According to statistics, about 80% of people living on the planet have back problems. For possible reasons, methods of diagnosis, treatment and prevention - read the article.
Every person has experienced low back pain at least occasionally. But if earlier it occurred in older people, then today pain in the lumbar spine often bothers young people. Acute or aching, lasting only a couple of minutes or bothering a person for weeks or even months - back pain - can appear as a result of a variety of reasons. Often a person gets used to his condition. Unpleasant sensations become part of life. But the visit to the doctor is still delayed, thereby reducing the chances of recovery.
Causes of low back pain - what you need to know
- Most often, the cause of low back pain lies in degenerative-dystrophic changes in the spinal column - joints, intervertebral discs, ligaments, periarticular muscles.Osteochondrosis, spondylosis, spondyloarthrosis, osteoporosis, protrusion and hernia of the intervertebral disc - these and other diseases of the spine acquired over time are always accompanied by painful manifestations. At the same time, it is important to determine the reasons that led to these violations. There are a dozen theories of the origin of these diseases. Excess weight has a negative effect on the spine, as a result of which the vertebrae experience increased stress, which leads to premature wear. Violation of posture or improper body position during work will cause muscle overstrain, as a result - pinching of nerves, displacement of the vertebrae. With a sharp overstrain of muscles, when lifting weights or unsuccessful movement, sprains and microtraumas are inevitable.
- However,back pain may be secondary, and not necessarily associated with a pathology of the spine.An infectious process may be the cause. For example, in brucellosis, damage to the vertebrae leads to sclerotic changes and the appearance of osteophytes (growths) that compress nerve tissues. With tuberculosis, the vertebral bodies are destroyed. With osteomyelitis, due to the accumulation of purulent contents, the structures of the spine are compressed. In any case, pain appears in the lumbar spine.
- Tumors(osteoblastoma, myeloma, osteosarcoma, metastasis to the spine, etc. ) - benign or malignant, usually accompanied by pain in the lumbar region of varying intensity, not amenable to painkillers.
- One of the common causes of back pain is numerousdiseases of the internal organs.Rheumatoid arthritis,ankylosing spondyloarthritis, pyelonephritis, cystitis, urolithiasis, inflammation of the appendages, prostate diseases, as well as problems with the intestines and even lungs.
5 Common Causes of Back Pain
The back can rightfully be called an indicator of the state of the body. Almost any problem in the body is accompanied by pain. Lumbar pain can be of a very different nature: aching or acute, appearing after sleep or prolonged stay in one position.Often, sudden shooting pain makes it impossible for a person to move. The intensity of the painful manifestations depends on the cause of the origin of the pain. The most common are:
1. Lumbago, also called lumbago
This is one of the most common types of back pain. Appears with physical stress or awkward body position. Although it can occur for no apparent reason. Burning and bursting pain does not allow the person to straighten. When you try to change the position of the body, even when you cough, the sensations only intensify. Acute pain can last from minutes to hours, or even days, but in some cases it can suddenly stop.
2. Sciatica (sciatic nerve neuralgia, lumbosacral radiculitis)
Sciatica is manifested by shooting pain, tingling, numbness. The pain often spreads along the sciatic nerve to the buttock, along the back of the leg. The sensations can be so intense that a person is unable to sit, walk, or bend over.
3. Lower back pain with osteochondrosis
This is the most common type. More often it grows gradually and intensifies with any movement, even when sneezing or coughing. In addition, the sensitivity of certain areas in the lower body or legs may be impaired.
4. In case of diseases
Pain in the lumbar region in various diseases is very characteristic. Aching, dull, it can radiate to the lower abdomen, the area near the navel, in the hypochondrium. However, with renal colic, a person experiences very intense pain, and urgent medical attention is needed.
5. Muscle spasms
Muscle spasms appear when the case is not in the right position for a long time. As a result, the mobility of the spine is limited. This triggers the so-called "vicious circle", when lower back pain is caused by muscle spasm, which, in turn, again leads to pain. This state can continue for a long time and causes quite tangible suffering to a person.
What to do with acute lower back pain?
Acute lower back pain occurs in a wide variety of conditions. Protrusion and intervertebral hernia, osteochondrosis, lumbago and sciatica, injuries and disorders of spinal circulation. As well as various diseases of the pelvic organs and abdominal cavity. It is almost impossible to determine the cause of the onset of painful sensations on your own, so a person needs to be taken to a specialist.
- If you suspect aspinal injuryor vertebrae, it is important to restrict movement before the arrival of the medical team.
- Stretchingmuscles or ligaments. In the first minutes, you can apply cold, which will prevent the growth of puffiness and reduce soreness.
