What’s more, prolonged sitting and poor posture are major risk factors of not only back pain, but also of weight gain, obesity, joint problems, nerve problems like carpal tunnel syndrome, and other debilitating diseases. In fact, mounting research found that prolonged sitting is now an independent risk factor for poor health and premature death—even if you exercise regularly!
2010 — Updated: Added a very beefy footnote about some new research showing that muscle imbalance does not result in higher rates of injury. This almost should have been a new section, but I decided to just make it a ginormous footnote — footnotes are there for delving if you want to, that’s the idea! You can read a summary of the research in the bibliography (see Hides et al), but the relevance to back pain is spelled out in detail here. And it’s interesting. [Section: Diagnosis: Your low back is not fragile!]
Dr. Richard Deyo, one of the great myth busters of low back pain research, believes that “low back pain is second to upper respiratory problems as a symptom-related reason for visits to a physician” — only the common cold causes more complaints. Hart et al puts low back pain in fifth place (lower because Hart oddly excludes chronic low back pain). Chronic low back pain is usually the kind that this book will examine. Andersson writes: “Although the literature is filled with information about the prevalence and incidence of back pain in general, there is less information about chronic back pain … .” Indeed, it is almost impossible to measure how much chronic low back pain there is: for every time that acute low back pain is the main reason for a visit to a physician, how many times does a patient mention low back pain as a secondary problem? Or sees an alternative health care professional about it instead? (Answer: pretty danged often.) So it’s actually possible that low back pain is the single most common reason that people seek help. BACK TO TEXT
This information is not designed to replace a physician's independent judgment about the appropriateness or risks of a procedure for a given patient. Always consult your doctor about your medical conditions or back problem. SpineUniverse does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Use of the SpineUniverse.com site is conditional upon your acceptance of our User Agreement
Conventional health care practitioners are quick to prescribe medications like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), acetaminophen, and even opioids for chronic pain. But even if these medications can provide immediate back pain relief, their effect is only temporary – the pain will come back sooner or later and in some cases will cause hyperalgesia, or increased sensitivity to pain!
Several NIH-funded clinical trials and other studies in patients aim to improve treatment options and prevention strategies for chronic low back pain, as well as add to the evidence base about existing treatments. A multi-year multicenter study called the Spine Patient Outcomes Research Trial (SPORT) compared the most commonly used surgical and nonsurgical treatments for patients with the three most common diagnoses for which spine surgery is performed: intervertebral disc herniation, spinal stenosis, and degenerative spondylisthesis. SPORT represented the largest clinical investigation to date looking at treatment results for these disabling and costly causes of chronic low back pain.
Please help; around last november i had small kidney stones and was in pain in the front of my lower left stomach for weeks. The pain left then i started getting pains on the same location but only on my back. This pain has been going on for months now and i don’t know what to do. It hurts when i lay down, and when i sit down and get in a specific position.
A herniated lumbar disc can cause low back pain on the right side. A disc herniation involves a rupture of the disc's fibrous outer ring and resultant slipping of the disc's center, or nucleus, into the spinal canal. According to the Spine Health website, approximately 90 percent of intervertebral disc herniations occur toward the bottom of the spine, between the fourth and fifth lumbar vertebrae or the fifth lumbar vertebra and the first sacral segment. If the disc herniation impinges the nerve root--an offshoot of the the spinal cord--on the right side of the spine where it exits the vertebral column through a small hole called the intervertberal foramen, right-sided low back pain, along with right-sided leg pain, may result. Most lumbar disc herniations occur in a posterolateral direction, which means the bulge or herniated disc material extends outward from the disc itself somewhere between the back and side of the disc. The side of the disc that ruptures or bulges depends on the mechanism of low back injury, or the particular forces acting on the body when the injury occurred.
The magnitude of the burden from low back pain has grown worse in recent years. In 1990, a study ranking the most burdensome conditions in the U.S. in terms of mortality or poor health as a result of disease put low back pain in sixth place; in 2010, low back pain jumped to third place, with only ischemic heart disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease ranking higher.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has identified 11 red flags that doctors look for when evaluating a person with back pain. The focus of these red flags is to detect fractures (broken bones), infections, or tumors of the spine. Presence of any of the following red flags associated with low back pain should prompt a visit to your doctor as soon as possible for complete evaluation.

