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 chance of a full recovery. Pain in the lumbosacral region of the spinal column may indicate osteochondrosis, hernia, protrusions, infection, or problems with internal organs.
Why does the 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 such diseases are excluded, a thorough examination is carried out in order to assess the state 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 be given just to the lumbar region. Let's get acquainted in detail with some of the causes of low back pain.
It is a relatively natural source of back pain. With hard physical labor or active sports training, muscle tissue is exposed to excessive stress. It accumulates lactic acid, which irritates the tissues of skeletal muscles. As a result, in addition to pain, a person notes the appearance of a sufficient strong burning sensation. Any discomfort disappears after a short break, as lactic acid is excreted from the muscles.
In case of low back pain every time during exercise, if their intensity remains unchanged for a couple of hours, you should consult a doctor. Excessive training, lifting heavy objects often provoke the appearance of microtraumas in 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 main cause of back pain. At an early stage, the patient is worried about minor discomfort, indicating a slight destruction in the intervertebral discs.
In the case when the patient in this period turned to a neurologist for help, a complete cure of the disease, as well as partial restoration of destroyed tissues, is possible. Sharp, severe pain that increases during bending or twisting of the trunk indicates a serious damage to the structure of the spine.
Against the background of II or III radiological degree of osteochondrosis, the formation of hernias or protrusions is often observed. Because of this, piercing 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, the patients note the occurrence 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 blood impurities in urine, and an aggravation of well-being in general.
Pain in the lumbar spine is often troubling 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 region. When a woman bears a future baby, the uterus and fetus increase in size, due to which the nerve receptors located below are infringed.
During the last trimester, the body of the expectant mother begins to produce a special hormone - relaxin. This leads to relaxation of the ligaments, tendons, in order to facilitate the passage of the fetus through the birth canal. Because of this, the intensity of pain can increase dramatically.
This is a common gynecological disease, against the background of which the internal uterine tissue grows beyond its limits. The endometrioid tissue has an increased sensitivity to hormones synthesized by the body, for this reason, endometriosis manifests itself as monthly bleeding. Because of this, inflammation develops, one of the signs of which is pain syndrome, radiating to the lumbosacral region of the spinal column.
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 lower back pain during menstruation is indicated by the presence of dyspeptic disorders, diarrhea or constipation, frequent headaches, dizziness. In a similar situation, a woman can be diagnosed with algomenorrhea or menstrual dysfunction.
The spinal column in females 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 hunch over, which contributes to the deterioration of the spinal column.
Painful sensations in the lumbar spine that appear at the end of a working day 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 is getting worse due to the increased stress on the spine.
During the period of menopause, a decrease in the production of estrogens involved in the regulation of recovery processes in the musculoskeletal system is noted in a woman's body. The bone structure loses the ability to fully assimilate the trace elements required for its restoration. It becomes fragile, which can lead to frequent fractures. Painful manifestations in the lumbar spine during menopause may indicate bone resorption, the formation of osteoporosis.
Overweight is one of the causes of lumbosacral osteochondrosis. Excess weight increases the load on the intervertebral discs, which leads to an increased risk of microtrauma with further destruction of vertebral tissues.
A person who is overweight usually does not eat well. His diet is rich in high-calorie foods, and fresh vegetables and fruits containing essential trace elements and vitamins are not consumed in sufficient quantities. With increased loads, in combination with a lack of useful substances, there is a tendency to form osteochondrosis of the lumbar region.
Changes in the genetic structure of cells leads 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 tissue, and the circulatory system. Calcium is absorbed in large quantities by the neoplasm, due to which a deficiency of this substance develops in the bone tissue, which leads to thinning of the bones.
The muscles of the skeleton in the lumbosacral region are often 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 the 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 different severity, frequency, condition preceding its occurrence.
This pain syndrome is typical for stage II and III of lumbar osteochondrosis. At this stage, significant destruction occurred in the intervertebral discs, and their depreciation characteristics were lost. They are unable to mitigate the load during movement, which makes the vertebral structure unstable.
