Lower Back Pain

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What is Lower Back Pain? 

Lower back pain is a common musculoskeletal complaint that affects the lumbar region of the spine. The lumbar region supports much of the weight of the upper body, making it susceptible to injury and strain. This type of pain can vary in intensity, duration, and cause. It may be acute (lasting a few days to weeks) or chronic (lasting more than three months). 

What are the Causes of Lower Back Pain? 

There are numerous causes of lower back pain, with the prominent ones including:

  • Heavy lifting or a sudden awkward movement can strain back muscles and spinal ligaments. 
  • Sometimes, the disks between the vertebrates can bulge or rupture and press on a nerve, leading to pain. 
  • Arthritis and Osteoarthritis can affect the lower back.
  • Conditions like scoliosis fall in the category of skeletal irregularities and can cause pain in the lower back. 
  • Osteoporosis is a medical condition in which the bones become brittle and porous. This can affect the lower back. 

Lower Back Pain Risk Factors

There are some risk factors that can make you prone to lower back pain. The factors include:

  • Improper lifting techniques of heavy weights.
  • The risk of developing lower back pain increases as people age, particularly after the age of 30 or 40, due to factors like decreased bone strength and muscle elasticity.
  • Excess body weight can put extra stress on the back and contribute to lower back pain.
  • Poor Physical Fitness
  • Pregnant women often experience lower back pain due to the extra weight and shift in the body’s centre of gravity.
  • Jobs that require heavy lifting, pushing, or pulling, particularly when it involves twisting or vibrating the spine, can lead to injury and back pain.
  • Stress, anxiety, and mood disorders can affect the perception of pain and contribute to chronic back pain.
  • There’s a hereditary aspect to some types of spine disorders, like degenerative disc disease.
  • Poor posture while sitting, standing, and sleeping, and poor ergonomic practices can contribute to back pain.

How Do I Know If My Lower Back Pain Is Severe?

The following factors can help you know if your lower back pain is severe:

  • A sudden rise in the pain, numbness, or weakness
  • High fever
  • Unexplained reduction of the bladder function
  • Weight loss
  • Severe pain in the stomach
  • Back pain occurring after a powerful blow or high fall

How to Diagnose Back Pain?

  • Your lower back pain diagnosis may begin with a thorough medical history analysis. Your doctor will also perform some physical examinations to locate the origin of the pain. During this physical checkup, they will analyse your muscle strength and look for abnormalities associated with back pain.
  • Your doctor may ask for a fresh CT scan, MRI, ENMG, or x-ray to examine the current condition of your back and understand the underlying cause of pain. 
  •  The diagnosis procedure also involves a detailed examination of your responses to certain sensations. Through this exam, your doctor will rule out the possibility of nerve damage.
  • The doctor usually monitors the condition for a few weeks unless the symptoms are too debilitating to require immediate intervention. In most cases, the lower back pain resolves with self-care.

What are the Treatments For Lower Back Pain?

The treatment of your lower back pain will depend on the diagnosis. In general, three treatment options are available to treat lower back pain.

Medication:

You may be prescribed specific pain medications or advised to use over-the-counter drugs to manage your lower back pain. Here is a list of the standard options.

Acetaminophen (Tylenol):

Tylenol is a prescription drug your physician may recommend after analysing your back pain. This drug stops the pain process and has a gentler impact on the stomach than other medicines. However, it doesn’t stop the inflammation that caused the pain.

NSAIDs:

Medications like Aspirin, Ibuprofen, and Motrin are anti-inflammatory drugs that help fight swelling and pain. These are over-the-counter drugs that you can buy without a prescription.

Muscle relaxants:

Muscle relaxants are prescription drugs used to ease muscle spasms. The most commonly used muscle relaxants for lower back pain are Metaxalone, Cyclobenzaprine, and Tizanidine.

Antidepressants:

These medicines may help relieve neuropathic pain. However, you won’t probably experience immediate results with this medication. In most cases, these drugs provide only moderate pain relief. The most common antidepressant drugs include Clomipramine, Desipramine, Doxepin, Amitriptyline, and Pamelor.

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Physiotherapy for Back Pain

Physiotherapy is a conservative method usually prescribed before considering more aggressive treatment options, including surgery. The primary goals of physiotherapy are to relieve pain, improve function, and help the patient learn maintenance techniques to prevent back pain in the future.

Here are the most common types of physiotherapy for back pain:

Passive physical therapy: This form of physical therapy mainly includes electrical stimulation and the application of ice or heat packs. For example, you may apply a heating pad to the affected area before exercising or stretching and an ice pack after your workout for a soothing effect.

Active physical therapy: This therapy involves particular exercises and stretches to engage specific back muscles to help relieve pain.

Surgery

Your doctor will prescribe the surgical option if your back pain doesn’t improve with non-surgical methods. However, it is almost always the patient’s call whether or not to have surgery. The most common surgeries to resolve back pain are Lumbar Microdiscectomy and Lumbar Laminectomy.

Can Back Pain be Cured Permanently?

Yes, back pain can be cured permanently provided you get suitable treatment. Your doctor will use some diagnostic measures to determine the reason behind your pain and prescribe the treatment based on that diagnosis.

Is Walking Good for Lower Back Pain?

Yes, a simple walk can help relieve chronic back pain significantly. It is generally advised to have a daily walk of 10-15 minutes as it has been found to help ease lower back pain. You can switch to a more vigorous physical activity when you feel your body can handle such movements.

What Treatment is Best for Lower Back Pain?

The best treatment for lower back pain will be recommended by your doctor after a thorough and detailed examination of your back. Therefore, it is advisable not to try treatment on your own and instead consult a specialist and qualified doctor. 

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Which Doctor is Better for Lower Back Pain?

An orthopedist, who specialises in the musculoskeletal system, is often recommended for lower back pain issues. This system includes bones, muscles, and connective tissues. 

Who Best Treats Lower Back Pain?

Qualified physiotherapists, orthopedists, or orthopaedic specialists are considered the right doctors for treating back pain, but it all depends on the cause of your pain. If the issue is related to physiotherapy, an orthopaedic specialist may not be able to address it, and the same applies to physiotherapists

How do I Know if My Lower Back Pain is Serious?

If your lower back pain persists for more than two weeks, it’s time to see a doctor. Persistent pain is not a mild or temporary issue, but a serious one that requires proper diagnosis

Request an Appointment

Does your back pain affect your quality of life by limiting your body movements? You can book a consultation at Euromed Clinic Dubai, where our highly experienced physicians will diagnose your condition accurately to prescribe the most suitable treatment option. You can book this consultation by filling out the form below.

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Check Out Our Specialists Profiles

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    Aziza Zubeidi

    Osteopathy Practitioner

    Aziza Zebeidi is an osteopath with over 17 years of experience. She has served at some prestigious clinics in the public and private sectors. Recently, she has started incorporating capnometry in her treatments, elevating patients’ experience.

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