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An odd-shaped spine, such as with scoliosis or kyphosis. This can make your back hurt. When you look at a normal spine from the back, it is usually straight. But when a person has scoliosis, the spine curves from side to side, often in an S or C shape. It may also be twisted. When a person has kyphosis, the upper spine is rounded and looks like a hump. In bad cases of scoliosis or kyphosis, a person may have a hard time breathing.

Treatment options include physical therapy, back exercises, weight reduction, steroid injections (epidural steroids), nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, rehabilitation and limited activity. All of these treatment options are aimed at relieving the inflammation in the back and irritation of nerve roots. Physicians usually recommend four to six weeks of conservative therapy before considering surgery.
Sciatica is a form of radiculopathy caused by compression of the sciatic nerve, the large nerve that travels through the buttocks and extends down the back of the leg. This compression causes shock-like or burning low back pain combined with pain through the buttocks and down one leg, occasionally reaching the foot. In the most extreme cases, when the nerve is pinched between the disc and the adjacent bone, the symptoms may involve not only pain, but numbness and muscle weakness in the leg because of interrupted nerve signaling. The condition may also be caused by a tumor or cyst that presses on the sciatic nerve or its roots.
Writers go on and on about how grateful they are for the support they had while writing one measly book, but this website is a much bigger project. PainScience.com was originally created in my so-called “spare time” with a lot of assistance from family and friends. Thanks to my wife for countless indulgences large and small; to my parents for (possibly blind) faith in me, and much copyediting; and to friends and technical mentors Mike, Dirk, Aaron, and Erin for endless useful chats, repeatedly saving my ass, and actually building many of the nifty features of this website.

Electrodiagnostics are procedures that, in the setting of low back pain, are primarily used to confirm whether a person has lumbar radiculopathy. The procedures include electromyography (EMG), nerve conduction studies (NCS), and evoked potential (EP) studies. EMG assesses the electrical activity in a muscle and can detect if muscle weakness results from a problem with the nerves that control the muscles. Very fine needles are inserted in muscles to measure electrical activity transmitted from the brain or spinal cord to a particular area of the body. NCSs are often performed along with EMG to exclude conditions that can mimic radiculopathy. In NCSs, two sets of electrodes are placed on the skin over the muscles. The first set provides a mild shock to stimulate the nerve that runs to a particular muscle. The second set records the nerve’s electrical signals, and from this information nerve damage that slows conduction of the nerve signal can be detected. EP tests also involve two sets of electrodes—one set to stimulate a sensory nerve, and the other placed on the scalp to record the speed of nerve signal transmissions to the brain.
Getting a massage is another simple strategy I recommend to help ease not only your back pain (and other types of pain), but anxiety as well. Massage offers real health benefits that are being recognized even by conventional hospitals, making it a standard therapy for surgery patients. Massage releases endorphins that help induce relaxation, relieve pain, and reduce levels of stress chemicals, such as cortisol and noradrenaline. It also reverses the damaging effects of stress by slowing your heart rate, respiration, and metabolism and lowering raised blood pressure.

Subacute low back pain. Lasting between 6 weeks and 3 months, this type of pain is usually mechanical in nature (such as a muscle strain or joint pain) but is prolonged. At this point, a medical workup may be considered, and is advisable if the pain is severe and limits one’s ability to participate in activities of daily living, sleeping, and working.
Why is musculoskeletal medicine such a mess? Many reasons, but mainly professional pride and tribalism, ideological momentum, and screwed up incentives (certification rackets, freelancing, insurance, huge profits). Also, the love of “advanced” and technological treatment methods, ignorance of the history of science and critical thinking skills, and the obscurity of newer and better ideas, especially the major neurological and biological factors that we’re still learning about, which many frontline clinicians are still oblivious to. I explore the trouble with modern musculoskeletal medicine in more detail in A Historical Perspective On Aches ‘n’ Pains: We are living in a golden age of pain science and musculoskeletal medicine … sorta. BACK TO TEXT

I had a UTI infection in April. I did not get better. I was ill had burning through out my body. Then treated for a kidney infection. They are calling my burning chronic pain? I am still being treated for kidney infection and then bladder 6 treatments since May? I have lost 22 pounds since May, still have burning. Strange bowel movements, swelling in groin, inner thigh and buttock?


