Whether you’re a weekend warrior, an elite athlete, or somewhere in between, there’s a strong chance that eventually you’ll deal with back pain, too. Here’s why: Everyday activities that you do without thinking — sitting at the computer, slipping on a pair of shoes, crawling into bed at night — can make or break your spine health. Most aches are caused by strains (injured muscles or tendons) or sprains (damage to the tough fibrous tissue, or ligaments, located where your vertebrae connect to joints). These injuries are typically brought on by overuse, a new activity, excessive lifting, or an accident. Other times, a compressed (aka pinched) nerve, such as in a herniated disk, is to blame for the ache.
The lumbar spine, or low back, is a remarkably well-engineered structure of interconnecting bones, joints, nerves, ligaments, and muscles all working together to provide support, strength, and flexibility. However, this complex structure also leaves the low back susceptible to injury and pain.
Lower-back pain, or pain in the part of the back between the ribs and the legs, is one of the most common complaints of discomfort. It is the most common cause of job-related disability and a major reason for missed work. While most back twinges go away on their own after a few days, many people suffer from chronic back pain.
Getting a massage is another simple strategy I recommend to help ease not only your back pain (and other types of pain), but anxiety as well. Massage offers real health benefits that are being recognized even by conventional hospitals, making it a standard therapy for surgery patients. Massage releases endorphins that help induce relaxation, relieve pain, and reduce levels of stress chemicals, such as cortisol and noradrenaline. It also reverses the damaging effects of stress by slowing your heart rate, respiration, and metabolism and lowering raised blood pressure.
There are many additional sources of pain, including claudication pain (from stenosis) myelopathic pain, neuropathic pain, deformity, tumors, infections, pain from inflammatory conditions (such as rheumatoid arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis), and pain that originates from another part of the body and presents in the lower back (such as kidney stones, or ulcerative colitis).
^ Jump up to: a b van Middelkoop M, Rubinstein SM, Kuijpers T, Verhagen AP, Ostelo R, Koes BW, van Tulder MW (2011). A systematic review on the effectiveness of physical and rehabilitation interventions for chronic non-specific low back pain. Eur Spine J. 20 (1): 19–39. doi:10.1007/s00586-010-1518-3. PMC 3036018 . PMID 20640863.
Pain in the lower back or low back pain is a common concern, affecting up to 80% of Americans at some point in their lifetime. Many will have more than one episode. Low back pain is not a specific disease, rather it is a symptom that may occur from a variety of different processes. In up to 85% of people with low back pain, despite a thorough medical examination, no specific cause of the pain can be identified.
The treatment of lumbar strain consists of resting the back (to avoid reinjury), medications to relieve pain and muscle spasm, local heat applications, massage, and eventual (after the acute episode resolves) reconditioning exercises to strengthen the low back and abdominal muscles. Initial treatment at home might include heat application, acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), and avoiding reinjury and heavy lifting. Prescription medications that are sometimes used for acute low back pain include anti-inflammatory medications, such as sulindac (Clinoril), naproxen (Naprosyn), and ketorolac (Toradol) by injection or by mouth, muscle relaxants, such as carisoprodol (Soma), cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril), methocarbamol (Robaxin), and metaxalone (Skelaxin), as well as analgesics, such as tramadol (Ultram).
Don’t try to lift objects that are too heavy. Lift from the knees, pull the stomach muscles in, and keep the head down and in line with a straight back. When lifting, keep objects close to the body. Do not twist when lifting.
There’s increasing evidence that back pain and other types of pain may be exacerbated by psychological or emotional issues. It is my experience that emotional health and your ability to effectively address your stress is an essential component for optimal health, and can have a major influence on whether or not you’re effectively eliminating your pain.
National Collaborating Centre for Primary Care (January 13, 2011), ACR Appropriateness Criteria low back pain, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, American College of Radiology, retrieved 9 September 2012
The contemporary husband pillow will also include some resting arms which most users seem to love as they add some extra comfort. But, it is important to consider their size and go for something that suits you well. Adults with long arms or those that prefer to rest their full arm’s length should always remember this so that they can get something that will work for them.
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People who prefer to sleep on their sides may want to consider a thicker pillow. For best support, it should fill space between the neck and mattress completely. A gusseted pillow is an excellent choice for this, and there are many options available to purchase here.
