Low back pain can cause a wide variety of symptoms and signs depending on the precise cause of the pain as reviewed above. Symptoms that can be associated with low back pain include numbness and/or tingling of the lower extremities, incontinence of urine or stool, inability to walk without worsening pain, lower extremity weakness, atrophy (decreased in size) of the lower extremity muscles, rash, fever, chills, weight loss, abdominal pains, burning on urination, dizziness, joint pain, and fatigue.
I noticed one incredible effect after doing this experiment: the back pain I’ve struggled with for many years simply disappeared! Normally, it would start after I’d walk or stand for more than 30 minutes, but after I reduced my sitting, the pain vanished.
“For many years, I’ve had a very severe backache, and I don’t really seek care for it because it doesn’t really help,” he said. So it’s likely back pain will be with Vos—and many others around the world— “for a long time to come.”
Although nonspecific back pain is sometimes called simple back pain, simple does not mean that the pain is mild. The severity of the pain can range from mild to severe. Typically, the pain is in one area of the lower back but sometimes it spreads to one or both buttocks or thighs. The pain is usually eased by lying down flat. It is often made worse if you move your back, cough, or sneeze. So, nonspecific low back pain is mechanical in the sense that it varies with posture or activity.
^ Jump up to: a b c d e f g h i j k l Rosen’s emergency medicine : concepts and clinical practice. Walls, Ron M.,, Hockberger, Robert S.,, Gausche-Hill, Marianne, (Ninth ed.). Philadelphia, PA. ISBN 9780323354790. OCLC 989157341.
The core muscles help maintain proper posture and stabilize the spine (keep it firm in its natural alignment during movement – walking, running, lifting, exercising, etc. Improving core stability reduces the risk of injury to the spinal joints, discs, back muscles & ligaments during such activities. Exercises to increase strength, endurance and coordination of the core muscles improve core stability.
To perform, lie on back on a soft surface, with shoulders resting on the edge. Head should be supported by the hands and positioned over the edge of surface. Then, lower head gently, while breathing out.
CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) – CBT can help patients manage chronic back pain. The therapy is based on the principle that the way a person feels is, in part, dependent on the way they think about things.
Ultrasound imaging, also called ultrasound scanning or sonography, uses high-frequency sound waves to obtain images inside the body. The sound wave echoes are recorded and displayed as a real-time visual image. Ultrasound imaging can show tears in ligaments, muscles, tendons, and other soft tissue masses in the back.
Hamstring stretches are important to incorporate into any back stretching routine. Proper posture depends not only on the flexibility of your back but also the muscles that link your extremities to your back.
Spondylolisthesis causes back pain because adjacent vertebra becomes unstable and begin to “slip.” The most common cause of spondylolisthesis is due to degenerative changes causing loss of the normal stabilizing structures of the spinal column.
The thing about lower back pain is that it ruins your life—but then it’s over. Until it comes back. Accepting this and packing painkillers in anticipation of another episode can go a long way toward making this pesky cycle more bearable. In the meantime, bolster your back with exercises that strengthen your core and keep you flexible. For inspiration, see 4 exercises that end back pain.
Surgical options: Physicians at Rush specialize in minimally invasive and traditional approaches to back and spine surgery. Because they have extensive experience with a variety of surgical procedures, they can recommend the type of surgery most appropriate for your back pain.
You can also get your anti-inflammatory medication in the form of a topical cream that can be applied directly to the back. While these technically have the potential for the same side effects as the oral medications, the risk is not the same, because they’re not affecting your whole body, says Jung.
I once saw a gentleman with a complaint of being awakened in the night by lower back and thoracic pain. He felt okay during the day for the most part but could rarely sleep more than three or four hours at a time.
So your son finally decided to move out of the house and in your zeal to hasten his departure you lifted one too many of his amplifiers. Now it’s Sunday morning and although it’s wonderfully quiet, you’re one twisted sister.
If back pain has left you inactive for a long time, a rehabilitation program can help you strengthen your muscles and get back to your daily activities. A physical therapist can guide you through stretches, strength exercises, and low-impact cardio that will help you be fitter without straining your back.
Biofeedback is used to treat many acute pain problems, most notably back pain and headache. The therapy involves the attachment of electrodes to the skin and the use of an electromyography machine that allows people to become aware of and selfregulate their breathing, muscle tension, heart rate, and skin temperature. People regulate their response to pain by using relaxation techniques. Biofeedback is often used in combination with other treatment methods, generally without side effects. Evidence is lacking that biofeedback provides a clear benefit for low back pain.
Jump up ^ Dubinsky, R. M.; Miyasaki, J. (2009). “Assessment: Efficacy of transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation in the treatment of pain in neurologic disorders (an evidence-based review): Report of the Therapeutics and Technology Assessment Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology”. Neurology. 74 (2): 173–6. doi:10.1212/WNL.0b013e3181c918fc. PMID 20042705.
