Ankylosing spondylitis: A chronic inflammatory disease that first affects the spine and nearby structures. As the disease progresses, vertebrae will fuse together. This disease has a strong hereditary (runs in the family) tendency and primarily affects men under 30 years of age.
There is a significant overlap of nerve supply to many of the discs, muscles, ligaments, and other spinal structures, and it can be difficult for the brain to accurately sense which is the cause of the pain. For example, a degenerated or torn lumbar disc can feel the same as a pulled muscle – both creating inflammation and painful muscle spasm in the same area. Muscles and ligaments heal rapidly, while a torn disc may or may not. The time course of pain helps determine the cause.
Lumbar strain (acute, chronic): A lumbar strain is a stretch injury to the ligaments, tendons, and/or muscles of the low back. The stretching incident results in microscopic tears of varying degrees in these tissues. Lumbar strain is considered one of the most common causes of low back pain. The injury can occur because of overuse, improper use, or trauma. Soft-tissue injury is commonly classified as acute if it has been present for days to weeks. If the strain lasts longer than three months, it is referred to as chronic. Lumbar strain most often occurs in people in their 40s, but it can happen at any age. The condition is characterized by localized discomfort in the low back area with onset after an event that mechanically stressed the lumbar tissues. The severity of the injury ranges from mild to severe, depending on the degree of strain and resulting spasm of the muscles of the low back. The diagnosis of lumbar strain is based on the history of injury, the location of the pain, and exclusion of nervous system injury. Usually, X-ray testing is only helpful to exclude bone abnormalities.
Radiculopathy is a condition caused by compression, inflammation and/or injury to a spinal nerve root. Pressure on the nerve root results in pain, numbness, or a tingling sensation that travels or radiates to other areas of the body that are served by that nerve. Radiculopathy may occur when spinal stenosis or a herniated or ruptured disc compresses the nerve root.
Exercise – regular exercise helps build strength as well as keeping your body weight down. Experts say that low-impact aerobic activities are best; activities that do not strain or jerk the back. Before starting any exercise program, talk to a health care professional.
Medications: A wide range of medications are used to treat acute and chronic low back pain. Some are available over the counter (OTC); others require a physician’s prescription. Certain drugs, even those available OTC, may be unsafe during pregnancy, may interact with other medications, cause side effects, or lead to serious adverse effects such as liver damage or gastrointestinal ulcers and bleeding. Consultation with a health care provider is advised before use. The following are the main types of medications used for low back pain:
One of the best tactics to help treat back pain is to see a qualified chiropractor. I am an avid supporter of the chiropractic philosophy, which puts great emphasis on your body’s innate healing wisdom and does not rely on “Band-Aids” like drugs and surgery.
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I dont know exactly what I was expecting buying a $15 lumbar support. I didn’t have the greatest of expectations but this product didn’t even meet those. My big problem was that the support didn’t even support my weight when leaning back. I’m only 160lbs and when i leaned against it it flattened against my chair. I had my girlfriend (who is about 115lbs) try it and it did the same for her. The other big problem was that the support kept slipping down the back of my chair into the space betwee the seat/backrest.
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It began as a twinge. Then the pain started to radiate down my back when I biked. Bothersome became dangerous when it hurt to turn my head; do not try cycling with impaired neck mobility. Yet I saw no reason to modify my fitness routine. I pedaled. I kickboxed. I lifted weights. And after about three weeks, I paid the price. One sleepless night, pain that felt like a knife in my back pinned me to the couch.
And, of course, if you’ve had an accident with forces that may have been sufficient to fracture your spine, please seek thorough medical assessment promptly, including an X-ray to look for a fracture. You need an X-ray to ensure that your spine is not actually broken.
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I am a science writer, former massage therapist, and I was the assistant editor at ScienceBasedMedicine.org for several years. I have had my share of injuries and pain challenges as a runner and ultimate player. My wife and I live in downtown Vancouver, Canada. See my full bio and qualifications, or my blog, Writerly. You might run into me on Facebook or Twitter.
Treatment for low back pain generally depends on whether the pain is acute or chronic. In general, surgery is recommended only if there is evidence of worsening nerve damage and when diagnostic tests indicate structural changes for which corrective surgical procedures have been developed.
