Back pain - a common symptom. Most people at least once in a lifetime encounter with him. This is one of the most common reasons for visits to the doctor and skip work.
Key words: back pain, back pain, spine
Back pain can occur at any age but is more common between 35 and 55 years. Pain in the spine connected with the way our bones, muscles, intervertebral discs, ligaments, tendons and nerves.
Back pain can be caused by problems with the vertebrae, discs between them, the ligaments around the spine and discs, spinal cord and nerves, muscles, internal organs in the abdominal and pelvic areas. Also cause pain in the upper back can become diseases of the aorta, tumors in the chest and inflammation of the spine.
The presence of risk factors increases the likelihood of development of a particular state. For example, obesity significantly increases the risk of type II diabetes.
The following factors are associated with increased risk of back pain:
- office work;
- work, coupled with constant stress;
- pregnancy - pregnant women often suffer from back pain;
- a sedentary lifestyle;
- obesity/excess weight;
- heavy physical exercise;
- heavy physical labor.
Signs and symptoms back pain
A symptom is something the patient feels, whereas a sign can be noticed by the doctor. For example, pain is a symptom, whereas a rash is a sign.
The main symptom of back pain is pain in any part of the back. Sometimes the pain extends to the buttocks and leg or shoulder and arm.
You should immediately contact a doctor if pain accompanies any of the following signs:
- weight loss;
- high temperature (fever);
- back pain ease after rest;
- pain that radiates to the leg;
- the pain down below the knee;
- the presence of fresh injuries of the spine;
- incontinence of urine (even small portions);
- difficulty urinating - urine passes with difficulty;
- fecal incontinence - loss of control over the process of bowel movement;
- numbness in the genital area;
- numbness of anus;
- numbness in the buttocks.
Seek expert advice if you belong to one of these groups:
- people aged under 22 or older than 55 years;
- patients who took steroids for a few months;
- patients with cancer;
- patients who once had cancer;
- patients with low immunity.
The causes of back pain
The human spine is a complex structure consisting of muscles, ligaments, tendons, disks and bones. Intervertebral discs are located between each pair of vertebrae and function as shock absorbers friction. Problems with any of these components can lead to pain in the spine. In some cases, the cause of the pain cannot be established.
The most common causes of back pain are:
- stretched muscles;
- stretched ligaments;
- lifting heavy object in an incorrect posture;
- lifting too heavy of a subject;
- the result of a sudden and awkward movement;
- spasm of the muscles.
The following structural problems can cause back pain:
- protrusion of the intervertebral disc. The rupture of the outer casing of the disc leads to vbuhanie its internal contents to the outside. This can lead to a pinched nerve and as a result, the pain;
- herniated disc - bulging of internal disk content of large dimensions;
- sciatica sharp and shooting pain that radiates to the buttock and back area of the feet, caused by protrusion or herniation of the intervertebral disc, compressing the nerve;
- arthritis - patients with osteoarthritis commonly experience problems with the joints of the hip, lumbar spine, knees and hands. In some cases there may be spinal stenosis, as the space around the spinal cord is narrowed;
- abnormal curvature of the spine - if the spine curves in an unusual way the patient is more likely to suffer from pain in the spine. An example of anomalous bending is scoliosis in which the spine curves to the side;
- osteoporosis - bones, including the vertebrae become brittle and porous, which leads to increased breakage.
Below are some other causes of back pain:
- cauda equina - horse tail is a bundle of nerve roots that branches off the spinal cord. People with cauda equina syndrome feel a dull pain in the lumbar spine and buttocks. Can also be loss of sensation of the buttocks, genitals, thigh. Sometimes people with cauda equina syndrome suffer from incontinence of urine and/or feces;
- cancer of the spine - a tumor located in the spine, can compress the nerve, leading to pain;
- infection of the spine - if the patient has a high body temperature and a painful hot area on the back, then this may indicate infection of the spine;
- other infections - pelvic inflammatory disease in women, and infections of the bladder and kidneys can also cause back pain;
- sleep disorders - people with sleep disorders are more likely to experience pain in the spine relative to the General population;
- herpes zoster infection, which may affect the nerves;
- bad mattress - if a mattress does not support specific parts of the body and ensures a flat back position, there is a risk of developing pain in the spine.
Also cause pain in the spine can be certain movements or body positions, such as prolonged driving, coughing, etc.
What to do when back hurts
If you experience pain for several days, then the following tips will help you reduce the pain and discomfort and speed recovery:
- stay as active as possible;
- if necessary, use over-the-counter painkillers;
- use hot and cold compresses. Will fit a bottle with hot water, and a bag of frozen vegetables.
Despite the fact that it is difficult to remain optimistic when you are in pain, try not to be discouraged. This will speed up the healing process.
Prolonged pain that lasts for six weeks, you should consult a doctor. The doctor will take a history, conduct examination and, if necessary, sent for further study. Your doctor may order x-rays if you suspect a problem with the skeletal system or osteoarthrosis, CT (computed tomography) or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) with suspected intervertebral hernia or any other problems associated with soft tissues or nerves. In this situation, MRI is the best choice. Also, the doctor may advise you to take some lab tests or to measure the electrical activity of the nerves (EMG).
After diagnosis the doctor prescribes treatment. For most cases, conservative treatment, which may include:
- special exercises;
- traction of the spine;
In severe cases, you may be questioned about the operation. The surgeon will help You choose the appropriate method and advise on the possible complications. Some time after the operation, recommended the passage of prophylactic treatment of the spine. Remember that surgery is quite dangerous, because the operating area is located in the vicinity of nerves.