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Premkumar et al present evidence that the traditional “red flags” for ominous causes of back pain can be quite misleading. The correlation between red flags and ominous diagnoses is poor, and prone to producing false negatives: that is, no red flags even when there is something more serious than unexplained pain going on. In a survey of almost 10,000 patients “the absence of red flag responses did not meaningfully decrease the likelihood of a red flag diagnosis.“ This is not even remotely a surprise to anyone who paid attention in back pain school, but it’s good to have some harder data on it.
Depending on what the doctor suspects is wrong with you, the doctor may perform an abdominal examination, a pelvic examination, or a rectal examination. These exams look for diseases that can cause pain referred to your back. The lowest nerves in your spinal cord serve the sensory area and muscles of the rectum, and damage to these nerves can result in inability to control urination and defecation. Thus, a rectal examination is essential to make sure that you do not have nerve damage in this area of your body.
True numbness is not just a dead/heavy feeling (which is common, and caused even by minor muscular dysfunction in the area), but a significant or complete lack of sensitivity to touch. You have true numbness when you have patches of skin where you cannot feel light touch. Such areas might still be sensitive to pressure: you could feel a poke, but as if it was through a layer of rubber. Most people have experienced true numbness at the dentist. BACK TO TEXT

Love this arrival it covers so many issues without trying to sell a miracle cure . I have so many different things going on in my body. My organs and joints Drs. Are now listening to me and going to specialist for all kinds of answers. I hhave so many issues with perscription medications. Asking for natural things for heali g. I feel so much better off of tho vs different doctors prescribe.
Disclaimer: The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of Dr. Mercola, unless otherwise noted. Individual articles are based upon the opinions of the respective author, who retains copyright as marked. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Mercola and his community. Dr. Mercola encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your health care professional before using products based on this content.
The middle back consists of the spine (spinal column), spinal cord, nerves, discs, muscles, blood vessels, ligaments, and tendons. Any of the structures in the spine or back area can become irritated or inflamed in response to a variety of mild to serious conditions. Middle back pain causes include sports injuries, poor posture, arthritis, muscle strain, and car accident injuries. Middle back pain is not as common as lower back pain because the thoracic spine does not move as much as the spine in the lower back and neck.
The treatment of back pain in people with lung cancer depends largely on the underlying cause. If the pain is related to pressure caused by a tumor, treatments may include surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy to reduce its size. If bone metastases are present, combining radiation therapy with bone-modifying medications known as bisphosphonates (used to treat osteoporosis) or the drug denosumab usually provide significant pain relief (and reduce the risk of fractures through involved bone as well).
From a physical therapist’s perspective, these are excellent exercises for lower back pain (LBP) resulting from muscular tightness or stiff joints. However, LBP can also be caused by bulging (or “herniated”) discs, pinched nerves, and the like. If your LBP worsens (or radiates into your leg) upon attempting these or any other low back exercises, you should seek medical attention. Physical therapists are musculoskeletal experts that are able to properly evaluate and treat your back pain symptoms. And, according to a recently passed law in the state of Michigan, a physician referral is no longer necessary to seek treatment from a physical therapist. So, if you are experiencing LBP that is not improving…#getPT!
Long-term use of opioids has not been tested in order to determine if it is effective or safe for treating chronic lower back pain.[49][50] For severe back pain not relieved by NSAIDs or acetaminophen, opioids may be used.[citation needed] Opioids may not be better than NSAIDs or antidepressants for chronic back pain with regards to pain relief and gain of function.[50]
People routinely have no pain despite the presence of obvious arthritic degeneration, herniated discs, and other seemingly serious structural problems like stenosis and spondylolistheses. This surprising contradiction has been made clear by a wide variety of research over the years, but the most notable in recent history is Brinjikji 2015. There are painful spinal problems, of course — which was also shown by Brinjikji et al in a companion paper — but they are mostly more rare and unpredictable than most people suspect, and there are many fascinating examples of people who “should” be in pain but are not, and vice versa. Spinal problems are only one of many ingredients in back pain. BACK TO TEXT
