Lower back pain - how to treat at home

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Many modern people learn at a fairly young age how the lower back hurts. Often, the characteristic pulling pains first appear at the age of 25 to 27 years. This is the age when the process of forming the spine ends.

In this article, you will learn why the back hurts in the lumbar region and how to treat the main diseases that are accompanied by a similar clinical symptom at home. Find advice on choosing the right specialist. Get information on modern therapies that are effective without harming your health.

Let's start by telling you what exactly can hurt in the lumbar region - what structural tissues are and what they are responsible for. The base is made of bone tissue. It forms the five lumbar vertebrae and their extensions, the sacrum and the iliosacral joints. The sacrum also has 5 vertebrae, but by the age of 23 to 25 they develop together into a single triangular bone.

Cartilage is located between the vertebrae. These are intervertebral discs, each of which has a fibrous ring (dense elastic membrane) and a nucleus pulposus (gelatinous internal body with a gel-like structure). These formations ensure a uniform distribution of damping and mechanical loads. They maintain the physiological height of the intervertebral spaces. This is very important to avoid compression and damage to the radicular nerves extending from the spinal cord through the foraminal foramen into the vertebral bodies.

The nerve fiber is also a native tissue, very abundant in the lumbar region. First of all, it is the structure of the spinal cord - the central part of the human autonomic nervous system. With its help, all functions of the body are effectively controlled. The vessels, hearts, liver, gallbladder, intestines and so on work under its control. Without the influence of the autonomic nervous system, a person is not even able to lift their eyelashes and open their eyes. It is a very important part of the body.

Paired radicular nerves originate from the spinal cord, which is covered with hard membranes. They exit through the lateral foramen of each vertebra. Responsible for the innervation of certain parts of the body. Together, the lumbar and sacral radicular nerves form the lumbosacral plexus through their branches. Large nerves start from it: sciatica, femoral, inguinal, obturator, lateral subcutaneous.

The stability of the lumbar spine and the entire spine is ensured by the ligament apparatus. There are short transverse ligaments and long longitudinal ones. Sprains, tears and scar deformities often cause lower back pain in young and active people. Besides ligaments, tendons and paravertebral muscles are involved in this matter.

I would like to say a little more about the latter. The paravertebral muscles, in addition to ensuring the stability of the position of the vertebra and its flexibility, are responsible for the diffuse nutrition of the cartilage tissue of the intervertebral discs.

The annulus fibrosus and the nucleus pulposus of the disc are completely devoid of their own circulatory system. They can only receive fluid and nutrition during diffuse exchanges between them and the paravertebral muscles around them. If the muscle fiber is weakened and unable to fully contract, then a degenerative destructive process begins. The intervertebral discs become dehydrated and lose their elasticity and height. They stop protecting the radicular nerves from the compression of the vertebral bodies.

Also in the region of the spine in the lumbar region are the soft tissues, blood vessels and lymphatics. They may also be exposed to various negative influencing factors. We will talk more about the causes of pain in the lower back later in the article.

The reasons why the lower back hurts

Before treatment, it is necessary to establish the reasons why the lower back hurts - only the etiological effect allows to ensure the complete recovery of the patient.

For example, if the lower back hurts due to the displacement of the vertebral body or the intervertebral disc, then it is completely unnecessary to treat osteochondrosis with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in such a situation. Or rather, it is even harmful. But putting the displaced vertebra or intervertebral disc in its place, strengthening the surrounding muscles, ligaments and tendons is already the right way. Thus, the doctor completely restores the physiological state of the tissues and relieves the patient from pain.

So let's see what are the causes of lower back pain:

  • osteochondrosis - degenerative dystrophic lesions of the tissues of the fibrous ring due to disruption of diffuse nutrition;
  • complications of osteochondrosis, for example, a reduction in the height of the disc with an increase in the area occupied (protrusion stage) or a rupture of the fibrous ring with an exit through the fissure of part of the nucleus pulposus (intervertebral hernia);
  • instability of the position of the vertebral bodies and their periodic displacement with respect to the central axis and between them by the type of anesthesis and retrolisthesis;
  • spinal stenosis, including caused by displacement of the vertebral body or prolapse of the intervertebral hernia in the spinal canal;
  • stretching and microscopic rupture of the tissue of ligaments and tendons, including with the subsequent process of gross scarring - pressure is exerted on the nerve fiber, which causes pain;
  • inflammation of muscle fibers - myositis (ischemic, infectious, aseptic, traumatic, calcifying, etc. );
  • fractures and cracks of the vertebral bodies and their processes, including the subsequent formation of rough calluses;
  • deposition of calcium salts on the body of the vertebrae and their processes (osteophytes);
  • piriformis syndrome;
  • cauda equina syndrome;
  • curvature of the spine, poor posture and twisting of the pelvic bones;
  • destruction of the iliosacral joints of the bones.