- For a seizure caused bydiseases of the spine, first of all, you should take the most comfortable position. Most often, a person experiences relief by lying on their back on a hard surface with their legs slightly raised. If you cannot see a doctor immediately, you can take a pain reliever.
- If back pain is a symptom ofinternal diseases, the patient chooses the most comfortable position for him. It is important to remember that if the cause of lower back pain is not known, it is better to refuse warming compresses and ointments. Indeed, in the presence of an inflammatory process, they can aggravate the situation.
Methods for diagnosing low back pain
There are many conditions in which low back pain occurs. To determine their origin and prescribe treatment, you need a doctor's help. The cause of their appearance is not always spinal diseases. In this case, the localization of painful sensations is important, first of all. For example, lower back pain on the right or left may indicate urological pathologies, intestinal diseases: appendicitis, ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis, obstruction, etc. In some cases, there may be pain above the lower back, for example, with hepatitis, cholecystitis or taking toxic drugs. If the back hurts below the lower back, then such localization may indicate diseases of the genital organs, for example, the appendages of the uterus in women or the prostate gland in men.
Start with a visit to a therapist or neurologist who will prescribe the necessary examinations. In some cases, it may be necessary to consult a urologist, orthopedist, traumatologist, infectious disease specialist and other narrow specialists. Thanks to the diagnostic methods existing today, it is possible to accurately determine the cause of pain in the lumbar spine. X-ray of the lumbosacral spine is the most accessible examination method, which allows to determine the violation of structures, the presence of an inflammatory process, osteoporosis and related disorders. Computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging are the most effective diagnostic methods, thanks to the layered image of internal structures, even the smallest violations can be detected. In addition, a variety of laboratory tests can be prescribed - depending on the symptoms.
Treatment for back pain
Patient should be kept at rest in any situation. However, the treatment tactics are selected depending on the disease that caused the pain in the spine.In case of dystrophic and functional changesin the spine, anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants are prescribed to relieve muscle spasm, as well as drugs that improve nutrition and tissue regeneration. Appointment of physiotherapeutic procedures (electrophoresis, phonophoresis, magnetotherapy), as well as massage, acupuncture and therapeutic exercises are very effective. In some cases, such as hernias or injuries, surgical treatment is indicated.
To reduce pain, relieve excessive tension and muscle spasm, it is recommended to wear a special bandage. It is used as an adjunct to drug therapy for osteochondrosis, radiculitis, trauma and in the postoperative period. But a specialist should choose a model, since various options for corsets are on sale.
If lower back pain is a symptom ofdiseases of internal organs, then the treatment is selected taking into account the existing pathology: antibacterial agents in the presence of an infectious process, surgical treatment - in case of a tumor, intestinal obstruction, appendicitis, etc. . . .
What to do if lower back pain occurs?
We are so arranged that when health problems appear, we try to get rid of painful sensations on our own. Especially in cases where movement is not limited, the condition does not worsen, and after taking the pain reliever, the pain seems to subside. But you should be aware that only trauma is the only cause of back pain that a person can relatively accurately determine independently. In other cases, it is better to entrust the diagnosis to a specialist. But there are situations where emergency medical attention is needed immediately:
- inability or limited movement;
- decreased sensitivity in certain parts of the body, tingling in the limbs;
- urinary or fecal incontinence;
- severe pain, fever, nausea, etc.
How to maintain mobility for many years, or a little about prevention
Many back pain illnesses do not appear suddenly. And serious diseases, accompanied by soreness in the lower back, can be prevented. What is needed for this?
- Timely treat existing diseases, as well as undergo regular preventive examinations.
- Physical activity should correspond to age, weight, general condition of the body. If it is impossible to avoid lifting weights, then the load should be lifted keeping your back straight. In addition, there are special devices for carrying weights, and you can also use a corset to support your back.
- A straight gait, refusal of heels, the correct position during seated work will help to avoid spinal deformities.
- Inactivity and poor diet will certainly lead to excess weight - the main culprit of almost all diseases, including the spine. Correcting your diet, exercising regularly, swimming in the pool, even walking in the fresh air will help you avoid many problems. In addition, an active lifestyle is an effective means of dealing with stress - the main problem of a modern person. But frequent stressful situations can rightfully be called the main risk factor in the development of many pathologies.
Unfortunately, the urge to self-medicate is ineradicable. Numerous recipes, supposedly miraculous rubbing and widely advertised ointments often turn out to be useless when used uncontrollably. Remember - self-medication is a waste of money and time! Refusing the help of specialists, we risk acquiring an advanced form of the disease. Therefore, if you are concerned about lower back pain, do not postpone until later, make an appointment with your doctor!