Help For Lower Back Pain
Help For Lower Back Pain in Oklahoma
Lower-back pain is a major cause of job-related disability. In Oklahoma and the wider US, at least four-fifths of adults experience lower back pain at some point in their life. Doctors, therefore, receive patients from different age brackets and not just senior citizens seeking help for lower back pain. Whereas lower back pain mostly results from injuries and poor sitting posture at work, it could also be a result of diseases such as cancer and arthritis. Therefore, when you experience sustained lower back pain despite trying to be more mindful of your posture and lifestyle, you should seek a specialist’s opinion.
Causes of Lower Back Pain
The onset of acute lower back pain for most patients is between 30 and 50 years. During this age, the body undergoes structural changes that result in lower fluid content in the bones that form the spine. The discs in the spine are at a higher chance of experiencing irritation. The loss of body muscle due to age increases susceptibility to injury too.
Here are a few detailed causes of lower back pain.
When you engage in strenuous activity, such as heavy lifting in the gym after a long while, you may stretch or tear a muscle in your lower back. Symptoms of a strain include pain, muscle spasms, and stiffness. In many cases, rest is enough to cure the pain. A certified trainer may recommend and administer physical therapy to speed up the healing process.
A disc injury can occur when the cartilage in your vertebrae pushes against the spinal cord or nerve roots. A herniated or ruptured disc can happen during lifting or sudden twisting of the back in a fall or other form of accident. The pain due to compression of root nerves lasts more than 72 hours and requires specialized treatment.
The sciatic nerve runs from the lower back down through to the legs. If a herniated disc puts pressure on the sciatic nerve, the resulting pain is called sciatica. You will feel the pain in your legs and feet as if someone were burning them or poking you with pins.
Spinal stenosis is a condition where a person’s spinal column becomes narrow and disc resulting in pressure on the spinal cord and nerves. Narrowing of the spinal column mostly happens because of degeneration of discs in-between bones in the spine. A person suffering from spinal stenosis is likely to experience numbness, cramping, and weakness especially when they are on their feet.
Irregular Spine Curvature
There are persons born with congenital conditions that lead to abnormal curvature in the spine. Such conditions manifest in childhood or adolescence. Abnormal curvature of the spine puts pressure on muscles, tendons, bones, and ligaments. When abnormal curvature is noticed in childhood, doctors may decide that no treatment is necessary. They will recommend monitoring to check of the mild abnormality is worsening.
More moderate or severe abnormal curvature may lead to specialists recommending bracing or surgery to correct it.
Arthritis can happen due to natural wear and tear of joints but in other cases, it can come from autoimmune diseases or inflammatory conditions. Arthritis can lead to spinal stenosis.
Osteoporosis is a condition that causes bones to weaken. It can cause small fractures on the bones along the spine when a person falls or suffers an impact injury. Fractures on the lower vertebrate can be extremely painful.
Lower Back Pain Risk Factors
Although lower back pain can manifest at any age, people are at a higher risk after 30. As highlighted, changes in body mass composition often start at this age. Bones may become weaker, and you may lose muscle mass. A lack of exercise means that your back and abdomen muscles remain unused for long periods. This increases the likelihood of lower back pain.
Being overweight means your back muscles work extra hard to help you maintain your posture. If overweight, you might experience lower back pain when you stand or bend over for too long.
Other risk factors include improper lifting technique at the gym, smoking, and psychological conditions. People who are undergoing depression or anxiety are more likely to experience lower back pain.
Treatment of Lower Back Pain
When you seek help for lower back pain from a specialist, they will conduct a physical examination to narrow down the location of the pain. They will also request your medical history and inquire about your lifestyle. They will be interested in your to know whether the pain is limiting your range of motion and whether any nerves have been affected.
In many cases, self-care treatments and rest should cure lower back pain. However, when your movement is affected and some neurologic loss has happened, you will require further tests to develop a treatment plan. When lower back pain accompanies a fever, body weakness, and weight loss, it’s also a cause for concern.
Home Care Treatment for Lower Back Pain
For the first 72 hours after the onset of lower back pain, self-care remedies should provide relief. If the pain doesn’t subside, you should seek help for the lower back pain. Initially, you can apply icepacks to the area for the first 48 hours. After that, you can switch between heating and icing the area to relax muscles in your lower back.
If a person is uncomfortable sleeping on their back, they can lie on either side with bent knees and a pillow in between their legs. Sleeping on the back with a pillow below the thighs eases pressure on the back thus easing pain.
Medical Treatment for Lower Back Pain
There is a range of medical treatments a specialist is likely to recommend depending on the cause of your pain and the extent of any damage to bones, discs, or nerves.
A doctor may recommend medications such as muscle relaxants, steroids for inflammation, pain relievers, or corticoid injections. Many of these can have undesirable side effects. This is important reason many people seek out Regenerative Medicine options with Orthobiogen in Oklahoma.
Besides medication, a patient may also have tried physical therapy such as massages, stretching exercises, and back and core-muscle strengthening exercises. While these treatments carry low risk, more significant back issues don’t often respond to this therapy alone.
Surgery is often the last resort when other treatments fail to work, or the patient presents as an emergency case. For instance, if a lower back pain causes loss of bowel or bladder control, that would be seen as an emergency. Instances where an injury is causing progressive neurological damage also may require surgery.
Fortunately, the overwhelming majority of back pain issues may be treated non-surgically. Spine surgery is considered an elective procedure and is sometimes offered as the only option despite the opportunity for other treatments to help. Consider all your treatment alternatives for helping your lower back pain – before making permanent changes to your spine.
The type of surgery recommended by spine surgeons varies with the condition causing back pain. A discectomy involves removing a piece of bone from the spinal canal to ease pressure on a nerve root that’s being pressed on by a bone spur or a herniated disc.
A spinal fusion may be recommended for many patients with back pain when visiting a surgeon. The procedure involves removing a disc between two vertebrae so that they are fused using screws and bone grafts. The spine fusion procedure cannot be reversed in the future.
Preventing Lower Back Pain
Preventing back pain requires one to pay keen attention to the lifestyle they lead. An active lifestyle ensures your back muscles are engaged regularly thus keeping them strong. At the gym, specific exercises such as the deadlift, bridges, pelvic tilts, cat stretches, and knee-to-chest stretches will strengthen your back muscles.
At work, if you sit at a desk for hours continuously, ensure you maintain an upright posture. Invest in an ergonomic seat with proper back support to prevent slouching. You can also take breaks in between work and walk for a few minutes. There is a growing trend of people getting height adjustable desks so that they can take virtual meetings while standing to spend more time on their feet. You should also avoid high-heeled shoes because in the long-term they can damage your back ligaments, joints, and discs.
Ensuring you sleep on a firm surface can prevent long-term anatomy changes caused by sleeping on mattresses that cave in. Lastly, avoiding smoking prevents damage to arteries in your spine area. Damaged areas in your vertebral discs can lead to back pain.
Getting Lower Back Pain Help in Oklahoma
If you need lower back pain help, schedule an appointment at Orthobiogen. You will meet Oklahoma’s most advanced spine and joint regenerative treatment specialists. Regenerative Medicine is a rapidly advancing field, all of our doctors are specially trained in this type of care. It offers an alternative to traditional orthopedic procedures for acute lower back and other musculoskeletal problems.
We take a patient-centered approach helped by our state-of-the-art diagnosis and treatment facilities. At our treatment center, you can benefit from advancements in ultrasound diagnostics, electromyography, and digital spinal fluoroscopy. Our specialists will help you make the best decision to help you recover fully from the underlying cause of your lower back pain.