Lower back pain is a common problem that most usually occurs due to strained muscles or tendons in the back. This pain can be severe enough to disrupt your routine as it can prevent you from bending forward, sitting, or lying in a posture you generally feel comfortable. In most cases, this pain can be relieved with physical therapy, rest, and medication.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is Lower Back Pain?
- 2 What are the causes of back pain?
- 3 How Do I Know If My Lower Back Pain Is Severe?
- 4 Diagnosis
- 5 What are the Treatments For Lower Back Pain?
- 6 Lower Back Pain FAQs
- 7 Request an Appointment
What is Lower Back Pain?
Lower back pain is an uncomfortable condition affecting the back area below the rib case, also called the lumbar area. This pain usually occurs as a result of injuries and health conditions. In most cases, this pain is caused by injured muscles or tendons in the back. But sometimes, it can be due to issues with facet joints or other lumbar spine structures. And in rare cases, this pain is due to tumors or infections.
Lower back pain may range from mild to severe, making routine activities like working, walking, and sleeping difficult or even impossible.
What are the causes of back pain?
Lower back pain is generally associated with injured muscles, discs, ligaments, and joints supporting your spine. Your doctor will prescribe some lab tests or imaging to identify the root cause of the pain.
Health conditions commonly associated with lower back pain include:
- Overstrained muscles
- Herniated disc
- Degenerated disc
Additionally, some factors that put you at a higher risk of developing lower back pain are:
- Lethargic lifestyle: lack of exercise or other physical movements
- Poor overall health
- Excess body weight
- Lifting weights using your back instead of legs
- Physiological conditions
- Psychological conditions
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
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 analyze your muscle strength and look for abnormalities associated with back 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.
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 analyzing 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.
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.
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.
Lower Back Pain FAQs
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 causes lower back pain in females?
The most typical reasons for lower back pain in females include:
Pregnancy and childbirth
More specifically, conditions that cause lower back pain in women are:
Sacroiliac joint dysfunction
Coccydynia (pain in the tailbone)
Spinal osteoporosis fracture
What is the fastest way to relieve back pain?
One of the fastest ways to relieve back pain is to engage in physical movements like walking, swimming, and yoga. In some cases, however, exercising or physical movements may not deliver the benefit you expect. You may need medications or clinical treatments to reduce the pain in such cases.
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.
Check Out Our Specialists Profiles
Aziza ZubeidiComplementary and Alternative Medicine Practitioner Osteopathy
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.Read more