Back pain and lower back pain: causes and treatment

Back pain, tension and stiffness in the lower back are the most common problems sooner or later faces most people.

back pain

Most often a sore lower back because the lumbar spine has the greatest mobility and bears the weight of the upper half of the body. Pain in the lumbar region has a separate title — lumbago, if she gives in the leg — sciatica. Rarely, pain occurs in the thoracic spine. If the pain is acute and extends (gives) in the side or arm, it is called "lumbago" or "sciatica". This type of pain usually associated with compression of the spinal nerve.

Back pain and lower back pain may appear suddenly after heavy lifting, if awkward to turn. Sometimes discomfort in the back develop gradually over many years of exertion or improper posture. Rarely the cause of pain cannot be established. The pain may worsen at night, under load or after a long finding in an inconvenient pose, for example, after a long trip in the car. Often the pain goes away lying down on a flat hard surface.

In most cases, back pain within a few days or weeks and then feel better, and mobility is fully restored. To speed healing help pain relievers and a specific mode of physical activity: rest only in the first 1-2 days of particularly intense pain and then gradual return to an active lifestyle. However, in some cases, the back or lower back ache lasting more than 6 weeks. Then talking about the development of chronic back pain and prescribe additional treatment.

Plays an important role your mood. Because of the pain you may be difficult to maintain a good mood, but studies show that positive-minded people generally recover faster than those who are in depression.

The causes of back pain

Back health depends on the smooth operation of a complex mechanism of bones, muscles, nerves and joints. Often accurately determine the cause of the pain can be difficult. Fortunately, serious illness or back injury are rare. Most often back pain or back caused light injuries, muscular strain, stretching of muscles and ligaments, infringement and inflammation of nerves. Discomfort in the back can occur suddenly or develop gradually growing. Possible causes of back pain and lower back:

  • awkward movement: tilt or rotation of the housing;
  • lifting or carrying heavy objects, prolonged bending of the trunk;
  • incorrect posture when walking or sitting;
  • excessive stretching of the back muscles;
  • prolonged driving without stopping.

Sometimes back starts the disease for no apparent reason, for example, in the morning, after sleep.

Risk factors of back pain

Certain risk factors increase the likelihood of back pains or lower back:

  • Excess weight while the spine bear more load. To understand whether your weight is normal, calculate the body mass index.
  • Smoking — it can harm the tissues of the back, and smokers are generally less likely to lead a healthy lifestyle.
  • Pregnancy — a woman's spine is subjected to additional load, which increases with the volume of the stomach.
  • The prolonged intake of drugs that reduce bone density, for example, corticosteroids.
  • Stress — it is believed that the constant anxiety raises muscle tension back and neck, which can cause pain.
the causes of back pain

Diseases that can cause back pain and lower back:

  • Osteochondrosis and its complications, such as herniation of the spine — degenerative disease, in which collapse of the intervertebral cartilage, resulting in pain. These diseases often develop with age, especially in those people who are experiencing heavy load on the back.
  • Stretching ligaments and muscles — which often happens after excessive physical exertion or awkward movement.
  • Different types of arthritis — inflammatory disease of the joints. In this case, in addition to pain, marked morning stiffness in joints, impaired mobility.
  • Kidney disease, such as pyelonephritis can cause pain in the lower back.

There are also more dangerous, but very rare causes of back pain. For example, cancer, tuberculosis of the spine, aortic aneurysm (separation of the walls of major blood vessel), etc. they are usually diagnosed during examination by a doctor.

Diagnosis of pain in back and rump

With back pain and lower back you can often cope at home with medication sold at the pharmacy without a prescription. Hospital treatment is usually not required. If the pain is severe, seek help from a doctor physician. If the pain does not give you to move, you can call the doctor at home.

During the examination the doctor will ask you to sit, stand, walk, alternately lift your feet and will also check range of motion in the back. He may ask you about previous illnesses or injuries on your lifestyle and nature of work as well:

  • When the pain started?
  • Where does it hurt?
  • Bothered back in the past?
  • Can you describe the pain?
  • From what the pain escalates or goes?

The survey and examination, the doctor will attempt to rule out the possibility of infection and fracture, although they are very rare. In the case of disputed diagnosis, you may be referred for additional study: magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or x-ray of the spine. To avoid kidney disease doctor orders a urinalysis.

In most cases, back pain fails to remove in a few days. If the treatment is not helping, back pain lasts more than 6 weeks (the so-called chronic back pain), or cause of sickness is a serious disease, the therapist will refer you to a specialist. Most often the treatment of back pain and low back pain deals with the neurologist. In addition, treatment can connect with a doctor like an osteopath, reflexologist, chiropractor.

Treatment of back and lumbar

The treatment of back pain may depend on its duration and severity, as well as your personal preference and needs. Most often, the pain can be removed by using non-prescription medicines and treatment at home.

