Do you suffer from lower back pain? Does this discomfort interfere with your daily activities? If so, you are not alone. Low back pain is one of the most common conditions in adults worldwide, affecting more than 80% of people at some point in their lives. But why do we experience low back pain and what can be done to help reduce or completely eliminate this troubling condition? In this article, we answer these questions and look at preventative solutions for those who want to avoid low back pain in their lifetime.
What triggers low back pain?
Low back pain can be triggered by a variety of factors, many of which can vary between individuals. Common causes of low back pain include:
Muscle strain or injury.
They occur when muscles are overstretched or torn due to activities such as heavy lifting.
Sitting for long periods of time without taking regular breaks to stretch and move can put pressure on your lower back muscles.
Degenerative conditions such as spinal stenosis, herniated disc and osteoarthritis.
Degenerative conditions such as spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spine), herniated disc, and osteoarthritis can all lead to chronic low back pain because they involve changes to the spine that put extra pressure on nerves and structures. surrounding.
A condition caused by compression of the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back to the feet. This compression can lead to radiating pain along its path.
Infections such as shingles or spinal epidural abscesses.
Although they are generally not life-threatening, they may require prompt medical attention if left untreated.
Fractures or tumors of the spine.
Although less common than the other causes listed here, should be considered if a person experiences sudden, severe pain without a history of injury or trauma. Any suspicion should be evaluated by a physician to determine if further treatment is necessary.
Certain medical conditions that can cause nerve damage.
Finally, certain medical conditions, including diabetes, obesity, and kidney disorders, can cause nerve damage that leads to chronic lower back pain and discomfort.
Low back pain: when and who to consult?
There are different types of lower back pain that can be linked to various medical conditions, injuries, and other underlying issues. It is therefore important to know when to consult a doctor.
To decide whether or not to see a doctor for lower back pain, one must first consider the severity and duration of the pain. Pain that lasts for weeks shouldn’t be ignored, and if the intensity of the discomfort doesn’t lessen after a few days with home treatment like rest and over-the-counter medications, it’s time to see a doctor.
Other signs that may indicate a need for medical assistance include:
- Numbness in the legs or feet.
- Loss of bowel or bladder control.
- Acute pain at rest or when moving.
- Unusual swelling around the spine.
- A fever accompanied by chills.
- Unexplained weight loss and/or inability to stand straight due to tight lower back muscles.
If any of these signs apply, it is best to consult not only your GP, but also specialists such as physiotherapists or osteopaths, if necessary.
Low Back Pain: Treatment Options.
When it comes to low back pain treatment options, it’s important to know that there are both self-care treatments that can be done on your own, and more in-depth treatments that need to be done with the help of a doctor.
With regard to personal processing:
Many options are available, it can be:
- Light stretching exercises.
- A walk or bike ride.
- A hot shower or bath with Epsome salts.
- Applying hot or cold compresses to the affected area.
- Using over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen.
- Get enough sleep at night.
- Adopt a good posture during the day.
- Lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking and reducing stress.
For treatments requiring the assistance of a doctor:
- Physiotherapy or occupational therapy programs aimed at strengthening back muscles and improving flexibility.
- Steroid injections to reduce inflammation.
- Epidural steroid injections to reduce nerve irritation.
- Radiofrequency ablation to reduce nerve sensation.
- Acupuncture or acupressure to release muscle tension.
- Massage therapy to relieve tense muscles.
- Surgical procedures such as laminectomy or spinal fusion to correct structural abnormalities.
Also, doctors often prescribe prescription pain relievers if other treatments have failed to relieve the symptoms of chronic back pain.
It is important that people with chronic low back pain speak to a medical professional before trying any of the above treatments on their own, in order to get an accurate diagnosis and a personalized treatment plan tailored to their needs. .
Low back pain: Some preventive solutions to put forward.
- Adopt a good posture when sitting and standing.
- Use ergonomic furniture if you sit for long hours.
- Use your legs to lift objects rather than your back.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Stretch regularly.
- Stay physically active throughout your life.
- Wear comfortable shoes that support you when standing or walking.
- Avoid activities that involve repetitive bending or twisting motions, such as tennis and golf.
- Take regular breaks when working at a desk to get up and move around at least once an hour.
- Practice stress reduction techniques like yoga or tai chi.