Back pain is one of the common reasons that affect our everyday activities. It is the reason why many patients visit doctors frequently. It is one of the leading causes that result in disability. Lumbar pain is the type of intense pain that starts below the ribcage in the lower back region. Most of us do experience lumbar pain once in our lifetime due to different reasons. Lumbar pain can be prevented with certain measures that can help an individual to avoid it. Various home remedies relieve our lumbar pain and heal us within a few weeks.
We rarely need surgery for treating lumbar pain but in severe conditions, it is the only treatment option that relieves the symptoms. Let’s have a look at the symptoms, causes and treatment options for relieving lumbar pain:
SYMPTOMS ASSOCIATED WITH LUMBAR PAIN:
The most commonly faced symptoms linked with lumbar pain include the following:
- Stabbing or shooting pain
- Difficulty in standing or sitting posture
- Radiating pain that moves towards the legs
- Pain which improves on reclining
- Pain that gets worse during different postures like walking, bending, lifting, standing or sitting for several hours
- Muscles aches
- Bladder or bowel issues during the severe condition
- Tingling sensation
- Unexplained weight loss
CAUSES AND RISK FACTORS LEADING TO LUMBAR PAIN:
There are several causes linked with lumbar pain which include the following:
Most of the back pain is sudden and they usually wear off after 6 weeks. This type of back pain is usually acute which occurs due to heavy lifting or falls. This type of pain might be chronic if it’s lasting for three months or more. The common conditions which result in back pain include the following:
- Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints. Osteoarthritis commonly affects the lower back resulting in a spinal stenosis. Spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the spinal space surrounding the spinal cord.
- Vertebral discs cushion the vertebrae within the spine. The soft material lining the discs can either rupture or press over the nearby sciatic nerves. The ruptured or bulging discs of the spine are usually found over the X-rays. The condition where bulging of the ruptured disc occurs is known as sciatica where you experience pain running down from the buttocks towards the legs.
- The skeletal irregularities like the curvature of the spine i.e. scoliosis, lordosis, kyphosis can also result in back pain.
- Osteoporosis can result in compression fractures of the spinal vertebrae.
- Sudden awkward postures or heavy lifting can result in strain over the ligaments or muscles. The constant strain over the back muscles can lead to muscle spasm if you are already suffering from a physical condition. These muscle strain also occur due to daily activities, like carrying an overloaded bag, commuting at large distances, improper posture at a job along with others.
- The risk factors that result in lumbar pain include excessive weight, sedentary lifestyle, increased age, certain diseases like arthritis, improper posture while lifting, psychological conditions like depression or anxiety, smoking which results in reduced blood flow towards the lower spine leading to reduced amount of nutrients towards the spinal discs and ultimately slows the healing process.
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Before looking into the treatment, have a look at the preventive measures to keep your back strong and healthy:
Perform low-impact exercises that don’t strain much over the back muscles. The performance of exercises enhances the endurance and strength of the back with overall better functioning. The abdominal and back muscles strengthen the core with improved muscle functioning. These muscles help in the alignment of the back and relieve the symptoms of the back pain. Try maintaining your weight to prevent back pain.
Avoid any awkward postures, stand, sit and walk smartly. Different diagnostic tests will help in identifying the back pain which includes X-ray, MRI, CT scan, bone scan, blood tests, EMG test for measuring nerve impulses and many more.
TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR LUMBAR PAIN:
Acute pain resolves within a few weeks with home remedies. Back pain varies from one person to another so treatment options also vary accordingly. There are different treatment options like:
Over-the-counter medicines such as NSAIDs, muscle relaxants, topical ointments for treating back pain, opioids like hydrocodone and oxycodone, antidepressants like amitriptyline, cortisone injections and many others.
- Education regarding the importance of back pain which emphasizes your activity level, reduction of stress and others.
- Physical therapy also helps in treating the lumbar pain where it enhances flexibility, strengthens the back muscles and improves posture.
- Chiropractic care where the chiropractor manipulates the spine to relieve painful symptoms.
- Acupuncture where sterilized stainless steel needles are inserted at specific points within the skin which helps in relieving back pain.
- TENS or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation delivers certain electrical impulses over the affected area which aids in relieving the back pain.
- Massage and yoga where different poses, relaxation techniques, and breathing exercises strengthen the back muscles and relieve your back pain.
The latest technology that helps in relieving back pain includes Laser technology. BioFlex lasers are a non-invasive procedure that utilizes photobiomodulation for relieving back pain. This light-based treatment option is highly effective in treating several medical conditions including lumbar pain. It is a non-toxic and non-thermal procedure that heals the damaged tissues within a few sessions of the therapy. This painless procedure restores the normal functioning of the back without any need for external medications.
BioFlex lasers are a perfect alternative therapy for patients who do not respond to conventional therapy options. The use of laser technology eliminates painful sensation, reduces inflammation and accelerates the healing process. The photon particles absorb within the cells and initiate the cascade of physiologic reactions that ultimately restores the normal functioning capability of the body. The use of lasers enhances the release of endorphins which acts as natural analgesics. It enhances the immune response, results in angiogenesis which leads to increased oxygenation and blood supply to the affected tissues, these effects, in turn, relieve the lumbar pain.
So, if you are suffering from mild lumbar pain, then try home care that includes RICE protocol where you need to rest, ice, compress and elevate during 48-72 hrs. If the lumbar pain is severe, then visit the doctor for any of the appropriate options mentioned above as advised by the doctor.