I would love to discuss a medical issue which is quite common and disturbing for a lot of young people. And not just for young people, even for elderly people, this can be quite a nasty disturbing experience for those who have it. Today we will try & look closely into a medical issue called Low Back Pain. Or what some people technically refer to as Lumbago.
WHAT IS LOW BACK PAIN OR LUMBAGO?
Low Back Pain as I said earlier is a very common problem across all age group but more especially in young & elderly people. Low Back Pain or Lumbago is usually a disorder of the nerves, muscles, ligaments or bones in the lower back. That’s a simple definition.
People with Lumbago experience pain of varying degrees in intensity, continuity, nature, duration, progression, etc across the back. There are different ways of describing this pain- it can be mechanical (due to trauma/injury), non-mechanical or even referred. In medical parlance, pain is said to be “referred” if the origin of the pain is somewhere different from where it is felt.
So one way to classify Low Back Pain is mechanical or non-mechanical- based on whether it is related to trauma or injury.
TYPES OF LOW BACK PAIN OT LUMBAGO.
Another way to classify Low Back Pain is based on the duration the pain lasts for- it can be acute, sub chronic or chronic. Low back pain is acute (if the pain lasts less than 6 weeks) or sub-chronic (if 6 to 12 weeks), or chronic (more than 12 weeks). In most cases, the good news is Low Back Pain is NOT caused by anything serious and usually, the pain gets better with time.
Low back pain usually resolves within a few weeks from when it starts. About 40-90% of people completely better by six weeks.
SYMPTOMS OF LOW BACK PAIN OR LUMBAGO.
Low Back Pain symptoms are diverse. But pain usually starts in movements that involve lifting, twisting or bending forward. Sometimes Low Back Pain symptoms can be localized to one point, or other times be diffuse and non-specific all over the back. This pain can sometimes start a few days after the actual trigger and the person just wakes up with sudden low Back Pain.
Also low back pain may radiate down one of the legs (this is called sciatica), a very uncomfortable and nasty experience. Other people may also find that the pain is worse with positions like sitting, standing or raising the legs.
Unfortunately in some people, low Back Pain can be chronic, recurrent and sometimes lead to sleep problems and depression.
The sad reality is that Low Back Pain can be difficult to diagnose the exact cause, with the majority of cases having an unknown cause. Though in a majority of cases, there may not be a specific cause, the good news is that up to 90% of people are better in a few weeks.
CAUSES OF LOW BACK PAIN OR LUMBAGO.
A good number of this nonspecific cases are thought to be caused by a sprain (pulled ligament) or a strain (pulled
A good number of this nonspecific cases are thought to be caused by a sprain (pulled ligament) or a strain (pulled muscle). Known causes of low Back pain include: Excessive weight, pregnancy, stress, poor sitting posture, and poor sleeping position.
Please note and tell others. There is this awkward myth by many people that excessive sugar intake causes low Back Pain. It’s NOT true.
Let me state it again and be very clear about it. The idea that somehow sugary drinks directly cause low Back Pain is a myth and a lie.
Too much of sugar intake is surely not advised because excessive intake can increase risks of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. But the idea that excessive intake of sugar/sweet drinks directly causes Low Back Pain or Erection problems is a sad myth and a total lie.
Other medical causes that can give low Back Pain include slipped disc, bone infections, bone tumours, and much more. Your doctor would help to rule out all these possible causes, however, as I said, most cases of low back pain don’t have sinister causes.
SYMPTOMS OF LOW BACK PAIN.
This takes me to the issue of red flags in Back Pain. A red flag is simply a warning worrying sign that you must report to a doctor. Go urgently to the doctor/a&e if you have fever, weakness/inability to walk/stand, loss of ability to control urine or stools. These signs above are rare and most people with Back Pain don’t have them. But if you do, go straight to your doctor as an emergency.
HOW TO PREVENT LOW BACK PAIN OR LUMBAGO.
How can I prevent low Back Pain? Regular Exercise and staying physically fit is found to be very effective as a prevention technique. There are simple treatments that you can try on your own. Ideally, you should see a doctor if all that fails. Simple home treatments u can do for low Back Pain
Simple home treatments u can do for low Back Pain include:
Simple back exercises and regular stretches often help reduce back pain. Activities such as brisk walking, sit ups, push ups, swimming, yoga, are simple things you can do regularly at home to treat Back Pain. Keep moving and continue with your normal activities. Bed rest is not always helpful. Active people recover faster from a painful back.
Painkillers especially NSAIDs like ibuprofen are a good option for Back Pain. But if you have ulcers or heart disease, don’t use them. For those with ulcers, heart disease or any contraindications to ibuprofen and NSAIDS, pls see a doctor for alternative painkillers. Another simple home treatment for low Back Pain is a hot water bath or a hot compress. However be smart and don’t barbecue your back.
Some people find that a cold compress or applying some ice over the area also helps in low Back Pain. This is a good option to try. Trying to relax, staying positive and being optimistic that the Back Pain would resolve soon also plays a very major role in recovery. If all the above simple home treatments fail, try to see a doctor who may then prescribe muscle relaxants and specialist treatments for you.
In few cases, the Back Pain may require a surgical intervention but this is a decision that your doctor and a specialist would reach.
I hope I’ve been able to at least give a simple overview of Low Back Pain and what you can do. Thanks for reading. .
Article By DROlufunmilayo.