Lower back pain

Back pain in the lumbar region

80% of people in the world have experienced low back pain at least once. Its causes can range from the so-called psychosomatic, when aching pains in the lumbar region are provoked by stress, to a much more serious and difficult-to-treat cancer diagnosis.

How to understand when discomfort and back pain speak of a diseased spine and when they signal an unhealthy condition in other organs? And how not to miss the right moment to consult a doctor with pain in the spine in the lumbar region?

Causes of back pain in the lumbar region

In the lumbar region there are several organs and systems at once - these are the digestive, urinary, reproductive and musculoskeletal systems, as well as a number of glands that affect a person's well-being. Fortunately, most pathologies that are characterized by aching pain in the lumbar and lower back are treatable and not life-threatening. Only every 20th pain in the lumbar region requires surgical intervention or complex therapeutic measures.

Consider in more detail the causes of pain in the spine in the lumbar region. These include:

  • Overstrain of the back muscles, especially the lumbosacral region;
  • spasms of muscles and internal organs;
  • the presence of inflammation or an abscess;
  • hormonal disorders;
  • heart diseases;
  • Diseases of the stomach or intestines (gastritis, peptic ulcer and others);
  • postural disorders;
  • neuralgia incl. psychogenic character;
  • osteochondrosis, stenosis of the spinal canal, spinal hernia and other pathologies of the spine;
  • diseases of the kidneys or internal genital organs;
  • Obesity;
  • Pregnancy;
  • Neoplasm metastases.

The nature of pain in osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine

It is necessary to distinguish between primary pain in the lumbar region (associated with degenerative-dystrophic, inflammatory processes and injuries of the spine) and secondary, "reflected" pain that occurs due to functional disorders of muscles and internal organs. Primary pain in the lumbar region occurs as if by itselfand are rarely accompanied by other symptoms (usually in the late stages, e. g. with advanced herniated discs. ) Secondary pain is almost always accompanied by bloating, changes in urination and bowel movements (they are rare, frequent, painful or have other uncharacteristic features), nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and fever. The type of pain in the lower back can also tell a lot about the problem:

  • paroxysmal ("seizes the entrails") - diseases of the kidneys and pelvic organs;
  • increase every day - an inflammatory process (for example, in the coccygeal epithelial passage), abscess, cyst;
  • sharp stabbing (especially after an injury) - rupture of an internal organ (liver, spleen, kidney, bladder, etc. ) or a vessel, internal bleeding, stomach or intestinal ulcer, occlusion of the vessel by a detached thrombus (consult a doctor immediately forsuch pain! ) ;
  • periodic shooting - characteristic of squeezing the roots of the spine (radicular syndrome), may be accompanied by spasms;
  • dull continuous - indicates a disease of the liver, kidneys, spleen and some endocrine glands;
  • Pulling, aggravated by movement - injuries to the spine and adjacent tissues.

Localization of lumbar pain

  1. Pain in the lumbar region and above the sacrum can occur due to trauma, diseases of the gastrointestinal and cardiovascular systems, as well as injuries, oncology or simple overwork. Often this zone manifests itself after unsuccessful sports activities, especially with poorly executed shots, an untreated fall and non-observance of the exercise technique.
  2. Below the waist (above the tailbone), it often hurts from overexertion when lifting loads, standing or walking for a long time, with bruising on ice and other hard surfaces. Sometimes the cause of aching pain in the lumbar region can be infection or hypothermia. The most common pain is caused by working or resting in an uncomfortable, non-physiological posture—for example, spending time at a computer or driving in a semi-flexed "banana" position. Less commonly, pain is due to dysfunction of the bowel and genitourinary systems (Constipation, cystitis, pyelonephritis, prostatitis, dysmenorrhea). A "low" localization of pain can also indicate problems with the hip joint, especially in the elderly or athletes.
  3. If it hurts to the left of the spine, this does not rule out problems with it - for example, scoliosis and / or osteochondrosis, circulatory disorders and even infection of the spinal canal.
  4. Especially characteristic of infections and osteochondrosis are persistent aching pains, which intensify with the slightest physical exertion.
  5. If the pain syndrome subsides temporarily and still gives the patient a break, the problem may be a displaced disc, a pinched nerve root or sciatica. Pain in the lumbar region can also cause diabetes or hypothermia.
  6. If the patient often feels "stayed up" and feels pain after several hours of sedentary work, the pain may indicate an incorrect lifestyle, which has not yet turned into a pathology, but requires urgent changes - not only pain relief atlumbar osteochondrosis , but complex therapy.

