Transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation (TENS): TENS provides pulses of electrical stimulation through surface electrodes. For acute back pain, there is no proven benefit. Two small studies produced inconclusive results, with a trend toward improvement with TENS. In chronic back pain, there is conflicting evidence regarding its ability to help relieve pain. One study showed a slight advantage at one week for TENS but no difference at three months and beyond. Other studies showed no benefit for TENS at any time. There is no known benefit for sciatica.
Things get a little more complicated if one of the other issues on this list is causing your back pain, because they all come with a wealth of treatment options. They include cortisone injections to calm disc-related inflammation to laparoscopic surgery to remove endometrial lesions to shock wave therapy that can smash a kidney stone into smaller pieces so you can pee them out. If you suspect one of these issues is at the root of your lower back pain, you’re not going to be able to tackle it on your own. Loop in your doctor so you can create an expert-approved treatment plan that will get you back on your feet.
All this to say that back pain — even when you can barely tolerate it — is more often than not “non-specific,” meaning tests and exams can’t or don't reveal a cause. Reasons for non-specific back pain can range from soft tissue damage or muscle imbalances to pain that’s referred from other areas, including trigger points in nearby (and faraway) muscles. But it's generally not due to serious diseases that can be identified by testing or serious spine issues such as herniated disc that presses on a spinal nerve root.
In the vast majority of patients with low back pain, symptoms can be attributed to nonspecific mechanical factors. However, in a much smaller percentage of patients, the cause of back pain may be something more serious, such as cancer, cauda equina syndrome, spinal infection, spinal compression fractures, spinal stress fractures, ankylosing spondylitis, or aneurysm.
I have lower back pain on the left side. Had it two years ago lasted fr an year n went many to doctors but cannot diagnose the reason behind pain. Xray n MRI reports were normal. After span of tume pain automatically went off. And few days back was doing exercise lifted light weight and felt uneasiness in th back after work out. And 2-3 days aftrr the same pain has started again what i had 2 years before. Its on the left lower side of back. Pain is severe. Its a kind of pinching pain. Can feel the pain on the hip and on legt waist. But by pressing those areas i dont feel any pain. The pain is more when i lie down on bed on the back. As the left hip get pressed and i feel more pain on the lower back and hip and some numbness also on the hip. Some time uneasiness in the left leg. Doesnt feel much pain while standing but when on bed on the back it gets worse. Please tell what can be the reason of the pain And should be done to cure it. I need an expert advice on this as earlier i visited many doctors in india but nothing was identified for the reason of pain. Anyone who been through this condition and got cured Please contact me on WhatsApp 8826680370 n suggestt me the solution.
Massage therapy may give short-term pain relief, but not functional improvement, for those with acute lower back pain. It may also give short-term pain relief and functional improvement for those with long-term (chronic) and sub-acute lower pack pain, but this benefit does not appear to be sustained after 6 months of treatment. There does not appear to be any serious adverse effects associated with massage.
And things can become more worrisome should you notice your pain is limited to one side or the other. Again, the cause may be serious, so if the pain keeps you up at night, lasts longer than a week or if this is a recurrence rather than a first time experience of the symptoms, it's best to consult with your doctor. The same is true if you’ve had an injury or cancer. Note that these are just a few of the signs that your back needs medical attention; there are a number of others, as well.
The bony lumbar spine is designed so that vertebrae "stacked" together can provide a movable support structure while also protecting the spinal cord from injury. The spinal cord is composed of nervous tissue that extends down the spinal column from the brain. Each vertebra has a spinous process, a bony prominence behind the spinal cord, which shields the cord's nervous tissue from impact trauma. Vertebrae also have a strong bony "body" (vertebral body) in front of the spinal cord to provide a platform suitable for weight bearing of all tissues above the buttocks. The lumbar vertebrae stack immediately atop the sacrum bone that is situated in between the buttocks. On each side, the sacrum meets the iliac bone of the pelvis to form the sacroiliac joints of the buttocks.
Right-sided lower back pain is also a common symptom of kidney stones, a condition that occurs when tiny minerals and salts produced by the body clump together and create pebble-like formations inside the urinary tract, explains WebMD. Additional symptoms of kidney stones include frequent urination, nausea and blood-tinged urine. Depending on the severity of the stones, treatments include flushing the urinary tract by drinking extra water and medications to relax the urinary tract muscles, explains Mayo Clinic. In severe cases, surgical removal or ultrasound treatments to break up the stones may be required.
