Are you suffering from Lower back pain?
Then you are not alone.
Nearly 70% of the adult and elderly population in India is suffering from the same problem. But why it happens and what treatments are available for lower back pain, might be a burning query for you. In this article, we are providing helpful information about lower back pain, types, causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. Continue your reading to clarify all about lower back pain.
What is Lower Back Pain?
Lower back pain is a universal problem suffered by individuals between the ages of 30 and 50. It mostly occurs because of job-related disability, muscle sprains, or strains due to sudden movements or poor body mechanics. Certain diseases like spinal cord cancer, a ruptured or herniated disc, sciatica, kidney or spine infections also cause back pain.
Types Of Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain is categorized into three, depending on the symptoms as follows:
- Axial pain: A sharp, dull, constant, or recurring pain. The axial pain occurs due to muscle strain.
- Referral pain: Mild pain with changing intensity.
- Radicular pain: Deep and searing pain results from compression, inflammation, or injury to nerve roots.
Causes of Lower Back Pain
Pain in the lower back is the most common problem and affects around 80% of the population in India. It is not a disease but can happen because of several reasons.
However, the exact cause of back pain is not yet evident. Here are the few conditions are linked with lower back pain:
- Compression fractures to the spine from osteoporosis
- Cancer involving the spine
- Fracture of the spinal cord
- Muscle spasm
- A ruptured or herniated disk
- Spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal)
- Spine curvatures (like scoliosis or kyphosis
- Strain or tears to the muscles supporting the back
- An abdominal aortic aneurysm that is leaking
- Osteoarthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis
- Kidney infection or kidney stones
- Problems related to pregnancy
Diseases of the spine (osteomyelitis, diskitis, abscess)
- Conditions affecting the female reproductive organs, such as endometriosis, ovarian cysts, ovarian cancer, or uterine fibroid
- Pain near the pelvis, or sacroiliac (SI) joint.
Risks Factors Contributing To Lower Back Pain
The following are the few risks factors contributing to lower back pain:
- Being overweight
- Having poor posture
- Sitting in a poorly designed chair for a long time
- A misalignment in the spine bones or vertebrae
- Arthritis in the spine
- A small fracture, in rare cases
Symptoms Of Lower Back Pain
The following are the symptoms of lower back pain:
- A dull ache or stiffness in the lower back
- Tingling or numbness of the leg(s)
- Tingling or pain in a buttock
- Pain in the hip
- Muscle spasms
- Sharp pain
- Seizing up of the back muscles
- Difficulty walking or standing up straight
- A weakness of the leg or foot
If you are experiencing any such symptoms, schedule an appointment with the primary healthcare provider. He or she may recommend you to the specialist who can help you with the lower back pain.
Diagnosis of Lower Back Pain
During your initial consultation, your eye specialist will evaluate your medical history and conduct a thorough physical examination.
Medical History and Physical Examination
During your initial consultation, your doctor will observe the way you walk and move. He or she may also ask about your daily routine, job activities, sports you play, and any other health conditions. Your doctor may also ask you to bend forward and backwards to look for movement limitations and pain.
As a part of the diagnosis, your doctor may recommend a few imaging tests, such as:
- X-rays: X-rays visualize bones and show broken bones, ageing changes, curves, or deformities. They help in finding the exact cause of lower back pain.
- Bone Scans: Bone scan to check whether the associated pain is because of rare problems like cancer or infection.
- Bone Density: Bone density tests are recommended to check whether the cause behind the back pain is osteoporosis.
- MRI Scans: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) shows a better visualization of conditions such as a herniated disk or an infection
- Electromyography (EMG) and Nerve conduction velocity (NCV) tests
When to Contact a Medical Professional?
Contact your medical professional if you have:
- Back pain following a severe blow or fall
- History of cancer
- Burning with urination
- Blood in your urine
- Loss of control over urine or stool
- Pain that radiates from your legs to the knee
- Redness or swelling on the back
- Pain that gets worse when you lie down
- Severe pain that makes you uncomfortable all the time
- Weakness or numbness in your buttocks, thighs, legs, or pelvis
- Unexplained fever with back pain
- Pain that wakes you up at night
- Losing weight unintentionally
- Pain that makes you feel different and worse
- Pain that lasts more than four weeks
If you notice any of these symptoms, meet your healthcare provider immediately.
