Back pain is a symptom associated with various medical conditions. It can be permanent or periodic, local or generalized.
If a person has pain in the lower back, a thorough examination is scheduled to determine the cause.
Possible causes and characteristics of low back pain
Low back pain can have a variety of causes, depending on the severity of the discomfort. Pain syndrome reduces a person's quality of life, restricts mobility, and makes it impossible to perform daily tasks.
There are many causes of low back pain. Some are very serious and require immediate specialist intervention.
Lumbar sciatica is a disease of the musculoskeletal system in which the roots of the spine are compressed and inflamed. It is pathological, secondary, because it develops against the background of degenerative processes of the musculoskeletal system.
The common symptoms in this situation are:
- Pain syndrome, aggravated by sudden movements. The localization of pain depends on the degree of damage. The syndrome can affect the lumbar and gluteal regions, the back or front of the thighs. If there is damage to the nerve endings under the first and second lumbar discs, the patient has lumbago in the lumbar region and lumbar region.
- Increased pain during coughing and sneezing.
- Not being able to stay in one position for a long time.
- Movement disorders: bending the body freely forward, backward or sideways, inability to bend the fingers of the lower extremities.
Pain with low back radiculitis usually comes on suddenly and stops on its own. The next time the pain becomes more acute, it manifests itself.
Spinal osteoporosis is a phenomenon in which the process of calcium leaching from the bones occurs and the cells responsible for bone growth are disrupted. Under such conditions, the bones are rapidly destroyed, and the density is constantly reduced. It is difficult to suspect osteoporosis in the early stages of development.
Often the patient feels a sharp pain in the lower back during intense tension - with a sharp rotation of the body, falling, lifting weights.
In addition to severe back pain, osteoporosis also has the following manifestations:
- chronic fatigue;
- abdominal cavity;
- The mobility of the spine is impaired.
There is acute pain that increases with palpation of the affected area and muscle spasm with a compression fracture caused by lumbar osteoporosis.
With lumbar scoliosis, the structures scatter to the right or left. These changes are reflected in the condition of the surrounding tissues: irritated, there are foci of inflammation in the musculoskeletal system.
Left-sided scoliosis is the most commonly diagnosed. In left-handed people, scoliosis develops on the right side.
In the initial stage, scoliosis of the lumbar spine can not be seen in any way. Negative changes can be observed only with the results of X-ray examination.
The characteristic symptoms of this condition, in addition to severe pain in the lower back:
- to bend;
- swelling in the lumbar region;
- chest pain;
- displacement of the pelvic girdle, resulting in shortening of one lower limb relative to another;
- knife difference.
Characteristic features of pain in low back scoliosis: appearance at the beginning of physical activity, a decrease in the intensity of anxiety during walking. The pain is usually short-lived.
Lumbar contusion occurs during a fall, a blow. The lumbar region is most susceptible to trauma.
Contusion of the lumbar spine is damage to tissues and part of the spine, which does not cause anatomical abnormalities. This type of injury is more common in athletes and people who work in the workplace.
The following additional symptoms are observed in caries:
- hematoma formation;
- redness of the skin;
- Increased pain when pressing on the injury site.
If the contusion is severe, the conduction of nerve impulses in certain areas of the lower back may be impaired, and in some cases - a complete loss of sensitivity.
Symptoms of lumbar injuries are more pronounced and include:
- pain when examining the affected area;
- increased hematoma;
- pain when turning the body, bending;
- swelling in the ankle area, indicating poor blood circulation;
- Paralysis and paresis of the lower extremities.
Rheumatoid arthritis is another cause of back pain. In this case, the joints in this area are affected.
Rheumatoid arthritis pain usually occurs at night, usually in the morning. In the initial stage, the syndrome can be suppressed with the help of special exercises, but the pain reappears overnight.
Other symptoms: increased local temperature in the affected area, accumulation of fluid in the cavities of the affected joint.
Osteochondrosis is a pathological process in which the intervertebral discs lose their elasticity. As the disease progresses, they develop cracks and hernias.
In the early stages of osteochondrosis, low back pain is rare and does not vary in intensity. In the future, they acquire a clear chronic character. The patient feels stiffness in movement, constant fatigue. There are difficulties in bending and stretching the stream.
Pain often spreads to the lower extremities. In parallel, tingling and numbness occur.