You’d think so. But consider this story of a motorcycle accident: many years ago, a friend hit a car that had pulled out from a side street. He flew over the car and landed on his head. Bystanders showed their ignorance of spinal fracture by, yikes, carelessly moving him. In fact, his thoracic spine wassignificantly fractured … yet the hospital actually refused to do an X-ray because he had no obvious symptoms of a spinal fracture. Incredible! The next day, a horrified orthopedic surgeon ordered an X-ray immediately, confirming the fracture, and quite possibly saved him from paralysis.
Poor posture: One of the most common causes of middle back pain is poor posture, especially if you sit at a desk for long periods of time. Hunched posture can cause tightness in the muscles of the middle of your back, so if you have a desk job, it is important to be mindful of how you are sitting. Try to sit up straight and stretch your shoulders often to keep the muscles in your back loose.
If your pain worsens and you’re finding it difficult to do daily activities you should consult your doctor. It may be that you may need to take a prescription pain medicine or have diagnostic tests to determine the cause of your pain. Your doctor may refer you to a Physiotherapist or an upper and middle back pain specialist. If surgery is required it usually involves removing what is causing the pain and then fusing the spine to control movement.
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.
Once in a great while some cranky reader (always a guy) writes to tell me, “I didn’t learn anything from your book.” I’m a little skeptical about that, and it’s always tempting to start quizzing! There’s a great deal of information here, including analyses of recent research. Sure, readers who have already done a lot of reading about back pain might already be familiar with a lot of it — but you will know that going in, of course, and you’ll find the nuggets of new information and perspective that any keen reader is always looking for. BACK TO TEXT
The most common causes of upper back pain are unknown but theorized to originate from muscular irritation, intervertebral discs, spinal facet joints, ribs or soft tissue (e.g. ligament/fascia) problems. Commonly intra-scapular pain is referred from the lower cervical spine. Contributing factors to injury include; lack of strength, poor posture, overuse injuries (such as repetitive motion), or a trauma (such as a car accident or sports injury). Often thoracic pain can be aggravated twisting, side bending and with prolonged bent spinal postures.
AAOS does not endorse any treatments, procedures, products, or physicians referenced herein. This information is provided as an educational service and is not intended to serve as medical advice. Anyone seeking specific orthopaedic advice or assistance should consult his or her orthopaedic surgeon, or locate one in your area through the AAOS Find an Orthopaedist program on this website.
If the pain is in the upper right of your abdomen, it might be due to a gallstone—especially if the pain worsened after eating or came on after a fatty meal. “We often see this in women, particularly those who are in their 30s or 40s,” says Dr. Finkelston. Your gallbladder is an organ that releases bile which helps you digest food. Your gallbladder can start to form stones if you have high levels of blood fats, estrogen, or are overweight. Regardless of the source, when the stones block bile ducts, sudden pain can hit. One telltale symptom: The sensation radiates to your right shoulder. If you’re having symptoms, you may require surgery to remove the gallbladder.
Injury to the bones and joints: Fractures (breakage of bone) of the lumbar spine and sacrum bone most commonly affect elderly people with osteoporosis, especially those who have taken long-term cortisone medication. For these individuals, occasionally even minimal stresses on the spine (such as bending to tie shoes) can lead to bone fracture. In this setting, the vertebra can collapse (vertebral compression fracture). The fracture causes an immediate onset of severe localized pain that can radiate around the waist in a band-like fashion and is made intensely worse with body motions. This pain generally does not radiate down the lower extremities. Vertebral fractures in younger patients occur only after severe trauma, such as from motor-vehicle accidents or a convulsive seizure.
Herniated disk. A herniated disk — also called a bulging disk, slipped disk, ruptured disk, or pinched nerve — can also cause sudden, sharp back pain. It can result from the improper lifting of heavy objects or overly strenuous activity. Sharp back pain that shoots down through the buttocks into the legs, called sciatica, is a common symptom of a herniated disk.
