Lower Back Pain: Symptoms and Remedies

Pain or discomfort in the lower portion of our back and the spinal column is a common phenomenon and can be largely attributed to our changing lifestyles.

Wrong posture or inadequate exercise is most often the cause of the pain in the lower spinal column. The treatment of such a pain can vary from a simple over the counter medicine to surgery depending on the severity and the cause.

The pain is generally felt in the lumbar and the sacral region and can also affect other areas. A sprain in the muscles or the ligaments constituting the lower portion of the spine can be the most common cause of backache. Some of the other problems that involve pain in the lower back are disc degeneration due to arthritis or ageing, spondylitis, infections and tumors.

In most of the cases the pain is localized in the lower back and vanishes after some time. However, it may even extend to the buttock or the leg on the affected side. In cases wherein the pain is persistent and increases with time or results in weakness in the foot or loss of bladder control- proper medical check up becomes essential.

In some cases stiffness or persistent pain around the spine can disturb your sleep resulting in further problems like tiredness. Such problems can be rectified by the used of pillows designed to maintain our body posture and thus ensure proper sleep. The use of the wrong type of mattresses can also affect the body posture and result in back pain.

Lower back pain is one of the commonest problems afflicting people around the world at some point of time in their life.

In the initial stages of pain, stretching exercises work effectively as Lower Back Pain Treatment.

The lower back supports the upper body and allows the body to turn, twist, bend, lift and walk. It plays a very important role in mobility. The lower back takes a lot punishment, as we tend to overuse or misuse it.

There are many options available for Lower Back Pain Treatment, depending upon the problem.

Medication and Therapies for Lower Back Pain Treatment

The commonest Lower Back Pain Treatment in case of severe back pains is acetaminophen. It is an over-the-counter medicine for oral consumption. If the pain is very intense and chronic in nature, the doctor may prescribe additional oral medicines including non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), muscle relaxants or opium-derived narcotic drugs (OPIOIDs).

Alternative therapies may also be used for Lower Back Pain Treatment, as they are quite effective. These therapies are recommended by physicians when medication does not provide the desired relief. These therapies include manipulation, traction, acupuncture, massage or biofeedback.

Manipulation involves adjusting the spinal vertebrae for alignment, while acupuncture involves inserting of very fine needles into certain specific points in the body, which are believed to be located on the channels that carry subtle life-energy. If these methods do not provide with relief from pain, epidural steroid injections or anti-inflammatory medicines are directly introduced to the spine to control pain.

Problems related to alignment of the spine and other degenerative disc problems may require surgical treatment.

Spinal fusion surgery is the standard surgical procedure for degenerative discs. The damaged disc is removed from the spine, and replaced by a device filled with bone pieces taken from the patient's hipbone. Now, the hipbone option is replaced by a genetically engineered protein called infuse bone graft.

If you suffer with nagging lower back pain you may lose valuable hours at work, lie awake through sleepless nights or even struggle with disability.

Four out of every five adults in America will experience lower back pain at some point in their lives. If you haven't already struggled with lower back pain, chances are, you will.

The occurrence of chronic lower back pain often begins after a spinal injury such as a strained muscle, sprained ligament or herniated disc. Once the initial damage has been repaired, one would expect the pain to vanish as well. However, health experts have found that such episodes can sometimes trigger an alteration in the nerve cells that transmit signals. The resulting hypersensitivity persists, even after the initial trauma has been healed.

When this occurs, the chronic lower back pain becomes another disease, and much more than a simple symptom of underlying spinal damage. Hypersensitivity can continue to create recurring bouts of pain, even when there has been no havoc to factor the twinge. Therefore, people who have suffered lower back trauma should be careful to maintain an ongoing rehabilitation program in hopes of avoiding any future painful episodes.

An effective, non-surgical treatment method that can bring relief to those suffering with lower back pain is PNT, or percutaneous neuromodulation therapy. PNT brings relief by applying electrical stimulation to deep tissues within the posterior portion of the body.

This new procedure for relieving chronic lower back pain has recently received an FDA clearance. It is a minimally invasive procedure that is performed in a regular medical clinic.

If you're interested in percutaneous nueromodulation therapy, you must meet a certain set of criteria:

Are you at risk of developing long-term, intractable pain?

Existing pain should radiate from the lower back into your buttocks, legs and feet.

Are you free of ample pain-relieving medications (including physical therapy or chiropractic manipulation)?

Would you like a less insidious approach before resorting into a surgical operation?

A doctor performing PNT will utilize several needle electrodes. These electrodes are designed to reach nerve pathways that may be impacting the pain. Specialists believe that this kind of charged stimulation can help to restrain the central nervous system that is relentlessly ushering in the pain.