Stay active and continue your daily activities as normally as you can. There is strong evidence that this leads to a faster recovery and reduces the chance of chronic pain and disability. Prolonged bed rest may make back pain worse, so after the first few days limit the time you spend in bed.
A toilet seat for elderly loved ones helps those recovering from injury, suffering from chronic joint pain, or hindered by limited mobility. A raised toilet seat alleviates pain and makes it easier for aging adults to go to the bathroom independently. Raised toilet seats are secure, comfortable, and affordable. Here, we look at the ten best toilet seats for elderly adults.
2013 — Expanded: Added subsection on electroacupuncture. [Section: The fascinating case of acupuncture, formerly a contender in low back pain therapy, but which has now miserably failed well-designed scientific tests.]
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In addition to good back support while sitting, it’s best to try to avoid sitting in the same position for more than thirty minutes at a time. If possible, stand up, stretch, and walk around a bit before returning to the sitting position.
Sitting: Chairs of appropriate height for the task at hand with good lumbar support are preferable. To avoid putting stress on the back, chairs should swivel. Automobile seats should also have adequate low-back support. If not, a small pillow or rolled towel behind the lumbar area will provide adequate support.
Jump up ^ Lavelle, W. F., Kitab, S. A., Ramakrishnan, R., & Benzel, E. C. (2017). Anatomy of Nerve Root Compression, Nerve Root Tethering, and Spinal Instability. In Benzel’s Spine Surgery (4th ed., pp. 200-205). Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier. ISBN 978-0-323-40030-5
The Xtreme Comforts Back and Lumbar Cushion is designed to prevent unhealthy sitting positions by providing the proper support to maintain the natural curve of the spine. The design helps increase blood flow, prevents muscle fatigue and back tightness, and allows you to sit comfortably without pain. At 13 inches the cushion design includes unique four-point quick snap straps that allow the cushion to be secured to any chair. The cushion is made from 100 percent Deluxe Body Active Memory Foam that conforms to your individual shape while maintaining uniform density. The cushion cover is crafted from 100 percent bamboo, providing superior air circulation and breathability to keep your back cool. The cover is removable and can be washed in the machine with cold water.
Initial management with non–medication based treatments is recommended. NSAIDs are recommended if these are not sufficiently effective. Normal activity should be continued as much as the pain allows. Medications are recommended for the duration that they are helpful. A number of other options are available for those who do not improve with usual treatment. Opioids may be useful if simple pain medications are not enough, but they are not generally recommended due to side effects. Surgery may be beneficial for those with disc-related chronic pain and disability or spinal stenosis. No clear benefit has been found for other cases of non-specific low back pain. Low back pain often affects mood, which may be improved by counseling or antidepressants. Additionally, there are many alternative medicine therapies, including the Alexander technique and herbal remedies, but there is not enough evidence to recommend them confidently. The evidence for chiropractic care and spinal manipulation is mixed.
For subacute and chronic lower back pain, a thorough diagnosis is important to lay the foundation for appropriate treatment and rehabilitation. Lower back pain treatment reduces the likelihood of recurrent back pain flare-ups and helps prevent the development of chronic lower back pain.
In the vast majority of patients with low back pain, symptoms can be attributed to nonspecific mechanical factors. However, in a much smaller percentage of patients, the cause of back pain may be something more serious, such as cancer, cauda equina syndrome, spinal infection, spinal compression fractures, spinal stress fractures, ankylosing spondylitis, or aneurysm.
People with back pain caused by pyelonephritis often begin to feel better within days after they start taking antibiotics, although they usually need to continue taking antibiotics for up to two weeks.
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Back.com is an educational site for people with chronic pain and/or back pain. It was created to help support people with general questions about surgical options, and to provide information on options for chronic pain treatment and relief.
There are several muscles in the low back that assist with rotation, flexibility and strength. These muscles are susceptible to injury, especially while lifting heavy objects, or lifting while twisting. A low back muscle strain can be extremely painful but will usually heal within a few days or weeks.
Surgery – surgery for back pain is very rare. If a patient has a herniated disk surgery may be an option, especially if there is persistent pain and nerve compression which can lead to muscle weakness. Examples of surgical procedures include: