To understand various causes of low back pain, it is important to appreciate the normal design (anatomy) of the tissues of this area of the body. Important structures of the low back that can be related to symptoms in this region include the bony lumbar spine (vertebrae, singular = vertebra), discs between the vertebrae, ligaments around the spine and discs, spinal cord and nerves, muscles of the low back, internal organs of the pelvis and abdomen, and the skin covering the lumbar area.
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Surgery is seldom considered for acute back pain unless sciatica or the cauda equina syndrome is present. Surgery is considered useful for people with certain progressive nerve problems caused by herniated discs.
^ a b Henschke N, Ostelo RW, van Tulder MW, et al. (2010). Behavioural treatment for chronic low-back pain. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (7): CD002014. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD002014.pub3. PMID 20614428.
Low back pain that lasts at least one day and limits activity is a common complaint. Globally, about 40% of people have LBP at some point in their lives, with estimates as high as 80% of people in the developed world. Approximately 9 to 12% of people (632 million) have LBP at any given point in time, and nearly one quarter (23.2%) report having it at some point over any one-month period. Difficulty most often begins between 20 and 40 years of age. Low back pain is more common among people aged 40–80 years, with the overall number of individuals affected expected to increase as the population ages.
The cushion’s biggest advantage is that it is considerably thicker than Everlasting Comfort’s product and features a wider base. The added thickness makes it more supportive for larger chairs with deep seats and poor lumbar support while the wider base lets it fit more snugly.
The location and severity of back pain depends on several factors, such as the individuals age, medical condition, level of physical fitness as well as the underlying cause. Fortunately, in most cases, upper, middle or lower back pain does not stem from any serious condition and can be managed with the help of medication, simple remedies, exercises, and so on. Only a serious condition such as a slipped or ruptured disc requires surgery. Diagnosis is therefore one of the most important prerequisites to successful treatment. If you suffer from severe back pain on a regular basis you should consult a doctor for exercises, diet, and lifestyle changes that can help prevent recurrent back pain.
^ Gagnier, JJ; Oltean, H; van Tulder, MW; Berman, BM; Bombardier, C; Robbins, CB (January 2016). Herbal Medicine for Low Back Pain: A Cochrane Review. Spine. 41 (2): 116–33. doi:10.1097/brs.0000000000001310. PMID 26630428.
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.
A third alternative device for achieving lumbar support is the belt. Lumbar belts are usually anywhere from four to eight inches wide. Most designs are constructed to fit easily under the clothing, making it possible to wear the belt in just about any situation. Thicker belts of this type are often employed as a safety measure for warehouse workers, truckers, and others who may be required to lift heavy loads as part of their daily work routine. The belts make it harder to strain the muscles of the lower back while engaged in lifting.
Study participants sat for 30 minutes in the regular chair with vertical (90°) back support and for 30 minutes in the chair with additional lumbar support while watching a video on a computer screen placed directly in front of them in the mid-sagittal plane. The angle of visual gaze was controlled by the height of the computer monitor which was placed 15 cm above waist height for each participant. The participants’ feet rested on an adjustable foot rest such that their hips and knees were flexed to 90°. There were seven minutes of rest between conditions, whereby participants were asked to stand and move freely about. The order of conditions was randomized. All sources of metal (e.g., belts, keys in pockets, etc.) were removed prior to testing to minimize any interference with the electromagnetic equipment.
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Back pain is generally treated with non-pharmacological therapy first, as it typically resolves without the use of medication. Superficial heat and massage, acupuncture, and spinal manipulation therapy may be recommended.
Chou R, Qaseem A, Snow V, Casey D, Cross JT, Shekelle P, Owens DK (October 2007). Diagnosis and treatment of low back pain: a joint clinical practice guideline from the American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society. Annals of Internal Medicine. 147 (7): 478–91. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-147-7-200710020-00006. PMID 17909209.
Posture when sitting – a good seat should have good back support, arm rests and a swivel base (for working). When sitting try to keep your knees and hips level and keep your feet flat on the floor – if you can’t, use a footstool. You should ideally be able to sit upright with support in the small of your back. If you are using a keyboard, make sure your elbows are at right-angles and that your forearms are horizontal.
Antidepressants such as tricyclics and serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors have been commonly prescribed for chronic low back pain, but their benefit for nonspecific low back pain is unproven, according to a review of studies assessing their benefit.