Please note that severe diseases of the heart and digestive organs may cause lower back pain. If there is pain under the left shoulder blade and in the side at the same time, it is important to urgently rule out a heart attack. However, if sharp attacks of pain are tormented - "as if cut alive" - an ulcer of the stomach or intestines.

Back pain - diagnoses

Doctors identify more than 120 causes that can cause acute and chronic back pain. The most common of these are.

  1. Diseases resulting from degenerative-dystrophic and other lesions of the vertebral and hip joints. For example osteochondrosis, osteoarthritis, spondylosis, vertebral fracture, spinal stenosis, kyphosis, scoliosis, protrusion, facet syndrome, sciatica, lumbago, neurogenic lameness, hormonal spondylopathy.
  2. autoimmune diseases. Rheumatoid arthritis, Bechterew's disease.
  3. Inflammatory diseases. Spondyloarthropathies, including psoriasis and reactive arthritis.
  4. traumatic defeat. Spondylolisthesis, damage to muscles and ligaments, contusions, dislocations, subluxations and fractures of the vertebrae.

Less commonly, spinal neoplasms and metastases, osteomyelitis, angina pectoris, cholecystitis, abdominal aortic aneurysm, myocardial infarction, duodenal ulcer and other diseases can become the cause of low back pain.

Pain in the lumbar spine in women

In women, acute and subacute (periodic or lasting up to 12 weeks) back pain can indicate minor hormonal disorders or natural physiological processes - during menstruation, pregnancy or menopause. But most of the time he explains it like this:

  • Osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine - women who stay on their heels for a long time, regularly carry loads of more than 5 kg and have to be in a bent position for a long time when performing professional or household chores;
  • Arthritis is an inflammatory disease that young women are prone to. It can be provoked by a lower back injury, urogenital infection, hypothermia due to insufficiently warm but fashionable clothing, as well as heredity (for example, the presence of rheumatoid arthritis in relatives);
  • Osteoarthritis is a predominantly age-related disease that often occurs after the age of 40 in response to hormonal changes in the body;
  • inflammation of the limbs (adnexitis);
  • cervical or ovarian cancer;
  • torsion of an ovarian cyst;
  • endometriosis.

See a doctor right away if symptoms of back pain:

  • appeared after an injury;
  • appear in the patient's medical history with oncological and precancerous conditions (eg, cervical dysplasia);
  • accompanied by an increase in temperature;
  • accompanied by unexplained weight loss;
  • cause difficulty urinating and defecation;
  • companion spots;
  • associated with a feeling of numbness or stiffness in the legs, a change in gait.

Pain in the lumbar spine in men

Men suffer less from back pain than women. Most often, as in women, their cause lies in osteochondrosis or kidney disease. Among the sex diseases that provoke pain in the spine in the lumbar region, we can name:

  • epididymitis (inflammation of the seed appendages);
  • prostatitis;
  • orchitis (swelling of the testicles);
  • Testicular and other oncological diseases of the genital organs;
  • prostate cancer.

Often, lower back pain occurs in the strong half due to a vertebral or inguinal hernia. These diseases are especially predisposed to men over 40 years old who are actively involved in physical work or work in an uncomfortable position. In women, this pathology is less common.

treatment of back pain

The treatment of back pain (lumbar) requires a therapeutic effect on the vertebrae and intervertebral discs, nerve fibers and muscles. In addition to relieving pain in the lumbar region, it is necessary to slow down any degenerative processes in the spine, relieve inflammation, restore blood microcirculation and the transmission of nerve impulses. Treatment is prescribed exclusively by a doctor or immediately by a group of specialists - a neurologist, traumatologist, gynecologist, orthopedist, rheumatologist and other doctors, depending on the main and concomitant diagnoses.

