Back pain and lower back
Diseases Of The Spine / / April 27, 2016
Back pain and lower back video
For most people, is completely normal at least once in a lifetime experience back pain or lower back.Despite the fact that pain may occur in any part of the back, the most common is the lower part.This is due to the fact that it accounts for the bulk of our body.
Lumbar pain can be of different nature - aching (occurring after prolonged sitting) or sharp shooting pains.They can also occur in tingling or burning sensation, weakness in the legs.
The most common back pain are the result of careless movement, long-term operation in a standing or sitting position, and, of course, is too intense and heavy physical exertion.
Back pain is usually defined as either acute (short-term, which came suddenly) or as a chronic (aching, growing gradually).
Acute pain usually lasts for less than 1 month.Often, the pain goes away, even for 1 week without any medical intervention.But this pain is characterized by the re-emergence after some period of time.
Chronic pain lasts for
Next we will talk about specific actions you can take to get rid of a continuous chronic and acute pain.
Before proceeding directly to an explanation of the causes of back pain, we would like to introduce you in detail to the structure of the spine, to talk about the nerves and muscles that surround it.This will allow you to better understand the big picture.
Spine The spine is a column of small bones called vertebrae that run down the middle of the back.Vertebrae support body and the upper body and protect nerves that connect the brain to the rest of your body.This bundle of nerves called the spinal cord.The vertebrae are grouped into different sections:
- Cervical spine: consists of 7 vertebrae, serves to support the neck;
- Thoracic spine: consists of 12 vertebrae, which are attached to the bodies of the ribs.Thoracic vertebrae and ribs form the chest;
- The lumbar spine: consists of 5 vertebrae of the largest, as they are responsible for the greatest burden;
- sacral spine: consists of 5 vertebrae.
- Coccyx: located at the end and is a bone of 4-5 fused tiny coccygeal vertebrae.
at the lumbar part of the accounts for the majority of your body weight, than any other.It is not surprising that this area (lower back) are most prone to injury.For convenience, in medical terminology, each vertebra is indicated by a specific letter and a digit: «L» - so to refer to the cervical vertebrae using the Latin letter "C", to refer to infants - "of Th" for lumbar.A number denotes vertebral number in that department.For example, C4 is the fourth vertebra in the cervical region (following the bone from top to bottom), and Th8 is the eighth thoracic vertebra.
between two adjacent vertebrae is flat round gasket, called intervertebral discs.
discs not only reduce the load on the spine, but also allow him to move.
outer part of the disk is called the annulus, and is a fibrous cartilage that can shrink and expand.
inner part of the disc - the nucleus pulposus - is a jelly-like substance, which contains a lot of water.
vertebrae and disks are surrounded by many muscles.They are cutting or straining to produce some work, which takes place at weight lifting, walking, running, standing, and others. They are often referred to as soft cloth, since they are not rigid as bone.
to the muscles of the body include the muscles of the back, chest and abdomen.When these muscles are well developed, they help to reduce the stress on the lower back.
Causes of back pain and lower back
back pain in many people associated with banal overexertion of muscles or back problems.However, there are many other factors that can cause back pain.
You may feel pain in the back just after lifting heavy objects, move suddenly or after an injury resulting from a fall or a car accident.
But often it happens that the specific cause of back pain is simply impossible to determine.And this fact can be considered as good news, because when the specific cause of the pain is easy to determine, it means that the problem can be much more serious.
There are several possible sources of pain.The most common are:
- muscle tension;
- break or a herniated disc;
- disc degeneration (osteoarthritis);
- muscle spasm (involuntary muscle contractions, accompanied by sharp pain);
- stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal);
- small fractures of the spine from osteoporosis;
- other systemic diseases (in these cases, back pain is often associated with other symptoms such as prolonged morning stiffness).
Degeneration of disc herniation and rupture
intervertebral discs over the years are deformed and become thinner, resulting in limited mobility the entire spinal column and some of its departments.This process is similar to arthritis (joint disease) in the body.Along with vertebral changes occur weakening the muscles weaken and lose their elasticity tendons and ligaments.
With strong weakening there is a rupture of the fibrous ring of the intervertebral disc, resulting in part of the nucleus pulposus pressure comes out and forms a protrusion in the spine.This is called a hernia.
According to the degree of manifestation (the size of) the following types of hernias:
- prolapse - a hernia protrudes 2-3 mm;
- protrusion - protrusion of the hernia from 4-5 to 15 mm;
- extrusion - the nucleus of the intervertebral disc prolapse abroad (drooping of drops)
strains and sprains, injuries
Muscles and ligaments are important structural components, providing support and strengthen the back.They are located along the spine.Excessive overexertion any of the muscles or ligaments can also cause back pain.
stenosis is a chronic process characterized by an abnormal narrowing of the central spinal canal, lateral pocket or intervertebral foramen, tap, cartilage and soft tissue structures, with the invasion of the spaces occupied by the nerve roots and spinal cord.Most often the disease is seen in people over 60 years.The most common symptom of spinal canal stenosis of the lumbar spine is a pain in the back and in the legs, worse, or when walking.After a short rest, these symptoms usually disappear.The relief is marked and the patient is tilted forward ( "supermarket trolley" sign).
This symptom is called neurogenic claudication, by analogy with intermittent claudication vascular diseases of the lower extremities.
cauda equina syndrome
In the lower part of the spine, there is a set of nerve endings of the spinal cord, sometimes called the "tail".When pinching of nerves affected may lose control of the bladder and bowel.This is called the cauda equina syndrome.Other symptoms of this condition are:
- Dull pain in the back;
- Weakness or numbness in the buttocks, genital area or thighs;
- Inability to control urination or defecation.
addition to the above, there are many other causes of back pain.Many of them are rare, but all the same, and they should pay attention.Here are some of these reasons:
- Offset vertebrae - spondylolisthesis (displacement of a vertebra forward with respect to the underlying vertebra);
- inherited abnormalities of the spine;
- The defeat of the intervertebral disc, spondylitis, osteoporosis, osteomalacia.
