Back pain is a symptom of disease often of the muscles of the back and spine. In this article, we'll look at why back pain.
The problem in the lower back can be the result of diseases of the bone tissue of the spine, the lumbar discs between the vertebrae, ligaments around the spine and discs, spinal cord and nerves, muscles of the low back, internal organs of pelvis and abdomen and the skin covering the lumbar area. Your upper back may be sore as a consequence of diseases of the aorta, breast tumors or inflammation of the spine.
A sudden short pain in the lower back also called lumbago, and gradually developed chronic lumbalgia. If it hurts your lower back (the coccyx) is coccygodynia.
The causes of back pain
In most cases, back pain due to musculoskeletal disorders (microdamages of joints and ligaments of the spine after heavy loads on them, tension or spasm of muscles). A few less common cause pain become more pronounced changes in the spine, such as herniated discs or displacement of the vertebrae (spondylolisthesis). Finally, in rare cases, back pain may be associated with serious diseases (tumors and inflammatory processes in the spine and spinal cord, diseases of internal organs — kidneys, heart, pancreas, pelvic organs, etc.).
Possible causes of back pain
- Muscle spasms;
- A sprain (ligament injury );
- Muscle injury;
- Bleeding in the pelvis;
- Dissection of the aorta;
- Infection of the spine and pelvis;
- Lumbar spinal stenosis;
- Metastases in the spine (cancer that has spread to the spine from other organs);
- Viral infections, including the flu.
A disease in which back pain
- Abdominal aortic aneurysm;
- Ankylosing spondylitis;
- Bone cancer;
- Degenerative diseases of the vertebral disks;
- Diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis;
- Kidney stones;
- Paget's disease;
- Pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer (girdle pains);
- Psoriatic arthritis;
- Reactive arthritis;
- Herpes zoster (pain and a characteristic rash on the skin).
What is the danger of back pain
Typically, back pain is of a permanent nature, aggravated by movement and physical exertion and are accompanied by limited mobility in the spine and a feeling of stiffness in the back. In most cases, characterized by relapsing course, in which episodes of exacerbations, usually provoked by intense physical activity, long-term presence in an awkward position or hypothermia, are replaced by more or less long periods during which pain is absent or minimally expressed.
In the majority of cases of back pain do not represent a direct threat to the life and health of a person, and often pass on their own (without treatment). However, sometimes back pain may be due to serious diseases of the spine or internal organs.
Following are the features of back pain that can be associated with severe pathology. If you have any of these symptoms you should immediately consult the doctor and in any case not to self-medicate.
- Back pain is constant and localized in one place.
- Back pain is not reduced in the supine position, or occurs at night.
- Back pain accompanied by fever.
- Back pain accompanied by muscle tension of limbs or combined with prolonged stiffness in the morning.
Diagnosis back pain
- Examination by a neurologist to assess the condition of the nervous system, muscles and spine.
- General analysis of blood and urine tests to exclude inflammation in the kidneys.
- Spinal radiography to exclude osteomyelitis, fractures and other diseases. For clarification identified from the x-rays changes, the doctor may additionally request a CT or MRI of the spine (the first allows us to assess the condition of the bone structures, the second — the spinal cord and intervertebral discs).
Very often, when these studies reveal degenerative changes in the intervertebral discs and vertebral bodies and makes the diagnosis "osteochondrosis". It should be noted that the degenerative disc disease by itself is not a disease, and reflects age-related changes of the spine. Certain changes in the intervertebral discs (including hernia) reveal almost all people of Mature age, including never experienced back pain. In other words, identifying the signs of osteoarthritis on x-rays or disc herniation in magnetic resonance imaging does not give us reason to believe that back pain associated with them (such a decision can only be made by the doctor based on the results of clinical examination).
The treatment of back pain
To fully recover from back pain often fails, however, you can minimize the frequency of exacerbations through proper lifestyle and drug therapy. The treatment of back pain depends on the cause of their appearance. Choose the treatment that suits You can be a doctor.
The effect of therapeutic interventions can take time, so you need patience and endurance. The main goal of treatment is not only to relief of acute pain, but also in preventing exacerbation of the disease in the future.
How to relieve back pain
Bed rest can contribute to the transition of acute pain in the back chronic. With this in mind, when moderate pain is not necessary in bed, and when intense pains should be possible to limit its duration (1-3 days).
