Lower Back Pain: Causes Symptoms Diagnosis and Treatment

Lower Back Pain

A wide number of people experience lower back pain in their lifetime. It is one of the common health issues that creep among the people in the early twenties and continues throughout the adulthood. The discomfort related to this condition is very intense. It may get resolved on its own or if not, then you may require specialized treatment.

Now, you’ll be thinking of why lower back pain happens? What’s the reason behind this? To understand this topic, let’s get deep into detail!

What is Lower Back Pain?

Lower Back pain refers to any pain or discomfort found in the lumbar area – the area behind the abdomen from the rib cage to the pelvis. This area supports most of the upper body weight.

Kinds of Lower Back Pain

The two common kinds of lower back pain are:

This kind of pain occurs when a spinal nerve root becomes inflamed or impinged. This pain follows a nerve root structure or dermatome down into the backside or leg. Its particular sensation is electric, sharp and burning type pain and can be related to weakness or numbness. This is generally felt only on one side of the body.

This pain is the most common kind of lower back pain. This pain is associated with joints, ligaments, muscles or bones in and around the spine. This kind of pain inclines to be confined to the lower back and at times at top of the leg. Generally, this is influenced by loading the spine. As such, you might have a different feeling based on activity, motion, sitting, standing or resting.

Symptoms

The complex structure of spinal muscles, ligaments, discs and bones, in and close to the lumbar area might be injured because of a number of reasons. The very first step towards recognizing the source of pain is paying attention to symptoms of lower back pain. Some of them are as follows:

  • Weakness or numbness
  • Stiffness and difficulty in moving
  • Muscle spasms
  • Painful sleep
  • Continuous aching back pain
  • Standing or walking for lengthy periods
  • Experience pain while moving down one leg

Causes

If you are experiencing any of the side effects stated above, then you must take care of your lower back pain. Start keeping a record of the exercises or circumstances that trigger your frustration. This will help you and your doctor to recognize the cause of your lower back pain. Some of the factors responsible for this are:

  • Strained Ligaments or Muscle Tissue

When you don’t lift the weight correctly, overstretch or twist your back, you risk muscle tissue and marring ligaments. While these may seem like minor injuries, they can be shockingly long-lasting and debilitating if overlooked or not correctly taken care of.

It is a type of nerve pain which is caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve. This is a big nerve that keeps running down through the backside and expands down to the back of the leg. Going ahead or pressing of the sciatic nerve causes burning or shock-like low back pain. At some point of time people sense that the pain radiates down through the backside and down one leg, sometimes reaching the foot.

Innate abnormalities of the spine can cause lower back pain because they upset weight distribution and put pressure on nerves, tissues and ligaments. Skeletal irregularities that cause lower back pain are, Scoliosis – a shape of the spine, and lordosis – an abnormally stressed curve in the lower back.

  • Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms

When large blood vessels which supplies blood to the abdomen, legs and pelvis turns out to be enlarged, pain occurs and an aneurysm might be imminent.

  • Disc Degeneration

Though, some discs in the spine get naturally weakened with age. This intensifies your vulnerability to a myriad of spinal issues and results in stressful lower back pain.

  • Arthritis

Seditious diseases, such as spondylitis and arthritis, an irritation of the vertebrae can lead to stubborn lower back pain.

  • Spinal Stenosis

This happens when the spinal segment contracts, putting pressure on the spinal nerves and cords. This problem can lead to sensory loss, numbness, pain, and leg weakness. If not correctly treated, this might result in a serious condition.

  • Herniated or Ruptured Discs

When a disc present in the lumbar area gets herniated, its inner, liquid-like layer leaks by hard casing by way of break or infirmity. As this added matter seeps into the affected part, nerves get strained and the back pain occurs. Moreover, when a disc gets ruptured it’s no longer able to correctly stabilize and mitigate the spine, it results in pain as ligaments and muscles overcompensate.

  • Fibromyalgia

This pain includes muscle pain and fatigue that gets translated into the lower back pain discomfort.

