Doctors also explored surgical options, only to find that these physical fixes were thwarted by the complexity of the lower back. The best candidates for surgery are patients whose pain derives from a specific, identifiable source—such as a tumor or an infection. But 90 percent of cases are untraceable. Insults to the muscles, ligaments, joints, nerves or bones—or some combination thereof—can all cause lower back pain. And the specific sensations are unique to the individual; the same nerve damage in two people can elicit entirely different symptoms. In short, it is hard to know where the pain comes from or how to intervene surgically to make it stop.
Fitness level: Back pain is more common among people who are not physically fit. Weak back and abdominal muscles may not properly support the spine. “Weekend warriors”—people who go out and exercise a lot after being inactive all week—are more likely to suffer painful back injuries than people who make moderate physical activity a daily habit. Studies show that low-impact aerobic exercise is beneficial for the maintaining the integrity of intervertebral discs.
What’s more, prolonged sitting and poor posture are major risk factors of not only back pain, but also of weight gain, obesity, joint problems, nerve problems like carpal tunnel syndrome, and other debilitating diseases. In fact, mounting research found that prolonged sitting is now an independent risk factor for poor health and premature death—even if you exercise regularly!
Though rare, back pain can also be an indication of lung cancer. Some of the other lung cancer induced back pain symptoms include swelling in the face or neck, respiratory infections, hoarseness in the voice, and recurrent pneumonia.
M-Pranesh A, Rakheja S, Demont R. Influence of support conditions on vertical whole-body vibration of the seated human body. Ind Health. 2010;48:682–697. doi: 10.2486/indhealth.MSWBVI-25. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
Electromyogram or EMG is defined as a test that records the electrical activity of muscles. Normal muscles produce a typical pattern of electrical current that is usually proportional to the level of muscle activity. Diseases of muscle and/or nerves can produce abnormal electormyogram patterns.
Boswellia – Also called boswellin or Indian frankincense, this herb has been prized for thousands of years for its powerful anti-inflammatory properties. This is one of my personal favorites, as I have seen it work well with many of my rheumatoid arthritis patients.
Bone scans are used to detect and monitor infection, fracture, or disorders in the bone. A small amount of radioactive material is injected into the bloodstream and will collect in the bones, particularly in areas with some abnormality. Scanner-generated images can be used to identify specific areas of irregular bone metabolism or abnormal blood flow, as well as to measure levels of joint disease.
Some people immediately think of having back surgery just to alleviate the pain, but I strongly advise against it unless you’ve exhausted the other treatment options mentioned above. However, if none of these strategies work, I advise you to try K-Laser – it’s just that good.
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.
^ Deshpande A, Furlan AD, Mailis-Gagnon A, Atlas S, Turk D (2007). Opioids for chronic low-back pain. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (3): CD004959. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD004959.pub3. PMID 17636781.
Posture when standing – make sure you have a neutral pelvic position. Stand upright, head facing forward, back straight, and balance your weight evenly on both feet – keep your legs straight and your head in line with your spine.
The symptoms can also be classified by duration as acute, sub-chronic (also known as sub-acute), or chronic. The specific duration required to meet each of these is not universally agreed upon, but generally pain lasting less than six weeks is classified as acute, pain lasting six to twelve weeks is sub-chronic, and more than twelve weeks is chronic. Management and prognosis may change based on the duration of symptoms.
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Certainly not! Anyone who cares about the health of their back can get a lumbar support. Lumbar supports are widely distributed and very affordable, making them a great option for people who spend much of their day sitting.
Today was my first visit. I found the website via a tweet promoting their Love Cold Weather? giveaway. This is a fascinating website and I will be visiting regularly to see what’s new in pain innovations and different ways to treat my pain at home.
Doctors can use several tests to look inside you to get an idea of what might be causing the back pain. No single test is perfect in that it identifies the absence or presence of disease 100% of the time.
