Living with back pain is the most frustrating thing for most of the people. First, sometimes the pain is unbearable. And second, back pain can be an obstacle in completing your everyday jobs.
Cleaning the house, playing with your kids, these are both things that are much harder to do if you suffer from chronic back pain.
According to its definition, the chronic lower back pain usually lasts more than 3 months. This condition affects millions and millions of people throughout the whole world.
If we see for example the United States, more than 80 % of the population experiences chronic back pains in some period in their lives. Chronic back pain is one of the most common chronic pains.
Approximately one out of five adults suffers from back pain. Studies have shown that chronic back pains are especially common in people who are obese, older people, in people with low muscle mass and tall people.
Apart from being so common, chronic back pain is also a very painful condition. Every person has a different experience with it, but overall, it sure affects our lives.
Chronic Low Back Pain is defined as a musculoskeletal disorder and it is a very common condition. Actually, it is the second reason (after headaches) for people seeking medical help.
The precise cause of lower back pains can’t be exactly defined, especially when it comes to chronic lower back pains.
However, there are several sources and conditions that might cause lower back pains.The causes are usually different in younger versus older individuals.
Most Common Causes for Lower Back Pain in Younger People:
– Muscle and ligament strains.
– Degenerative disc disease.
– Isthmic spondyloisthesis.
Most Common Causes for Lower Back Pain in Older People:
– Spinal stenosis;
– Fracture caused by compression.
Other possible causes:
– Spinal tumors.
– Piriformis Syndrome.
– Severe Depression.
– Ankylosing spondylitis.
Low Back Pain. Obviously the first symptom that you suffer from chronic lower back pains is this.
Leg Pain. The most common symptom in people who suffer from chronic back pain is leg pain. The pain can start from your lower back and go all down your feet.
Pain that reacts on certain movements or positions. If you notice that your pain is worse when you do a certain movement or sleep in a certain way, this can also be a symptom.
Stiffness. If you suffer from chronic lower back pains it is possible that you feel muscle stiffness throughout your body or in some parts.
Morning and Evening’s Pains. You may notice that your pains are worse at the morning or in the evening when the body is calm.
Because there may be more than one possible option, in depth analyses and a complete medical history of the patient are necessary.
You will also have to do your best in explaining the pain to your doctor, because that’s the most important factor in diagnosing your condition.
Physical exams are also part of the diagnosis. You may be asked to perform certain movements with your feet, toes or legs in order to see if something hurts.
If it’s necessary, other tests might be done too, such as X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging and similar ones. Blood tests can also be an option as well as electromyogram or some other tests that check your nerves.
The treatment of chronic lower back pains depends a lot from the cause of it. In general, no matter what the cause is, there are 4 possible options: self-care, medications, surgeries and other alternative therapies.
Self-care is the most important thing no matter what condition is the problem. Self-care can serve as prevention or as a treatment for the already painful back.
Eating healthy, losing weight if you are obese, exercising, sleeping well and comfortably, having a good posture, watching out for sudden movements, trying not to lift too heavy things… all these are important for a good self-care.
If your pains are not too big, you should start with some easier pain killers. Over-the-counter pills can be a good solution.
If you can’t find relief in those medications, your doctor can prescribe some stronger options. Antidepressants or some anti-inflammatory medications can also be an option.
This is only for extreme conditions. There are several types of surgeries available depending on the condition. Consult your doctor and see what’s good for you.
Alternatives. Physical therapy or some other activity, like yoga or meditation can also be good for you.