All of a sudden–you’ve got lower back pain on the left side–and you want to know what to do to relieve the pain right away. It may make sense to you to refrain from any physical activity while you recover from back pain, but this may not be the best solution since the back may lose endurance, flexibility, and strength. Instead, you should maintain physical activity, while at the same time being careful to avoid any sudden movements that might aggravate pain. Try to perform low-impact exercises such as water aerobics or walking, and apply an ice pack on your back for 15 to 20 minutes around five times daily to reduce soreness, inflammation, and swelling. It’s also a good plan to sleep with a pillow between your knees and on your left side to help relieve your back pain.
To ensure a thorough examination, you will be asked to put on a gown. The doctor will watch for signs of nerve damage while you walk on your heels, toes, and soles of the feet. Reflexes are usually tested using a reflex hammer. This is done at the knee and behind the ankle. As you lie flat on your back, one leg at a time is elevated, both with and without the assistance of the doctor. This is done to test the nerves, muscle strength, and assess the presence of tension on the sciatic nerve. Sensation is usually tested using a pin, paper clip, broken tongue depressor, or other sharp object to assess any loss of sensation in your legs.
People understandably assume that the worst back pain is the scariest. In fact, pain intensity is a poor indicator of back pain ominousness,6 and some of the worst causes are actually the least painful (especially in the early stages). Pain intensity is a poor indicator of back pain ominousness & some of the worst causes are actually the least painful.For instance, someone could experience the symptoms of cauda equinae syndrome, and be in real danger of a serious and permanent injury to their spine, but have surprisingly little pain — even none at all in some cases!
Opioid painkillers like OxyContin, which are also commonly prescribed for back pain relief, also have a highly addictive nature. In fact, opioids are among the most commonly abused prescription drugs today, and are a leading contributor to the increasing rates of fatal prescription drug overdoses. This is why back pain is now one of the primary reasons why so many American adults get addicted to painkillers.
As upper back pain is related to large muscles in the shoulder area, exercise to stretch and strengthen the muscles of your back, shoulders, and stomach are largely recommended. These muscles help support your spine. Exercise will also strengthen the muscle groups that support your mid-back to help relieve pain. Both specific exercises and stretches for this region together with general exercise, such as swimming, walking, cycling, are recommended. Strong muscles can help improve your posture, keep your body in better balance, decrease your chance of injury and reduce pain.
I fell off my couch twice,my nephews wife took me to ER two days ago they have been hurting for weeks ,not getting any better,when I inhale,move reach ,turn, step one of my feet to hard,,cough,I can't hardly take it! I'm disabled anyhow and it looks like to me it would be getting a little bit better ,but,No I'm going on steroids tomorrow,I just don't think it's gonna help! I think it should've already got better at least a little ! I broke three ribs years ago and they didn't hurt this bad,help please! Any ideas?
In this study, one patient with sciatica was sent for ten MRIs, which produced 49 distinct “findings,” 16 of them unique, none of which occurred in all ten reports. On average, each radiologist made about a dozen errors, seeing one or two things that weren’t there and missing about ten things that were. Yikes. Read a more detailed and informal description of this study.
Research suggests that the time between the onset of symptoms and the diagnosis of lung cancer is around 12 months. Oftentimes, this is because a person may not recognize the symptoms or chooses to actively ignore them, hoping they'll go away. Yet, physicians may overlook the potential of lung cancer as a cause, especially in people who have never smoked. This is especially true when it comes to back pain, which many consider are simply facts of life we have to deal with.
That’s a huge topic, but here’s one simple example of an extremely common problem with back pain science: control groups that don’t control. Rather than comparing a treatment to a good, carefully selected placebo, most studies use a comparison to a treatment that is allegedly neutral, underwhelming, or placebo-ish. That makes the results hard to interpret: if each works about the same, it could mean that the treatments are equally effective … or equally ineffective! So much back pain science has this problem — or any one of a dozen other weak points — that you can effectively ignore at least 80% of all back pain research, because it’s so far from the last word on anything. Good science is essential to solving these problems, but really good studies are also difficult to design and rare. BACK TO TEXT

