Low back pain can incorporate a wide variety of symptoms. It can be mild and merely annoying or it can be severe and debilitating. Low back pain may start suddenly, or it could start slowly—possibly coming and going—and gradually get worse over time.
Herniated discs develop as the spinal discs degenerate or grow thinner. The jellylike central portion of the disc bulges out of the central cavity and pushes against a nerve root. Intervertebral discs begin to degenerate by the third decade of life. Herniated discs are found in one-third of adults older than 20 years of age. Only 3% of these, however, produce symptoms of nerve impingement.
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Also, a national guideline (from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), referenced below) recommends one or more of the following treatments should be considered. Each of these treatments has some evidence from research trials to suggest that they will help to ease symptoms in some people (but not all):
Activity: Bed rest should be limited. Individuals should begin stretching exercises and resume normal daily activities as soon as possible, while avoiding movements that aggravate pain. Strong evidence shows that persons who continue their activities without bed rest following onset of low back pain appeared to have better back flexibility than those who rested in bed a week. Other studies suggest that bed rest alone may make back pain worse and can lead to secondary complications such as depression, decreased muscle tone, and blood clots in the legs.
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Most of us (about 8 in 10 people) will have a bout of nonspecific low back pain at some point in our lives. The severity can vary. However, it is difficult to quote exact figures as to outlook. This is partly because it is so common and many people with back pain do not consult a doctor. Roughly, it is thought that:
Lower back pain not only affects a person’s daily life but can also disturb their sleep. Furthermore, poor bed posture can worsen or even cause backache. So, what are the best sleeping positions for lower back pain?
The medication typically recommended first are NSAIDs (though not aspirin) or skeletal muscle relaxants and these are enough for most people. Benefits with NSAIDs; however, is often small. High-quality reviews have found acetaminophen (paracetamol) to be no more effective than placebo at improving pain, quality of life, or function. NSAIDs are more effective for acute episodes than acetaminophen; however, they carry a greater risk of side effects including: kidney failure, stomach ulcers and possibly heart problems. Thus, NSAIDs are a second choice to acetaminophen, recommended only when the pain is not handled by the latter. NSAIDs are available in several different classes; there is no evidence to support the use of COX-2 inhibitors over any other class of NSAIDs with respect to benefits. With respect to safety naproxen may be best. Muscle relaxants may be beneficial.
And a few thanks to some health professionals who have been particularly inspiring to me: Dr. Rob Tarzwell, Dr. Steven Novella, Dr. David Gorski, Sam Homola, DC, Dr. Harriet Hall, Simon Singh, and Dr. Stephen Barrett.
During a discectomy, your surgeon will remove the ruptured portions of a disc while preserving the unaffected areas. Then, the disc wall is treated to prevent the soft nucleus from escaping again and causing subsequent pain. In microendoscopic discectomies, an endoscope (tiny camera) allows surgeons to carefully guide the procedure via a larger monitor.
Thanks for an excellent comprehensive article on back pain It would great if you could add a comment on the treatment section,or write an article on the following, research which has shown that using Microcurrent devices offers another alternative treatment for back pain. Unlike TENS. Microcurrent delivers much smaller electrical impulses 1000 times smaller, and this has a proven benefit, by helping tissue repair, while reducing pain, not blocking pain as per the TENS method. this is an alternative option to TENS.