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Strained muscles and ligaments often cause back pain. Strain commonly occurs with incorrect lifting of heavy objects and sudden awkward movements. Strain can also result from over-activity. An example is the sore feeling and stiffness that occurs after a few hours of yard work or playing a sport.
Emerging technologies such as X-rays gave physicians new diagnostic tools, revealing the intervertebral disc as a source for back pain in some cases. In 1938, orthopedic surgeon Joseph S. Barr reported on cases of disc-related sciatica improved or cured with back surgery. As a result of this work, in the 1940s, the vertebral disc model of low back pain took over, dominating the literature through the 1980s, aiding further by the rise of new imaging technologies such as CT and MRI. The discussion subsided as research showed disc problems to be a relatively uncommon cause of the pain. Since then, physicians have come to realize that it is unlikely that a specific cause for low back pain can be identified in many cases and question the need to find one at all as most of the time symptoms resolve within 6 to 12 weeks regardless of treatment.
So what are the common symptoms of back pain? The symptoms of upper back pain are quite varied and may include muscle spasms, discomfort while inhaling, weakness in the arms, restricted neck movements, and a pinching feeling between the shoulder blades. These upper back symptoms could be an indication of an injury to a disc which is in the upper part of the spine.
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It is not unusual for back pain to be accompanied by other symptoms, such as numbness and tingling sensations, stiffness, achiness, and weakness. Certain activities may increase or aggravate back pain. Sitting, walking, standing, bending over, and twisting at the waist are a few of the movements that can make back pain worse. Of course, that is not true for every patient. Rather, it depends on what level of the spine is affected and the diagnosis, or cause.
Obesity, sedentary lifestyle, and lack of exercise can increase a person’s risk of back pain. People who smoke are more likely to experience back pain than others. Poor posture and weight gain in pregnancy are also risk factors for back pain. In general, fatigue can worsen pain.
The prevention of back pain is, itself, somewhat controversial. It has long been thought that exercise and an all-around healthy lifestyle would prevent back pain. This is not necessarily true. In fact, several studies have found that the wrong type of exercise such as high-impact activities may increase the chance of suffering back pain. Nonetheless, exercise is important for overall health and should not be avoided. Low-impact activities such as swimming, walking, and bicycling can increase overall fitness without straining the low back.
^ a b van Middelkoop M, Rubinstein SM, Kuijpers T, Verhagen AP, Ostelo R, Koes BW, van Tulder MW (2011). A systematic review on the effectiveness of physical and rehabilitation interventions for chronic non-specific low back pain. Eur Spine J. 20 (1): 19–39. doi:10.1007/s00586-010-1518-3. PMC 3036018 . PMID 20640863.
Alternatively, you may want to consider approaching a physiotherapist directly. Some NHS physiotherapists accept appointments without a doctor’s referral, or you could choose to pay for private treatment.
Muscle spasms. Double layer design allows for custom fit and adjustable compression to abdomen and lower back. Helps provide relief from injuries and strenuous activity to keep you active. Lumbar Back…
Following any period of prolonged inactivity, a regimen of low-impact exercises is advised. Speed walking, swimming, or stationary bike riding 30 minutes daily can increase muscle strength and flexibility. Yoga also can help stretch and strengthen muscles and improve posture. Consult a physician for a list of low-impact, age-appropriate exercises that are specifically targeted to strengthening lower back and abdominal muscles.
Radicular pain. This type of pain can occur if a spinal nerve root becomes impinged or inflamed. Radicular pain may follow a nerve root pattern or dermatome down into the buttock and/or leg. Its specific sensation is sharp, electric, burning-type pain and can be associated with numbness or weakness (sciatica). It is typically felt on only one side of the body.
^ Lin CW, Haas M, Maher CG, Machado LA, van Tulder MW (July 2011). Cost-effectiveness of guideline-endorsed treatments for low back pain: a systematic review. Eur Spine J. 20 (7): 1024–38. doi:10.1007/s00586-010-1676-3. PMC 3176706 . PMID 21229367.
^ a b c d e Use of imaging studies for low back pain: percentage of members with a primary diagnosis of low back pain who did not have an imaging study (plain x-ray, MRI, CT scan) within 28 days of the diagnosis. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. 2013. Archived from the original on 4 October 2013. Retrieved 11 June 2013.
The two main forms of back support belts are: custom-fit and flexible-fit. If you’ve had back surgery or suffer from adolescent scoliosis, your spinal physician may order a back support that’s molded to your body with heat–treated plastics. Since these devices fit your specific contours, they provide widespread spine stabilization for a specific period of time.