Lower back pain is aching, persisting and discomforting. This bodily discomfort happens anywhere around the lower part of your spine or back. Sometimes it could be mild, otherwise, a disabling ailment might just be staring you in the face. But hey! Don’t you worry, today’s post seeks to explore your symptoms and provide you with information about common causes of lower back pain. Also, when to see your doctor or nurse and natural things you can do to leverage your waist and maximize your technique while functioning as an efficient simple yet complex machine.
Archimedes once said, ‘If you give me a lever and a place to stand, I can move the world. You see? He was a wise Greek mathematician, physicist, engineer, inventor, and astronomer whose works are still moving the world. So, literally, you too can do it!
But you’re less likely to achieve a great feat like moving the world with a back that’s hurting. So that’s why important to understand the causes of lower back pain. Let’s cast our minds back to those science classes in school, assuming your whole body structure is likened to a simple machine. Let’s take as a lever for example, a lever could be used to apply a little force to lift a heavy load. As a simple machine your body was designed to do difficult things with less effort.
Your body structure is capable of assuming various positions, which makes it possible to function like a simple device. That being said, with the right technique you should have a mechanical advantage that makes you capable of doing both simple and complex things; be it lifting a load, making love, writing a blog post, walking upright or pushing a wheel etc.
These things are part of your activities of daily living and shouldn’t be cumbersome for you. Well, if lower back pain is your story, you’re less likely to function optimally.
Just like a simple machine, your upper body is attached to the lower parts by your waist which functions like a fulcrum for instance. Just like a fulcrum, your lower back is made up of joints that makes turning possible and it plays a central role while your body assumes various positions when you’re ‘working’. Your lower back needs to function seamlessly in other to maximize your efficiency.
Consequently, lower-back pain occurs mostly due to a combination of factors. According to William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR who states that ‘throbbing Pain in the low back can be a result of conditions affecting your bony lumbar spine. Other structures are; inter vertebral discs which are in-between the vertebrae, ligaments around the spine and discs.
Similarly, your lower-back pain could result from injuries on other structures which may include nerves from your spinal cord, aches from muscles of the low back, referred pain from internal organs of the pelvis and abdomen, and a sprain or strain to the skin covering the lumbar area.
Understanding the origin of your lower-back pain can be tricky, a handful of things could cause your discomfort. Sometimes causes aren’t due to underlying disease. It could simply be stressed out due to overuse such as when you’re working out or lifting too much, the popular Secretary back syndrome which occurs due to prolonged swivel-chair exposure.
- A ruptured or herniated disc.
- Bad sleep posture.
- Bony encroachment
- Cancer of the spinal cord.
- Carrying heavy and imbalanced weight on your back
- Coccydynia (tailbone pain)
- Degenerative spondylolisthesis.
- Gynaecological disorders such as endometriosis and fibroids.
- Hip arthritis.
- Infections of the spine.
- Kidney stones.
- Lying down for a prolonged period.
- Malaria associated symptoms.
- Nerve irritation.
- Piriformis syndrome.
- Poor fitted backpack.
- Sacroiliac joint dysfunction.
- Spinal osteoarthritis.
- Spinal osteoporosis fractures.
- Ulcerative colitis.
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY BACK PAIN IS SERIOUS?
Usually, the reason for your acute low back pain can be a sudden injury to the muscles and ligaments supporting your back and waist. Usually, your lower back should be a cause to worry; even though most of the time, lower back pain is self-treatable, yet, your doctors can make a big deal out of it. The commonest amongst the causes are throbbing pains coming from muscle spasms, a little strain or tear in the associate muscles and ligaments and might not indicate any serious health issue.
Aside the obvious causes of sudden low back pain, there are other signs that may indicate a mild discomfort that you can easily tackle on your own. As a healthy young adult, most time your lower back pain can gradually improve with home treatment and self-care. Sometimes within a few weeks, yet, once you notice your symptoms are not resolving you should see your healthcare provider.
Common symptoms include:
- Simple compression on the spine.
- Throbbing muscle ache.
- Pain that improves with lolling.
- Pain that radiates down your limbs.
- Aching that worsens with bending, lifting, standing or walking.
- Shooting or stabbing pain in your waist.
WHEN TO SEEK HELP ABOUT YOUR LOWER BACK PAIN
In uncommon cases, lower-back pain might be an indicator for a more complicated health issue and you should probably see a doctor when you feel the signs below;
- If you fall, or had a traumatic blow to your back or RTA injury.
- When it causes new bowel or bladder problems.
- When the ache goes along with fever.
- When the discomfort is so severe and doesn’t improve with rest or massage.
- When the throbbing pain generates from a source and spreads down one or both legs, especially if the pain surpasses the knee.
- When you fill a tingling sensation in one or both legs associated with weakness or numbness.
- When you’ve noticed a significant drop in your body weight and can’t discern the cause.
- Night time pain – when pains become periodic.
Other factors such as age or menopause could be implicated, so, see your doctor if your lower back pain is starting for the first time as you clock 50 years. Also, if you have any chronic illness such as osteoporosis, cancer, steroid use, or excessive drug or alcohol use.
WHAT NATURAL THINGS CAN I DO TO RELIEVE MY LOWER BACK PAIN?
Regardless of the cause of your lower back pain, there are certain home remedies you could attempt that can help you relieve it and prevent future problems.
