What is the meaning of discomfort in the lower back?
Numerous illnesses, injuries, and disorders can cause low back pain; however, back injuries to the muscles or tendons are the most common cause.
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Mild to severe pain is possible. Sometimes discomfort might make it hard or impossible to work, sleep, walk, or do daily tasks.
Physical therapy (PT), pain medication, and rest are usually effective in treating lower back discomfort. Injections of cortisone and manual therapies (such as osteopathic or chiropractic manipulation) can reduce pain and facilitate recovery. Some illnesses and injuries to the back require surgery to be repaired.
How frequently does back pain occur?
Approximately 40% of individuals will experience lower back discomfort at some time in their life. It’s among the most frequent causes for which patients see medical professionals.
Lower back discomfort is more common in certain persons than in others. The following are risk factors for lower back pain:
Age: Back discomfort is more common in those over 30. As we age, the disks—soft, rubbery tissue that cushions the spine’s bones—wear down. Pain and stiffness may arise from the weakening and wear down of the disks.
Weight: The risk of back discomfort is higher in those who are overweight, obese, or carry excess weight. Overweight puts strain on disks and joints.
General health: Back sprains and strains can result from weak abdominal muscles that are unable to support the spine. Individuals who lead sedentary lifestyles, smoke, or consume large amounts of alcohol are more likely to experience back discomfort.
Lifestyle and occupation: Activities and jobs involving heavy lifting or bending might raise the risk of back injuries.
Structural issues: Disorders that alter the posture of the spine, including scoliosis, can cause excruciating back pain.
Disease: Low back pain is more common in those with a family history of osteoarthritis, certain cancers, and other diseases.
Mental health: Anxiety and despair can cause back pain.
Signs and Origins
What signs of discomfort in the lower back are present?
Lower back pain symptoms might develop gradually or unexpectedly. Pain can often be triggered by a particular action, like leaning down to pick something up. At times, the source of the discomfort might not be apparent to you.
Your lower body or the backs of your legs may experience severe, dull, aching pain (sciatica). You can hear a “pop” as your back tenses up during an exercise. Pain usually gets better when you lie down, and it usually becomes worse in specific situations (like leaning over).
Additional signs of discomfort in the lower back include:
Stiffness: You might find it difficult to move or erect your back. It might take some time to get up from a seated position, and you could feel as though you need to stretch or go for a stroll to help you loosen up. You can experience less range of motion.
Posture issues: It might be difficult for many persons with back pain to stand up straight. Instead of having your torso in line with your spine, you can stand “crooked” or bowed. Your lower back may appear to be flat rather than bent.
Spastic muscles: Following a strain, the lower back’s muscles may contract erratically or spasm. Severe discomfort can result from muscle spasms, which can also make standing, walking, or moving difficult or impossible.
Why does one get lower back pain?
Back pain can be brought on by a variety of illnesses, injuries, and ailments. Among them are:
Back sprains and strains: The most typical cause of back discomfort is a strain or sprain in the back. Should you lift something too heavy or not safely, you run the risk of hurting your muscles, tendons, or ligaments. Some individuals sneeze, cough, twist, or bend over, which puts tension on their backs.
Fractures: In an event, such as a vehicle crash or a fall, the bones in the spine may shatter. Osteoporosis and spondylolysis are two disorders that raise the risk of fractures.
Disk issues: The vertebrae, or tiny spinal bones, are cushioned by disks. It is possible for disks to protrude from the spine and put pressure on a nerve. Moreover, they may tear (herniated disk). Discs may become flatter and provide less protection as they age (degenerative disk disease).
Problems with structure: When the spinal column is too small to accommodate the spinal cord, a disorder known as spinal stenosis develops. Severe sciatic nerve pain and lower back pain might be brought on by anything squeezing the spinal cord. The curvature of the spine, known as scoliosis, can cause discomfort, stiffness, and trouble moving.
Arthritis: The most frequent kind of arthritis that causes lower back discomfort is osteoarthritis. Ankylosing spondylitis results in inflammation, stiffness, and discomfort in the lower back.
Disease: Back discomfort can be brought on by infections, spinal tumors, and other cancers. Back discomfort might also be caused by other disorders. Kidney stones and abdominal aortic aneurysms are two examples of this.
Spondylolisthesis: This disorder results in the slippage of the spine’s vertebrae. Leg and frequently low back discomfort are caused by spondylolisthesis.