs(NSAID) such as ibuprofen, aspirin, and muscle relaxants may additionally avail.
Antidepressants such as tricyclics, serotonin, and norepinephrine inhibitors have been commonly used for chronic low back pain.
- Physical therapy includes such as ice, heat, massage, electrical stimulation, and ultrasound. Active therapy like stretching, strengthening, and cardiovascular exercises. Exercising restores your back can be very subsidiary in mitigating pain.
- Braces are often utilized. The most common is a corset-type that can be wrapped around the back. Braces are comfortable and stable while wearing them.
- Lumbar traction is often utilized, but without scientific evidence for efficacy.
- Other exercise-predicated programs, such as Pilates or yoga are subsidiary for some patients.
You might need surgery if you still have incapacitating pain after 3 months or more of nonsurgical treatment.
The surgery may be done under local, spinal, or general anesthesia. This surgery(laminotomy with discectomy) is customarily very prosperous at mitigating pain.
- Better posture techniques at work
- Stretching before exercise
- Regular exercising
- The mattress should be firm enough to support the body while supporting the weight off shoulders and buttocks, that keep your spine straight.
- If the mattress is too soft, place a firm board under a mattress.
- Back Pain Relief Tips