This is not a complete list of the reasons why the lower back hurts - before treating, an experienced doctor will necessarily collect the patient's historical data, compare them with the parameters obtained during the examination and draw theappropriate conclusions about what led to the development of a particular disease.

The following aspects can be provoking factors in the development of pain in the lumbar region:

  1. overweight - the higher the body weight of a person, the greater the load on the tissues of the spine, the faster they are destroyed;
  2. lead a sedentary lifestyle, in which there is not enough physical influence on the muscles of the back, they do not work, and the process of diffuse nutrition of the cartilaginous intervertebral discs is disturbed;
  3. poor organization of the workplace and nighttime sleep;
  4. violation of the rules for choosing suitable clothing and footwear;
  5. intense physical work with excessive tension of the muscles of the lumbar region;
  6. violation of posture, habit of stooping;
  7. injuries in the lumbar region;
  8. improper installation of the foot;
  9. alcohol consumption and smoking - provoke a violation of the microcirculation of blood and lymphatic fluid, which leads to a violation of tissue trophism.

See an experienced doctor to help identify a potential cause and eliminate it from your life. This will be the first step towards healing.

Lower back pain - symptoms, how to check

And now let's talk about how to check if your lower back hurts - which exams are worth having and which symptoms you need to watch out for. Before checking that your lower back hurts, you need to make an appointment with a vertebrologist or neurologist. These doctors will be able to make the correct preliminary diagnosis from the initial examination. Based on this, they will recommend a number of additional reviews.

Most often, the examination begins with an overall x-ray of the lumbar spine. In the photo, the doctor can see a fracture, a crack, osteophytes, a decrease in the height of the intervertebral spaces, destruction and deformation of the joints, displacement of the vertebral bodies. To assess the condition of soft tissues (discs, ligaments, tendons, muscles), an MRI examination is necessary. Depending on the indications, ultrasound of internal organs, electromyography and electroneurography can be performed.

How to understand that the lower back hurts - the answer to this question is unlikely to complicate the task of someone who at least once faced a similar manifestation of the disease. Low back pain is hard to confuse with anything else.

It can be acute, constraining, in the form of lumbago, dull, constant, etc. Depending on the nature of the pain, the doctor may make a preliminary diagnosis. How to know that the lower back hurts - you need to try to lean forward and reach the floor with your fingers. If this causes an increase in the attack of the pain, there is no doubt about it. Pain is associated precisely with the destruction of the tissues of the spine.

The second thing to pay attention to is palpation of the spinous processes of the spine. if the spine collapses, it is still very painful. It is best if the survey is done by someone else. It is impossible to objectively compare the force of pressing and the degree of manifestation of pain.

Other symptoms of low back pain:

  • the pain may radiate to the lower limb;
  • there is weakness in the leg on the side of the lesion of the radicular nerve or its branch;
  • the muscles of the lesion focus are excessively tense, they cannot be relaxed without therapeutic action;
  • mobility is severely limited;
  • colon and bladder dysfunction (constipation and urinary retention) may occur.

All of these symptoms indicate that the spine is affected. Need advice from a vertebrologist or neurologist. Then, treatment is carried out in order to restore the damaged tissues of the spine.

Lower back pain - what to do, how to treat

If you have lower back pain, you need to be diagnosed before treating it. The point is, pain is just a symptom. You can only treat a disease that is accompanied by this symptom. Otherwise, nothing good will come of it. Symptomatic treatment does not lead to a cure. They lead to the transition of the disease to a chronic course. This can lead to disability in the future for the patient.

So, what to do and how to treat if the lower back hurts due to osteochondrosis. You need to start with the manual spine traction procedure. During the procedure, the doctor increases the distance between the vertebral bodies. This helps to expand the tissues of the intervertebral disc. Compression of the radicular nerve is eliminated. The patient completely resolves the pain syndrome.

If the back hurts in the lower back, before treatment you should eliminate all types of shock absorption and physical activity. At home, in the first days, bed rest should be provided. In addition, after the relief of the pain syndrome, it is necessary to start rehabilitation therapy. Different methods are used for this. Manual therapy, unlike pharmacological drugs, gives positive results.

With the help of a manual therapy course, patients are able to cope with even large intervertebral hernias without surgery. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you contact your local manual therapy clinic for the treatment of low back pain.