Preparing for Your Appointment
After scheduling an appointment with your doctor, make a list of things such as medications you take, mental or emotional stressors in your life, symptoms, and other health conditions if any. Apart from these, prepare a list of questions for your doctor during your initial appointment.
Here are a few questions, which you can ask your doctor because your time with the doctor is limited and preparing a list can help save a lot of time so that you can discuss on other topics.
- What might be the cause of my back pain?
- Do I need diagnostic tests?
- What are my treatment options?
- How to manage my other health problems?
- Do you recommend medications? If any, will they have any side effects?
- How to prevent back pain?
What To Expect From Your Doctor?
As a part of the diagnosis, your doctor may ask you some questions such as:
- Did the back pain come on sudden?
- Does it have gradually worsened over time?
- Do you have pain or tinglings in your feet or legs?
- Do you have pain or tinglings in your feet or legs?
- Do you experience back pain when you stand or sit, or bend over or lie down?
- Is your back hurting while you touch?
- Was it brought on by exercise or other activity?
- Does any swelling accompany the back pain?
- Is the pain worse during the night?
- Do you face any problems going to the toilet?
Treatment for Lower Back Pain
Once the reason behind your pain is confirmed, your specialist will recommend you with the most appropriate and effective treatment option. However, the treatment options for lower back pain include medications, surgery, and exercise.
In most instances, medications can help you relieve back pain. The medicines which your specialist may recommend are Aspirin or acetaminophen, Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication, Narcotic pain medications, and Steroids. Never self medicate and always take a doctor’s suggestion before taking any medications for lower back pain.
Your specialist may suggest you some physical medications or treatments as follows:
- Physical therapy
- Chiropractic or manipulation therapy
- Pilates or yoga
Surgery is not recommended in all cases. It is considered as a last resort when all the non-surgical treatment options failed to provide enough relief from pain. Everyone may not be ideal for surgery even though they suffer from chronic knee pain.
The alternative treatments for lower back pain include:
- Chiropractic care
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
Prevention of Lower Back Pain
Prevention is always better than cure. You can prevent lower back pain by doing certain things and adopting a healthy lifestyle. Consider these things to avoid lower back pain:
- Doing regular exercises can help you prevent back pain.
- Consider activities that can strengthen the muscles in your back.
- Also try other activities such as yoga, tai chi, or massage.
Proper Lifting: Follow these instructions while lifting things
- Lift items with your legs
- Never lift things with your back
- Maintaining a good weight can help you avoid stress on your lower back.
- Try to strengthen your back and improve flexibility.
- Smoking and other narcotics substances may affect your spine.
- Maintain good posture to avoid lower back pain.
- Sit, stand, and lift safely and in a correct way.
- Don’t stand for long periods.
Lower back pain is one of the most common reasons for many young and adult, elderly caused by different reasons. This pain is, directly and indirectly, impacting our quality of life and health condition. It requires medical treatment in order to reduce pain. If you postpone the treatment for lower back pain (LBP), then it will be the costly treatment as you are ignoring the source of back pain.
Never ignore lower back pain. It can be an indication of a bigger health problem. Early diagnosis and treatment enable you to enjoy a pain-free, healthy life. If you experience pain in the lower back, see the medical help immediately, even though the pain is manageable. Call Dr. Gopal Reddy today and Get immediate treatment for lower back pain now!
Remember the old saying “Prevention is Better than Cure”.
About Gopal Reddy:
Best Hip Replacement Surgeon in Hyderabad Dr Gopal Reddy, a skilled and fellowship, trained hip replacement surgeon in Hyderabad possessing valuable experience and expertise in the field of orthopaedics. With the help of continuous education, he attained the best skills that are a must for an orthopaedic doctor to become the best hip replacement surgeon. He can deliver successful outcomes with zero complications.
With 20 years of experience in the field of orthopaedics, Dr Gopal Reddy always strive to provide the world-class orthopaedic treatment to the patients suffering from the joint pain. He is a renowned total knee and hip joint replacement surgeon offering excellent and quality orthopaedic care for all the patients whoever approaches him.