Back pain is a common reason for absence from work and for seeking physiotherapy treatment. It can be due to injury, activity and some medical conditions. Back pain can affect people of any age, for different reasons. As people get older, the chance of developing lower back pain increases, due to factors such as previous occupation and degeneration.
Lower back pain may be linked to the lumbar spine, discs between the vertebrae, ligaments around the spine and discs, spinal cord and nerves, lower back muscles, abdominal and pelvic internal organs, and the skin around the lumbar area.
Pain in the thoracic region may be due to disorders of the aorta, tumors in the chest, and spine inflammation.
Osteoporosis can lead to back pain.
The back is composed of a complex structure of muscles, ligaments, tendons, discs, and bones, which work together to support the body and enable us to move around.
The segments of the spine are cushioned with cartilage-like pads called disks.
Problems with any of these components can lead to back pain.
Back pain can result from strain, medical conditions, and poor posture, among others.
Back pain commonly occur from strain, tension, or injury. Frequently, back pain may cause by:
- Strained muscles or ligaments
- Muscle spasm
- Muscle tension
- Damaged discs
- Injuries, fractures, or falls
Activities that can cause strains or spasms include:
- Lifting something improperly
- Lifting heavy objects
- Abrupt and awkward movement
A number of structural problems may also result in back pain.
- Ruptured disks
- Bulging disks
- Movement and posture
- Kidney problems
- Shoulder problems over time.
Back pain can also result from some everyday activities or poor posture.
- Coughing or sneezing
- Muscle tension
- Bending awkwardly or for long periods
- Pushing, pulling, lifting, or carrying something
- Standing or sitting for long periods
- Straining the neck forward, such as when driving or using a computer
- Long driving sessions without a break, even when not hunched
- Sleeping on a mattress that does not support the body and keep the spine straight
Some medical conditions can lead to back pain.
Cauda equina syndrome:
The cauda equine is a bundle of spinal nerve roots that arise from the lower end of the spinal cord. Symptoms include a dull pain in the lower back and upper buttocks, as well as numbness in the buttocks, genitalia, and thighs. There are sometimes bowel and bladder function disturbances.
Cancer of the spine: A tumor on the spine may compress a nerve, resulting in back pain.
Infection of the spine: A fever and a tender, warm area on the back could be due to an infection of the spine.
Other infections: Pelvic inflammatory disease, bladder, or kidney infections may also lead to back pain.
Sleep Disorders: Individuals with sleep disorders are more likely to experience back pain, compared with others.
Shingles: An infection that can affect the nerves may lead to back pain. This depends on which nerves are affected.
The following factors are linked to a higher risk of developing low back pain:
- Occupational activities
- A sedentary lifestyle
- Poor physical fitness
- Older age
- Obesity and excess weight
- Strenuous physical exercise or work, especially if done incorrectly
- Genetic factors
- Medical conditions, such as arthritis and cancer
- Lower back pain also tends to be more common in women than in men due to hormonal factors. Stress, anxiety, and mood disorders have also been linked to back pain.
Symptoms of Back Pain:
The main symptom of back pain is an ache or pain anywhere in the back, and sometimes radiating down to the buttocks and legs.
Some back problems can cause pain in other parts of the body, depending on the nerves affected.
Sometimes the pain goes away without treatment, but if it occurs with any of the following people should see their physiotherapist in Lahore:
- Weight loss
- Inflammation or swelling on the back
- Persistent back pain, where lying down or resting does not help
- Pain down the legs
- Pain that reaches below the knees
- A recent injury, blow or trauma to the back
- Urinary incontinence
- Difficulty urinating
- Fecal incontinence, or loss of control over bowel movements
- Numbness around the genitals
- Numbness around the anus
- Numbness around the buttock