The results, however, speak for themselves. And unlike painkillers which come along with side effects and provide little long-term benefit, upper cervical chiropractic care is safe and effective on a long-term basis because it gets to the root of many back problems. To learn more, contact a practitioner in your local area to schedule a no-obligation consultation.
Structures and disks provide a cushion between the spine and bones, but over time they may shrink, wear out, and rupture, which can lead to a herniated disk. Nerves are sensitive to pressure, and sciatica will result when a lower back disk wraps around the sciatic nerve. A person will typically feel the pain around the buttock, hip, lower leg, or foot.
2013 — New section: An overdue upgrade! This way pain and fear power each other is now explained much more clearly and thoroughly than before. It’s noteworthy that, with this update, Dr. Lorimer Moseley’s valuable perspective on back pain is now fairly well-represented in this book. [Section: Pain and fear, together at last: an even simpler vicious cycle.]
Spinal disc degeneration coupled with disease in joints of the low back can lead to spinal-canal narrowing (spinal stenosis). These changes in the disc and the joints produce symptoms and can be seen on an X-ray. A person with spinal stenosis may have pain radiating down both lower extremities while standing for a long time or walking even short distances.

What to know about menstrual cramps Menstrual cramps can be a monthly trial for many people when they approach menstruation, as well as in the first few days of their period. Find out why cramps happen and what can aggravate the symptoms. This article explains the treatments available from the doctor and what you can do at home to lessen their impact. Read now
The lumbar spine (lower back) consists of five vertebrae in the lower part of the spine between the ribs and the pelvis. The bones (vertebrae) that form the spine in the back are cushioned by small discs. These discs are round and flat, with a tough, outer layer (annulus) that surrounds a jellylike material called the nucleus. Located between each of the vertebra in the spinal column, discs act as shock absorbers for the spinal bones. Thick ligaments attached to the vertebrae hold the pulpy disc material in place. Of the 31 pairs of spinal nerves and roots, five lumbar (L1-L5) and five sacral (S1-S5) nerve pairs connect beginning in the area of the lower back.
There is room for improvement, however! We could, at least, not add insult to injury with pointless and expensive testing, therapies, and surgeries that are all about finding and fixing structural problems that are mostly not there, or not really the problem. Despite overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary, it is still sadly routine for back pain to be seen as a “mechanical” problem, as if the spine is a fragile structure which breaks down. There is some truth in that old way of looking at it, but there are many other factors in back pain
Long periods of inactivity in bed are no longer recommended, as this treatment may actually slow recovery. Spinal manipulation for periods of up to one month has been found to be helpful in some patients who do not have signs of nerve irritation. Future injury is avoided by using back-protection techniques during activities and support devices as needed at home or work.
Regular activity and gentle stretching exercises is encouraged in uncomplicated back pain, and is associated with better long-term outcomes.[10][40] Physical therapy to strengthen the muscles in the abdomen and around the spine may also be recommended.[41]  These exercises are associated with better patient satisfaction, although it has not been shown to provide functional improvement.[10] However, one study found that exercise is effective for chronic back pain, but not for acute pain.[citation needed] If used, they should be performed under supervision of a licensed health professional.[42]

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
By now you should be getting the idea that there the side of the pain on its own doesn’t tell us much, and most of the one-sided sources of pain are viscera that usually cause more abdominal pain. In other words, the only reason to worry about right or left lower back pain is if it is otherwise worrisome: if you have other significant non-back symptoms, or red flags from the lists earlier in this article.

Vertebral fractures: These are especially common in older adults, due to the bone-thinning disease osteoporosis. If you have osteoporosis, follow your doctor’s advice when it comes to taking osteoporosis medications, eating a calcium-rich diet, and supplementing with vitamin D if you don’t get sufficient sun to top up your vitamin D levels. (See also our post 10 Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms You Can Identify Yourself.)
Another type of sacroiliac pain, caused by inflammation, is an arthritic condition known as ankylosing spondylitis. Ankylosing spondylitis is a progressive, debilitating disease that over time can result in the fusion of the entire spine. That said, the inflammation starts at the sacroiliac joints. Symptoms include stiffness, pain and immobility. If you experience them, it's a good idea to try for a diagnosis as soon as possible; an early diagnosis may make this serious disease easier to manage in the long term.
Taking NSAIDs like ibuprofen can irritate the lining of your stomach, bringing on a burning sensation. While it’s more common to have generalized abdominal pain, as well as indigestion, heartburn, or bloating with this type of irritation, the pain can localize in your upper abdomen. You can avoid trouble by sticking to your doctor’s instructions on how long and how much to take of these drugs. Don’t miss these reasons why your back pain treatment isn’t working.
Spinal stenosis . The spinal cord runs through an opening in the bones called the spinal canal. Spinal stenosis occurs when that opening narrows. In some cases, bone, ligament, and disc tissue grows into the spinal canal and presses on the nerves that branch out from the spinal cord. The tissue can also squeeze and irritate or injure the spinal cord itself. In most cases, spinal stenosis occurs in the lower back and neck. It can occur in your upper or middle back, but this is rare.
Diverticulitis can also cause abdominal or lower left back pain. Small pouches can develop along the walls of the colon as you age, specifically on the left side of the abdomen. Diverticulitis results when bacteria accumulate in the pouches to the point where an infection forms. Other symptoms of diverticulitis include constipation, diarrhea, nausea, and fever.

