Severe Lower Back Pain Affects Many People
While almost everyone can expect to generally suffer from back pain at some point in their life, a great majority specifically complain of severe lower back pain. Severe lower back pain remains the fifth most common complaint during visits to doctors. Industry experts place direct health care costs to reach about twenty billion dollars annually, and if you imputed indirect expenditures too, the aggregate costs figure would exceed forty billion dollars.
Of the people suffering from severe lower back pain, about ten percent have underlying medical reasons that need specific treatment, like osteoporosis or disk alignment. For the greater part of the remaining ninety percent, they usually feel much better after taking a prescription of muscle relaxants and resting in bed for a few days. The patient normally regains full mobility within three weeks or a month at most. Those who cannot recover after four to six weeks need to return to their doctors for further evaluation and diagnosis of severe lower back pain.
Assessment of the different symptoms and recognition of the various diseases related to severe lower back pain has been traditionally linked to the patient’s age. However, the examining physician would always allow for possible exceptions, like in cases of severe lower back pain that can be directly attributed to physical causes such as hard manual labor or lifting heavy objects.
For people between 20 to 40, severe lower back pain is usually caused by a muscle strain, and any form of body movement only intensifies the pain. Symptoms include:
- Tenderness in the affected area.
- Muscle spasm at the lower back.
- Limited spinal motion.
Total bed rest is required from the patient and restricted movement while convalescing. Injured tissues should be allowed to heal properly to prevent a recurrence.
Suppose the complaint is about a sharp, shooting, or burning pain in the lower back region by persons aged 30 until 50. In that case, it could be symptomatic of acute disc herniation or what is commonly known as slipped disc, which causes more severe lower back pain. The patient also reports a burning sensation that radiates down to the legs and marked weakness with his reflexes. On the other hand, the severe lower back pain of those over 50 would most likely be due to osteoarthritis. In this case, pain is not restricted to the lower back but is also felt in one or both legs. Walking aggravates the pain that can be relieved a little by sitting.
Sometimes, severe lower back pain can be traced to infections in the lumbar spine or the nerve sac at the sacrum, the triangular bone at the base of the spine. A doctor’s visit is needed to accurately determine the cause.
Identifying the Cause of Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain is a common condition experienced by many people. Lower back pain is a condition anyone can suffer. Most Americans are highly susceptible to lower back pain. Lower back pain can be debilitating and can cause a person to become disabled if ignored. In the United States, lower back pain is the top reason many Americans become disabled at work. It is also the number one reason Americans are unable to go to work and the top reason for doctor visits.
The search for the cause of lower back pain is ongoing. It is reported that more than $50 billion is spent each year on research and other efforts to find the cause of lower back pain. There is no one cause of lower back pain; there are, in fact, many causes. However, a lot of research must still be done to identify other possible causes.
“Lumbago” is a term you are likely to hear often whenever the topic is about lower back pain. Lumbago is another term for lower back pain. Lower back pain is a condition that does not discriminate. It can occur anytime and affect anyone regardless of age, sex or background. Several things cause lower back pain, many of which are known, and some are still to be discovered. However, muscle strain is the leading cause of lower back pain among most people. You can experience muscle strain after lifting, pushing, or pulling a heavy object. You can also strain your back muscle after doing some quick movements. Muscle pain after a fall can also cause lower back pain.
A herniated disc is another cause of lower back pain. The spine is made up of solid, bony blocks. Between these blocks are discs that function as shock absorbers. If one of the discs in your lower back slips, you may experience lower back pain. The pain may get worse after standing or sitting for long periods.
Another cause of lower back pain is degenerative disc disease. Think of this disease as arthritis of the cartilages in your discs. In this condition, the cartilages are slowly breaking down (degenerating). People with degenerative disc disease often experience lower back pain in the morning and evening.
Other causes of lower back pain include obesity, stress, or improper sleeping. Even an uncomfortable bed can be a cause of lower back pain. Smoking is also believed to cause lower back pain because smoking lowers the amount of blood that flows to the lower spine. Leading a sedentary lifestyle — little or no exercise — is also believed to cause lower back pain.
Simple, Effective Methods for Lower Back Pain Relief
The causes of lower back pain can vary from person to person. Muscle strains, muscle spasms, joint problems, slipped or herniated discs, and ligament strains are just a few of the many causes of lower back pain. You may experience lower back pain if you lift, pull, or push heavy objects like furniture or equipment. Lower back pain can be sharp and can come on gradually or suddenly. Regardless of how the lower back pain came about, most people want instant lower back pain relief.
When it comes to lower back pain, many people want to know about the best or most effective ways to get lower back pain relief. There are many ways, but the simplest method that could give you fast lower back pain relief is to lie down on your back on a flat surface (e.g., floor or firm bed) with a pillow under your knees and then bend your hips and knees next. You can also prop your feet up on a chair as you lie on the floor or keep your knees bent. Doing these things will ease the tension off your lower back. You should experience lower back pain relief shortly.
Another simple lower back pain relief method you can do is to avoid doing activities that may further strain your lower back for a couple of days. However, avoid resting for too long as doing so will cause the muscles on your lower back to weaken and become stiff.
Another thing you can do to relieve the pain in your lower back is to walk around for a while. You may experience pain as you walk, but the muscles on your back may start to loosen up after a few minutes of walking.
Heating pads are inexpensive but effective at providing quick lower back pain relief. They are especially useful if muscle spasms cause your lower back pains. Use the heating pads on the painful back areas for about 30 minutes. Massages and ice packs are also simple but effective ways for getting lower back pain relief.