If back pain should be restricted at this time physical activity, in particular to avoid heavy lifting and prolonged stay in one position; it is important to do the movement without increasing the load on the spine.
To unload the spine and rest it is advisable to use a special belt or corset.
Cure for back pain
Treatment depends on the cause of back pain and appoints his doctor after the examination.
For pain relief using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, manufactured in the form of tablets, ampoule forms for injections, creams and gels and pain medications or combination of drugs. Drugs in both groups prescribed a short course (usually 3-5 days). In addition, to eliminate the pain, apply compresses with a solution of local anesthetics and pharmacological blockade (which may be performed only by a doctor).
The pain associated with muscle tension and use drugs to eliminate muscle spasm (muscle relaxants of Central action in 1-2 weeks). Take these drugs only on prescription.
Currently, for the treatment of back pain associated with degenerative changes of the spine (osteochondrosis), I suggest use special drugs — drugs that stimulate the production of the main components of cartilage tissue and thus inhibiting its destruction. The effectiveness of these drugs in diseases of the spine is not proven, the same can be said about many widely advertised supplements (usually containing medicinal plants, biological products, vitamins, etc.) and homeopathic remedies. Despite the fact that all these tools are freely dispensed in pharmacies without a prescription, do not take them without consulting a doctor.
Physiotherapy and exercise therapy for back pain
To reduce the severity of the pain you can apply dry heat (but not deep heat) and other physiotherapy treatments, but only after consultation with your doctor.
After the end of the acute period of useful therapeutic exercise for special complexes (strengthening back muscles, and abdomen) and massage.
Chiropractic for back pain
Manual therapy can be prescribed only by a doctor after carrying out radiography and/or magnetic resonance imaging that allow to objectively assess the condition of the spine and its surrounding tissues. With proper implementation of manual therapy (impact on the joints of the spine, ligaments and muscles) allows you to adjust many of the local disturbances (e.g., muscle tension, subluxations in the joints) which sometimes allows you to quickly and effectively eliminate back pain.
Manual therapy has contraindications and limitations:
- Hernia or destruction of intervertebral disc (displacement of the fragments may cause compression of the spinal cord, spinal roots and blood vessels).
- After myocardial infarction, stroke, cancer, tuberculosis of the spine, dysfunction of the endocrine system in cases of severe osteoporosis.
- In severe exacerbations, accompanied by a sharp restriction of mobility of the spine due to pain and muscle tension in the back (possibly increased symptoms).
- In diseases of the blood vessels and disorders of blood coagulation.
If improperly performed chiropractic can lead to serious complications, so it should only be performed by a qualified professional (doctor specialization). Absolutely unacceptable conduct manual therapy average health care professionals and persons without medical education!
Acupuncture (acupuncture) often has a positive effect in moderate back pain, especially caused by muscle tension and combined with psycho-emotional disorders. Although, according to the ideas of Chinese traditional medicine, acupuncture can be used in any disease, it is considered that acupuncture is contraindicated in the following cases.
- In diseases of the heart and blood vessels.
- In the presence of benign and malignant tumors (including in the past).
- In diseases requiring urgent surgical intervention.
- At infringements of function of kidneys and liver.
- In the presence of a tendency to bleeding or taking drugs that violate the blood clotting.
- In acute infectious diseases.
- During pregnancy.
Yoga for back pain
Yoga not only help relieve pain but also relieve tension of the back muscles and reduce inflammation. Just 5 minutes a day to devote to exercise, and soon will see the result.
Prevention of back pain
- Use comfortable bed with a firm and hard mattress.
- Try to maintain proper posture when walking.
- Observe the correct posture at the Desk, when working with a computer. Please note that the forearms when I was on weight, and completely lying on the table. For continuous operation, use a chair with a backrest, headrest and armrests for rest and relaxation.
- Avoid prolonged stay in one position (at a computer, driving a car). Try every half hour to stretch, to stretch, to move.
- During a long stay in a standing position, locate the fulcrum for the back, arm or head (for example, lean back against a vertical surface in the train station).
- If You wear shoes with high heels, remember that you can walk in it without interruption for not more than 2 hours straight.
- Avoid sharp turns and slopes of the body, always seek support for the Commission of such acts.
- If you need to pick up something from the floor, you should squat, but not lean.
- Do not lift or move the weights, carrying them in front of you, avoid jerks and try to keep your back straight.
- Strengthen your back muscles through physical therapy, swimming, workout at the gym.
- Maintain normal body weight