If you have lower back pain, you are not alone. About 80 percent of adults experience low back pain at some point in their lifetimes. The key to finding relief starts with understanding the cause of your lower back pain.
The top three causes are sprains and strains, herniated disc and stenosis.
1. Sprains and Strains:
Sprains and Strains are the most common cause of lower back pain. A sprain is an injury to a back ligament, which helps hold the bones in your spine together. A strain is an injury to a muscle or a tendon, which connects muscle to back bones.
Forward or sideways bent-trunk posture, limited motion, and spasms in your back muscles.
- Icing the injured area right after the injury, and applying wet heat thereafter can help.
- Stretching exercises.
- Over-the-counter painkillers and Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen. However, long-term NSAID use can cause stomach ulcers, liver and kidney damage.
- Try to maintain physical activities while avoiding postures that make it worse, such as lifting and twisting.
2. Disc Problems:
Bones in your spine are separated by cushions called discs. However, the soft gelatinous inside of a disc protrudes through a crack in the outer layer, it can inflame the spinal nerves causing pain. That's called a herniated disc, sometimes referred to as a "slipped" disc.
Sudden lower back pain or numbness that travels into the buttock and down the leg, sometimes all the way to the foot, condition known as Sciatica.
- Don't panic, this condition usually gets better on its own, but it may take a few months.
- An epidural steroid injection has been shown to relieve leg pain from sciatica.
- Over-the-counter painkillers can help relieve backache and leg pain.
3. Spinal Stenosis:
Common condition that occurs when the small spinal canal that holds the spinal cord and nerve roots, can be squeezed or narrowed by bulging discs, thickened ligaments, or small growths called bone spurs.
“Pinching” of the spinal cord and/or nerve roots, which leads to pain, cramping, weakness or numbness especially in the buttocks and legs
- Strengthening abdominal muscles is essential for relieve back pain.
- Pain often goes away when you lean forward or sit.
Back pain usually improves within a few weeks or months. Fortunately, you can take measures to prevent or relieve most back pain episodes. Subscribe now to get notified soon about our doctor's simple tips to manage lower back pains.