In over 98% of cases related to diseases of the spine, the treatment is conservative - even in the case of an inguinal hernia, an operation can be avoided.

Medical Approach

With the help of medication, pain can be completely eliminated within a few months (for example, pain in the spine in the lumbar region is treated with compression of the roots for 3-4 months, hernias). Then, depending on the diagnosis, therapy is completed or periodically carried out in courses - to maintain remission.

In the treatment of back pain (lumbar) help:

  1. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in the form of tablets, ointments, injections.
  2. Hormone preparations (in the form of blocks and droppers).
  3. Analgesics for pain relief.
  4. chondroprotectors.
  5. Warming preparations, e. g. B. Ointments based on bee and snake venom, mustard plasters.
  6. Venotonics and angioprotectors.
  7. Anticonvulsants, anxiolytics and antidepressants.

Physiotherapy for back pain

To treat back pain:

  • massage (classic, cupping, hydromassage);
  • phonophoresis;
  • electrophoresis;
  • magnetotherapy;
  • laser therapy;
  • diadynamic therapy;
  • electrical neuromyostimulation;
  • manual therapy;
  • Acupuncture;
  • balneological procedures and mud therapy;
  • exercise therapy.

Exercise therapy for pain in the lumbar spine

A set of exercises for pain in the lumbar region is performed daily and only when remission is achieved! With an exacerbation of the disease, any stress can only aggravate the situation. Before doing the exercises, you should consult with an exercise therapy teacher.

  1. Get on your knees and step your right leg forward (foot on the floor, knee bent at a right angle). Keeping your balance, pull your left foot towards your buttocks with your left hand and feel the tension in your muscles. 10 times on each side.
  2. Get on all fours, look straight ahead. Bend and arch your back - exercise "Cat".
  3. Lie on your back and keep your legs under your knees, pull your knees towards your chest and lock this position for a few seconds. 10 times.
  4. The starting position is the same. Cross your legs (on the weight) and stretch the muscles well, supporting the lower leg under the knee with both hands.
  5. Standing on all fours, raise your left arm and right leg perpendicular to the floor. Repeat for the other side. 10 times.

A set of exercises for lower back pain using a massage roller is also recommended. For example: Place the roller under the sacrum and pull the knee towards the chest while the other leg is on the floor. Repeat 10 times for each leg. If the tension is not sufficient, put your hand behind your head and/or move your bent knee slightly to the side.

How to take care of your back - recommendations from doctors

We offer you 10 simple tips to protect your lower back.

  1. To keep your back healthy, it's important to avoid serious physical (as well as mental and emotional) overwork and hypothermia. If you are forced to work in the cold for a long time or in rooms with sudden changes in temperature, stock up on quality thermal underwear.
  2. Conduct timely treatment of pain in the spine in the lumbar region.
  3. If you have already been diagnosed with osteochondrosis in the early stages, congenital or acquired malformations of the musculoskeletal system, use orthoses - special bandages and corsets that relieve your back. If you carry a heavy backpack, get one that will protect your back from the symptoms of low back pain.
  4. Also, do not forget to take chondroprotectors for therapeutic and prophylactic purposes for at least 3-6 months a year.
  5. Adjust your diet so that your body gets enough vitamins and minerals as well as proteins.
  6. Set up a sleeping place properly. The mattress should not be too soft or too hard, the length of the bed should be slightly larger than your height. The height of the pillow is also important for relieving pain in lumbar osteochondrosis - it is best to buy an orthopedic pillow. If pets force you into an uncomfortable sleeping position, don't let them on the bed.
  7. When working seated, make sure your elbows are at a comfortable height on the tabletop and the seat of the chair allows you to keep your shins perpendicular to the floor.
  8. If you have already been diagnosed with spinal disease, be sure to engage in rational employment that reduces occupational stress on the lower back.
  9. Try not to abuse alcohol, coffee and cigarettes.
  10. Maintain a normal level of physical activity (at least in the form of 15-minute exercises for lower back pain 3-4 times a day).

Health for your back!