At the beginning of the data collection, participants were asked to stand in a neutral position “with their arms by their side, weight evenly balanced, and looking straight ahead”. Kinematic data were collected over 30 seconds of neutral static stance for comparison against the seated conditions. Participants sat in the office chair and in the same seat pan but with a lumbar support pillow (“Logic Back™”, Mediflow Inc., Toronto) to test the effect of the back rest profile on comfort and lumbar and thoracolumbar postures. The lumbar support is a portable device, convex in the anterior direction and contoured with an arched opening above the seat pan, that provides space for the bulk of the posterior pelvic tissues (Figure 1). The back frame of the device is constructed of a solid plastic, curved side-to-side and is relatively rigid. The frame acts as a bow which is strung anteriorly by four adjustable straps. These straps provide an elastic, anterior projection above the buttock tissues. A band affixes the device to the chair back. The lumbar support was “fitted” to each participant prior to testing by having the individual sit in the chair in a relaxed fashion, with the hips and knees flexed to 90°, feet flat and looking straight ahead. The pelvis was pushed all the way back into the aperture of the pillow, and the individual’s lumbar spine rested against the back rest. The straps were tensioned to participant preference.
If you lower back pain, you are not alone. About 80 percent of adults experience low back pain at some point in their lifetimes. It is the most common cause of job-related disability and a leading contributor to missed work days. In a large survey, more than a quarter of adults reported experiencing low back pain during the past 3 months.
In severe back pain not relieved by NSAIDs or acetaminophen, opioids may be used. However, long-term use of opioids has not been proven to be effective at treating back pain. Opioids have not always been shown to be better than placebo for chronic back pain when the risks and benefits are considered.
To fix this quickly, you will want to lay down on the ground with your affected side on top. If your right lower back was bothering you then you would want to lie on your left hip. From here, take your thumb and place it on the area most sore. You should feel that this is going to happen just to the outside of the bony prominence of your pelvis. From here, push to hold back the trigger point and start flossing your leg down and in front of you and then back and up. Your hip should be extended and then lifted into abduction towards the ceiling (being sure to point the toes down to keep the glute medius in focus). Do this about 10 times until you feel the tension in the muscle release.
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.
^ North American Spine Society (February 2013), Five Things Physicians and Patients Should Question, Choosing Wisely: an initiative of the ABIM Foundation, North American Spine Society, retrieved 25 March 2013, which cites
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The interaction between the low back and chair support is an important health factor for employees using seated work stations. Canadian statistics indicate that back injuries make up 28.8% of the lost time claims and 7.0% occur in clerical jobs . The result of the musculoskeletal conditions is a reduction in work attendance and performance. For instance, 19% of those with low back pain (LBP) lose 6.2 hours of work per month and those with severe pain lose 8.2 hours of work per month .
Nerve irritation: The nerves of the lumbar spine can be irritated by mechanical pressure (impingement) by bone or other tissues, or from disease, anywhere along their paths — from their roots at the spinal cord to the skin surface. These conditions include lumbar disc disease (radiculopathy), bony encroachment, and inflammation of the nerves caused by a viral infection (shingles). See descriptions of these conditions below.
That principle applies equally to chronic and acute low back pain cases, but it may be especially crucial for people whose pain lingers. In 2016 another group of Sydney researchers and their colleagues scoured the available literature and found that exercise was the only treatment approach studied to date that prevented the recurrence of lower back pain. Reviewing the evidence, the team concluded that exercise and education together could cut the risk for another attack of back pain within the year by nearly one half.
Twenty eight male participants (14 healthy individuals and 14 patients with LBP) between the ages of 21–50 were asked to participate in the study. Healthy individuals consisted of those who were free of LBP for the six months previous to the study, whereas patients with LBP had a history of LBP for at least three consecutive days over the last three consecutive weeks prior to testing. Individuals with a known neurological disorder, scoliosis or other deformity, inflammatory or degenerative arthropathy, connective tissue disease, or a history of spinal surgery were excluded from the study. Individuals with current or previous neck pain in the past three weeks were also excluded. Participants were asked to avoid engaging in any type of resistive exercise for the 48 hours prior to testing. All participants signed the informed consent form. The procedures used were in accordance with the institutional research ethics board. The clinical trial was registered at ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT00754585). Data were collected in the Biomechanics and Elastography laboratory at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (CMCC).