Low back pain is a clinical symptom of pathological changes in various tissues. At a young age, muscle spasms and overload appear in this way, at a more mature age - osteochondrosis and its complications. In older people, any pain can be considered a sign of compression fracture of the vertebral body in the context of the development of osteoporosis.
The causes and methods of treating low back pain discussed in the article are fact-finding information. It just gives a general idea of what might be going on in your body. But it is not a substitute for expert advice. If you experience any discomfort in your lower back and sacral region, seek medical attention immediately. It is best to make an appointment with a vertebrologist or neurologist. These doctors have the necessary level of professional competence in the treatment of spinal disorders.
For these purposes, we recommend that you choose a manual therapy clinic in your place of residence. Doctors who have extensive practical experience working with patients suffering from pathologies of the spine and other parts of the musculoskeletal system usually work there.
Before starting to treat low back pain at home, it is necessary to establish an accurate diagnosis. The fact is that the pain syndrome can be provoked by a variety of pathological reactions. The most common types of violations are:
- the consequences of a traumatic effect on bone tissues - fractures and cracks of the vertebral bodies and their processes;
- microscopic stretching and tearing of fibers in ligaments, tendons and paravertebral muscles;
- the formation of bruises after soft tissue injury - they put pressure on the nerve fiber;
- inflammation - it may be due to prolapse of the intervertebral hernia, aseptic reaction to trauma, introduction of an infectious agent (for example, with tuberculosis of the spine);
- degenerative dystrophic process of destruction of intervertebral discs;
- ruptures of fibrous disc rings;
- tissue ischemia in the context of disorders in the processes of blood supply and innervation;
- compression (for example, due to instability of the position of the vertebral bodies or their displacement).
The spine is an anatomically complex structure. It consists of the vertebral bodies, intervertebral discs and separating endplates. Around the spine there are longitudinal and transverse ligaments, paravertebral muscles. Within the spinal canal, formed by the vertebral bodies and arcuate processes, is the spinal cord. This is the central structure of the autonomic nervous system, responsible for the functioning of the entire human body. Innervation is carried out due to radicular nerves that extend from the spinal cord through lateral openings in the vertebral bodies.
The intervertebral disc holds the vertebral bodies at a certain distance, which separates them. And thanks to this, there is no compression effect on the radicular nerves and their branches. They do not become inflamed and do not experience ischemia due to impaired blood supply. If in the area of the intervertebral cartilaginous discs there is a decrease in muscle fiber activity, the quality of diffuse nutrition will be drastically reduced. And cartilaginous intervertebral discs do not have blood vessels of their own. This causes a decrease in its height, compression of the nerve fiber and other soft tissues near the spine. Naturally, this process is accompanied by a severe pain syndrome in the lower back.
Next, we will talk about the possible causes of pain - diseases and risk factors for its development.
The main reasons for low back pain
So let's start with the fact that in the lower back there are a lot of big muscles. Some of them are responsible for bipedal locomotion, support the body in an upright position and allow various body movements (tilts, twists, turns, etc. ).
These muscles are made up of myocytes. To which cell fits the nerve ending and its own blood vessel - the capillary. With any violation of innervation or blood supply, muscle performance is drastically reduced. For example, if a person subjected the lower back to excessive physical activity, the muscle fiber had a spasm. In this state, it is unable to conduct nerve impulses and has a compressive effect on capillary blood vessels. There are foci of ischemic reaction and trigger points (sites where incompatible myocyte contraction and relaxation occurs). These conditions can go away on their own. But in most cases, fibromyalgic pain syndrome can persist for several years and requires the help of an experienced chiropractor.
Other potential causes of low back pain include:
- degenerative dystrophic destruction of the cartilaginous fiber of the intervertebral discs (osteochondrosis);
- complications of osteochondrosis in the form of protrusion and extrusion of intervertebral discs, prolapse of a hernia and its sequestration;
- instability of the position of discs and vertebral bodies in relation to each other in the form of weakness or deformity of the ligament and tendon apparatus;
- displacement of vertebral bodies by the type of antelisthesis, retrolisthesis or lateroslisthesis;
- curvature of the spine, violation of posture, including thoracic scoliosis, complicated by twisting and tilting of the pelvic bones;
- spinal canal stenosis, including from dorsal intervertebral hernia prolapse or vertebral body displacement;
- compression fracture of the vertebral body or fissure of its process;
- stretching and tearing of the longitudinal or transverse ligament;
- deforming spondylarthrosis, in which the range of motion in the projection of the intervertebral joint may decrease;
- destruction of the iliac-sacral joints;
- destruction of the joint between the coccyx and the sacrum;
- tumor and infectious pathologies of the tissues of the spinal cord and spine;
- inflammatory processes in the abdominal cavity and pelvic organs;
- piriformis and cauda equina syndrome.
