Many of us suffer from lower back pain in some time in our lives, but for some people back pain give nightmares, especially to working people and women. Sometimes there is no reason whatsoever for the pain, but still we suffer from it, and sometimes, some activities make us prone to back pain. Therefore, the pattern, time, history, the activities, lifestyle, body postures and positions all are important as far as our back pain is concerned. The question is why do we suffer from back pain (lower back pain) – is it due to one particular reason, or due to several reasons let us find out.
Why do you experience back pain?
You may experience back pain when your nerve roots or smaller nerves get irritated or when there is damage to the vertebral discs, ligaments or joints or due to the degeneration of inter-vertebral disc or muscles of your back. Muscle spasms, sudden activity, movement, exercise are the other reasons for your back pain. Lifting heavy objects during and after exercise and back muscle strain is the most common cause of severe lower back pain.
What are the frequent causes of back pain?
Calcium deficiency, and vitamin D deficiency for a prolong period of time leads to osteomalacia and osteoporosis. Due to such health conditions women after age 40 and elderly people both men & women experience back pain – mostly due to the degeneration of bones of the spine (spinal stenosis), degenerative disc disease (common in adults now), Lumbar Herniated Disc, osteoarthritis of the spine and arthritis of the spine – as a result they experience back pain due to spinal vertebrae fractures and spinal disc compression fractures. The other common causes of back pain include: Isthmic Spondylolisthesis, Facet Joint Osteoarthritis and Sacroiliac Joint Disease. Soft tissue and back muscle strain also cause lower back pain
What are the symptoms?
The pain may radiate to the lower half of the body including buttocks, legs and even feet. Sometimes the pain can be severe or nagging and sometimes becomes very severe up on standing or sittings – especially in case of lumber herniated disc related pain. Similar is the case with the back pain due to degenerative disc disease. As far as Lower back pain is concerned there is a lot of variation in the severity & symptoms associated with it. Sometimes the pain becomes very severe to the extent that it may necessitate emergency care as quickly as possible and sometimes even the degenerating disc may give mild and less severe pain. Therefore, proper understanding of the scenarios associated with the pain & its symptoms is very important in consulting a specialist and obtaining an effective pain relief strategy. However, read the following information to know when to seek emergency care…
Don’t delay in seeking medical help, if…
Proper understanding of an emergency scenario is very important as far as your back pain is concerned. In case if anyone close to you experience back pain due to trauma with these associated symptoms: weakness in the legs, lack of bowel, bladder, and urination control, lower abdominal pain, bladder incontinence, etc., then they should be immediately taken to a hospital. A physician in the hospital would investigate the possible causes and recommend the treatment accordingly.
How is back pain diagnosed?
Proper diagnosis is of paramount importance in case of back pain to guide the right treatment plan and your physician helps you in this case quite expeditiously. After initial examination, your pain is classified into any of the following types:
Lower back pain – this axial type of back pain is usually confined to lower back region.
Lumbar radiculopathy – this type of condition is associated with severe pain in legs, foot and also in buttocks; the pain is often associated with weakness or numbness in the legs.
Back pain in the lower region with referred pain– This type of pain mostly radiates to buttocks, groin and upper thigh, but does not go beyond there – to the knee region.
When does specific diagnosis become necessary?
Even after taking the medications and undergoing treatment for up to six to twelve weeks, if there is no relief, then specific diagnosis becomes pertinent. However, your physician, during the initial physical examination itself, when deems necessary, may recommend, CT scans and MRI scans after understanding the patient’s case based on his/her underlying cause, history and pain severity.
What is the treatment?
Treatment may vary from person to person depending on the nature of the pain, severity, underlying cause and history. Based on the condition and severity your physician may prescribe medicines and recommend some form of back exercises in addition to suggesting other treatment modalities including rest, usage of traction and application of heat or cold packs. Mostly, in several cases, physiotherapy may serve the purpose along with medication. In some severe cases with underlying medical cause surgical intervention becomes mandatory. The newer treatment procedures include minimally invasive surgery like endoscopic surgeries are the best bet. After reading so much about your back pain, you should never ignore your back pain as it could be due to several hidden causes that can be known only through a proper physical examination and diagnosis. Your healthcare provider is the best person to consult to know the exact cause and treat the pain appropriately.