Cancer in the spinal bones or nearby structures – Back pain is consistent and may become worse when you are lying down. Numbness, weakness or tingling of the legs that continues to get worse. If cancer spreads to spinal nerves that control the bladder and bowel, there may be bowel or bladder incontinence (loss of control).
Most people with a bout of nonspecific low back pain improve quickly, usually within a week or so, sometimes a bit longer. However, once the pain has eased or gone it is common to have further bouts (recurrences) of pain from time to time in the future. Also, it is common to have minor pains on and off for quite some time after an initial bad bout of pain. In a small number of cases the pain persists for several months or longer. This is called chronic back pain (discussed in more detail later).
^ Jump up to: a b Vinod Malhotra; Yao, Fun-Sun F.; Fontes, Manuel da Costa (2011). Yao and Artusio’s Anesthesiology: Problem-Oriented Patient Management. Hagerstwon, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. pp. Chapter 49. ISBN 1-4511-0265-8. Archived from the original on 8 September 2017.
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Injecting cells to regenerate spine discs – scientists from Duke University, North Carolina, developed new biomaterials that can deliver a booster shot of reparative cells to the nucleus pulposus, effectively eliminating pain caused by degenerative disc disease.
Or this guy’s word. Dr. Nikolai Bogduk has authored dozens of scientific papers about low back pain. He also questions and challenges many common beliefs about low back pain, and is one of the expert sources this tutorial relies upon.
Spondylosis occurs as intervertebral discs lose moisture and volume with age, which decreases the disc height. Even minor trauma under these circumstances can cause inflammation and nerve root impingement, which can produce classic sciatica without disc rupture.
Pain relievers, or analgesics, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), are also an option, though they don’t have as much anti-inflammation properties. Except for acetaminophen, these medications should be taken with food because they can irritate the stomach lining. Be careful with medications like ibuprofen if you have kidney problems or stomach ulcers. Never take more than the recommended dose of over-the-counter medicine without talking to a doctor, as even these medications may have severe side effects if taken incorrectly.
In severe back pain not relieved by NSAIDs or acetaminophen, opioids may be used. However, long-term use of opioids has not been proven to be effective at treating back pain. Opioids have not always been shown to be better than placebo for chronic back pain when the risks and benefits are considered.
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A good lumbar support should also be portable, because most people require this product in more than one situation in their day to day life. The product should also be made with good materials, so your lumbar support is both comfortable and durable.
Surgery for back pain is typically used as a last resort, when serious neurological deficit is evident. A 2009 systematic review of back surgery studies found that, for certain diagnoses, surgery is moderately better than other common treatments, but the benefits of surgery often decline in the long term.
In human anatomy the five vertebrae in the lumbar region of the back are the largest and strongest in the movable part of the spinal column, and can be distinguished by the absence of a foramen in the transverse process, and by the absence facets on the sides of the body. In most mammals, the lumbar region of the spine curves outward.
Your doctor will first ask you many questions regarding the onset of the pain. (Were you lifting a heavy object and felt an immediate pain? Did the pain come on gradually?) He or she will want to know what makes the pain better or worse. The doctor will ask you questions referring to the red flag symptoms. He or she will ask if you have had the pain before. Your doctor will ask about recent illnesses and associated symptoms such as coughs, fevers, urinary difficulties, or stomach illnesses. In females, the doctor will want to know about vaginal bleeding, cramping, or discharge. Pain from the pelvis, in these cases, is frequently felt in the back.
Sleeping on one’s side with the knees drawn up in a fetal position can help open up the joints in the spine and relieve pressure by reducing the curvature of the spine. Always sleep on a firm surface.
Myofascial pain is characterized by pain and tenderness over localized areas (trigger points), loss of range of motion in the involved muscle groups, and pain radiating in a characteristic distribution but restricted to a peripheral nerve. Relief of pain is often reported when the involved muscle group is stretched.
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The cushion is created using premium grade memory foam that works remarkably well in conforming to the contours of your spine. This not only keeps your lower back in check but alleviates pressure along your entire spine by forcing you to sit up straight. The material responds to pressure and body heat to become more supple as you sit. Moreover, it also has the wonderful property of quickly returning to its original shape once the pressure and heat is removed, making it easily usable for multiple people with different body dimensions.