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Back pain is one of the common ailments, making people miss their work. Most of the people who suffer from pain go to a doctor to manage the problem. It is one of the leading causes of disability around the globe. You might have experienced the severe agony in your rear surface at least once in your life. But, you can take measures to prevent the condition or relieve it at home easily. You have several effective home techniques to deal with the problem. But, when you suffer from discomfort, even after following the home treatment options, you need to see a doctor. A medical professional can determine the exact reason triggering your pain and offer solutions accordingly.
Symptoms Of Back Pain
When you suffer from pain in your rear surface, you can see certain signs like:
- Stabbing or shooting pain
- Muscle aches
- Pain radiating down the leg
- Shooting or stabbing pain
- Pain that radiates down your leg
- Experience worsening of pain while walking, standing, lifting or bending
- Feel better when you recline
Try some home remedies and posture improvement techniques to improve discomfort. But, some cases may not show results. In some rare cases, agony in your rear surface indicates a serious medical problem. So, seek immediate medical assistance when you see the following signs:
- Pain accompanied by fever
- Causes new bowel or bladder problems
- Experience pain after suffering from a fall, blow to the rear surface or any other injury
- Pain does not improve with rest
- Spreads to one or both legs (especially below the knee)
- Is severe and doesn’t improve with rest
- Cause numbness, weakness or tingling in one or both legs
- Suffer from weight loss along with pain
You must also see a doctor if you experience pain after the age of fifty. People with a history of the following health problems need to see a doctor immediately:
- Excessive alcohol or drug use
- Have a history of cancer
- Suffer from osteoporosis
- Have a history of steroid use
Causes Of Back Pain
Acute pain occurs when you lift heavy objects or fall. It can last up to six weeks. When you suffer pain in your rear surface for more than three months, it is known as chronic. But, it is less common than acute pain. The main causes of developing pain in your rear surface are:
Any sudden awkward movement or frequent lifting of objects can strain your spinal ligaments and rear surface muscles. So, people in poor physical condition can experience powerful muscle spasm due to the constant strain.
Disks act as a cushion between your bones in your spine. When the soft material inside the disk bulges or ruptures, it can compress a nerve. It can trigger pain. But, you can also suffer from disk problems without pain. In most cases, the problem is detected in spine x-rays generated for different issues.
Osteoarthritis can cause a problem in your lower back. The condition can affect your spine and result in a narrowing of space around your spinal cord. It is medically referred to as spinal stenosis.
Skeletal irregularities can lead to the curving of the spine to the side. The condition referred to as scoliosis triggers pain in the rear surface. But, it does not affect people until they reach middle age.
It is a condition leading to the brittle or porous bone. So, your spine’s vertebrae develop compression fractures due to the condition.
Risk Factors Associated With Back Pain
Anyone from young to old can develop back pain. Even small children or teenagers can experience the problem. But, some factors put you at risk of developing the problem compared to others. The factors are:
As people get older, they can develop pain in their back. So, people around the age of thirty or forty have more chances of developing it.
If you live a sedentary lifestyle with no exercise, then you can experience the condition. The unused or weak muscles in the abdomen or rear surface can lead to the problem.
People carrying extra weight can experience pain in the rear surface. It is because the weight puts additional stress on your rear.
Certain types of cancer and arthritis can contribute to pain in your back.
Improper Posture For Lifting
The wrong posture while lifting can strain your rear muscles. It happens when you use your back instead of your legs to carry the load.
Psychological conditions can lead to pain in your back. So, people experiencing excess stress, anxiety or suffer from depression can face a greater risk of pain in their back.
Smoking can trigger several problems in the body. It can also reduce blood flow to the lower spine. So, the disks in the back are deprived of nutrients. Smoking can also slow healing.
Diagnosing Back Pain
If you suffer from the pain your back frequently, it is better to get it checked by your doctor. So, make an appointment with your doctor to detect the underlying cause of the problem. Only with a proper diagnosis, you can undergo treatment to relieve the pain and prevent it from escalating. Your doctor uses the following tests to determine the problem conclusively:
The doctor examines your back during the physical assessment. He/she also assesses your ability to lift your legs, sit, stand or walk. You need to inform the doctor about the severity of pain (on a scale of 0 to 10). Offer insight on how pain in the back affects your daily life and normal functions. The assessment offers an idea on the root issue triggering pain and your ability to move until you stop due to pain. You also need to inform the doctor about any muscle spasms you suffer. Based on the results of physical assessment, your doctor can suggest other tests to rule out serious conditions or determine any specific condition causing pain in the back.
