Low back pain of an episodic or constant nature often indicates that an inflammatory or degenerative-dystrophic disease is gradually forming in the body. Early diagnosis of this disease can increase the chances of a full recovery. Pain in the lumbosacral region of the spine may indicate osteochondrosis, hernia, bumps, infection, or problems with internal organs.
Why does my lower back hurt?
If a person complains of painful manifestations in the lumbar spine, initially the doctor expresses suspicions about the patient's problems with the musculoskeletal system. And only after excluding such diseases, a full examination is carried out to assess the condition of the internal organs.
This is because there is a general innervation of the lumbar vertebrae and intervertebral discs with the trunks of the nervous tissue. For this reason, the appearance of pain, for example, in the digestive organs, can occur only in the lumbar region. Let us know in detail some of the causes of low back pain.
It is a relatively natural source of back pain. With hard physical work or active sports training, muscle tissue is exposed to excessive stress. It accumulates lactic acid, which irritates the tissues of the skeletal muscles. As a result, in addition to pain, a person notices the appearance of a strong enough burning sensation. Any discomfort disappears after a short rest, as lactic acid is excreted from the muscles.
In case of low back pain every time during exercise, if its intensity remains unchanged for a couple of hours, you should consult a doctor. Excessive training, lifting heavy objects often provoke the appearance of microtraumas on the discs and vertebrae, the formation of diseases of a degenerative-dystrophic nature.
Osteochondrosis and intervertebral hernia
Stage I, II, and III lumbar osteochondrosis is the leading cause of back pain. At an early stage, the patient is concerned about a little discomfort, which indicates a slight destruction in the intervertebral discs.
In the event that the patient in this period turns to a neurologist for help, a complete cure of the disease is possible, as well as partial restoration of destroyed tissues. Sharp and severe pain that increases when bending or twisting the trunk indicates serious damage to the structure of the spine.
Against the background of a radiological grade II or III osteochondrosis, the formation of hernias or protrusions is often observed. Due to this, a shooting pain appears, and it is also possible to develop serious complications - radicular syndrome, discogenic myelopathy.
Discomfort in the lumbar spine often bothers women who have been diagnosed with adnexitis, an inflammation that simultaneously affects the ovaries and fallopian tubes (uterine appendages). In addition to the pain syndrome, patients note the appearance of discharge from the genitals, the appearance of problems with conception and irregularities in the menstrual cycle.
Similar symptoms are observed with inflammation of the uterine appendages, the formation of a cyst in the ovaries, and the formation of polyps in the uterus.
Since the kidneys are located directly next to the lumbar region, when their functionality decreases, a person may feel pain in the lower back. The fact that these bean-shaped paired organs are affected is indicated by a violation of urinary function, the appearance of purulent or bloody impurities in the urine, and an aggravation of well-being in general.
Pain in the lumbar spine is often worrisome in the presence of such diseases: cystitis (including hemorrhagic), glomerunonephritis, pyelonephritis, acute and chronic renal failure.
Carrying a baby
This is one of the natural factors that leads to uncomfortable manifestations in the lumbar spine. When a woman gives birth to a future baby, the uterus and fetus increase in size, thus violating the nerve receptors located below.
During the last trimester, the body of the future mother begins to produce a special hormone - relaxin. This leads to the relaxation of the ligaments, tendons, to facilitate the passage of the fetus through the birth canal. Because of this, the intensity of the pain can increase dramatically.
This is a common gynecological disease, against the background of which the internal uterine tissue grows beyond its limits. Endometrioid tissue has a higher sensitivity to hormones synthesized by the body, for this reason, endometriosis manifests as monthly bleeding. Due to this, inflammation develops, one of the signs of which is pain syndrome, radiating to the lumbosacral region of the spine.
Painful manifestations of a pulling nature of moderate severity appear in half of women before menstruation or during bleeding. This pain is quite natural and goes away immediately after your period ends. Discomfort can also be felt in the lower back.
The pathological etiology of low back pain during menstruation is indicated by the presence of dyspeptic disorders, diarrhea or constipation, frequent headaches and dizziness. In a similar situation, a woman may be diagnosed with menorrhea or menstrual dysfunction.
