Orthopaedics tell you the who’s who of lower back pain

Backache is a common feature these days considering the demanding office-hours, ever bustling life, bad eating habits and appalling sitting postures. Lumbago is a condition where an individual’s lower back gets affected due to multiple reasons which may lead to acute muscle strain or slip disk. The pain can be unexpected, extreme or unceasing if it had lasted more than three months. Lumbago generally affects those people whose work involve physical effort and not very common in the elderly people.

What are the causes of Lumbago?

In most cases, the precise cause of lower back pain cannot be identified. However, in ¾ of the cases, a specific issue can be found. Orthopaedics says these patients are suffering from bone problems like arthritis of little joints (facet joints between the vertebral bones), a slip disk (collapsing of an inter-vertebral disk), one or more vertebrae fracture (likely to happen when there is osteoporosis), dislocation of natural spine and not uncommon skeletal damage due to infection.

The signs and symptoms of Lumbago

  • Excruciating pain across the lower part of the back which sometimes extends to buttocks, thighs or groin. The pain is at its ruthlessness when a person moves, walks or bends.
  • Restricted movement of the spine i.e. bending forward or leaning back becomes a difficult task.
  • Strained contraction of the muscles adjoining the spine and causing a rigid back.
  • With constant pain and contraction, the back may slant to one side causing an alteration in posture.
  • Sometimes, the discomfort in the back is accompanied by numbness in the buttocks or legs which may spread to the foot. This condition is known as sciatica.

Are there any danger signs?

One day you wake up and find out that you are unable to control your bowel movements or suddenly your lower back area and legs turn numb, contact a specialised orthopaedic immediately. Another reason to meet an expert physician is when you encounter backaches and notice lack of endurance in one or both legs.

Home remedies at your rescue

  • For severe low back pain:
  1. Painkillers are extremely beneficial in this condition. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and muscle relaxants relieve pain. Painkillers must be taken regularly, at least a couple of days and not just when the pain becomes unbearable.
  2. Staying active is the key. Keep performing your day-to-day activities within the limits of pain. This helps muscles that supports spine restore flexibility and prevents from causing stiffness.
  3. Avoid bending too much, lifting heavy objects and activities that put stress on the back.
  4. Be mentally strong. It is important to know that normally backaches go away in a few days.
  • For persistent low back pain:
  1. If your back spasm irritates for long, you should consult your general practitioner. But many people find that treatment by a specialist – orthopaedic brings much relief, but may not be long lasting.
  2. Lower back pain eases from back stabilising exercises, attention to sitting and standing posture, behaviour therapy and various pain management programmes.

How does an orthopaedic looks into the matter?

In 90% of the cases, backaches are looked into by orthopaedics from the information given by the patients themselves. Chances are they may not be able to identify the reasons.

The diagnosis commences with a thorough examination and observation of the joints in the spine and hips followed by muscle tests to see if something is wrong with the nerves.

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