The imaging tests use sophisticated technology to provide clear images of your back and spinal cord. The images can offer assistance in determining the actual problem leading to pain.
X-rays images are used by doctors to see the alignment of bones. So, it helps detect any broken bones or arthritis triggering pain in your back. But, the problem with your disks, nerves, muscles or spinal cord does not appear on x-ray images.
CT scans/ MRI Scans
The scans use sophisticated technology to provide a clear picture of bones, nerves, muscles, tissue, ligaments, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels. So, your doctor can check for issues with the herniated disks or other issues leading to pain.
It is the imaging test used to detect any problems with bones as well as bone metabolism. The procedure uses radiopharmaceutical. The radioactive drug used in small quantities acts as a dye without staining the tissue. The scan offers images that aid doctors to detect bone tumors or other issues due to osteoporosis (compression fractures).
If your doctor suspect infection or inflammation caused due to arthritis, then blood tests can detect the issue. The common blood tests used to determine the cause of back pain are:
- CBC (Complete Blood Count) indicates infection or inflammation in the body.
- SED, also known as erythrocyte sedimentation rate measure the inflammation in the body that points to an infection.
- C – reactive protein (CRP) is another blood test used to measure inflammation caused due to infection or certain forms of arthritis.
- HLA-B27 is the genetic marker test that detects reactive arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis triggering pain in your back.
Your doctor can suggest nerve studies, like EMG (Electromyography) that can detect nerve compression triggered by narrowing of the spinal canal (spinal stenosis) or herniated disks. EMG detects the problem by measuring the electrical impulses produced by your nerves as well as the responses of your muscles.
Treatment For Back Pain
When you suffer from acute cases of pain your back, it goes sway with simple management at home. But, every person is different. So, their underlying cause for the pain can vary. As back pain is a complex condition, it is better to seek medical advice before starting any treatment. Some people suffer from pain for a long period. Only a small majority of people have severe and persistent pain. You have the following treatment options available to deal with the condition:
Home Remedies To Treat Back Pain
You can follow the suggestions provided by your doctor. The pointer to treat agony in your back at home includes:
- Continue light activities like walking as well as others you perform in your daily life.
- Avoid bed rest or sedentary lifestyle.
- Use heat on the painful area to get relief.
- Stop activities triggering discomfort.
You can try the home treatments for a specified period. If it fails to offer relief, then talk to your doctor about other therapies or medications.
Medication For Treating Back Pain
When home treatments fail to offer relief from agony in your back, then your doctor suggests medications. You need to follow the instructions suggested by the doctor. So, you have the following options available:
OTC (Over-The-Counter) Pain Relievers
You can take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to relieve acute back pain. You need to take the medication as per the direction from your physicians. Overuse of medication can cause serious side effects. When the OTC pain relievers fail to offer relief, then you need prescription medication to manage the problem.
For mild and moderate pain that does not improve with over-the-counter medication, your doctor prescribes muscle relaxants. You cannot take the medication while you are working or driving as it makes you dizzy and sleepy.
Topical Pain Relievers
The medication available in cream, gel, salve or ointment form is easy to use and offers relief for mild to moderate pain. You need to rub it into your skin at the specific pain site to get relief.
At times doctors may prescribe opioids to relieve pain. Medication like hydrocodone or oxycodone can offer relief from pain. But, you need to take it only for a short time with close monitoring by the doctor. It is only suggested for acute pain. For chronic pain, you need to select other options. It is because the prescription is provided for less a week of pills.
If anxiety or depression is the reason for your pain, then the doctor suggests low doses of antidepressants. The different types of antidepressants relieve pain. Certain types of an antidepressant can also relieve chronic pain irrespective of its effect on depression.
If medications offer no relief from pain, then the injection is the next treatment option. It is suggested when pain radiates down the leg. Your doctor injects cortisone. The numbing or anti-inflammatory medication injected into your epidural space (around the spinal cord) decreases inflammation of nerve roots and offers relief for a few months.
Seeing a physical therapist can offer relief from pain. Your therapist uses a different technique to manage pain like:
- Electrical stimulation
- Muscle release techniques
These techniques reduce pain from back muscles as well as soft tissues. It also improves the flexibility and strength of the abdominal and back muscles. You learn the right posture and reduce pain.
Surgery For Back Pain
In some cases, people suffering from pain in their back need surgery. It is suggested by a doctor when you suffer from nerve compression causing progressive muscle weakness or experience radiating leg pain that affects your daily life. Others who suffer from structural problems need surgery to correct the problem. It is always reserved for problems like spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spine) or herniated disk, which may not respond to other therapies.