Risk factors for back pain and lower back
Back pain - a consequence.And the reasons for its occurrence and development of several:
- Age. After 30 years of the intervertebral discs become thinner.This can cause them a hernia.Furthermore, these wheels are dewatered, thereby increasing the risk of spinal canal stenosis.
- genes. Some structural damage in the spine - this is a consequence of genetic predisposition to diseases of the musculoskeletal system.Such diseases may suffer in the family, parents, the same disease is inherited and to the next generation, has reached a certain age.
- low threshold of pain sensitivity . Sometimes a person, having a pronounced bulge spinal discs, does not feel pain or discomfort.
- Arthritis .If arthritis comes with age, this is one of its varieties - osteoarthritis.It affects the joints and lower spine.Another type of arthritis - rheumatoid.
«Field" its activity - the neck, at least - the lower back and spine.
- Depression, stress . trouble at home or at work can also cause long-term back pain.Moreover, stress and depression, as a rule, lower pain threshold is not allowed time to pay attention to developing a disease.
- Pregnancy. The changes that occur in women during gestation, are directly related to the spine, to the back: the weight is redistribution, almost always accompanied by low back pain.Transforms your pelvis - it is preparing for a focused relaxation during labor, to the maximum "bandwidth" of the child's head.But pelvic bones return to its original position, ie,before pregnancy may last from several weeks to several months.
- Osteoporosis . With age, decreased bone density - osteoporosis.Very often from this disease affects women after menopause.As a consequence of osteoporosis - thinning of bone fractures are not uncommon, even tiny cracks in the spine causing severe pain in the back.Perhaps more painful disease caused by a loss of bone strength - the destruction of the spine.
- occupational diseases . If the work involves heavy lifting, constant voltage, long uncomfortable (bent) position or vibration, which is typical for truckers, drillers, etc., there is a high probability of disease spokes and waist.
- Sedentary lifestyle or lack of exercise. It can also cause disease of the spine and lower back.We must be especially careful if a person is not engaged in physical labor, we have to bear, for example, the furniture, clean the yard of snow or dig the garden: no habits and exercise back pain is assured.
- Overweight .Every extra kilogram of body weight - unhealthy extra load on the spine.
- Smoking. Nicotine adversely affecting blood circulation causes diseases of the back and waist, not to mention the health risks that it brings with it.
Diagnosis of back pain and lower back
testing physical condition. Physical examination is required the doctor to determine the location of the pain, to find out how it affects the movement.
He will ask you to take a sitting or standing position, ask to go on the toes and then on your heels, standing demonstrate tilts forward, backward, sideways.You'll have to, lying down, raise your feet up.If the pain increase, may have a sciatica, especially when petrification or tingling in one of the legs.At the time of diagnosis will have to move your feet, being in different positions by bending and straightening the knees.All this is necessary to determine your ability to move.
nerve function and your doctor will determine the reflexes with a rubber hammer, tingling pins in certain places.Through a cotton swab or pen, he will find out the status of your sensory nervous system, ie,the ability to sense touch.In this case the doctor wants to hear from you, what you feel in such diagnostic procedures.
On the basis of medical history, the doctor will make recommendations that must be followed for back pain and lower back.As a rule, 4-6 weeks it will pass.If the pain still bothers you, namely, lasts more than a month does not pass numbness, muscle weakness, fever, you're over 65, you had a back injury, immediate family suffered from cancer, there is weight loss, then the doctor prescribes a deeperdiagnostics to identify tumors, infection, nervous system disorders, etc.And here is the question of how to have examined a specialist physiotherapist.
In addition, you will have to take a test at the orthopedist and neurologist.
exception of certain diseases. In assessing the state of the patient is very important to check for the following conditions, because any of these problems can be the cause of your back pain:
- infection (eg, meningitis, abscess, or urinary tract infection);
- Kidney stones or other kidney disorders;
- Men have problems with the testicles or scrotum.
To diagnose the causes of back pain or lumbar spine modern medicine successfully uses visualization techniques back structure of the spine, evaluating the electrical activity of muscles and nerves.These studies make it possible to accurately determine the location and source of your pain.
Roentgen. X-rays can diagnose a back injury, infection, fractures, osteopenia (loss of bone density), or tumor.If the X-ray examination results do not give a complete idea about the cause of pain may require the appointment of CT or MRI.
CT and MRI of the spine. Computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can be used to identify anomalies disks and any other problems in the back.
MRI is more accurate study of the soft tissue, while CT is best given to the bones and small joints.MRI provides a very clear picture of all parts of the back, including the muscles, ligaments and vertebrae.These tests can also determine the infection and tumor, if present.
MRI of the lumbar prescribed if the following signs or symptoms:
- Local temperature rise in the back or the affected area;
- Pain in the legs, which increases or does not get better despite treatment;
- Back pain
- Weakness, numbness
- Unusual findings of physical examination
- fever or other signs of
infections - Injuries
- Injuries bottom of
spine - Problems with bowel and bladder function
CT and MRI of the nerves and muscles. On the basis of the personal descriptions of back pain, physical examination, or the results of any investigations carried out visual, your doctor may prescribe study to test the back muscles and spinal nerves.
nerve conduction studies assigned more frequently than muscle testing.Nerve Conduction Tests carried out by placing electrodes on the skin and applying a small electrical pulses, then measured the rate at which the signal is carried nerves.
tests. Blood and urine tests may be necessary to avoid infection, arthritis or other diseases.
First aid for back pain and spine
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