Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain affects millions of people each year, sometimes due to an injury, and sometimes due to something else. Musculoskeletal issues are the biggest culprit, but there are so many other reasons, as well. Lower spinal discomfort is the most common reason in the world for missing work or school.
If you’re experiencing lower back pain, it’s worth considering seeing a chiropractor for help. A great option to check out is https://renuchiro.com, as they specialize in addressing lower spinal issues and have helped many people.
This article will talk about lower back ache and some of the reasons for it. It will also talk about some of the ways you can alleviate discomfort in your lower back. Lower spinal pain can be helped with medical treatment and with exercise.
Symptoms for Lower Back Pain
There are many symptoms for spinal ache including pain when resting or sitting for long periods of time. It can also be discomfort when lifting something heavy or when you are bending down. You could also have aches that radiate from your hips and glutes. You might have a stiffness after waking up or after a long period of inactivity. It could also be numbness or weakness in the lower spine.
Some more serious symptoms might be discomfort in your legs and feet, as well as your spine. If you have unintentional weight loss along with back ache, that might be a more serious issue. If you have a fever or loss of bowel control, it could also be more serious.
Causes of Lower Back Pain
There are many causes that could make your lower spine hurt. Some of these causes could be muscle sprains or strains. If you have sudden movements that cause your ligaments to stretch it could cause strains and sprains. This could also cause some back spasms that could cause you some discomfort.
The discs in your back can be prone to injury, especially as you get older. The outside of these discs can herniate, or tear if you are not careful. This is called a herniated disc or sometimes a slipped disc or ruptured disc – all these terms are the same injury. This can happen when the cartilage that is supposed to be between the discs pushes against the nerve roots or the spinal cord. This cushion that is supposed to be between the vertebrae will extend outside the usual position. That causes the nerve root to become compressed as it leaves the spinal cord and the vertebrae.
Sciatica is another cause for lower back aches and it can bring you to your knees. The sciatic nerve is the nerve that connects the legs to the spine. This happens when a herniated disc presses on the sciatic nerve. It can also cause pain in your legs and feet that feels like pins and needles or a burning sensation.
Spinal stenosis is another cause that happens when the spaces between your spine narrows, and it puts pressure on your spinal cord and the spinal nerves. Learn about spinal stenosis here. This is commonly associated with disc degeneration that are between the vertebrae. Symptoms of this are numbness, weakness, and cramping. These symptoms can be anywhere in the body and get worse when you stand or walk.
There are different conditions that can cause you spine to curve – the most well-known of these is scoliosis. You could also have lordosis or kyphosis and all of them are usually present at birth and can get diagnosed in early childhood or teenage years. These unusual curvatures will usually cause pain and you will usually have poor posture. It places pressure on your muscles, tendons, ligaments, and vertebrae. Some people have no symptoms with these conditions.
There are other conditions that can cause lower back pain including arthritis, fibromyalgia, spondylitis, and spondylosis. You could also have a kidney infection or bladder infection, pregnancy, endometriosis, ovarian cysts, uterine fibroids, spinal infections, spinal cord misalignment, and some cancers. These are all common reasons for you to have lower back ache.
Diagnosis of Lower Back Pain
You will have to go to a doctor to get a diagnosis of your aches, and they will do a variety of tests for you. The first thing that they will do is go through your medical history and give you a thorough physical exam to see where you are feeling the pain the most. The doctor will also check your reflexes to see if they are working properly.
If this is your first visit with your doctor for lower back discomfort, the doctor may just want to monitor your symptoms for a little while before they send you in for more testing. They do this because this usually goes away with self-care after a little while, probably a few weeks. There are symptoms that would cause the doctor to order more tests for you sooner and those include weaknesses, unintentional weight loss, fever, and a lack bowel control. If you are having these symptoms, go see your doctor immediately.
Some of the tests that they can do for you are imaging tests that will test for things such as bone problems, disc issues, issues with the tendons and ligaments in your back. They will do x-rays, ultrasounds, CT scans, and MRIs as a starting point. They can also do other testing such as electromyography or EMG or nerve conduction testing.
Treatments for Lower Back Pain
Some of the treatments that can be done are simple home remedies that include heat and cold therapy, the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation), over the counter medication such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, or a warm bath. You could also use a combination of these to see if it will make you feel better. If these treatments don’t help after 72 hours, go visit your doctor.
Medical treatment can include stronger medications, medical appliances, and physical therapy. Some medications that could help are muscle relaxers, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), corticosteroid injections, and narcotics. Narcotics are usually only used for severe pain or aches related to cancer. You could also use medical appliances such as back braces or supporters.
Physical therapy could use massage, stretching, strengthening exercises, and back or spinal manipulation. Surgery would be a last resort for your pain and would be used if all the other treatments did not work. There are several types of surgery that the doctor might resort to. These include discectomy which can relieve pressure due to a bulging disc or bone spur, foraminotomy which a procedure to open up the foramen (the bony hole in the spine that holds the nerves), intradiscal electrothermal therapy (IDET) which is a procedure to thicken the disc wall and reduce the bulging of the inner disc by heating a needle up for about 13 minutes, nucleoplasty which involves putting a device that looks like a wand through a needle into the disc, and more.
There are many different reasons for lower back pain, including injury and even pregnancy. Most of the time, the pain can be alleviated through some home remedies, but sometimes your doctor must resort to surgery. If you are suffering from chronic lower back pain that won’t stop with home remedies, you should talk to your doctor.