These are just some of the possible causes of lower back pain. Remember that only an experienced physician can make an accurate diagnosis based on an examination and additional clinical tests. Therefore, you should not engage in self-diagnosis and treatment. This can lead to sad consequences for your body.
Be sure to contact an experienced doctor, he will determine the reasons why your lower back hurts and prescribe a treatment that will allow you to restore damaged tissues without harming your health.
What are the symptoms to watch out for?
Each disease that causes lower back pain causes additional symptoms to appear. It is on them that you should pay attention so as not to waste time and get in touch with the specialist who deals with the treatment of such diseases.
So, let's start with the most common. This is osteochondrosis and its consequences. With this disease, in addition to pain, there is stiffness of movement, muscle tension in the lumbar region. Difficulty sitting or standing for a long time. I want to take a forced position. With such manifestations, it is worth making an appointment with a vertebrologist.
If the pain spreads to the lower extremities, radiates to the groin area, the anterior abdominal wall, there is an intestinal disorder, there are areas of numbness in the skin, it is advisable to visit a neurologist. This means that a pinched nerve fiber has occurred. Only a neurologist can determine at what level the nerve has been damaged and how this compression can be quickly and safely eliminated.
Treatment in the case of pain in the back and lower back due to a violation of tissue integrity is carried out by a traumatologist. After restoring tissue integrity, it is necessary to undergo a rehabilitation course with a manual therapist. Therefore, if there was a traumatic effect and after that a pain syndrome appeared, first contact the emergency room.
If you have frequent urination, fever, muscle aches, headaches, contact your local therapist to rule out urinary system pathology. If possible, make an appointment with a nephrologist.
In women, low back pain can be associated with damage to the genitals, so consultation with a gynecologist is necessary. Men are advised to visit an andrologist or urologist. It is also always worth excluding damage to the tissues of the rectum and lower sections of the large intestine.
If you experience back pain in the lower back, an X-ray image of the lumbosacral region is prescribed. In it, the doctor can see indirect signs of osteochondrosis, deforming spondylarthrosis, disc protrusion, etc. An MRI scan is needed to confirm or disprove the diagnosis. According to its conclusion, the doctor can establish the diagnosis of intervertebral hernia, spinal canal stenosis, etc. To exclude pathology of the abdominal cavity and small pelvis, ultrasound and colonoscopy are performed.
Treatment for lower back pain
It is necessary to start the treatment of back pain in the lumbar region by eliminating the negative influence factor. If it is a decrease in the height of the intervertebral disc, it is necessary to stop the compression of the nerve fiber and soft tissues around the spine. The easiest way to achieve this effect is during the manual spinal traction procedure. After the 2nd session, patients feel significant relief from their condition. But that doesn't mean a complete recovery.
To fully restore the damaged cartilage tissue of the intervertebral discs, a full course of treatment must be carried out. It may include the following types of therapeutic effects:
- massage of the muscular structure of the back and lumbar region - allows you to normalize the tone of the muscle fiber, restore its performance, increase capillary blood supply and trophism;
- osteopathy in the treatment of pain in the lumbar region allows to eliminate infiltrative swelling of soft tissues, improving the processes of microcirculation of blood and lymphatic fluid;
- reflexology initiates regeneration processes using the hidden reserves of the human body;
- therapeutic exercises and kinesiotherapy in the treatment of back pain in the lumbar region have a prominent place, they allow you to fully restore the performance of all muscles;
- Physiotherapy is used to increase metabolism at the cellular level.
We recommend treating low back pain in manual therapy clinics. The doctors there have accumulated extensive practical experience in treating these patients. If you have low back pain, in no case do not treat yourself. This is dangerous for your health.