Back pain can have many underlying reasons, but often no specific cause will be found and the pain will stop. This chapter will review many of the causes of back pain and proper evaluation and diagnosis. Please be sure to discuss your individual symptoms as well as the suggested treatments with your health-care professional to determine the appropriate diagnostic and treatment plan for your circumstances.
The research regarding support belts isn’t conclusive. But you’ll likely experience the benefits when you wear one properly, according to your doctor’s instructions. Some issues that back support belts target include:
The presence of certain signs, termed red flags, indicate the need for further testing to look for more serious underlying problems, which may require immediate or specific treatment. The presence of a red flag does not mean that there is a significant problem. It is only suggestive, and most people with red flags have no serious underlying problem. If no red flags are present, performing diagnostic imaging or laboratory testing in the first four weeks after the start of the symptoms has not been shown to be useful.
A lumbar support is easy to use. You simply place it or tie to your chair or seating area, and regardless of the style of lumbar support you use, using it is as simple as sitting down. A good lumbar support will function by doing 3 main things: Reducing bending, supporting and strengthening the spine, and enforcing good posture. A lumbar support reduces bending of the spine by restricting lower back movement when you are sitting down.
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The set includes a lumbar cushion and a seat cushion for optimal support, and it’s ideal for anyone who sits in an office chair for a long period of time. The 100 percent orthopedic memory foam lumbar support pillow keeps your back aligned while the seat cushion relieves pressure. The seat cushion is made with a special heat disbursement gel that keeps the cushion cool for longer. Included with the set is a zipper bag that doubles as a carrying case for your pillow and seat cushion. Keep the set cool by removing the outer cover and washing it. Air drying is best to preserve the quality of the covers.
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Infrared K-Laser therapy works by stimulating the cytochrome oxidase enzyme in your cells’ mitochondria. It enhances microcirculation and stimulates the red blood cell flow in the area being treated. K-Laser therapy helps reduce pain and inflammation and enhances tissue healing in hard and soft tissues, including your muscles, bones, and ligaments. It also returns venous and lymphatic function, as your tissues become oxygenated.
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^ Dubinsky, R. M.; Miyasaki, J. (2009). Assessment: Efficacy of transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation in the treatment of pain in neurologic disorders (an evidence-based review): Report of the Therapeutics and Technology Assessment Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology. Neurology. 74 (2): 173–6. doi:10.1212/WNL.0b013e3181c918fc. PMID 20042705.
In most episodes of low back pain, a specific underlying cause is not identified or even looked for, with the pain believed to be due to mechanical problems such as muscle or joint strain. If the pain does not go away with conservative treatment or if it is accompanied by red flags such as unexplained weight loss, fever, or significant problems with feeling or movement, further testing may be needed to look for a serious underlying problem. In most cases, imaging tools such as X-ray computed tomography are not useful and carry their own risks. Despite this, the use of imaging in low back pain has increased. Some low back pain is caused by damaged intervertebral discs, and the straight leg raise test is useful to identify this cause. In those with chronic pain, the pain processing system may malfunction, causing large amounts of pain in response to non-serious events.
Using methods inspired by Fenety et al. , the seat–user interface pressure distribution in the current study was measured using a pressure mapping system (CONFORMat®, Tekscan Incorporated, Boston). The sensor mat is an ultra-thin (0.00400, 0.10 mm) flexible printed circuit with 1024 individual sensing elements or cells organized in a 32 × 32 array with a density of 0.5 sensels/cm2. Before the study, the pressure mat sensels were preconditioned, equilibrated, and calibrated using the Tekscan Inc. uniform pressure vacuum pump and Tekscan Inc. user guide. During the collection, the pressure mat was placed only on the specific seat surface to measure the CoP at the buttock-chair interface. It was covered with a sheet that was fixed at the ends to prevent slipping of the mat and participant bias by observing the mat. Data were recorded at 60 Hz and fed into a PC computer. The first two minutes of data were removed from analysis to ensure that the individual was “settled” prior to calculation of the CoP.
The outlook for low back pain absolutely depends on its precise cause. For example, acute strain injuries generally heal entirely with minimal treatment. On the other hand, bony abnormalities that are irritating the spinal cord can require significant surgical repair and the outlook depends on the surgical result. Long-term optimal results often involve exercise rehabilitation programs that can involve physical therapists.
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This restriction of movement is not an uncomfortable one, but rather one that enforces good back positioning with no effort on your part. The shape of a lumbar support is what allows it to reduce bending of the spine. It’s curvatures falls in line with the natural curve of your lumbar to prevent it from bending unnaturally, which can lead to incrementally more serious back problems over time.
A self-proclaimed healer born in 1845 near Toronto, Daniel David Palmer was the father of chiropractic. He began as a revival tent mesmerist and entertainer who could make people fall asleep, dance wildly, or tumble into convulsions. Later, he described a “vitalistic force” or “innate intelligence” that existed in the spine; it could organize, maintain, and heal the body. But vertebral subluxations could derail that energy, with dire physiological consequences.
Initial management with non–medication based treatments is recommended. NSAIDs are recommended if these are not sufficiently effective. Normal activity should be continued as much as the pain allows. are recommended for the duration that they are helpful. A number of other options are available for those who do not improve with usual treatment. Opioids may be useful if simple pain medications are not enough, but they are not generally recommended due to side effects. Surgery may be beneficial for those with disc-related chronic pain and disability or spinal stenosis. No clear benefit has been found for other cases of non-specific low back pain. Low back pain often affects mood, which may be improved by counseling or antidepressants. Additionally, there are many alternative medicine therapies, including the Alexander technique and herbal remedies, but there is not enough evidence to recommend them confidently. The evidence for chiropractic care and spinal manipulation is mixed.
