Back pain and lower back pain: causes and treatment

Pain in the back, tension and stiffness in the lower back — the most common problems encountered sooner or later by most people.

pain in the back

Most often it hurts the shoulders, so as the lumbar department of spine is the largest mobility and carries the weight of the top half of the body. Pain in the lower back has a separate title — lumbago, if she gives step — sciatica. Less often the pain arise and in the thoracic area of the back. If the pain is acute and spread (puts) in the shoulder or in hand, says to her "lumbago" or "sciatica". This kind of pain is usually associated with compression of the intervertebral nerves.

Pain in the back and lower back pain can occur suddenly after lifting weights, if an unpleasant turn. Sometimes discomfort in the back, they evolve gradually from-for long load or incorrect posture. Less common causes of pain to install, you cannot. The pain may intensify at night, during exertion or after a prolonged search in an uncomfortable position, for example, after a long travel in the car. More often the pain occurs in the position of lying down on a flat hard surface.

In most cases, your back hurts for a few days or weeks, and then health improves and mobility is fully restored. Accelerate recovery help to the anesthetic and a certain mode of motor activity: calm only in the first 1-2 day of particularly intense pain, and then gradual return to an active lifestyle. In some cases, however, back or shoulders it hurts a long time, more than 6 weeks. Then he talks about the development of chronic back pain and prescribe further treatment.

An important role is played by mood. Because of the pain can be difficult to keep a good frame of mind, but studies show that positive-minded people, as usual, better faster, than those who dwell in the doldrums.

The causes of back pain

Health depends on the coordinated work of a complex mechanism of bones, muscles, nerves and joints. Often pinpoint the cause of the pain is difficult. Fortunately, serious diseases or injuries of the back occur rarely. Most often the pain in the lower back or the spine occurs as a result of minor contusions, muscle tension, stretching the muscles and ligaments, retention and inflammation of the nerves. Discomfort in the back can occur suddenly or develop gradually rising. Possible causes of pain in the back and lower back:

  • awkward movement: flexion or rotation of the torso;
  • lifting or transferring heavy objects, long sails of the hull;
  • poor posture while walking or sitting;
  • excessive stretching of the muscles of the back;
  • a long ride behind the wheel without stops.

Sometimes starts to spin the disease for no apparent reason, for example, in the morning, after sleep.

Risk factors of back pain

Certain risk factors increase the likelihood of back pain or lower back pain:

  • Overweight — while in the spine bears more load. In order to understand whether your weight is normal, a record of body mass index.
  • Smoking — this can cause damage to the tissues of the back, smokers, as a rule, less often, lead a healthy lifestyle.
  • Pregnancy — the backbone of the women is exposed to additional load, which increases with the increase in the volume of the abdomen.
  • Long intake of drugs that reduce bone density, such as corticosteroids.
  • Stress — it is believed that the constant excitement raises muscle tension back and neck, which can cause pain.
the causes of back pain

Disorders that can cause pain in the back and lower back:

  • Degenerative disc disease and its complications, for example, a herniated of the spine — degenerative disease in which are destroyed the intervertebral cartilage, which leads to the formation of pain. This disease often develops with age, and especially for those people who have a great burden on his back.
  • Stretching the ligaments and muscles — which is often after excessive physical exertion or awkward movement.
  • Different types of arthritis — an inflammatory disease of the joints. In this case, in addition to pain noted morning stiffness of the joints, a violation of the motility.
  • Kidney disease, for example, pyelonephritis can cause pain in the lower back.

There are also more dangerous, but they are very rare causes of back pain. For example, cancer, tuberculosis of the spine, aneurysm of the aorta (the volume the walls of the major blood vessels), etc. All are usually diagnosed during examination by a doctor.

Diagnosis of pain in the back and lower back

With back pain and lower back pain is most often can be managed at home with medication sold at the pharmacy without a doctor's prescription. Treatment in hospital is usually not necessary. If the pain is pronounced, turn for help to the doctors, to the physician. If the pain does not fully move, you can call the doctor at home.

During the examination the doctor ask you to sit down, stand up, be held, alternately lift the legs, and also checks whether the amplitude of the movement in the back. You may ask for a delegated illnesses or injuries, about your lifestyle and the character of the work, as well as:

  • When started the pain?
  • Where it hurts?
  • You disturbed spin in the past?
  • Can you describe the pain?
  • What pain worsens or passes?

In the course of the survey and inspection of the doctor to try to rule out infectious disease and fractures, although they are very rare. In the case of disputed diagnosis, you can send on further research: magnetic resonance imaging ct (MRI) or x-ray of the spine. To exclude renal disease, the doctor prescribes the general analysis of urine.

In most cases, pain in the back manage to remove in a few days. If the treatment doesn't help, back pain lasts longer than 6 weeks (the so-called chronic back pain) or cause of the disease is a serious disease, the therapist will refer you to a specialist. Most often the treatment of back pain or lower back pain deals with the neurologist. In addition, the treatment may join as a doctor, as an osteopath, reflexologist, manual therapist.

Treatment of back pain and lower back pain

Back pain treatment may depend on its duration and severity, and also on your personal preferences and needs. Most often, the pain can be alleviated by drugs without prescription medication and treatment at home.

