Low back pain (LBP) is a common disorder involving the muscles, nerves, and bones of the back. Pain can vary from a dull constant ache to a sudden sharp feeling. Low back pain may be classified by duration as acute (pain lasting less than 6 weeks), sub-chronic (6 to 12 weeks), or chronic (more than 12 weeks). The condition may be further classified by the underlying cause as either mechanical, non-mechanical, or referred pain. The symptoms of low back pain usually improve within a few weeks from the time they start, with 40-90% of people completely better by six weeks.
Watching TV, reading, checking your news feed, and eating a delicious breakfast—what do these things have in common? They’re better in bed! And with a bed wedge pillow from Brookstone, you can get even more comfortable while you do them.
Although some discs in the spine deteriorate naturally with age, this process can happen abnormally quickly in some patients. Disc degeneration heightens your vulnerability to a myriad of spinal problems and can lead to distressing lower back pain.
The nature of our old-age ailments has changed in recent years. The study, published this week in The Lancet and conducted by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, uses a metric called “Disability Adjusted Life Years.” DALYs, as they’re abbreviated, combine the number of years of life a person loses if they die prematurely with the amount of time they spend living with a disability. Think of it as time you didn’t spend living your #bestlife—because you were sick or dead.
Jump up ^ Posadzki, P; Ernst, E (September 2011). Yoga for low back pain: a systematic review of randomized clinical trials. Clinical rheumatology. 30 (9): 1257–62. doi:10.1007/s10067-011-1764-8. PMID 21590293.
Most acute low back pain results from injury to the muscles, ligaments, joints, or discs. The body also reacts to injury by mobilizing an inflammatory healing response. While inflammation sounds minor, it can cause severe pain.
The complex system of spinal muscles, bones, discs and tendons in and near the lumbar spine can be damaged by a number of factors. The first step toward identifying the source of your pain is paying attention to your unique symptoms. Common complications associated with lower back pain include:
A sedentary lifestyle, obesity, pregnancy and smoking can also increase the likelihood of developing lower back pain. While this list of lower back pain instigators may seem lengthy, it is by no means comprehensive. Many circumstances can cause discomfort in the lower back, and to care for your condition you must first discover its root causes or causes.
Infections are not a common cause of back pain. However, infections can cause pain when they involve the vertebrae, a condition called osteomyelitis; the intervertebral discs, called discitis; or the sacroiliac joints connecting the lower spine to the pelvis, called sacroiliitis.
Twenty eight male participants with and without a history of low back pain sat in a standard office chair and in a chair with the lumbar support pillow for 30 minutes. Lumbar and thoracolumbar postures were measured through electromagnetic markers. Comfort was determined based on the least squares radius of centre of pressure shifting, measured at the buttock-chair interface as well as reported discomfort through visual analog scales. Chair support effects were assessed through ANOVA methods. The study was approved by the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College research ethics board.
That’s a huge topic, but here’s one simple example of an extremely common problem with back pain science: control groups that don’t control. Rather than comparing a treatment to a good, carefully selected placebo, most studies use a comparison to a treatment that is allegedly neutral, underwhelming, or placebo-ish. That makes the results hard to interpret: if each works about the same, it could mean that the treatments are equally effective … or equally ineffective! So much back pain science has this problem — or any one of a dozen other weak points — that you can effectively ignore at least 80% of all back pain research, because it’s so far from the last word on anything. Good science is essential to solving these problems, but really good studies are also difficult to design and rare. BACK TO TEXT
I believe that the number of future back pain sufferers can be cut down if more effort was put into the prevention and education of people. Often, we start taking care of our health when we start losing it.
Built in lumbar support can also be a red flag. While some built in lumbar supports can be useful, they are limited by their inability to be transported. They also tend to have less structural support, and are thus less effective than traditional lumbar supports.
2013 — New section: An overdue upgrade! This way pain and fear power each other is now explained much more clearly and thoroughly than before. It’s noteworthy that, with this update, Dr. Lorimer Moseley’s valuable perspective on back pain is now fairly well-represented in this book. [Section: Pain and fear, together at last: an even simpler vicious cycle.]
Sit back and relax! This ultra-comfortable backrest pillow provides firm support where you want it most. This pillow with arms is great for reading in bed, watching TV, knitting or lounging! Filled wi…
Bulging or ruptured disks. Disks act as cushions between the bones (vertebrae) in your spine. The soft material inside a disk can bulge or rupture and press on a nerve. However, you can have a bulging or ruptured disk without back pain. Disk disease is often found incidentally when you undergo spine X-rays for some other reason.
The support itself can be adjusted up or down to provide your back with the precise support it needs. The breathable mesh fabric air to flow through the support, keeping you comfortable all day long.
The lumbar cushion has a curved shape to follow the contours of the spine. This ensures that your back is always in contact with the cushion. Without support, the muscles in your lower back remain taut to keep you supported, leading to the tell-tale build-up of lower back pain.
These assessments help determine where the pain comes from, how much you can move before pain forces you to stop and whether you have muscle spasms. They will also help rule out more-serious causes of back pain.
March — Major revision: Phase 1 of a reboot of this part of the book. Today I’ve added much more detail to the intro, emphasizing good and bad reasons for seeking help. [Section: An introduction to your care options.]
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It’s much the same story with back pain: We don’t really know what to do about it. There aren’t good treatments for it, Vos said, and some of the things that people use to try to manage it—like prescription opioids—have only morphed into health crises in their own right.
Having the right pillow will also help you avoid long-term neck and back pain problems. The bed reading or husband pillow will offer both the neck and back maximum support and hence ensure that you do not strain them regardless of how long you stay in bed. Straining the back or neck in regular occasions can lead to some serious problems in the long term, but this should never be an issue with the best pillow.
2014 — New section: A minor topic, but one of the most overdue sections I’ve ever added to the book: I’ve been asked about these devices a lot over the years. [Section: Back bracing and stabilization contraptions (especially inflatable ones).]
Get comfy as you sit up in bed with the Micro Mink Plush Bedrest. It is made with two arms and has a stylish look that easily complements your decor. This plush bedrest is also a nice way to kick back…
Your work station should be set up so as to improve posture. Consider the placement of your desk or computer work station and where your monitor and keyboard sit. Finding the best way to sit at a desk will promote improved upper back and neck posture.
A muscle relaxant such as diazepam is occasionally prescribed for a few days if the back muscles become very tense and make the pain worse. Diazepam is one of a group of medicines called benzodiazepines which can be habit-forming and should be taken for as short a period of time as possible.
Chou R, Qaseem A, Snow V, Casey D, Cross JT, Shekelle P, Owens DK (October 2007). Diagnosis and treatment of low back pain: a joint clinical practice guideline from the American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society. Annals of Internal Medicine. 147 (7): 478–91. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-147-7-200710020-00006. PMID 17909209.