An increase in the intensity of unpleasant feelings occurs with an increase in physical strength, sudden movements, lifting weights.
Pain in the lower back can be associated with a dangerous pathology such as cancer. In this case, a malignant tumor does not necessarily affect the bone structures of the spine. In this case, the pancreas behind the stomach may be affected, so the pain may be transmitted to the lower back. Severe pain indicates advanced stages of cancer.
In addition, pain in the lower back may be associated with metastasis of tumors to other organs.
In women, low back pain cramps can be a sign of developing ovarian cancer. In men, acute and prolonged spasms indicate prostate cancer.
Women are often worried about back pain. A similar symptom can occur under the influence of the following pathologies:
- rupture of ovarian tissue;
- pathological processes of childhood;
- cysts in the ovaries;
- cervical cancer;
- inflammatory processes of the fallopian tubes;
- benign formations in the inner wall of the uterus.
Low back pain is more common in women who have had an abortion. Unpleasant sensations are caused by mechanical damage to the tissues of the uterus and the process of prolonged wound compression.
Back pain, cramps, pain in women with gynecological diseases. In addition, there is a violation of the menstrual cycle, loss of strength, irritability, increased body temperature. Often the pain syndrome is complemented by different consistency and color secretions from the vagina.
In this case, the pain syndrome is caused by hormonal imbalances and inflammatory processes that spread to the tissues of the lumbar region.
Belt back pain is a sign of kidney disease.
A similar symptom is accompanied by the following pathologies:
- nephroptosis (prolapse of the kidneys).
In the presence of calculus in the urinary tract, the pain in the lower back is not very pronounced, it is dull. With inflammatory processes involving the kidneys, the pain becomes painful and persistent. In this case, the location is on the left and right of the spine.
Acute pain is an indication of renal colic. The pain spreads to the groin area, the inner thigh, the anterior abdominal wall.
Additional manifestations that may indicate kidney disease include:
- increased blood pressure;
- swelling of the arms, legs, face, which appears after waking up and disappears during the day;
- change in urination: the process can be fast and painful, or, conversely, rarely, until it is completely stopped;
- increased sweating;
- poor appetite.
Low back pain and discomfort are often associated with fetal pressure on the kidneys in pregnant women. In this case, the pain syndrome is not associated with any pathology, but is a completely natural phenomenon.
Diseases of the genitourinary system in men
Back pain in the stronger sex is often associated with diseases of the genitourinary system. Prostatitis is an inflammatory process of the prostate gland. The disease disrupts the process of urination and sexual activity. In addition to back pain, there are pulling pains in the lower abdomen.
Another male disease that causes pain in the lower back is epididymitis, an inflammation of the epididymis.
Lumbar myositis is an inflammatory process of muscle tissue that manifests itself in pain and weakness in the muscles, sometimes atrophy. The disease can be caused by infectious processes, trauma, hypothermia, metabolic diseases in the body.
This pathology is characterized by:
- low back pain aggravated by movement;
- pale feeling of muscle weakness;
- swelling, redness of the skin.
Spinal tuberculosis often causes back pain. In this case, the nature of the pain syndrome depends on how many vertebrae are involved in the pathological process and the degree of deformation of the structures.
The main symptoms of spinal tuberculosis are:
- Severe pain in the lower back. Such localization is associated with the fact that the lumbar region is the largest part of the spinal column, which receives the maximum load.
- Increased night sweats.
- An increase in the size of the lymph nodes.
- Temperature 37. 1-37. It is between 3 degrees.
- Constant fatigue.
With the progression of spinal tuberculosis, an angular curvature of this structure, abscesses develop in the lumbar and thoracic regions.
In women, the loss of sexual function is often accompanied by back pain. A similar phenomenon is associated with a decrease in ovarian activity, which is reflected in the level of the hormone estrogen. Under conditions of deficiency, bone tissue becomes more sensitive and prone to damage.
Against the background of hormonal changes, the musculoskeletal system as a whole becomes sensitive: the intervertebral cartilage and discs weaken, muscles and ligaments lose elasticity. As a result, the lumbar region, which is always experiencing the greatest stress, is at particular risk.
In addition to back pain, menopausal women suffer from headaches, excessive sweating and hot flashes.
