LOW BACK PAIN-MANY REASONS
WHAT DO WE MEAN BY LOW BACK PAIN?
Our back contains backbone which is formed by the smaller bones called vertebra which are arranged one above the other in a particular manner with a structure in between them called discs. These discs act as shock absorbers and are made up of soft material. They bear the pressure and save the vertebras from any injury. In the lower back the bones are called lumber vertebras. A feeling of discomfort and pain in this lower back, buttocks and/or thighs is generally called LOW BACKACHE. It is the most common ailment after the headache.
What causes low back pain??
There are a lot of causes of this pain. We will consider these one by one…
–DISC DISEASE—there could be either a disc prolapse or disc herniation. When the pressure between two vertebras increases due to any reason, the soft disc between them protrudes partially or completely towards the posterior side and it presses the nerve which is passing through that place. This pressing of the nerve causes pain n the back and sometimes radiation of the pain to the thighs and legs. This can be diagnosed by a clinician or by the MRI scan.
— LUMBER SPONDYLOSIS—
—degeneration of the intervertebral disc & arthritis of the intervertebral joints
—lipping of the vertebral bodies & osteophytes around interarticular joints
—discs may be protruded & spaces narrowed
—osteophytes & protruded disc may press on the nerve root & present like sciatica
—there will be tenderness on the effected vertebra & paraspinal muscle spasm
—all lumber movements will be restricted
–THE HIP JOINT DEFORMITY–whenever there is a hip joint deformity, it also causes similar type of pain in back, buttocks, and thighs. The pain increases while sitting. It is difficult to confirm this diagnosis y tests. A good clinician can make its diagnosis.
–ANKYLOSING SPONDYLOSIS– usually presents in the young males with low back pain, hip pain, may be radiating to limbs, increased in the morning with stiffness & increasing after activity with sacroiliac joint pain. It is a disease of progressive ossification of the ligaments & intervertebral discs in the spine & pelvis. Diagnosis is made through X rays. MRI and a test called HLA B27.
–CAUDA AQUINA SYNDROME—dull aching pain of the lowermost back, pain in the area between the anus and genital organs called perineum, generally radiating in a sciatic fashion associated with paresthesias, numbness and weakness of the muscles of the legs due to compression of the nerve roots.
–FIBROSITIS—this is also a very common cause of the lower back pain. There is generally some inflammation in the smaller muscles which bind the vertebras together. Fibrotic lesions of the lumbosacral region usually cause local tenderness in one region with severe pain while bending the spine.
–COCCYDINIA—pain in the last part of the back bone called tailbone or coccyx, which increases by walking, standing, defecations, prolonged sitting, usually remains for weeks or months, with tenderness i.e. pain on pressure in the tailbone coccyx.
We are describing here the main causes of low back pain. There can be some other reasons also. For that you can consult your doctor if you are not able to correct this pain.
WHAT COULD BE THE SYMPTOMS OF THE LOW BACK PAIN??
General symptoms of sprain……
Muscle spasms, cramping, and stiffness, Pain in the back and buttocks, it may come on quickly or gradually. It most often occurs in episodes. Certain movements make it worse, and resting makes it feel better.
Leg pain. If pain extends below the knee, it is more likely to be due to pressure on a nerve than to a muscle problem. Most commonly, it’s a pain that starts in the buttock and travels down the back of the leg as far as the ankle or foot.
Nerve-related problems, such as tingling, numbness, or weakness in one leg or in the foot, lower leg, or both legs. Tingling may begin in the buttock and extend to the ankle or foot. Weakness or numbness in both legs, and loss of bladder and/or bowel control, are symptoms of cauda equina syndrome, which requires immediate medical attention.
Arthritis of the spine…..
Starts gradually, gets worse over time, and lasts longer than 3 to 6 months. It is generally worse in the morning or after prolonged periods of inactivity. Arthritis pain gets better when you move around.
Symptoms of diseases that affect the spine depend upon the disease……
Pain that is worse in the affected part of the spine–for instance, if there is a compression fracture, tumor, or infection.
Pain that starts gradually, is constant, and may be sharp or a dull ache. Bed rest doesn’t help and may make it worse. Tumors on the spine often cause night pain. The pain lasts longer than 2 to 3 weeks.
HOW CAN WE PREVENT IT AND CORRECT IT???
Almost everyone has low back pain at some time. The good news is that most low back pain will go away in a few days or weeks with some basic self-care. Some people are afraid that doing too much may make their pain worse. In the past, people stayed in bed, thinking this would help their backs. In most cases, getting back to your normal activities is good for your back, as long as you avoid things that make your pain worse.
The early phase of the low back pain—-
When the pains start at once, for the first one or two days, just relax and take bed rest, and as soon as possible come back to your daily routine. Taking too much rest for more than two to three days will actually worsen the condition. Movement helps your muscles stay strong. You should be back into the normal activities as much as possible according to your capabilities only. Don’t indulge in hard activities.
Avoid or change activities that cause pain—-
Try to avoid bending, lifting, or reaching. These movements put extra stress on your back. In bed, try lying on your side with a pillow between your knees. Or lie on your back on the floor with a pillow under your knees. Even sometimes putting a small rolled towel under the waistline while lying in supine position actually corrects the pain. When you sit, place a small pillow, a rolled-up towel, or a lumbar roll in the curve of your back for extra support.
Do not bend over when you put on pants or stockings. Instead, stand with your back against a wall. Then slide your shoulders down the wall, and bring your knee up. Gently step into your pants or stockings, one leg at a time.
To prevent a return of low back pain, you will need to take extra care when you lift. When you must lift, bend your knees and flex from your hips. Don’t let your spine slump.
Stand or sit tall without slumping or arching your back too much.
Exercises to strengthen your back—
Flexion of the foot
Flexing the leg at knee and sliding
Straight leg raising
These are the simple exercises which have been mentioned here just for the beginning. There are some other specialized exercises to make the muscles of the back more strong. Those can be learnt from your ayurvedic physician. When you practice these regularly they keep on stimulating and become more powerful so they are not producing pain and also helping the body to bear the daily wear and tear in the various tissues of the body.
There are some very good ayurvedic supplements which can be taken with the consultation of your doctor. These herbs strengthen the muscle, bones and joints and decrease the degeneration and aging.
LAST BUT IMPORTANT
If you are experiencing back pain time and again and it is almost continuous, not relieved by the simple methods then surely you need to consult your doctor. There are some problems which needs a particular comprehensive treatment. A proper investigation is needed to find out the cause of the back pain properly and then only the management can be done according to the cause.