Learn About The Problem
A single technique is cannot cure pain in your back. The treatment methods that prove effective for one may not offer relief to another person with the same condition. Therefore, people need to educate themselves about the condition. So, you need to talk to your doctor to gain information about the condition. You can also access written material or videos available online or other sources to get proper information. The resources always emphasize on the importance of reducing stress, staying active, and avoid future injury.
Preventing Back Pain
While some cases of back pain are difficult to prevent, you can take steps to prevent its recurrence. You have to make some changes in your lifestyle. It will help improve your physical condition. But, learning and practicing proper body mechanics aids in better posture as well as prevent pain in your back. Most of the steps suggested below are easy to follow and keep the strength as well as the health of your back:
Exercise is good for your overall health. You have to choose some physical activities that will prevent pain. Here are some exercise to avoid pain and discomfort in your back:
You need to include low-impact exercises in your daily life. Aerobic activities are perfect for your back. These exercises will not jolt or put a strain on your back. These activities increase the strength and endurance of your back. So, including the exercises every day will help your muscles function well. Walking and swimming are some best low-impact aerobics that you can try. Talk to your doctor before including it to avoid any issues.
Build Muscle Strength
You can try some abdominal and back muscle exercises. These exercises strengthen the core. It also helps condition the muscles. So, these muscles work together and ensure better back function.
Certain exercises increase the flexibility of your upper legs and hips. So, it ensures a better alignment of hips as well as upper legs with the pelvic bone to improve the back movement. Stretching can improve the flexibility and heal your back. Talk to your physical therapist or doctor about the best exercise to get relief and avoid problems in the future.
Maintain Healthy Weight
People who are overweight face a high risk of back and spine agony. They can also suffer from joint and muscle issues. Excess weight carried by a person can put additional strain as well as pressure on your back muscles and spine. Shedding pounds can improve agony and offer relief. You can try some weight loss programs. The combination of diet and workout can help you achieve the goal. Trimming down can avoid agony in your back.
Smoking can worsen discomfort in your back. It is because nicotine can restrict blood flow to the disks in your spine. These disks cushion your vertebrae and prevent its degeneration rate. The loss of cushioning due to restriction of blood circulation can lead to discomfort in the back. Coughing hard due to heavy smoking can jolt your back and trigger agony. So, you need to talk to your doctor about the different ways to quit the bad habit.
Avoid Risky Movements
You need to avoid sudden or risky movements that can twist or strain your back muscles and cause agony. So, you need to use your body properly. Follow the instruction suggested below to ensure you never accidentally hurt your back muscles:
Avoid slouching. Slouching or other types of poor posture can cause muscle tension. It can cause agony in several parts of the body like the back and joints. It can also reduce blood circulation. So, you need to maintain a natural pelvic position. If you have a job that results in spending a lot of time standing, then take steps to reduce the pressure. Place one foot on a low stool. It can take the excess load off your lower back. Alternate feet to remove the pressure. Maintaining good posture to reduce stress on the muscles in your back.
Poor posture while sitting can also make the discomfort in your back worse or become the root cause of agony. If you have a job that requires sitting for long periods, then take steps to reduce the pressure on your back. You can follow the steps suggested below:
- Sit upright in such a way that your body has the support of the chair. You need to sit by relaxing your shoulders.
- Always use a good seat for sitting offering you lower back support. Select a chair with a swivel base and armrest for better posture while sitting.
- Try to place a rolled towel or place a pillow in the small of your back to maintain the natural curve of your back. Always keep the hips and knees level to reduce pressure on your back.
- If you are sitting in the same position frequently, then change it at least every half an hour.
Repeated heavy lifting can strain your back muscles. Sudden awkward movement can also cause distress to spinal ligaments. People who experience constant strain in the back can suffer from muscle spasm, ruptured or bulging disks. So, avoid heavy lifting. If you have to lift heavy objects, then maintain caution. Your legs need to do all the work. So, keep your back straight. Avoid twisting the back and bend your knees only. Try to hold the load close to the body. It is better to find a partner to lift any heavy or awkward object to prevent back strain.
The recovery is excellent for back pain. People experience acute agony in back respond to treatment immediately. With proper treatment, you can find relief within one to two weeks. Chronic discomfort needs medical intervention to manage the problem. With a positive mental attitude, regular physical activity, and proper posture, you can deal with the issue and get a complete cure.View Article Sources