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Sunday, May 22, 2016

Back Pain Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Lower back pain can be caused by a variety of problems with any parts of the complex, interconnected network of spinal muscles, nerves, bones, discs or tendons in the lumbar spine. Typical sources of low back pain include:
  • An intervertebral disc may be degenerating
  • The bones, ligaments or joints may be damaged
  • The large nerve roots in the low back that go to the legs may be irritated
  • The smaller nerves that supply the low back may be irritated
  • The large paired lower back muscles (erector spine) may be strained

Types Of Back Pain

Backache is most common in the lower back (‘lumbago’), although it can be felt anywhere along your spine.Sometimes, back pain can be caused by an injury or disease, such as:
  • a slipped disc – when one of the discs in the spine is damaged and presses on the nerves
  • sciatica– irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve, which causes pain, numbness and tingling that travels down one leg
  • whiplash– neck injury caused by a sudden impact
  • frozen shoulder– inflammation around the shoulder that causes pain and stiffness
  • ankylosing spondylitis– a long-term condition that causes pain and stiffness where the spine meets the pelvis

How To Treat Back Pain ?

Keep moving

It used to be thought that bed rest would help you recover from a bad back, but it’s now proved that people who remain active are likely to recover more quickly.
This may be difficult at first if the pain is severe, but try to move around as soon as you can and aim to do a little more each day.Activity can range from walking around the house to walking to the shops. You will have to accept some discomfort but avoid anything that causes a lot of pain.
There is no need to wait until you are completely pain-free before returning to every day activities . Going back to living  can distract you from the pain.

Hot and cold treatments

In most cases people find that heat – for example, a hot bath or a hot water bottle placed on the affected area helps ease the pain.
Cold, such as an ice pack or a bag of frozen vegetables, placed on the painful area can also be effective. Don’t hold the ice directly on to your skin though, as it might cause a cold burn. Wrap an ice pack or bag of frozen vegetables in a cloth before putting it on your skin.
Another option is to alternate between hot and cold using ice packs and a hot water bottle.

Exercise and lifestyle

Try to address the causes of your back pain to prevent further episodes. Common causes include being overweight, poor posture and stress.
Regular exercise and being active on a daily basis will help keep your back strong and healthy. Activities such as walking , yoga and swimming are popular choices. The important thing is to choose an enjoyable activity that you can benefit from without feeling pain.
Read more about Exercises for back pain.


Although it can be difficult, it’s also important to stay optimistic and think that your pain should get better because people who manage to stay positive despite their pain tend to recover quicker.

Change your sleeping position

Changing your sleeping position can take some of the strain off your back and ease the pain.

If you sleep on your side, draw your legs up slightly towards your chest and put a pillow between your legs. If you sleep on your back, placing pillows under your knees will help maintain the normal curve of your lower back.

Manual therapy

Therapies including manipulation, mobilisation and massage, usually carried out by chiropractors, osteopaths or physiotherapists.

Signs Of A Serious Problem

You should seek urgent medical help if you have back pain and:
  • a high temperature (fever)
  • it started after an accident, such as after a car accident
  • a swelling or a deformity in your back
  • numbness around your genitals, buttocks or back passage
  • it’s constant and doesn’t ease after lying down
  • pain in your chest
  • it’s worse at night
  • a loss of bladder or bowel control
  • an inability to pass urine
  • unexplained weight loss
These problems could be a sign of something more serious and need to be assessed as soon as possible.


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