The spine in women with large breasts is heavily loaded. If the mammary glands are not distributed correctly, the risk of the formation of degenerative-destructive processes increases. Women with large breasts often sag, which contributes to the deterioration of the spine.
Painful sensations in the lumbar spine that appear at the end of a workday is a common condition for women who walk in tight high-heeled shoes. This leads to an infringement of blood vessels, disturbances in blood circulation in the lower extremities and pelvic organs. As a result, the nutrition of the intervertebral discs in the lumbar region worsens, due to which they are destroyed. The situation worsens due to increased stress on the spine.
During the period of menopause in the female body, there is a decrease in the production of estrogens involved in the regulation of recovery processes in the musculoskeletal system. The bone structure loses the ability to fully assimilate the trace elements necessary for its restoration. It becomes brittle, which can lead to frequent fractures. Painful manifestations in the lumbar spine during menopause may indicate bone resorption, the formation of osteoporosis.
Being overweight is one of the causes of lumbosacral osteochondrosis. Excess weight increases the load on the intervertebral discs, leading to an increased risk of microtrauma with increased destruction of vertebral tissues.
An overweight person generally does not eat well. Their diet is rich in high-calorie foods, and fresh vegetables and fruits that contain trace elements and essential vitamins are not consumed in sufficient quantities. With increased loads in combination with the lack of useful substances, there is a tendency to form osteochondrosis of the lumbar region.
Changes in the genetic structure of cells lead to a violation of the regulation of their growth and reproduction. As a result, there is a pathological proliferation of tissue, the formation of a tumor of a benign or malignant nature.
Pain in the lumbar spine can manifest itself against the background of a tumor infringement of sensitive nerve receptors, the spine, soft tissues and the circulatory system. Calcium is absorbed in large amounts by the neoplasm, so a deficiency of this substance develops in bone tissue, leading to thinning of the bones.
Skeletal muscles in the lumbosacral region often become inflamed due to the influence of low temperatures. This becomes the reason for the formation of myositis, a disease that manifests itself as a local pain syndrome in damaged muscles. Its intensity increases significantly during movement and palpation. Against the background of the inflammatory process, there is an increase in muscle tone, which makes the lower back less mobile.
Varieties of pain
An initial diagnosis can be made based on a detailed description of the disturbing symptomatology. With each disease, pain manifests itself with a different severity, frequency, and condition that precedes its onset.
This pain syndrome is typical of stages II and III of lumbar osteochondrosis. At this stage, significant destruction occurred in the intervertebral discs and their depreciation characteristics were lost. They cannot smooth the load during movement, which makes the spinal structure unstable.
This leads to compression of the soft tissues. Severe pain begins to bother even in a still state, growing against the background of bends and turns, loud laughter, coughing and sneezing. In addition, there is a feeling of "goose bumps" and weakness in the muscles.
The reason for the appearance of acute pain syndrome is compression of the receptors in the spinal canal by osteophytes or discs. This is typical for a lumbago attack, which often manifests itself in rheumatic diseases, lumbosacral osteochondrosis, radiculopathies.
Painful sensations are so pronounced, stabbing, and burning that the patient cannot move. Often a person is unable to straighten their back due to fear that pain will appear.
It's a dull pain
Pain in the lumbar spine of a dull, aching and pressing character is characteristic of diseases of the internal systems, including the genitourinary and reproductive organs. Such discomfort may indicate the development of osteochondrosis, spondyloarthrosis, spondyloarthritis.
The pain is not localized, but can radiate to the hips, buttocks, and ankles. Pain is often evidence of a destructive process in the spine or inflammation in the internal system.
Pain of a constant nature in the lower back indicates the transformation of the disease into chronic. It is sharp, strong during relapse, and radiates to nearby areas of the body. During the period of remission, slight discomfort appears during hypothermia, physical exertion, exacerbation of other diseases, acute respiratory viral infections.
Pain syndrome increases against the background of bending, twisting the torso, climbing stairs, and walking for a long time.