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Back pain is common, with about nine out of ten adults experiencing it at some point in their life, and five out of ten working adults having it every year. Some estimate up to 95% of Americans will experience back pain at some point in their lifetime. It is the most common cause of chronic pain, and is a major contributor of missed work and disability. However, it is rare for back pain to be permanently disabling. In most cases of herniated disks and stenosis, rest, injections or surgery have similar general pain resolution outcomes on average after one year. In the United States, acute low back pain is the fifth most common reason for physician visits and causes 40% of missed days off work. Additionally, it is the single leading cause of disability worldwide.
The problems often begin, Ramin tells Quartz, when patients are ill-informed. They might demand MRIs for acute pain, though their primary care doctor discourages it. They might also be influenced by direct-to-consumer advertising from less reputable spine centers. “When they go see his surgeon and the surgeon says, ‘I’m sorry I can’t help you this. There’s nothing I can do for you,’ the tendency is to misunderstand that, and to think ‘You’re not smart enough. You’re not good enough; you don’t have the right high-tech whiz-bang tools,’” she tells Quartz, “and I need to keep looking. I need to find someone who is smart enough to do this.’”
^ Staal JB, de Bie R, de Vet HC, Hildebrandt J, Nelemans P (2008). Injection therapy subacute and chronic low-back pain. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (3): CD001824. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD001824.pub3. PMID 18646078.
It also carries similar risks as fusion surgery. Ramin points to Steve Kerr, coach of the Golden State Warriors NBA team, who underwent decompression surgery two years ago: it apparently led to a spinal fluid leak, which caused debilitating headaches and nausea.
As many as 75 to 85 percent of the population will experience a back problem at some time in their lives. In most cases, this pain is mechanical in nature – it is NOT caused by a serious medical condition, such as inflammatory arthritis or fracture.
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Don’t try to lift objects that are too heavy. Lift from the knees, pull the stomach muscles in, and keep the head down and in line with a straight back. When lifting, keep objects close to the body. Do not twist when lifting.
Cauda equina syndrome is a serious but rare complication of a ruptured disc. It occurs when disc material is pushed into the spinal canal and compresses the bundle of lumbar and sacral nerve roots, causing loss of bladder and bowel control. Permanent neurological damage may result if this syndrome is left untreated.
^ Cramer H, Haller H, Lauche R, Dobos G (2012). Mindfulness-based stress reduction for low back pain. A systematic review. BMC Complement Altern Med. 12: 162. doi:10.1186/1472-6882-12-162. PMC 3520871 . PMID 23009599.
Your bed – you should have a mattress that keeps you spine straight, while at the same time supporting the weight of your shoulders and buttocks. Use a pillow, but not one that forces your neck into a steep angle.
There are many causes of back pain, including blood vessels, internal organs, infections, mechanical, and autoimmune causes. The spinal cord, nerve roots, vertebral column, and muscles around the spine can all be sources of back pain. The anterior ligaments of the intervertebral disc are extremely sensitive, and even the slightest injury can cause significant pain. In osteoporosis, the bones become weaker and can develop small cracks, or fractures, in the bones, resulting in pain. Arthritis in the joints of the back can also result in discomfort. The synovial joints of the spine (e.g. zygapophysial joints/facet joints) have been identified as the primary source of the pain in approximately one third of people with chronic low back pain, and in most people with neck pain following whiplash.
The types of lumbar support can be achieved using posture braces and support, belts, cushions and/or pillows. The most popular ones are the molded cushions or pillows that sit in the curved small area of your back. The D-shape cushions do the same. You can also try the roll-type cushion or pillow.
It began like many other spring mornings on my leafy college campus. Birds were singing outside the dormitory windows, and the sun was shining. As I started to sit up, however, panic hit me: I couldn’t get out of bed. Any effort to prop myself up on my elbows or shift my feet and legs met with waves of pain that rolled up my body.
A traumatic injury, such as from playing sports, car accidents, or a fall can injure tendons, ligaments or muscle resulting in low back pain. Traumatic injury may also cause the spine to become overly compressed, which in turn can cause an intervertebral disc to rupture or herniate, exerting pressure on any of the nerves rooted to the spinal cord. When spinal nerves become compressed and irritated, back pain and sciatica may result.
^ Chaparro, LE; Furlan, AD; Deshpande, A; Mailis-Gagnon, A; Atlas, S; Turk, DC (Apr 1, 2014). Opioids compared with placebo or other treatments for chronic low back pain: an update of the Cochrane Review. Spine. 39 (7): 556–63. doi:10.1097/BRS.0000000000000249. PMID 24480962.
Doris Keene (right) talks with her acupuncturist before a treatment at Portland’s Quest Center for Integrative Health. Keene says the treatments have eased her chronic back pain at least as effectively as the Vicodin and muscle relaxants she once relied on. Kristian Foden-Vencil/Oregon Public Broadcasting hide caption