Lower back pains are the most stressful to deal with as we age. They can be caused by any multiple of reasons, issues in nerves, spine, backbone, joints, muscle strains, or even due to age itself. If left unattended, it can soon cause even more issues, making you unable to go through daily activities without severe pain. Though a chiropractor can fix lower back pains, it is always a good idea to stay alert, and deal with it as soon as possible, without giving it any chance to create further issues.
The following article by retired orthopedic surgeon Peter F. Ulrich Jr., shares in depth how you can deal with lower back pains before it goes out of hand, and what can you do to treat it:
Lower 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:
- 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 spinae) may be strained
- The bones, ligaments or joints may be damaged
- An intervertebral disc may be degenerating
An irritation or problem with any of these structures can cause lower back pain and/or pain that radiates or is referred to other parts of the body. Many lower back problems also cause back muscle spasms, which don’t sound like much but can cause severe pain and disability.
While lower back pain is extremely common, the symptoms and severity of lower back pain vary greatly. A simple lower back muscle strain might be excruciating enough to necessitate an emergency room visit, while a degenerating disc might cause only mild, intermittent discomfort.
Identifying the symptoms and getting a diagnosis that pinpoints the underlying cause of the pain is the first step in obtaining effective pain relief.
Common Lower Back Pain Causes in Adults
Certain causes of lower back pain have a tendency to occur more often in younger individuals versus older adults:
- Younger adults (30 to 60 year olds) are more likely to experience back pain from the disc space itself (e.g. lumbar disc herniation or degenerative disc disease) or from a back muscle strain or other soft tissue strain.
- Older adults (over 60) are more likely to suffer from pain related to joint degeneration (such as osteoarthritis or spinal stenosis) or from a compression fracture.
When to Seek Immediate Treatment for Lower Back Pain
Most cases of low back pain do not require urgent care, but anyone should see a doctor immediately if low back pain is a result of trauma, or if pain is accompanied by any of the following symptoms:
- Fever and chills
- Unexplained recent weight loss
- Significant leg weakness
- Sudden bowel and/or bladder incontinence—either difficulty passing urine or having a bowel movement, or loss of control of urination or bowel movement (cauda equina syndrome)
- Severe, continuous abdominal pain (abdominal aortic aneurysm)
Now that you have a better understanding of how to deal with back problems, the next time you or someone you know is suffering, you can definitely give some good advice. If you want to know how to treat back pains at home, check out this video.