A typical PNT session lasts for about thirty minutes. Once the patient has become comfortable in a face down position on the examination table, up to ten PNT electrodes are applied to the lower buttock area at specified locations. Each is deployed with a fine-gauge filament electrode to a depth of three centimeters. With the electrodes in place, the doctor is able to adjust the stimulation to a stage that will distribute the most therapeutic benefits to the patient.

If you undergo PNT as a treatment for lower back pain, you must complete three or four sessions before evaluating the effectiveness of the procedure. While some patients experience a certain level of relief after a single PNT session, others require subsequent sessions. No two patients are the same, and the suitable frequency of PNT can vary.

Following the application PNT treatment, some patients report overall feeling of wellness, including increased physical activity, a better quality of sleep, improved pain control, reduced levels of disability and a lessened need for pain medications.

If you suffer with lower back pain, you don't have to be a slave to the condition. Effective treatment options are available, including PNT sessions, which can provide the relief you need to get back on your feet.

Relief will be the first and foremost thing on your mind.

In the early stages of lower back pain, relief can often achieved by performing some simple stretching exercises or having a gentle massage.

Alternatively you could try using ice and heat packs, these will help reduce inflammation, and reduce muscle spasms.

If you are frequently experiencing lower back pain, relief can be achieved in several ways, the main two being through either an anti- inflammatory or through special and targeted back pain exercises.

Anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen can be purchased easily over the counter at your local pharmacy, or your medical practitioner may prescribe something stronger.

Taking prescribed medication over long periods of time is not highly recommended, solution to lower back pain as some of these drugs may be addictive, or carry side effects.

There are some excellent natural products available which are geared towards lower back pain relief and some are extremely effective. Any natural product should be your preferred choice of pain killer or anti-inflammatory over prescription drugs, however you should be aware that any anti inflammatory or pain killing products are not a cure for lower back pain; they are just giving you relief from pain.

In order to eliminate back pain and prevent future occurrences you should look at introducing a regular lower back strengthening program and some non impact aerobic exercises into your weekly schedule.

The best aerobic exercises for fast and effective lower back pain relief are achieved either by using a stationary bicycle, or by swimming.

The gentle motions from both of these exercises will get the blood flowing through your muscles, increase flexibility in your lower back and will release endorphins into your blood stream - the body's natural pain killer. Performing either of these exercises for around 20 - 30 minutes daily will have you feeling a lot better, not to mention the overall benefits to your health,

Many sufferers and experts alike agree that for long term lower back pain relief and prevention you should practice some specialist and targeted lower back pain exercises.

By strengthening and toning the muscles in your lower back, upper legs and abdomen you will give support to your spine, and the surrounding muscles. The benefit that these lower back pain exercises have will be immense. You will not only notice that you no longer suffer from lower back pain, but you will also be a lot more flexible and will find it easier to achieve many daily tasks, that were sometimes difficult or tiring.

A good lower back pain relief and exercise program will likely be available at your local health centre or gym. Your medical practitioner will also be able to offer some information on the correct exercises you should perform for optimal lower back pain relief.

Lower Back Pain Causes, Symptoms, Treatments and Exercises

Lower back pain is pain felt and travels in the ribs particularly in the back or in the upper part of legs. This pain starts suddenly and could be the follow up of strain or an injury. Sometimes the pain may not have anatomical cause. Sit up or turn over posture may be difficult and the worse could be bending or sitting. Even a sneeze or a cough can be painful.

Back pain normally gets resolved within weeks but the pain undergone by the patients is unbearable. Conservational treatments are normally taken for lower back pain since it is temporary and slowly resolve with time.

For a speedy recovery, proper treatment has to be started only after knowing the exact cause for its occurrence.

The main reason for lower back pain can be Lumbar muscle strain and ruptured disc or herniated disc. Disc damage in the inter vertebral column leads to Discogenic lower back pain and this could be diagnosed using discogram. But this in no way relates to herniated disc where the back gets pressed to the nerve. Aging population come across Spinal stenosis as the spinal canal is thinned. This may happen due to arthritis or any other specific conditions. Any joint ache is termed arthritis and particularly on the spine creates lower back pain.

Spinal stenosis causes back pain in the aging population. As we age, the spinal canal can become constricted, due in part to arthritis and other conditions. If the spinal canal becomes too tight, back pain can be the result. Spondylolisthesis occurs due to the instability of adjacent vertebras which start to slip. This results in unstable spine and ends in lower back pain. Osteoporosis leads to many orthopedic complications and is mostly referred as the compression fractures of vertebral column. This weakens the bones and hence the possibilities of getting fractures are more .If back pain continues for 6 weeks or less it's referred as acute. If this continues for less than 12 weeks it is described as sub-acute. It's termed as chronic if it persists for more than 3 months.