Kidney Infection. An infection in the left kidney can cause dull or intense lower left back pain. Kidney infections usually start in the urinary tract and bladder, and from there can spread to the kidneys, causing local inflammation and pain in the kidney. Additional symptoms may include fever, nausea and/or vomiting, and painful or stinging urination. Pain is typically felt next to the spine above the hip, and typically worsens with movement or pressure.


Home care is recommended for the initial treatment of low back pain. Bed rest remains of unproven value, and most experts recommend no more than two days of bed rest or decreased activity. Some people with sciatica may benefit from two to fours days of rest. Application of local ice and heat provide relief for some people and should be tried. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen are useful for controlling pain.
This book-length tutorial explores the nature of the beast and reviews all popular back pain treatments. It is not a sales pitch for a miracle cure or guaranteed treatment method — there is no such thing — but I do offer some surprising ideas about underestimated factors and under-rated treatment strategies. I won’t claim that all back pain comes from a single cause or has one cure (exactly the opposite). It’s just a thorough tour of the topic, the myths and misconceptions, and the best (and worst) low back pain treatment ideas available.
2011 — Updated: Added scientific cases studies, examples, pictures and video of true dislocation and abnormal anatomy to help drive home the point that even significant spinal joint dysfunction can be surprisingly harmless … never mind subtle joint problems. [Section: Spinal manipulative therapy (SMT): Adjustment, manipulation, and cracking of the spinal joints.]

Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.


Ground yourself. Grounding, also known as Earthing, can help decrease inflammation in your body and relieve back pain and other types of pain. By walking barefoot on wet grass or sand, your body gets an adequate supply of electrons from the earth. These electrons are the “ultimate antioxidants” that act as powerful anti-inflammatories, and help your immune system function optimally. Walking barefoot is also a great way to strengthen your feet and arches.
Lower right back pain is managed with rest and immobilization for initial period with back support. Ice or heat compresses can be effective in relieving the pain in lower right back. Treatment for lower right back pain depends on the underlying cause. Pain killers and anti-inflammatory medicines are given. In most joint and muscle conditions, physical therapy may be required and gradual recovery of activities may be advised.
It's all in the name of keeping you balanced and moving. But for whatever reason (and there are many potential ones) the balance that's established is often not the most ideal, leading to some muscles getting very tight, and others becoming overstretched and taut. In this case, you may develop painful spasms or trigger points on one side of the body or the other.
Let’s start with your spine. This all-important column of interlocking bones known as vertebrae runs down the middle of your back and protects your spinal cord, according to the NIH. “That’s where all the nerve fibers that control your body go,” Lara Morgan Oberle, M.D. a primary care sports and exercise medicine specialist at Cleveland Clinic’s Sports Health, tells SELF.
Of course, not all incidences of back pain are injury or trauma-related. Many back problems are congenital (found at birth), degenerative, age-related, disease-related, and may be linked to poor posture, obesity or an unhealthy lifestyle such as smoking. Sometimes the back pain is worse than the severity of the injury or disorder. That statement raises the question, “When should I seek medical attention for back pain?”
The vast majority of low back pain is mechanical in nature. In many cases, low back pain is associated with spondylosis, a term that refers to the general degeneration of the spine associated with normal wear and tear that occurs in the joints, discs, and bones of the spine as people get older. Some examples of mechanical causes of low back pain include:
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