Circulatory disorders associated with pathological vascular processes can also cause pain in the lower back. Thrombophlebitis, atherosclerosis, phlebothrombosis contribute to the onset of pain syndrome.
Blood clots in the arteries, inflammation of the walls of the arteries, narrowing of the vascular lumen - all this prevents the full flow of blood and thus limits the supply of oxygen to the tissues and structures of the body, which adversely affects their condition.
Additional symptoms that accompany vascular disease are swelling of the arteries, heaviness in the extremities, and bluish skin.
With intestinal diseases, pain can spread to the lower back. This is because the intestinal tract occupies an important place in the abdominal cavity. If any part is subject to pathological changes, it grows by putting pressure on other organs. The spine is also at risk.
Pain extends to the lumbar region during ulcerative colitis, exacerbation of appendicitis, intestinal obstruction, irritable bowel syndrome.
In case of spread of pathological processes in the stomach, the pain is localized in the upper back. In the case of abuse of harmful products, they appear after a meal with a feeling of hunger.
In parallel, the following symptoms are observed:
- fecal diseases;
- abdominal pain.
Excess weight puts extra stress on the spine, especially the lower back. Constant pressure leads to the development of musculoskeletal system pathologies, injuries to the intervertebral discs, curvature of the spine and the development of osteochondrosis.
In addition to the above pathological causes, back pain can occur due to prolonged driving or computer use, excessive loads in the gym, hobbies for summer housework and sedentary lifestyle.
Which doctor should I see?
Back pain is often caused by serious disorders in the body, so it is important to see a doctor in time to determine the true cause and treat it.
If the patient has back pain, it is necessary to consult a specialist:
- is regular;
- is always visible after physical exertion;
- does not disappear when lying down;
- is accompanied by numbness of the limbs and an increase in body temperature.
Here are the main specialists you should consult if you have back pain in your back area:
- vertebrologist (treats osteochondrosis and other neurological diseases);
- Nephrologist (urologist): this specialist diagnoses and treats low back pain when it is associated with pathological processes in the genitourinary system.
If necessary, other specialists are involved in the diagnosis and treatment process: orthopedist, surgeon, gynecologist, oncologist, gastroenterologist.
The following diagnostic measures are prescribed for low back pain:
- general examination, determination of anamnesis;
- test to determine restrained nerve endings;
- blood test to assess hemoglobin levels;
- X-ray examination of the spine;
- ultrasound examination of the abdominal organs;
- uterus, stomach, intestinal endoscopy;
- bone scintigraphy.
The activities listed allow you to create a complete picture of the patient's condition, identify the disease that causes low back pain and determine the appropriate course of treatment.
Approaches to the Treatment of Back Pain
The basic course of treatment for low back pain depends on what is causing the symptom. Therapy is aimed at eliminating the existing disease.
Treatment is based on:
- use of drugs to suppress inflammatory processes;
- carrying out physiotherapy procedures aimed at accelerating the recovery of affected structures;
- physiotherapy exercises.
During treatment, the patient should refrain from active sports and any physical activity in order not to aggravate the pathological process. During rehabilitation, the patient may be advised to do yoga, swimming and walking in the fresh air.
Therapy also includes dietary adjustments. The patient should avoid heavy food, fatty and fried foods. It is important to give up bad habits - it will significantly speed up the healing process.
Medications for low back pain are usually given as an injection of vitamin B. Tasks of these drugs:
- Accelerate the recovery of damaged nerve fibers;
- increase in the functional activity of the central and peripheral nervous system;
- Acceleration of metabolic processes.
Strong painkillers are prescribed for severe back pain.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that control inflammation are also given by injection.
After a single course of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, drugs of this group are prescribed in tablet form for oral administration.
Medications such as muscle relaxants are prescribed for muscle spasms that cause back pain.
Patients are also prescribed foreign drugs. They generally have a warming effect and help relieve pain. They are prescribed only as part of a comprehensive treatment.
Special ointments are recommended for back pain.
Some therapeutic exercises are prescribed only after the pain syndrome has subsided. Therapeutic exercises are contraindicated in the period of exacerbation.
The following exercises are recommended for low back pain:
- Lifts the pelvic region.You should lie on your back and bend your legs at right angles. You should gently lift the pelvis and return to the previous position. Repeat 10-15 times.