The motion mode. In earlier years it was assumed that when the back pain they need peace of mind. It is now known that people, who before they begin to fully move faster to cope with back pain and lower back pain. Complete rest and bed rest is indicated only for 1-2 days in the acute period, when the pain very express and gives the thrust. While it is recommended lying on a hard and level surface. Once the condition improves slightly, it is necessary to gradually return to a mobile lifestyle, prolongs the amplitude of the movements a little bit every day.

Gradually you will be able to move around the house or go shopping. You will have to put up with some discomfort and learn to avoid anything that causes severe pain. A few days later, you can return to work, without waiting for the moment when the pain in your back or lower back will be held completely (unless, of course, your work is connected with the excessive load on the spine). Early activation will help you to return to the normal routine of the day and a distraction from the pain.


Anesthetics. These drugs remove the pain, inflammation and swelling. Depending on the severity of the well-being your doctor may prescribe these drugs in the form of injections, tablets or external resources — ointments from back pain. Usually treatment starts with the jabs. As soon as the pain subsides, the introduction of the medication stops, when it is necessary to take the pills, or to use the ointment. These funds have a number of contraindications, so before taking consult with your doctor and thoroughly read the instructions. Pills, pain medication is better taken after a meal, washed down with is milk.

Muscle relaxants — this is drugs that eliminate spasm of skeletal muscles, relax the muscles. It is prescribed in cases where there is excessive tension of the muscles of the spine increases the pain, that, for example, it is possible when sharpening degenerative disc disease or a herniated disc. Muscle relaxants have side actions, many of them cannot be taken for the wheel. Therefore, it is necessary to consult a doctor.

Treatment of heat and cold. Some relieve the pain it helps to heat, for example, a hot bath or warmer on the sore spot. Also alleviate the condition of the can and cold, for example, if it is attached to the lower back pain ice or package of frozen vegetables. Do not use ice directly on the skin because it can cause frostbite. Wrap it in a damp towel and put on the sick place. You can also alternate treatment heat with cold, putting alternating ice and a heating pad.

Posture for sleep. A change of posture for sleep and may relieve the tension of back pain and relieve the pain. If you sleep on your side, slightly pull his legs to his chest and put a pillow between your legs. If you are lying on your back, place a pillow under your knees to maintain the natural curvature of the spine in the lumbar.

Relaxation is a very important part of the fight with pain, because if you're worried, it will cause muscle tension, which can exacerbate the pain. Studies show that positively-minded people usually recover faster. The pain for them goes into a protracted, chronic. There are a variety of relaxation techniques. Usually, it is recommended to master the breathing exercises, and also simple exercise with the alternate tension and relaxation of different muscles of the body.

Exercise and a healthy lifestyle. Try to remove the cause of the pain in the back, to prevent its return in the future. Among the most common causes of back pain — being overweight, bad posture and stress. Regular exercise and an active lifestyle will your back be strong and healthy. Most people opt for it, nordic walking, swimming and yoga. The most important thing — choose what you like and do not cause pain. Sometimes you're going to be carried out in groups under the guidance of a qualified instructor. Usually, in classes carried out exercises to strengthen the muscles and improve the posture, as well as aerobic exercise and stretching exercises.

Treatment of chronic pain in the back

If back pain lasts longer than 6 weeks (the so-called chronic back pain), in addition to the medication against the pain of funds and relaxation of the muscles applying the method described below to deal with the pain. These treatments help those who pain in your back prevents the exercise of the usual things and alarming.

Manual therapy is performed by a manual therapist or osteopatom and includes a variety of techniques including manipulation, mobilization and massage.

Technique Alexander — allows you to remove excessive muscle tension, teaches how to properly sit or stand, how would a sensible move. You will learn to keep the balance of body and posture.

Acupuncture (acupuncture) — the ancient Chinese method of treatment, during which the various parts of the body applied a thin needle. It helps to relieve back pain and lower back pain.

Antidepressants are appointed in chronic back pain in cases where anesthetics and other methods do not help. The most commonly recommended intake of tricyclic antidepressants, e.g., amitriptyline in a small dose. These drugs were originally developed for the treatment of depression, but they have proved to be effective and for the treatment of certain types of pain.

Psychotherapy may affect on pain in the back and lower back and even in those cases when other methods are powerless. Back pain is very real, but the way you treat her and how you think about it can worsen, or relieve her. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), you will help to relieve the pain in the back, change the attitude towards it. As studies show, people who have passed a course of psychotherapy, the less they feel pain. In them appears the motivation to lead an active lifestyle, regularly perform the exercises, which, in turn, reduces the severity of pain.


A surgical procedure is usually appears only in those cases when all other methods of treatment have not produced the result. To surgical intervention resort, only when the back pain is so severe or constant that it deprives of sleep and rest. The type of surgery will depend on the type of pain and its causes.

For example, when a hernia of the spine is prescribed a special procedure. Today, doctors can perform surgery through very small incision, using microsurgical instruments. These operations are considered a little traumatic. Read more about it in the section "Treatment of hernias of the spine".

Fusion — difficult and less frequent operation. Its results do not always correspond to expectations. For example, after surgery you can still partially feel the pain. The merger leads to a reduction in the momentum of the spine, because in an intervention a few of the vertebrae that cause the pain, still holds among themselves to implant among them the living bone tissue. After healing of the vertebrae firmly grow so that when driving is no longer infringe the nerves in the area. It weakens the painful. Before the agreed on surgery, it is necessary to discuss in detail all the risks and benefits with a neurosurgeon.