Do you have lower back discomfort or pressure? Although musculoskeletal problems are frequently to blame, they can also be brought on by other medical diseases. Here is all you need to know about lower back pain’s causes and treatment options.
It’s common to experience lower back pain. The majority of people will encounter it throughout their lifetime.
Lower back pain is the most frequent disability and the primary reason for missed work globally, per a 2020 study.
Injury is the main cause of lower back discomfort. Specific medical disorders can also cause it.
Most people experience their first back pain between the ages of 30 and 50.
This is partially caused by how the body changes as ages.
The amount of fluid between the vertebrae in your spine decreases as you age. Consequently, the spine’s discs are more susceptible to irritation.
Additionally, you lose some muscular tone, increasing the risk of back injuries.
For this reason, developing strong back muscles and adopting proper body mechanics might help ward off lower back pain.
Signs of lower back pain
There are numerous potential reasons for lower back pain, which can manifest as several symptoms.
These are a few of the most typical signs:
- Discomfort after prolonged sitting or resting
- Discomfort when bending over or moving big objects
- The hips or glutes are painful in multiple places
- Stiffness at arising or after a period of idleness
- Feeling numb or feeble
Other symptoms, which are more severe but less frequent, exist. They comprise:
Unintentional weight loss, fever, lack of bowel control, back discomfort, as well as leg or foot pain
See a doctor if your symptoms are severe or your back discomfort lasts longer than 72 hours.
Reasons for lower back discomfort
Lower back discomfort can be brought on by a variety of common factors, such as chronic illnesses.
Injuries to the muscles
Overuse of the back’s muscles and ligaments can cause them to stretch or tear. Sprains or strains can also result from sudden movements.
Lower back stiffness and soreness are among the symptoms, along with muscular spasms.
The danger of injury to the back’s discs rises with advancing age.
Another name for a herniated disc is a slipping or ruptured disc. It happens when the spinal cord or nerve roots are pushed against by the cartilage around a disc. The cushion that normally lies in the space between the spinal vertebrae has extended. As the nerve root leaves the spinal cord and vertebrae, this may cause it to get compressed.
Trauma and aging-related changes are two potential explanations. A herniated disc can cause pain that lasts up to 6 weeks if left untreated.
The sciatic nerve links the legs to the spine.
Sciatica can happen if the sciatic nerve is compressed by a herniated disc. Sciatica can result in burning, tingling, or other uncomfortable leg or foot discomfort.
The spinal cord and spinal nerves are compressed as a result of spinal stenosis, which causes the gaps in your spine to narrow.
The deterioration of the discs between the vertebrae is frequently linked to spinal stenosis. The result is compression of the spinal cord or nerve roots by soft tissues like discs or bony spurs.
Symptoms of spinal nerve compression include:
Anywhere in the body may experience these symptoms. When they stand or walk, many persons with spinal stenosis realize that their symptoms get worse.
Uncommon spine curves
The following conditions can result in spines that are unusually curled:
These illnesses are frequently identified for the first time in childhood or adolescence, however, they are frequently present before birth.
Because of the pressure, it puts on the: the odd curvature can lead to pain and bad posture.
Some people, however, might not exhibit any symptoms.
Lower back discomfort can also be brought on by several other disorders. They are frequently accompanied by other symptoms.
The following ailments, which are all connected to musculoskeletal discomfort, are among them:
- Fibromyalgia: Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes pain and tenderness in the muscles, tendons, and joints.
- Spondylitis: Spondylitis is an inflammatory autoimmune condition. It’s an arthritic type.
- Spondylosis: Spondylosis is a type of arthritis as well. Loss of the normal structure and functionality of the spine could result from this degenerative condition. The location and rate of deterioration will differ according to the individual, even though age is the main cause.
Additional medical disorders that might result in lower back discomfort include:
- Difficulties with the kidneys, the bladder, and kidney infections
- Obese cysts
- Urinary fibroids
- The spine’s alignment is off
- Infected spinal discs
- Cancers like those of the spinal cord
Lower back discomfort is identified
To identify the source of your discomfort, a doctor will generally start by asking for a comprehensive physical exam and your complete medical history. If the pain limits your range of motion, the physical examination can show that as well.
Your reflexes and reactions to specific stimuli may also be examined by a doctor. This aids them in figuring out whether or not your lower back discomfort is damaging your nerves.
A doctor would likely keep an eye on your condition for a few weeks before referring you for more tests unless your symptoms are alarming or you have a neurologic loss. This is because the majority of lower back pain may be treated at home.
Symptoms that necessitate additional testing include:
- fever lack of bowel control unplanned weight loss
If you encounter any of these symptoms together with lower back discomfort, seek medical assistance right once.
A physician may order imaging tests on you to look for:
- skeletal issues
- problematic discs
- back difficulties involving tendons and ligaments
Among imaging tests are:
- PET scans
- Various further examinations
A doctor may request a bone scan or other test if they believe your back’s bones are weak.