- Maintain correct posture during activities – when you Maintain a good posture, you’re more likely to reduce the strain on the ligaments and muscles that support the spine and back. According to Alexander Rances, who is a licensed acupuncturist, pain management specialist at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset “Poor posture leads to muscle fatigue, spasms, and increased lower back pain.”
Always assuming good and the right posture is important not just when you are working or standing. You can inculcate in yourself to always maintain a good posture when you sit, lie down, and bend over, too.
- Use ice or heat – Both ice packs and heat pads are very effective and affordable with no side effects like the contemporary pain management pills for pain management. The trick is what the right situation is, to apply either cold compress or the heat part to relieve your aching lower back pain. Depending on the situation a combination of both methods could be used. Usually, ice compresses work fine for lower back pain due to acute injuries or pain that’s associated with inflammation and swelling. Heating pads on the other hand could be applied when your lower back pain is as a result of muscle pain or stiffness.
- Stretch your muscles – when you stretch during exercises, it helps to tone up and elongate your muscles, thereby preventing injury by making you resilient. This would not just improve blood circulation to the muscles and joints of your lower back; it also improves your range of motions that makes movement and work easier. For someone with a disorder known as fibromyalgia (widespread musculoskeletal pain, stretching it out can help alleviate your lower back pain and muscle stiffness.
- Wear proper footwear – you might be aware that wearing that high-heeled pair of shoes can cause back pain, yet other shoes can cause back pain too. Your shoes support your feet can have a massive impact on your body as regards your posture. Your body needs balance when you’re moving or working. Your foot moves when you take a step and directs how the rest of your body will follow. Although your legs may be a little far from your waist, they are closely related and would contribute to your lower back pain. There’s a kinetic chain when you move the joint. That’s the more reason you should pay more attention to your footwear and reduce or prevent lower back pain caused from shoes.
- Maintain a healthy weight – without being told, you should know that accumulating weight on your upper body would increase your chances of unleashing a considerable amount of weight on your spine which invariably constitutes lower back pain. Besides, accumulation of weight around your waist line has been associated with risk for heart attack, diabetes, stroke and other degenerative diseases. So it’s only sensible that shedding a few pounds would help you get rid of lower back pain. With a considerable weight loss, you are successfully reducing excessive strain on your spinal column and lower back muscles.
- Stay active – maintaining a regular exercise routine has shown to ease lower back pain in the long term. This is effective by improving your muscle tone, strength, and flexibility. Active exercise also releases that feel good neurotransmitter known as endorphins which is your body’s natural painkillers. You should note that some exercises are easier for certain chronic lower back pain sufferers to do than others, especially when there is a disability.
Exercise can be restorative or rehabilitative, whatever be your case, your body can benefit from increased strength and flexibility, reduced lower back pain, and helps your body combat fatigue; even though, muscle stiffness, associated with joint pain bogging you down would not even allow you think of walking around the block or swimming a few laps in the pool.
WHAT EXERCISES HELP LOWER BACK PAIN?
- Bird Dog – this exercise can help to mobilize your lower back and is important to aid its recovery from lower back pain. Usually, this exercise is used by both athletic trainers and physical therapists. It’s popular for building low back function, as it engages both the core and back muscles at the same time. This would help with your lower back pain.
- Bridge – this exercise stretches the stabilizers of your lower back, which includes your hip abductors, gluteus maximus, and hamstrings. The bridge exercise when done correctly strengthens your core muscles. You can do this by lying on your back with your knees bent. Raising your hips off the ground in unison until your hips are aligned with your knees and shoulders and maintaining that hold for three deep breaths.
- Hip Stretch – when you Stretch your hip muscles, it can proffer relief from bursitis and lower back pain. This is due to the fact that the hips sit on top of the bursae which is part of the lining in your hip flexors are merely a group of muscles near the top of your thighs that plays a key role when you’re moving your lower body; stiffness of these muscles cause a stretch and tear therefore contributing to your lower back pain. Toning these structures up would improve their resilience to wear and tear.
- Leg Stretch – this exercise if done properly stretches the lower back and your rear end muscles and consequently relieving your aching lower back by stimulating associated structures.
- Lower Back Stretch – first to achieve this, keep your left foot flat on the floor, and pull gently your right knee up to your chest till you feel a slight stretchin your lower back. Maintain your hold on your right knee against your chest for 30–60 seconds. Make sure to relax your legs, hips and lower back and then release your right knee and return to the starting position. This would have an effect on your lower back pain.
- Lower Tummy Strengthening – this might be an effective workout that helps you shed those lower abs. It could also be a good way to stimulate those joints and get your groove back. By doing just that you’re on your way to strengthening your lower tummy muscles which works in association with your lower back.
- Pelvic Tilts – this simple exercise can help you to maintain proper alignment of the pelvis. First, lie backon the floor, make sure your knees are bent and feet flat, keep your arms straight by the sides. Gently bend your lower back and push the stomach Hold your body for 5 seconds, and then relax. Flatten your back and pull the bellybutton in toward the floor.
- Spine Stretch. Lower back pain is common; it’s part of the wear and tear you’ll go through in life, something you have to live with every day as you go about your activity of daily living. By improving your hip flexibility, you can strengthen your core stability as well as lengthening the back This stretching can help reduce the symptoms of lower back pain.
- Bonus tip: make sure while keeping your left foot flat on the floor, gently pull your right knee up to your chest until you feel that slight stretching your lower back. Secondly, hold your right knee against your chest for 30–60 seconds, making sure to relax your legs, hips, and lower back. Release your right knee and return to the starting position.