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Low back pain – symptoms and treatment

Have you ever experienced low back pain? Most likely “yes”! Why are we so sure that at least once the pain in the lumbar region has surprised you unpleasantly?

According to world statistics, between 70 and 80% of people in the world have experienced or are experiencing low back pain.

It turns out that pain in the lower spine is among the main reasons for absence from work. It is even more worrying that the age of people who have such complaints is rapidly declining and today the average age at which complaints of low back problems begin is 35 years. The age limit continues to decrease, and of all those who have consulted a specialist, 35% eventually develop sciatica, herniated discs, or other more serious diseases, and 90% suffer from recurrent low back pain.

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What causes low back pain?

The reasons can be extremely many and it is difficult to list them all, but almost all experts are of the opinion that the biggest enemy of our spine is our own way of life.

A sedentary lifestyle and unnatural postures that we take while working at the computer or driving are some of the main prerequisites for the appearance of lumbar pain. Today, a very large number of people spend about 90% of their time sitting, as this is required for their jobs. What they do not know, however, is that the veins located in the spine have a very specific structure and if you stand in the wrong position for a long time, the so-called “blood stasis” occurs, which can form a blood clot.

Excessive physical activity in gyms, and especially bodybuilding and fitness training are also not “friends” of the spine and lower back. Certainly, exercises and training are useful, but not if the workout is too intense.

Lifting heavy objects incorrectly, awkward posture during sleep, abrupt getting up or sitting, improper weight distribution when walking, improper carrying of a bag – all this leads to only one thing, namely – sudden, severe pain in the lower part of the spine.

When should we consult a specialist?

The good news is that low back pain can go away as it appears. However, it is imperative to consult a doctor if the pain lasts more than two weeks or:

* we experience pain in the lumbar region when we cough or bend over (this may be a symptom of a herniated disc);

* when getting up and going to bed, we experience dull pain in the lumbar region (it is possible to develop osteoarthritis);

* the pain goes down to the lower extremities (this may alert you to the appearance of sciatica);

* we lose control of the limbs, we fail to control the bladder (this may be a symptom of spinal cord injury).

How does the lower back hurt?

Specialists divide pain into acute and chronic.

Acute pain is most often caused by mechanical injuries to the back and lower back – improper posture, heavy exercise, carrying or lifting heavy objects, car accident, and cold for example. Similar acute and severe pain occurs due to structural changes of the spine, such as spondyloarthritis.

The pain appears suddenly and can lead to stiffness and difficulty moving among other things, but most often disappears quickly.

Chronic pain lasts for more than 3 months. It often progresses and it is imperative to visit a specialist to determine what is causing it.

What are the most common diseases for which low back pain is alarming?

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Disc herniation

Disc herniation is a disease in which the fibrous ring of the intervertebral discs of the spine ruptures. In this rupture, the soft central part deforms and enters the spinal canal, compressing the elements that are in it. Discopathy can occur on any disc of the spine, but most often occurs in the lumbar region (waist).

Symptoms of a herniated disc

* severe low back pain;

* pain that passes from the waist to the buttocks and legs;

* weakness in the legs;

* muscle spasms;

* pain when bending over, laughing, coughing, or walking.

Treatment

A very small number of people who suffer from lumbar disc herniation need surgery. Non-invasive treatment most often includes:

* long rest;

* kinesitherapy and exercises for low back pain;

* wearing a special belt;

* weight normalization.

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Spinal deformities

Spinal deformities are disorders of the spine such as scoliosis, kyphosis, lordosis.

Scoliosis is an S-shaped curvature of the spine to the left or right. This disease is often confused with incorrect posture, but while posture distortion results in a curvature of the spine, scoliosis also includes changes in bone structure.

Symptoms

Scoliosis is easily noticeable because one shoulder is higher than the other and one shoulder blade protrudes more than the other. If treated in time, it is completely curable.

Treatment

A visit to a specialist is mandatory, but treatment can be done at home. It is very important to sleep on a firm mattress, to wear special shoes, to follow a proper diet. Very useful for the treatment of scoliosis are massages, exercises with inversion table, and swimming.

Kyphosis

This is a disease of the spine in which there is a bulge in the back. Kyphosis can occur with improper carrying of a bag or backpack.

Symptoms

The disease, like scoliosis, is visible (deformity in the back).

Treatment

Here, too, no surgery is required, only the correct distribution of weight when carrying bags and backpacks. When carrying a backpack, it should rest well on the back, the straps should be evenly spaced and the weight should be evenly distributed. If you carry a bag, your shoulders and arms should be changed frequently.

Lordosa

Lordosis is a disease that experts call “computer neck” because it occurs when the spine is tensed and its muscles and ligaments are stretched during prolonged sitting in an awkward position. Lordosis most often affects people who spend long hours motionless, with their necks extended to the monitor.

Symptoms

Pain in the back, neck, waist, shoulders.

Treatment

Lordosis requires complex treatment, which includes wearing a belt, massages and exercises for back pain.

Spondylolisthesis

This is a disease in which the vertebral bodies of the spine move (slip). The causes of spondylolisthesis can be different, but the most common are congenital anomalies, deformities during heavy physical exertion, degenerative changes, and traumatic injuries.

Symptoms

The disease is difficult to diagnose without a precise medical examination, as it can occur without symptoms. As it progresses, however, low back pain, muscle weakness, and pain in the buttocks and limbs appear.

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Treatment

At an earlier stage of the disease, surgery is not required. If the dislocation is weak, spondylolisthesis responds well to kinesitherapy, exercises for low back pain, wearing orthopedic corsets, and exercises to strengthen muscles with Lejanki BG.

However, if the slippage is at a more advanced stage, surgical treatment is required, which includes decompression of the nerve structures and stabilization of the spine.

Sciatica

This is a disease of the sciatic nerve, which most often occurs with a cold, infection or frostbite. The disease can also occur as a result of disease of other organs of the body or trauma, strain on the spine, degeneration of the vertebrae, etc.

Symptoms

Severe pain in the lower back, buttocks, limbs and lower leg. Characteristic of the appearance of sciatica is difficult mobility when walking, stiffness, pain when sleeping, getting up, sitting, bending. The pain is strong, cutting and constant, and is often accompanied by tingling in the lower extremities.

The disease is difficult to diagnose and therefore requires a visit to a specialist to perform the necessary tests to determine the exact diagnosis.

Treatment

If the disease is at an earlier stage, it is treated with medication, exercise, and massage, but if it is at an advanced stage, surgery is required.

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