The disease is diagnosed based on the patient's complaints, his visual examination, anamnestic data, the results of instrumental and laboratory diagnostics. The most informative in identifying problems with the musculoskeletal system is the X-ray examination. In the resulting image, you can see the altered vertebrae, formed osteophytes (bone formations).
If the doctor suspects the development of a hernia, lumps, diseases of the internal systems, ultrasound, MRI and CT scan are prescribed. Thanks to these diagnostic methods, it is possible to find out where the disease is located, to assess the degree of progression of inflammation.
A clinical study of blood and urine is mandatory. If there is a suspicion of the presence of a systemic disease (gout, rheumatoid arthritis), a biochemical and serological study is performed.
Which doctor to contact
Back pain often appears after injury: subluxation of the vertebrae, severe bruising, injuries to the spinal canal. In such a situation, you will need the help of a traumatologist.
You can also see a therapist. Such a doctor can diagnose diseases of the spine, internal systems. After reviewing the diagnostic results, you will determine which limited specialist consultation (rheumatologist, neuropathologist, or orthopedist) is necessary to prescribe additional treatment.
If there is severe acute pain, the victim should be placed on a hard surface in a position where the discomfort is less pronounced. You can lie down with your knees slightly bent and place a rolled blanket under them. To quickly relieve pain, you can take any non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug.
Pain relievers can help eliminate back pain. Its effect will not last long if you do not properly treat the underlying disease. Some pathologies of the internal systems are well treated, including oncology. But the complete restoration of destroyed intervertebral discs and deformed vertebrae against the background of osteochondrosis is impossible. The goal of therapy is to achieve a stable remission, during which the pain in the lumbar spine does not bother.
First of all, for back pain, the intake of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in the form of tablets or capsules is prescribed.
In case of oncological diseases, they resort to the help of narcotic painkillers. If pain occurs due to spasm of skeletal muscles, muscle relaxants are indicated.
In the treatment of diseases of internal systems, painkillers are also prescribed.
Treatment with ointments and gels.
Ointments and gels are used to relieve mild to moderate discomfort in the lower back. Medicines for external use are also included in therapeutic regimens to reduce the dose of injectable and tablet drugs, to reduce the pharmacological load on the body.
For back pain, the use of external agents from the following groups can be prescribed:
- NSAIDs: have anti-inflammatory, analgesic and decongestant effects.
- Hot gels and ointments: have an analgesic, local irritant and distracting effect.
- Chondroprotectors in the context of osteochondrosis: they have analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects, stimulate disc recovery.
When choosing painkillers, the doctor is based on the type of disease, its course, and the severity of the pain syndrome. To eliminate acute pain, they often resort to the help of pharmacological blocks with the use of glucocorticosteroids and anesthetics. The use of hormonal agents is quite harmful to the body, so such procedures can be performed a maximum of 1 time in 1-3 months.
To eliminate severe pain, NSAIDs are prescribed in the form of injections into the muscle.
If a disease has already been diagnosed, or to prevent its development, experts advise patients to perform therapeutic gymnastics exercises every day. This will help:
- improve blood circulation in the lumbar region;
- strengthen the muscular structure of the back;
- reduce the intensity of pain.
The gymnastic complex is developed by the treating physician based on the type of disease, the complications present and the physical condition of the patient.
To improve the supply of blood and nutrients to the tissues, to normalize the tone of skeletal and smooth muscles, to strengthen the muscles, it is recommended to perform a massage:
Massage is prescribed both for therapeutic purposes and to prevent the development of exacerbations in the chronic course of pathology.
Heat and cold treatment
The effect on the lumbar spine with heat helps to eliminate pain, but only after the acute inflammatory process has stopped. For these purposes, a heating pad, warming ointment or gel, bath is suitable.
Under the influence of cryotherapy (cold treatment), adaptive systems are activated. At the heart of this physical therapy procedure, the body's response is not hypothermia of the outer layers of the skin.
It is possible to prevent the appearance of pain in the lumbar spine by excluding factors that can cause the appearance of the problem. It is necessary to stop walking with high heels, to minimize the consumption of foods that are very high in calories. Regular sports, swimming, and yoga are good prophylaxis.