This leads to compression of the soft tissues. Severe pain begins to bother even in a motionless 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 the squeezing of receptors in the spinal canal by osteophytes or discs. This is typical for an attack of lumbago, often manifested in rheumatic diseases, lumbosacral osteochondrosis, radiculopathies.
Painful sensations are so pronounced, piercing, burning that the patient is unable to move. Often, a person cannot straighten his back due to the 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. Often, aching pain is evidence of a destructive process in the spinal column or inflammation in the internal system.
Pain of a constant nature in the lower back indicates the transformation of the disease into a chronic one. It is sharp, strong during relapse, radiating to nearby parts of the body. During the period of remission, slight discomfort appears during hypothermia, physical exertion, exacerbation of other diseases, acute respiratory viral infections.
The pain syndrome increases against the background of bending, turning the torso, walking up the 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 X-ray examination. In the resulting picture, you can see the altered vertebrae, formed osteophytes (bone formations).
If the doctor suspects the development of a hernia, protrusion, diseases of the internal systems, ultrasound, MRI and CT are prescribed. Thanks to these diagnostic methods, it is possible to find out where the disease is localized, 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, serological study is performed.
Which doctor to contact
Often, back pain appears after an injury - subluxation of the vertebrae, severe bruising, lesions of 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 spinal column, internal systems. After examining the results of the diagnostics, he will determine which narrow specialist's consultation is necessary (rheumatologist, neuropathologist or orthopedist) for the appointment of subsequent treatment.
If there is severe acute pain, the victim should be placed on a hard surface in a position in which the discomfort becomes less pronounced. You can lie down with your knees slightly bent and put a rolled-up blanket under them. To quickly relieve pain, you can take any non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug.
Analgesics can help relieve back pain. Their 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 complete restoration of destroyed intervertebral discs and deformed vertebrae against the background of osteochondrosis is impossible. The goal of therapy is to achieve stable remission, during which pain in the lumbar spine does not bother.
First of all, for back pain, the administration of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in tablet or capsule form is prescribed.
In case of oncological diseases, they resort to the help of narcotic analgesics. If pain occurs due to spasm of skeletal muscles, muscle relaxants are indicated.
In the treatment of diseases of the internal systems, analgesics are also prescribed.
Treatment with ointments and gels
Ointments and gels are used to relieve mild to moderate discomfort in the lumbar region. Drugs for external use are also included in therapeutic regimens to reduce the dosage of injections 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.
- Warming gels and ointments - have an analgesic, local irritant and distracting effect.
- Chondroprotectors against the background of osteochondrosis - have analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects, stimulate disc recovery.
Choosing pain relievers, the doctor is based on the type of disease, its course, the severity of the pain syndrome. To eliminate acute pain, they often resort to the help of drug blockades with the use of glucocorticosteroids and anesthetics. The use of hormonal agents is quite harmful to the body, so that such procedures can be carried out 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 in order to prevent its development, experts advise patients to perform therapeutic gymnastic exercises every day. This will help:
- improve blood circulation in the lumbar region;
- strengthen the muscular frame of the back;
- reduce the intensity of the pain syndrome.
The gymnastic complex is developed by the attending physician based on the type of disease, existing complications, and the patient's physical condition.
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 carry out a massage:
Massage is prescribed both for therapeutic purposes and to prevent the development of exacerbation in the chronic course of the 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 been stopped. For these purposes, a heating pad, warming ointment or gel, bath is suitable.
Under the influence of cryotherapy (cold treatment), the adaptation systems are activated. At the heart of this physiotherapeutic procedure, the response of the body is not hypothermia of the outer layers of the skin.
It is possible to prevent the occurrence of pain in the lumbar spine by excluding factors that can provoke the appearance of the problem. It is necessary to stop walking in high-heeled shoes, to minimize the consumption of very high-calorie foods. Regular sports, swimming, and yoga are good prophylaxis.