  • Radiculopathy

This pain occurs when nerve roots which are close to the spine are damaged, inflamed or strained.  This leads to numbness and radiating tingling.

  • Traumatic Injury

Falls, car accidents and other incidents may lead to herniated discs, nerve damage and vertebral fractures. Even when the most of the injuries get healed, the lower back still remains.

  • Infection

Lower back pain also occurs when the infection gets included in the vertebrae, sacroiliac joints or intervertebral discs. The fungi, bacteria or other germs get spread in the bone from infected skin, ligaments, and muscles.

Diagnosis

As several conditions cause lower back pain, a consultation with a doctor becomes necessary. He or she will follow examinations and tests helps in diagnosing the accurate cause of the pain.

Diagnosis of lower back pain constitutes any analysis of the patient history of diseases & medical condition, symptoms existing activity level and lifestyle.

  • Information regarding symptoms and the level of pain, such as intensity of pain, how the pain gets worse, what conditions exacerbate the pain, how the pain radiates, etc.
  • Sleep habits, type of mattress utilized, and sleep posture, etc.
  • Accidents, injuries, etc.
  • Activity level – several people who have lower back pain are physically inactive.

Followed by consultation, the physician performs a physical examination to narrow down the list of causes of lower back pain. It involves:

  • Neurological examination
  • Leg Raise
  • Palpation to find joint abnormalities, muscle spasm, tender area, etc.
  • A range of motion test
  • Reflex test

Also, the imaging test is required for diagnosis in many cases. This test is prescribed when the lower back pain remains for more than three months. This indicates the injury or damage to the muscles or spinal.

  • X-ray
  • Bone scans
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Electro diagnostics
  • CT scan
  • MRI
  • Discography
  • Myelograms

Treatment

The lower back pain treatment depends on the diagnosis. The process actually depends upon the actual cause of pain. A sedentary lifestyle or reduced activity is a major case, doing stretches, exercises, remaining active, etc. is the appropriate treatment for the lower back pain.

Depending on the pain intensity, the doctor determines the treatment.

  • Discectomy or Microendoscopic Discectomy

In discectomy, your doctor will remove the cracked parts of a disc while protecting the unaffected parts. The disc will prevent soft nucleus from escaping again and lead to subsequent pain. During microendoscopic discectomy, an endoscope, which is a tiny camera, enables the doctor to carefully direct the method through larger screen.

  • Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

In the event you face moderate to severe pain, and also this persists for a long period; the doctor prescribes NSAIDs for reducing the lower back pain. It offers a great pain relief.

  • Muscle Relaxants

If the prescribed painkiller or OTC doesn’t work, the doctor will prescribe muscle relaxants for relieving the lower back pain. It is very much beneficial for the sports injury, sprain, muscle spasms, etc.

  • Fusion

Fusion-based treatments involve fragments of broken vertebrae or slipped discs and inserting spacers and bridges inspire the vertebrae to fuse together. This slightly invasive strategy re-stabilizes the spine and prevents the degeneration effects.

  • Simple Home Remedies

Some of the home remedies that can help in reducing lower back pain are:

  • Walking or Jogging

In several cases, remaining inactive intensifies the pain. Doing physical activity can minimize back pain to a great extent.

  • Change of Mattress

Prefer to take a sleep on the firm mattress instead of a soft or a hard bed.

  • Hot or Cold Water Wraps

Applying a warm wrap on the painful areas will help you a lot in minimizing the lower back pain. In the same way, ice cubes can also help in reducing the lower back pain.

The Bottom Line

Majority of people has a tendency to overlook the discomfort of lower back pain because they think that it is not serious. In the initial stage, the back pain can be managed easily by taking rest and reducing the extent of mobility. However, with the passage of time, it can lead to further problems. If you are unable to get rid of lower back pain with home therapies or painkillers, then physical treatment becomes necessary. The main objective of the lower back pain treatment is not only to minimize pain but also helps to treat the underlying cause. So, promptly seek the medical attention if you are experiencing lower back pain.

Author Bio

Linda is working as a blogger for Innercues. Innercues is organic vitamin supplements seller which helps you to maintain your health and fitness.

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