Motor mode. In previous years it was believed that when back pain need to rest. It is now accepted that people who get up early to move faster to cope with back pain and lower back pain. Complete quiet and bed rest is shown only for 1-2 days in the acute phase when the pain is extremely pronounced and does not move. In this case it is recommended to lie on the hard and smooth surface. As soon as the condition is slightly improved, you should gradually return to mobile life, expanding the range of motion a little each day.

Gradually you will be able to move around the house or to go shopping. You have to put up with some discomfort and learn to avoid anything that causes severe pain. A few days later, you can return to work without waiting for the moment when the pain in the back or lower back will be completely (of course, if your work is not connected with excessive loads on the spine). Early activation will get you back to normal daily routine and distraction from the pain.


Painkillers. These drugs relieve pain, inflammation and swelling. Depending on the severity of the health of your doctor may prescribe these medicines in form of injections, tablets or external remedies — ointments from back pain. Usually treatment starts with injections. As soon as the pain subsides, the introduction of the drug is stopped, if necessary, take pills or use creams. These funds have a number of contraindications, so before taking consult your doctor and read the instructions. Pills pain best taken after meals with a glass of milk.

Muscle relaxants are medicines that relieve spasm of skeletal muscles, relax the muscles. They are appointed in cases where excessive muscle tension of the spine increasing the pain that might, for example, when aggravation of degenerative disc disease or disc herniation. Muscle relaxants have side effects, many of them cannot take over the wheel. Therefore, it is necessary to consult a doctor.

Treatment of heat and cold. Some pain helps warmth, e.g. hot bath or heating pad on the sore spot. Also relieve the condition may cold, for example, if applied to the lower back ice or package of frozen vegetables. Do not apply ice directly to the skin, as this may cause frostbite. Wrap it in a damp towel and apply to the affected area. You can also alternate heat therapy with cold, applying alternating ice and a heating pad.

Posture for sleep. A change of posture for sleep may relieve the tension from the back and relieve pain. If you sleep on your side, slightly pull your legs to your chest and place a pillow between your legs. If you back to back, place a pillow under your knees to support the natural curve of the spine in the lumbar region.

Relaxation is a crucial component of dealing with pain, because if you worry too much, it will cause muscle tension, which can exacerbate the pain. Studies show that positive-minded people usually recover faster. The pain from them goes into a long, chronic. There are various relaxation techniques. As a rule, it is recommended to learn breathing exercises and simple exercises with alternate tension and relaxation of different muscles of the body.

Exercise and a healthy lifestyle. Try to eliminate the cause of pain in the back to prevent it from returning in the future. The most common causes of back pain — being overweight, bad posture and stress. Regular exercise and active lifestyle will help your back to be strong and healthy. Most people prefer to do this walking, swimming and yoga. Most importantly — choose what you like and don't causes pain. Sometimes classes are conducted in groups under the guidance of a qualified instructor. Usually classes run exercises to strengthen the muscles and improve posture, as well as aerobic exercise and stretching exercises.

Treatment of chronic back pain

If back pain lasts more than 6 weeks (the so-called chronic back pain), in addition to analgesics and muscle relaxants used are described below methods of dealing with pain. These therapies can help those who back pain prevents you from performing usual routine and alarming.

Chiropractic is a chiropractor or osteopath, and includes various techniques, including manipulation, mobilization and massage.

Alexander technique — allows you to remove excess muscle tension, and teaches them how to properly sit or stand like a rational move. You will learn to keep the balance of body and posture.

Acupuncture (acupuncture) — Chinese method of treatment in which various parts of the body inserts a thin needle. It helps to alleviate back pain and lower back pain.

Antidepressants prescribed for chronic back pain in cases where pain medications and other methods do not help. Most often, we recommend taking tricyclic antidepressants, e.g. amitriptyline in small doses. These drugs were originally developed to treat depression, but they were effective for the treatment of some types of pain.

Psychotherapy may have an impact on back pain and lower back pain even in cases when other methods are powerless. Back pain is very real, but how you feel about it and how I think about it, may exacerbate or weaken it. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) will help you ease back pain due to the change of attitude to her. Studies show that people who have undergone psychotherapy, less pain. They have the motivation to lead an active lifestyle, regular physical exercises, which in turn reduces the severity of pain.


Surgery is usually indicated only in those cases when all other treatment methods have failed. To surgery is resorted to only when the pain is so strong or constant, depriving of sleep and rest. The type of surgery will depend on the type of pain and its causes.

For example, a herniated spine prescribe a special procedure. Today surgeons can perform surgery through very small incision using microsurgical instruments. Such operations are considered to be less traumatic. Read more about this in the section "Treatment of a herniated disc".

Spinal fusion is a complex and less common operation. The results do not always meet the expectations. For example, after surgery, you still can kind of feel the pain. Fusion leads to a decrease in the mobility of the spine, as in the intervention of several vertebrae causing pain, still bonded to each other by the implantation between the living bone tissue. After healing, the vertebrae are firmly fused, so the movement is no longer infringe on the nerves nearby. This weakens the pain. Before agreeing to the surgery, you should discuss all its risks and benefits with a neurosurgeon.