Back problems are very common. According to statistics, more than 30% of the population are faced with pain. About 80% of them suffer from pain of varying intensity throughout their adult life.
Pain in the lumbar region occurs more often than in other segments of the spinal column. This is due to the fact that the lower back has the greatest load, the risk of developing pathological processes in this area is higher. Pain in the lumbar region can be associated not only with diseases of the spine, but also with pathologies of internal organs. Before treating low back pain, it is important to find out the nature of its origin.
Causes of pain syndrome
90% of lumbar pain is associated with vertebral pathologies, both congenital and acquired.
The most common causes are:
- osteochondrosis of the lumbosacral region;
- protrusions and intervertebral hernias;
Congenital anomalies causing pain:
- irregular shape of the vertebral processes;
- splitting of the vertebrae;
- congenital curvature of the spine.
Neurological causes of lumbar pain:
- compression of nerve roots;
- lumboischialgia (occurs when the sciatic nerve is damaged);
- multiple sclerosis.
Low back pain can be reflective and symptomatic of non-spinal diseases:
- infections of the urinary tract and genitals;
- kidney disease;
- nephrolithiasis and urolithiasis (stones in the kidneys and bladder);
- tumor formations in the gastrointestinal tract;
- neoplasms in the uterus in women;
- as a complication after previous viral infections.
Sometimes severe back pain in the lumbar region occurs against the background of physiological changes:
- during menstruation;
- after childbirth;
- during pregnancy;
- as a result of rapid weight gain.
The provoking factors of low back pain can be:
- weakening of the immune system and the body against the background of infectious lesions;
- irregular physical activity;
- work related to a long stay in a sitting position (office employees, vehicle drivers);
- excessive stress, which causes compression fractures of the spine, cracks, stretching of the back muscles;
- power sports (bodybuilding, bodybuilding, shot put);
- inappropriate nutrition - deficiency of vitamins and elements necessary for bone tissue (phosphorus, calcium, fluoride), excessive consumption of high-calorie foods;
- curvature of the spinal column (stoop, kyphosis, scoliosis);
- stressful situations - prolonged nervous tension exacerbates a number of chronic diseases, weaken the body.
Determination of the nature of pain
Back pain in the lumbar spine can be of different nature:
- acute pains (last up to one and a half months);
- subacute (one and a half to three months);
- chronic (more than three months).
Types of pain:
- Nonspecific - there is no clear localization of pain sensations and the reasons for their occurrence.
- Specific - is a symptom of certain diseases (tumors, hernias, osteoporosis).
Acute lower back pain, usually sudden, occurs in the form of a lumbar "lumbago" (lumbago). Pain can radiate to the buttocks, lower extremities and other parts of the body, mimicking certain diseases.
Depending on what caused the pain in the lumbar spine, they can be of a different nature (stabbing, cutting, pressing, breaking, aching).
At the beginning of the development of the pathological process, pain is often not pronounced. The patient may experience discomfort in the affected area, a feeling of "goose bumps" on the skin. Gradually, the symptoms begin to increase and become more pronounced.
Pay attention!It is very important not to delay visiting a specialist. If not treated in a timely manner, the pain will become more intense, in the future there may be signs of disruption of the work of other organs and systems (sexual dysfunction, urinary incontinence, paresis, restriction of motor activity).
Before starting treatment for lower back pain, you need to see a vertebrologist or neurologist. He will try to find out the cause of the pain, prescribe the necessary research. If necessary, he will send for consultation to other specialists (gastroenterologist, gynecologist, urologist).
In addition to interviewing the patient and visual examination, it is recommended to diagnose using instrumental methods:
In addition, a general blood and urine test, sampling of material for histological examination may be required.
The following conditions require immediate medical attention:
- for the first time and sudden onset of intense lower back pain;
- irradiation of pain in the lower leg and foot, a combination of pain with numbness of the thigh, leg;
- history of trauma;
- urinary and fecal incontinence;
- duration of pain for more than 3 days;
- presence of oncological disease;
- loss of appetite and dramatic weight loss;
- chills and fever;
- presence of bacterial infections;
- inability to self-service due to pain.
In most cases, pain in the lumbar spine occurs due to damage to the vertebral structures, it is necessary to eliminate its cause. The treatment approach must be comprehensive.
For any back pain, medication is first used to relieve it. The doctor prescribes several groups of drugs in the form of injections, tablets, ointments.
Without finding out the cause of the pain, prescribing certain drugs (for example, NSAIDs or analgesics) can only make the situation worse.
For spinal diseases, it is recommended to use NSAIDs and analgesics to relieve pain, relieve inflammation.
Muscle spasms are relieved by short-term (up to 5 days) intramuscular or oral administration of muscle relaxants.
The use of ointments for back pain is effective as an adjunct treatment for lower back problems. They help to reduce pain, relieve inflammation, and have a warming effect. Ointments are anti-inflammatory, analgesic, combined, irritating, chondroprotective. External remedies should be prescribed by a doctor, based on the therapeutic effect that needs to be achieved.
Corticosteroid injections are sometimes used to quickly relieve very severe pain. Medicines are injected directly into the lesion. The course of such treatment should not exceed 2-3 injections.
To restore the lower back and strengthen the result of drug therapy, it is recommended to use the following measures:
- manual therapy;
- exercise therapy;
- physiotherapy and other methods of influence.
These methods improve blood supply to problem areas, strengthen muscle tissue and ligaments, make them more elastic, and reduce pain. Any medical procedures cannot be carried out independently, without the supervision of a specialist. A certain load mode must be observed.
- In case of back pain, physical activity should be significantly reduced, and it is better to ensure peace during the first 2 days of an attack.
- Prolonged bed rest is not recommended unless there are fractures, high fever, or other aggravating symptoms. Moderate activity always benefits the spine.
- Taking painkillers is best in case of unbearable pain. It is better to protect the gastrointestinal tract as much as possible from the effects of drugs.
- It is better to sleep in the fetal position, to relieve the load on the lower back, you can put a pillow between your legs.
- In case of problems with the lower back, it is advisable to walk as often as possible, do a warm-up during work, which requires prolonged sitting.
Prevention of low back pain
Pain is a symptom of a malfunction in the body. To avoid problems with the lower back, it is necessary to prevent the occurrence of provoking factors as much as possible.
Preventive measures include:
- Regular moderate exercise. Physical education should be given at least half an hour daily. It is useful to do yoga, swimming, morning workout.
- Compliance with the drinking regime. You need to drink up to 2 liters of liquid per day. Most of it should be in the first half of the day. After 8 pm it is best not to drink any liquid at all.
- Eat right. Significantly reduce the intake of fatty, high-calorie foods. Better to use boiled and steamed dishes.
- At least once a year, a routine check-up should be done.
- Take a course of therapeutic massage 2 times a year.
Pain in the lumbar spine is a signal that there is a problem in the body. The causes of pain can be many. You cannot immediately stop it with pain pills, you need to seek help from a specialist and be examined. After all, the problem can be hidden not only in the spine, but in the disruption of the work of other organs and systems. The sooner the cause of pain is identified and treated, the higher the chance of recovery.