If none of the simple solutions above give you the lower back pain relief you need, try taking over-the-counter medications like aspirin, naproxen, and ibuprofen. These are well-known pain relievers that also help to reduce muscle inflammation. Suppose these non-prescription medications still don’t provide you with lower back pain relief. In that case, you may need to go to your doctor and ask for stronger medication or possibly a muscle relaxant or antidepressant.
Whichever method you take to get lower back pain relief, you must get to the root cause of the pain. You may be overweight and need to get rid of some pounds to take the pressure off your lower back. Or perhaps you need to learn proper posture when standing, sitting, and sleeping. Then again, your lower back pain may be the result of a more serious underlying medical condition. For this, you must talk to a doctor and have him give you a proper diagnosis.
Dealing with Menstrual Cramps and Lower Back Pain
Most women find themselves putting up with the discomfort and many other unpleasant symptoms of menstruation. Other than feeling bloated, moody and irritable, and tired, there are cramps and lower back pain that one has to deal with. Unfortunately, not every woman can afford to stay in bed during those days. Therefore, those who often suffer during their monthly flow should find ways to ease their menstrual cramps and lower back pain.
Everyone knows that women’s hormones change during menstruation. These changes are responsible for abdominal cramping and the lower back pains women experience during the period. The chemicals prostaglandins promote uterine contractions by which the uterus sheds its lining together with the unfertilized egg. These contractions lead to cramps and pain in the lower back muscles. During menstruation, lower back pain is not serious and will be gone in a few days.
Of course, you know that all discomfort will soon be gone but who would not want to be spared from pain in the lower back and the abdomen. If what you need is immediate relief, you can take painkillers or other over-the-counter medications. It would be better, not to mention safer, to check with your doctor instead of self-medicating.
However, if you are one of those people who would rather stay away from medications, you can resort to a miscellany of home remedies. You can lessen those muscular contractions by taking a warm and comforting drink like tea. A warm shower or warm batch would also be helpful.
Another alternative is the use of a heating pad. Place it on your lower back for a few minutes only and repeat as necessary. Never leave the heating pad on your body for too long to avoid burns and damaging other tissues at the back. Still, you can opt to get a soothing massage to ease away all those pains.
Sometimes, all that you need to do to alleviate the lower back pain caused by menstruation is to change your sleeping position, at least for the duration of your flow. The trick is to use additional pillows. Suppose you are used to lying face down or on your side. This time, you need to lie on your back. Then place one or two smaller pillows under the curve of your lower back. Then, slide your feet to rest on the bed but keep your knees elevated. Hint – you can also prop them up using another small pillow. Next, slide your legs so your feet are on the bed but your knees are elevated. That should take care of your lower back pain as you sleep.
If you wish to know more about treating lower back pain caused by menstruation, you can get additional information from many online sources. Many websites deal with the topic. Some are written by doctors and other medical experts, while others are advice given by women who “have been there.” Gear up and be prepared for a very interesting search. Who knows, you might stumble onto a lesser-known but very effective remedy.
Finding the Right Lower Back Pain Remedies
Many people complain of back pain, of which the most common is lower back pain. Unfortunately, finding lower back pain remedies can be difficult at times. And if you manage to get hold of a few lower back pain remedies, you’ll find the effects of some to be short-lived while others are simply useless. Given the many possibilities, knowing the different available options is a matter of knowing. Sometimes you may have to try one, two, or maybe lower back pain remedies before finding the most effective for your own lower back pain. Choose one that not only relieves you of the discomfort but also allows you to resume your normal routine.
Available Lower Back Pain Remedies
Talk of lower back pain or any pain for that matter, and what immediately comes to mind is the pill. There are many pain killers or pain relievers that anyone can buy over-the-counter. However, many are dissatisfied with their efficacy. If you find yourself in the same situation, you can ask your doctor to prescribe you a more potent medication that can take away much of your pain. Be sure to consult with the doctor about the potential side effects and possible addictiveness.
Another one of the lower back pain remedies that you can safely experiment with is cold packs. As one of the lower back pain remedies, cold packs work by causing the veins in the tissue to contract, thereby reducing circulation. When you remove the cold, the veins overcompensate and dilate. Blood rushes to the area, bringing the nutrients needed by the injured muscles, joints, and tendons to heal. As a result, you get to notice some form of pain relief. Many would recommend a hot compress remedy for lower back pain. While this can also be good therapy, know that hot treatment can worsen the pain in cases of inflammation. Therefore, your first attempt should be a cold compress, and only if it won’t work should you opt for the hot compress.
Regular Exercise, the Secret to Great Health
There is truth to what health and fitness experts have been advocating — exercise is the key to great health. It is even touted as an effective remedy for many muscular and joint pains, including the lower back. Try incorporating yoga or any other light stretching exercise into your daily schedule. These activities may not immediately eliminate your back pains, but they will certainly strengthen your body to prevent their recurrence.
Being tied to a desk job or pounding at the computer keyboard the whole day increases your chances of having lower back pain. A good preventive approach is by taking a break now and then. It is a good idea to stand up every hour and stretch your body straight for a few seconds. Lunch breaks are good opportunities to take a walk and exercise those limbs. With a simple adjustment to your daily routine, you would be able to work in an effective remedy for lower back pain.
On the other hand, if your job entails much physical labor, you need relaxation as one of the lower back pain remedies. This does not include sprawling on the couch watching television when you come home and doing nothing else after. The recommendation for relaxation is to soak in a hot batch to ease the strain in your muscles and joints after working hard the whole day. Occasionally, a good and thorough massage will work wonders in relieving the tension associated with lower back pain.