- Keep your balance.Training is performed on standing. You should stand on your toes and try to maintain balance in this position for about 10-15 seconds. Repeat 3-5 times.
- Raise your legs in a prone position.Lie on your back, lift your lower limbs as high as possible. Perform 5-10 lifts for each leg.
- Move on the hips.You have to sit on the floor and straighten your back. Pull forward using the pelvis and thighs, then pull back. In this way, you should advance about 2 m and return the same amount. The number of approaches is 2-3.
You should not do gymnastics in case of spinal injuries, tumors and hernias, as well as acute diseases.
Physiotherapy procedures are performed provided that the back pain does not cause an acute inflammatory process. Acute pain syndrome is first eliminated by conservative methods, and only then physiotherapy is prescribed.
The following procedures are prescribed for low back pain:
- Magnetotherapy.This method improves blood circulation in the affected area.
- Electrophoresis.This method is necessary if you want to speed up the delivery of drugs to the lesions (analgesics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, chondroprotectors).
- Laser therapy.This technique allows you to normalize metabolism and improve blood circulation in the affected areas.
To strengthen the bone elements, you should include cheese, dairy products and whole milk suitable, fatty seafood, black bread in the diet.
Flour, sweets and sugary fizzy drinks should be excluded from the diet if the patient is overweight, which creates an additional burden on the spine.
Traditional treatments should never be the mainstay of back pain therapy. These are used only as an adjunctive method and are used only with the consent of the attending physician.
You can use the following traditional medicine recipes for back pain:
- Honey-based ointment.To prepare the medicine, you need to take 3 tablespoons of natural bee honey and dissolve it in a water bath. Cool the composition. Add 2 tablespoons of pharmacy alcohol to the honey, add 100 grams of petroleum jelly and rub it on the areas where the pain is localized. For greater effectiveness, you can apply a compress with this ointment. In this case, it is not rubbed on the skin, it is spread on a thin layer and placed on a food film and wrapped in a warm scarf. Leave the compress for 3-4 hours, then rinse the composition with warm water.
- Salt compress. Dissolve salt in warm water (ratio - 1: 10), mix. Moisten a gauze cloth folded in several layers in the finished solution, cover the bottom with a compress, wrap in a towel and warm with a scarf. Leave on overnight, remove the rest of the compress in the morning.
- Garlic compress.You need to take 3 garlic cloves, peel and chop. Finally, pour the mass with warm water (2 cups), leave for 3 hours. Moisten a cotton swab in the infusion and sprinkle the entire surface with freshly squeezed lemon juice. Apply the compress cold. Leave on for 20 minutes on a damp towel to reach body temperature. After that, repeat the compress application procedure. This can be repeated until the patient feels comfortable.
- Squeeze with your body.Bodyagi powder should be mixed with olive oil in a ratio of 1: 30. Apply the product on the skin for 40 minutes and lubricate the lower part of the wound with the resulting composition. At the end of this period, the product should be washed with warm water.
- Squeezing dried burdock leaves.You need to moisten the raw material in hot water, pull it back and wrap it with a warm scarf. Keep the compress for at least an hour.
- Baths with attachments.Taking a bath can reduce the severity of the pain. In addition, 200 g of mustard powder can affect 600 ml of broth in mint leaves. Take a bath for 20 minutes. The water should be warm.
All of these treatments aim to reduce back pain, which is symptomatic.
Treatment of a diagnosed disease should be carried out according to a separate scheme.
To reduce the risk of back pain, you should do the following:
- follow your posture;
- stand up and just walk straight backwards;
- do special exercises to strengthen the back and lumbar muscles;
- Do not overload the spine, perform exercises that use the middle muscle at a moderate level;
- avoid hypothermia;
- As much as possible, do a sport that does not adversely affect the spine: swimming, yoga, walking are especially useful;
- Do not make sudden movements when lifting loads;
- sleep on a medium firm mattress, preferably orthopedic, the pillow should also be orthopedic and of medium size;
- monitor your weight, diet if necessary and join special exercises to fight extra pounds;
- Take vitamin and mineral complexes, especially during hormonal changes in the body.
Back pain can be associated not only with diseases of the spine, but also with dysfunction of internal organs. During diagnostic procedures, a specialist can determine the true cause of the pain syndrome. Both the symptom itself and the cause must be treated.