Back pain affects nearly everyone at some stage in his or her live
The low back, or lumbar area, serves a number of significant functions for the human body. These functions include structural support, movement, and protection of particular body tissues.
When we stand, the lower back is functioning to hold nearly all of the mass of the body. When we bow, extend or rotate at the waist, the lower back is involved in the movement. Consequently, damage to the lumbar structures important for weight bearing, such as the bony spine, muscles, tendons, and ligaments, often can be detected when the body is standing erect, or used in various movements.
Protecting the soft tissues of the nervous system and spinal cord as well as nearby organs of the pelvis and abdomen is a critical function the lumbar vertebrae and its adjacent muscles.
What causes low back pain?
Common causes of low back pain include lumbar strain, nerve irritation, lumbar radiculopathy, bony encroachment, and conditions of the bone and joints. Each of these is reviewed below. (It should be remembered that it is not unusual for doctors to be incapable to make an accurate diagnosis of the source of low back pain.)
"Back pain so severe that I scream"
Low back pain is a frequent musculoskeletal disorder, which affects the lumbar portion of the spinal column. It can be either violent, sub violent or chronic in its clinical presentation. In a small amount of sufferers this condition can become chronic. Population studies demonstrated that back pain affects the majority of adults at some phase in their life and accounts for more sick leave and disability than any other single medical condition.
A serious lower back injury might be caused by an upsetting experience, like a car accident or a fall. It occurs suddenly and its victims will mostly be able to pinpoint precisely when it happened. In intense cases, the structures damaged will more than likely be soft tissue like muscles, ligaments and tendons. With a serious accident or due to osteoporosis or other causes of weakened vertebral bones, vertebral fractures in the lumbar vertebrae may also take place. At the lowest ending of the spine, some patients may have tailbone pain (also called coccyx pain or coccydynia). Others may have pain from their sacroiliac joint at the bottom of the lumbar vertebrae, called sacroiliac joint dysfunction.
Chronic lower back pain usually has a more insidious beginning, happening over a long period of time. Physical causes may perhaps include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, degeneration of the discs between the spinal column, or a spinal disc herniation, a vertebral crack (such as from osteoporosis), or on the odd occasion, a tumor (as well as cancer) or infection. The cause may also be psychological or emotional, and can be diagnosed as TMS or Tension Myositis Syndrome or due to other non-anatomical factors.
Diagnosing the original cause of low back pain is usually done by a medical doctor, osteopathic doctor, physiotherapist (physical therapist) or by a chiropractor. Frequently, getting a diagnosis of the underlying reason of low back pain and/or linked symptoms is quite difficult. A full diagnosis is mostly made through a combination of a patient's medical history, physical examination, and, when required, diagnostic testing, such as an MRI scan or x-ray. There are a number of health care professionals who may focus in diagnosing and treating low back pain, including chiropractors, osteopathic physicians, physical therapists (physiotherapists), physiatrists, anesthesiologists/pain medicine physicians, and orthopedic surgeons or neurosurgeons.
The course of treatment for low back pain will mostly be dictated by the clinical diagnosis of the underlying cause of the pain. For the vast majority of patients, low back pain can be treated with non-surgical care. For those with excruciating, short-term back pain, a magnetic stimulation of the back with the BIO MEDICI magnetic therapy device may be successful. It relaxes the muscles around the vertebrae and enhances blood flow.
What are other causes of low back pain?
Other causes of low back pain include kidney problems, pregnancy, ovary problems, and tumors.
1. Kidney Problems
Kidney infections, stones, and hurtful bleeding of the kidney (haematoma) are often related with low back pain. Diagnosis can involve urine analysis, sound wave tests, or radiological scanning of the abdomen.
Pregnancy usually leads to low back pain by mechanically stressing the lumbar vertebrae (changing the normal lumbar curvature) and by the positioning of the baby inside of the abdomen. Also, the effects of the female hormone estrogen, and the ligament-loosening hormone relaxin, may contribute to loosening of the ligaments and structures of the back. Pelvic tilt workout is often suggested for this pain. Women are also recommended to keep up physical conditioning during pregnancy according to their doctor's advice.
3. Ovary problems
Ovarian cysts, uterine fibroids and endometriosis are not often the cause of low back pain.
Low back pain can be caused by tumors, either benign or malignant, that originate in the bone of the vertebrae or pelvis and spinal cord (primary tumors) and those which come from a different place and extend to these areas (metastasize). Symptoms range from localized pain to radiating severe pain and loss of nerve and muscle function (even incontinence of urine and stool) depending on whether or not the tumors affect the nervous tissue. Tumors of these areas are detected using radiological tests, such as plain x-rays, nuclear bone scanning, and CAT and MRI scanning.