Back Pain Problem
80% of adults will experience significant low back pain sometime during their lifetime. Low back pain usually involves muscle spasm of the supportive muscles along the spine. Also, pain, numbness and tingling in the buttocks or lower extremity can be related to the back.
Low back pain can also be the result of certain diseases, such as:
- Cancer of the spinal cord
- A ruptured or herniated disc
- Kidney infections
- Infections of the spine
Acute back pain can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, while chronic back pain is pain that lasts longer than three months.
Cause of Back Pain
Anyone can develop back pain, even children and teens. These factors might put you at greater risk of developing back pain:
- Back pain is more common as you get older, starting around age 30 or 40.
- Lack of exercise.
- Weak, unused muscles in your back and abdomen might lead to back pain.
- Excess weight.
- Excess body weight puts extra stress on your back.
- Some types of arthritis and cancer can contribute to back pain.
- Improper lifting.
- Using your back instead of your legs can lead to back pain.
- Psychological conditions.
- People prone to depression and anxiety appear to have a greater risk of back pain.
- Smokers have increased rates of back pain. This may occur because smoking prompts more coughing, which can lead to herniated disks. Smoking can also decrease blood flow to the spine and increase the risk of osteoporosis.
Symptoms of Back Pain
Back pain can have many symptoms, including:
- Dull aching sensation in the lower back.
- Stabbing or shooting pain that can
- Radiate down the leg to the foot.
- Inability to stand up straight without pain.
- Decreased range of motion and diminished ability to flex the back.
The symptoms of back pain, if due to strain or misuse, are usually short-lived but can last for days or weeks.
Back pain is chronic when symptoms have been present for longer than three months.
When to See a Doctor
Most episodes of back pain last a few days and have completely resolved within a few weeks. If you have new back pain, you should contact your doctor to see if you need further evaluation. There are also a few warning signs that may indicate a problem that needs immediate evaluation:
- Your back pain persists beyond a few days
- Your back pain awakens you at night
- You have difficulty controlling your bowels or bladder
- You have a fever, chills, sweats, or other signs of infection
- Any other unusual symptoms
Back Pain and Pregnancy
Back pain during each trimester of pregnancy is common. This is due to:
- Shifting of the centre of gravity: as baby grow, body’s centre of gravity moves forward and putting extra pressure on lower back.
- Weight gain: gaining weight during 9 months of pregnancy may put stress on the back.
- Hormonal changes.
How Physiotherapist Can Help?
- Strengthening or stretching exercise: to improve muscle flexibility, strengthen back and abdominal muscles.
- Education on proper lifting technique: to prevent or avoid re-injury of the back.
- Postural education: to provide awareness and avoid flaring pain symptoms while continuing to be active.