THE TAKEAWAY: Age or being overweight isn’t a guaranteed back pain sentence. And, back pain shouldn’t be blown off as simply a side effect of these issues. Losing excess weight is always a good idea for overall health, but having LBP while overweight doesn’t mean you won’t have future bouts of back pain after losing the weight.
If you want to stay active while minimizing lower back pain, take a look at the Aspen Medical Grade Back Brace-Quickdraw Pro. The brace naturally reduces lower back pain and keeps your muscles, ligaments, and tendons in place, allowing them to heal. The flexibility of the brace allows you to work pain-free while performing exercise, yard work, and lifting, among other activities.
Muscle relaxants: Muscle spasm is not universally accepted as a cause of back pain, and most relaxants have no effect on muscle spasm. Muscle relaxants may be more effective than a placebo (sugar pill) in treating back pain, but none has been shown to be superior to NSAIDs. No additional benefit is gained by using muscle relaxants in combination with NSAIDs over using NSAIDs alone. Muscle relaxants cause drowsiness in up to 30% of people taking them. Their use is not routinely recommended.
^ Campbell’s operative orthopaedics. Azar, Frederick M.,, Canale, S. T. (S. Terry),, Beaty, James H.,, Preceded by: Campbell, Willis C. (Willis Cohoon), 1880-1941. (Thirteenth ed.). Philadelphia, PA. ISBN 9780323374620. OCLC 962333989.
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Hot or cold packs have never been proven to quickly resolve low back injury; however, they may help ease pain and reduce inflammation for people with acute, subacute, or chronic pain, allowing for greater mobility among some individuals.
Anterolateral system Pain management Anesthesia Cordotomy Pain scale Pain threshold Pain tolerance Posteromarginal nucleus Substance P Suffering OPQRST Philosophy of pain Cancer pain Drug-seeking behavior
While additional authors have investigated the effect of various support systems on bodily symptoms, much of this work has been performed on healthy individuals. Aota et al.  measured the biomechanical effects and comfort levels when using a lumbar support cushion that inflated from 0.5 to 8.0 cm thick in a continuous passive motion chair. They noted significant improvements in the subjective measures of LBP, stiffness and fatigue with use of the system in both static and dynamic states. Conversely, Carcone and Keir  noted that, while a lumbar pad measuring 9 cm thick best maintained the lumbar lordosis in sitting, participants tended to complain that it pushed their body forward, the result being a centre of pressure (CoP) that was more anteriorly located on the seat pan. In their study, participants also reported that configurations with less lordosis (i.e., less than 3 cm) were more comfortable . Portable devices that do not account for the bulk of posterior pelvic soft tissue volume may push the lower body forward and distort the intended relationship between the seat pan features and the body . The preferred degree of lordosis may be related to the pain state of the individual , in that comfort may be affected by the angular change as well as the interaction between the buttocks and the seat pan.
^ Bradley’s neurology in clinical practice. Daroff, Robert B.,, Jankovic, Joseph,, Mazziotta, John C.,, Pomeroy, Scott Loren,, Bradley, W. G. (Walter George) (Seventh ed.). London. ISBN 9780323287838. OCLC 932031625.
Even though back pain can affect people of any age, it is significantly more common among adults aged between 35 and 55 years. Experts say that back pain is associated with the way our bones, muscles and ligaments in our backs work and connect together.
Health care practitioners rely on a variety of methods to improve the seated postures of their patients, and commonly lumbar support devices are prescribed. Numerous devices exist for use in office chairs or vehicles, including built-in static or variable controlled pads and lumbar support cushions [4,10,14-16]. A number of investigators have studied lumbar support pads and their effect on spinal posture and comfort [5,15,16].
Having a chair with lumbar support can help alleviate any discomfort and encourage you to sit properly so as not to cause stress on these areas of the body. The lower part of your spine naturally curves inward toward the belly, so having lumbar back support helps to promote good posture by filling in the gap between the lumbar spine and the seat. This will support the natural inward curve of the lower spine.
For many people who work in an office setting, sitting in an office chair without adequate back support can create a great deal of stress on the lower back. This is largely because in the seated position, the lumbosacral discs are loaded three times more than standing, and sitting without back support usually leads to poor posture, which stresses the soft tissues and joints in the spine. For many people, sitting in an office chair either causes or exacerbates lower back pain.
CORE STABILITY: According to Comerford, “The Transverse Abdominis (TvA) has never been shown to be off or weak, even in patients with LBP. It’s only been shown to activate 50-90 milliseconds late only in people with LBP. We know through the research that the TvA timing delay is NOT the cause of the pain, but a symptom of it.”
Treatment for low back pain generally depends on whether the pain is acute or chronic. In general, surgery is recommended only if there is evidence of worsening nerve damage and when diagnostic tests indicate structural changes for which corrective surgical procedures have been developed.
That can be a problem. Anytime you talk about an amount of money that large, you’re bound to attract experts – both legitimate and those who are, well, full of it – who claim they a) know the exact cause of your lower back pain, and b) have the cure for it.