Back pain: symptoms and treatment
Most of us have had lower back pain at some point in our lives. When this pain occurs, you may want to stay in bed, but it can usually do more harm than good.
Maintaining an active lifestyle is an important part of the treatment.
Today we are looking at low back pain that lasts less than four weeks (called acute pain).
There can be many reasons for the pain, such as:
- Tension in the muscles of the back. This can happen if you lift something heavy, such as.
- Improper posture: for example, if you have a job that involves lifting heavy objects or sitting in place for long periods of time
- Being overweight can also increase your chances of getting back pain
- "Wear and tear" on your spinal bones (vertebrae). This is more likely to happen as you get older.
- Intervertebral disc damage (called disc displacement or disc prolapse).
If you have back pain for a short time, there is usually no need for an X-ray or MRI. The need for this method of examination is discussed individually with your doctor.
Back pain can come on suddenly or gradually and can range from mild to very pronounced. In most cases, it is only back pain, but some people may also be bothered by leg pain. This pain may be in the groin, buttock, thigh, or down to the foot.
These symptoms are caused by a pinched or damaged nerve. It is sometimes called sciatica because it affects the sciatic nerves going down your legs. You may feel some numbness or tingling. If this happens, you should see a doctor.
It is recommended that you seek medical help immediately if you:
- Feeling numbness in your leg.
- There is impaired pelvic organ function
- Can't walk or notice that your leg is drooping or dragging while walking.
What treatments work?
- Stay active. We understand that this may be the last thing you want to do. But it may reduce your pain and help you get better faster.
- Staying active means continuing what you normally do, but you should avoid doing things that make your back pain worse, such as lifting heavy objects, bending or twisting your back, or sitting for long periods of time until the pain goes away.
Doctors used to recommend staying in bed if you felt back pain. But now we know that doesn't help. If you stay in bed, your joints become stiff. Therefore, it is harder and more painful to move your back.
Also, if you lie in bed for a long time, your muscles get weaker, so they do not support your spine as well. This can make the pain worse.
Taking pain medication can help reduce back pain in the short term and help you stay active.
- If your back pain does not decrease within a few weeks, you can try other treatments, such as physical therapy and back exercises. You can discuss additional treatment options with your doctor.
- In most cases, back pain lasts less than two weeks, and about 9 out of 10 people feel better within six weeks.
Many people who have had an episode of back pain may possibly experience pain again. You can talk to your doctor about ways to make it less likely