Back Pain Pain in the lower back or low back pain is a common concern, affecting up to 90% of people at some point in their lifetime. Up to 50% will have more than one episode. Low back pain is not a specific disease. Rather, it is a symptom that may occur from a variety of different processes. In up to 85% of people with low back pain, despite a thorough medical examination, no specific cause of the pain can be identified. Back pain can have many underlying reasons, but often no specific cause will be found and the pain will stop. We try to touch on many of the causes of back pain and proper evaluation and diagnosis. Please make sure to discuss your individual symptoms as well as the suggested treatments with us to determine the appropriate diagnostic and treatment plan for your circumstances. • Low back pain is second only to the common cold as a cause of lost days at work. It is also one of the most common reasons to visit a doctor's office or a hospital's emergency department. • Doctors usually refer to back pain as acute if it has been present for less than a month and chronic if it lasts for a longer period of time. Causes Back pain is a symptom. Common causes of back pain involve disease or injury to the muscles, bones, and/or nerves of the spine • (a nerve is directly irritated), often due to a herniation (or bulging) of the disc between the lower back bones. • Herniated discs are produced as the spinal discs degenerate or grow thinner. The jellylike central portion of the disc bulges out of the central cavity and pushes against a nerve root. • Spondylosis occurs as intervertebral discs lose moisture and volume with age, which decreases the disc height. • spinal-canal narrowing (spinal stenosis • Osteoporosis , degeneration of the bones
• Poor postures while sitting, Standing etc • Work related repeated
Symptoms Pain in the lumbosacral area (lower part of the back) is the primary symptom of low back pain. • The pain may radiate down the front, side, or back of your leg, or it may be confined to the low back. • The pain may become worse with activity. • Occasionally, the pain may be worse at night or with prolonged sitting such as on a long car trip. • You may have numbness or weakness in the part of the leg that receives
its nerve supply from a compressed nerve. o This can cause an inability to plantar flex the foot. This means you would be unable to stand on your toes or bring your foot downward. This occurs when the first sacral nerve is compressed or injured. o Another example would be the inability to raise your big toe upward. This results when the fifth lumbar nerve is compromised. Tips for preventing back strain • Don't lift by bending over. Lift an object by bending your knees and squatting to pick up the object. Keep your back straight and hold the object close to your body. Avoid twisting your body while lifting. • Push rather than pull when you must move heavy objects. • If you must sit at your desk or at the wheel of a car or truck for long hours, break up the time with stops to stretch. • Wear flat shoes or shoes with low heels (1 inch or lower). • Exercise regularly. An inactive lifestyle contributes to low back pain. • Sit in chairs with straight backs or low-back support. Keep your knees a little higher than your hips. Adjust the seat or use a low stool to prop your feet on. Turn by moving your whole body rather than by twisting at your waist. • When driving, sit straight and move the seat forward. This helps you not lean forward to reach the controls. You may want to put a small pillow or rolled towel behind your lower back if you must drive or sit for a long time. • The best way to sleep is on your side with your knees bent. You may put a pillow under your head to support your neck. You may also put a pillow between your knees. • If you sleep on your back, put pillows under your knees and a small pillow under your lower back. Don't sleep on your stomach unless you put a pillow under your hips. • Use a firm mattress. If your mattress is too soft, use a board of 1/2-inch plywood under the mattress to add support. Some specific exercises can help your back. One is to gently stretch your
back muscles. Lie on your back with your knees bent and slowly raise your left knee to your chest. Press your lower back against the floor. Hold for 5 seconds. Relax and repeat the exercise with your right knee. Do 10 of these exercises for each leg, switching legs.
Published on May 12, 2014
Pain in the lower back or low back pain is a common concern, affecting up to 90% of people at some point in their lifetime. Up to 50% will h...