Diagnosis is helped by blood tests and scan but not to a greater extent and X rays are not advised due to high radiation. Muscle strain heals quickly as the blood supply is good and carries the needed nutrients with proteins for healing. Bed rest is advised for severe pain but not for two days or more. Hot or cold application eases the pain to a certain extent. People who are active with good physique can avoid low backache, as there will be regular stretch of muscles. The supporting muscles of the spine are extensors, which include back and gluteal muscles, Flexors, which comprise abdominal and iliopsoas muscles and the last one is the side muscles also called as rotators. It's also referred as Obliques .Not all these muscles are used in day-to-day life and they get weakened with age.

Lower backache exercise program should combine stretching and strengthening exercises with aerobics. Common symptoms of lower back pain for people less than 60 year old will be pain in legs or numbness and pain during movement and sitting. Older people will have symptoms like increase of back pain during the morning and evening periods with stiffness in the back and. pain is also felt downwards in the legs. Psychological reasons play main role on pain levels and so person's attitude and situation plays an active role.

Neurological symptoms like weakening, feeling of numbness or tingling sometimes accompany pain. Immediate attention is needed if there is a dysfunction in bladder or in the bowel and weakness or numbness in the groin.

Precautions like avoidance of stress and maintaining proper weight with regular exercise help in eliminating the problems of lower back pain.

The answer to a healthy back is appropriate exercise.

The problems associated with back pain can be minimized with exercises. It is widely known that regular exercises will improve the appearance and health in general, but very few realize the benefits that good physical conditioning can have on their back pain.

The benefit of exercises for the back depends on the following three key principles:

To attain satisfactory aerobic fitness.

To focus part of the exercising on the muscle groups that supports the back.

To avoid exercises that cause heavy stresses on the back

The right kind of exercise program helps in keeping the back pain under control and can make it easier to continue doing the daily chores. A break from vigorous exercise can be taken if the pain becomes worse. A Doctor or physiotherapist can be consulted before starting an exercise program for deciding on the type of exercises that can be done to relieve back pain and to stay fit.

Warm up is important before exercise and deep inhaling has to be repeated before each exercise. Regular exercise helps a lot and if it is skipped for a day, unavoidably walking can compensate it, to some extent.

Exercises to strengthen the back and hip muscles:

Wall slides exercise helps to strengthen the back and hip muscles. Leg muscles also get relieved. By standing against a wall on the back, try to slide down with knees bent. The bend should be 90 degrees and count till 5. Then come back to standing posture. This has to be continued for five times.

Raising the leg also helps in strengthening back and hip muscles. Lay down on the stomach. Try to tighten the muscles of a leg and bring it up. Count till 10 and bring it down. Continue this for 5 times each for both the legs.

Sitting up partially strengthens the abdomen muscles. Lie on the back and keep the knees bent. Raise the head and shoulder above the floor and try to reach the knees with hands. Leg rising also benefits stomach and hip muscles.

An aerobic conditioning program for 30 minutes, thrice a week is ideal for overall fitness. Recommended aerobic exercise includes Bicycling, swimming and brisk walking. Aggravation of low back pain can happen if step aerobics and exercises like jumping and running are practiced. Aerobic exercises make the heart and other muscles consume oxygen more efficiently.

Swinging back legs could strengthen the muscles of hip and back. Stand in the back of a chair and raise a leg up and down without bending the knee. Repeat this for each leg. Posture training for sitting, standing, sleeping and even during motion is needed if posture is a factor. The type of shoes viz. High Heels that are worn can also affect the posture by adding more stress on the lower back by changing the posture.

Stretching exercises can be done for keeping the muscles flexible and less prone to injury.

Physical therapy:

There are different forms of physical therapy viz. Passive Physical therapy and Active Physical therapy. Passive physical therapy includes Heat/Ice packs, TENS units and Iontophoresis. Active Physical therapy is the exercises like Stretching for back pain exercise, Low-impact aerobic conditioning and strengthening for back pain exercise.

While there are merits if a pattern of good conditioning is followed the wrong type of exercise may actually worsen the low back pain. Activities that pass on too much stress on the back like lifting heavy weights, jumping, running, step aerobics and climbing are not advised. Slow Cycling on a recumbent stationary bike can also relieve back stress. To sum up, exercise will decrease the severity and frequency of lower back pain and can be prevented when a comprehensive exercise program is followed.

In summary lower back pain relief can be achieved quickly and easily by following a these few simple steps. Firstly achieve relief with a good natural anti-inflammatory. Next start a simple aerobic exercise program, and finally introduce some targeted lower back pain strengthening exercises and stretches into your weekly schedule.

These simple steps will ensure that you will rid yourself of back pain in the shortest possible time, and will greatly reduce the chances of any re occurrence.

Paul Osborne is the executive editor of BackpainBeaten.com A website dedicated to lower back pain relief and includes information advice and tips, including the symptoms and effective treatments of Sciatica, Spinal Stenosis, Herniated Discs and most other back pain complaints.

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