Treatment should begin with maximal recommended doses of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and acetaminophen, followed by adjunctive medications. Nonpharmacologic therapies are effective in certain clinical situations and can be added to the treatment program at any time. For those with severe functional disabilities, radicular symptoms, or refractory pain, referral for epidural steroid injection or surgical evaluation may be reasonable (Figure 12).
Jung says he’s had patients tell him they’ve been taking 6 to 8 ibuprofen daily for six months. “That can be a problem,” he says. “In the pain world, anything more than three months is chronic pain. So, if you’ve been taking an NSAID or acetaminophen to manage back pain for three months or more, you should see a doctor to at least find out if you’re taking the right medication at the right dose.”
Cigarettes aren’t just hell on your heart and lungs. “Smokers have a higher incidence of recurring back problems,” Dr. Katz says. The cause and effects of this are many. Nicotine restricts blood flow to vertebrae and disks, so they may age and break down more quickly. It may also interfere with the body’s ability to absorb and use calcium, leading to osteoporosis-related bone and back problems. You know what you have to do: Quit. Go to smokefree.gov to customize your own smoking cessation plan.
Men and women are equally affected by low back pain, which can range in intensity from a dull, constant ache to a sudden, sharp sensation that leaves the person incapacitated. Pain can begin abruptly as a result of an accident or by lifting something heavy, or it can develop over time due to age-related changes of the spine. Sedentary lifestyles also can set the stage for low back pain, especially when a weekday routine of getting too little exercise is punctuated by strenuous weekend workout.
Imaging has limited utility because most patients with chronic low back pain have nonspecific findings on imaging studies,7 and asymptomatic patients often have abnormal findings.6 Initial imaging with MRI, which is the preferred study, or CT is only recommended for patients with red flags for serious or rapidly progressive disease (Table 25,6) or radicular symptoms that do not spontaneously resolve after six weeks. Because evidence of improved outcomes is lacking, imaging, such as lumbar spine radiography, should be delayed at least one to two months in patients with nonspecific pain without red flags for serious disease.6
I’ve had same back pain for 20 years now, but it seems maybe it goes away when I’m skinnier than when I gain a few pounds. However, I can get 8 hours of sleep, but if I go over, it’s awful. But I used to could sleep 10 or 12 hours on the weekend, when I noticed this awful thing and when I’d get sick in bed too. This week I have a cold and tried to go to bed early last night, cuz I could feel a sneezy one coming on. 7pm in bed. woke up at 1:30 am… watched some tv, in bed, went back to sleep and woke at 7;30 ouch!!!! It hurt soooo bad! And I need to stay in bed to kick this icky cold. Got up, went to potty, and this time, pain lingered a lil longer than usual.
Back pain varies widely. Some symptoms (often called “red flag” symptoms) may suggest that the back pain has a more serious cause. These include fever, recent trauma, weight loss, a history of cancer and neurological symptoms, such as numbness, weakness or incontinence (involuntary loss of urine).
“The anthropologists have noted exactly what you’re saying for years,” says Stuart McGill, at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, who has been studying the biomechanics of the spine for more than three decades.
If infection, such as a spinal epidural abscess, is the source of the back pain, surgery may be indicated when a trial of antibiotics is ineffective. Surgical evacuation of spinal hematoma can also be attempted, if the blood products fail to break down on their own.
“I can’t believe I’ve been making my back pain worse for years, without knowing it! Thank you for sharing the information in the BodyPain Matrix(TM) Program! I now can completely manage my back pain with my stretches and I’ve stopped sitting in ‘bad’ ways.I am so glad I finally have an answer after suffering with my low back pain for over 5 years.” -Sheryl B.
Action: Keeping your neck straight, arch your back up by pushing down on your hands. You should feel a gentle stretch in the stomach muscles. Breathe and hold for 5 to 10 seconds. Return to the starting position.
Arthritis – patients with osteoarthritis commonly experience problems with the joints in the hips, lower back, knees and hands. In some cases spinal stenosis can develop, which is the term used to describe when the space around the spinal cord narrows.
Exercises to improve posture and strengthen the muscles of the back and abdominal muscles, called the core muscles, are a treatment option that should be strongly considered. This treatment often involves:
There’s also a step between NSAIDs and muscle relaxants and a more classic opioid or narcotic drugs. Tramadol (brand names Rybix, Ryzolt or Ultram) also acts on the opioid receptors in the brain, but it is weaker compared to morphine or hydrocodone, so it’s not regulated like a controlled substance, says Jung. “So it’s a milder approach and patients who don’t want to move on to narcotics often think that’s a good option, he says.
A risk factor is something which increases the likelihood of developing a condition or disease. For example, obesity significantly raises the risk of developing diabetes type 2. Therefore, obesity is a risk factor for diabetes type 2.