What causes stomach pain at night? Many people experience stomach pain at night, and digestive problems are often responsible. Acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, gallstones, and other conditions affecting the throat, gut, or pelvic area may be involved. In this article, learn about common factors, when to see a doctor, and how to prevent this pain. Read now
Your stomach is above your belly button, so most often gas pain is centralized or to the left. Sometimes, however, it’ll radiate to the right, says Dr. Finkelston. Have you changed your diet? Did you eat a lot of foods that can make you gassy, like cruciferous veggies (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower) or beans? Gas will dissipate with time. Try taking a walk to help move things through.
Back pain is a big topic because between the upper back and tailbone, there are 17 vertebral bodies, many joints, the sacrum and tailbone. Plus fibrous and muscular supporting structures, intervertebral discs, spinal cord and nerve roots, and blood vessels. A simple injury, such as a back sprain/strain from lifting and twisting simultaneously, can cause immediate and severe pain that is typically self-limiting.
Using the wrong form or overexerting yourself can strain muscles or tendons in your back, or sprain one of your ligaments, according to the Cleveland Clinic. That essentially means those components have been twisted, stretched, or torn. These kinds of injuries can present as abrupt pain that worsens with activity, muscles cramps or spasms, and stiffness or limited movement.
Bleeding in the pelvis is rare without significant trauma and is usually seen in patients who are taking blood-thinning medications, such as warfarin (Coumadin). In these patients, a rapid-onset sciatica pain can be a sign of bleeding in the back of the pelvis and abdomen that is compressing the spinal nerves as they exit to the lower extremities. Infection of the pelvis is infrequent but can be a complication of conditions such as diverticulosis, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, pelvic inflammatory disease with infection of the Fallopian tubes or uterus, and even appendicitis. Pelvic infection is a serious complication of these conditions and is often associated with fever, lowering of blood pressure, and a life-threatening state.
The management goals when treating back pain are to achieve maximal reduction in pain intensity as rapidly as possible, to restore the individual's ability to function in everyday activities, to help the patient cope with residual pain, to assess for side-effects of therapy, and to facilitate the patient's passage through the legal and socioeconomic impediments to recovery. For many, the goal is to keep the pain to a manageable level to progress with rehabilitation, which then can lead to long-term pain relief. Also, for some people the goal is to use non-surgical therapies to manage the pain and avoid major surgery, while for others surgery may be the quickest way to feel better.
Back pain is common, with about nine out of ten adults experiencing it at some point in their life, and five out of ten working adults having it every year. Some estimate up to 95% of Americans will experience back pain at some point in their lifetime. It is the most common cause of chronic pain, and is a major contributor of missed work and disability. For most individuals, back pain is self-limited. In most cases of herniated disks and stenosis, rest, injections or surgery have similar general pain resolution outcomes on average after one year. In the United States, acute low back pain is the fifth most common reason for physician visits and causes 40% of missed days off work. Additionally, it is the single leading cause of disability worldwide.
Fibromyalgia – In addition to back pain, there are usually other areas of pain and stiffness in the trunk, neck, shoulders, knees and elbows. Pain may be either a general soreness or a gnawing ache, and stiffness is often worst in the morning. People usually complain of feeling abnormally tired, especially of waking up tired, and they have specific areas that are painful to touch, called tender points.
Everything you need to know about stomach ulcers About 1 in every ten people in Western countries will develop a stomach ulcer at some point. Ulcers are typically caused by bacteria or as a side effect of anti-inflammatory drugs, and the main symptom is indigestion. This article looks at causes, treatment, and how dietary changes can prevent an ulcer from forming. Read now
Most cancers and ominous problems will inevitably start to cause other, distinctive, ominous symptoms, and it won’t be long before someone catches on that there’s more going on than just back pain. Being “freaked out” about persistent back pain poses a genuine threat: it can make low back pain much worse.So it truly is an extraordinary circumstance for back pain to be ominous without causing other symptoms that raise the alarm.
There are many reasons to quit smoking, but here's one more: Cigarettes hurt more than just your heart and lungs. In fact, smoking deprives cells all over your body of oxygen, which can weaken muscles and ultimately lead to back pain, Mikhael says. Researchers have found that people who smoke have triple their chance of developing back pain, according to a study published in 2014 in Human Brain Mapping.
Your spinal discs are located between adjacent vertebrae and serve as shock-absorbing cushions. For a combination of reasons—including the natural process of aging, trauma to the spine, weight gain, smoking, and repetitive stress to the spine (for example, sitting for prolonged periods of time or lifting heavy objects)—the discs begin to deteriorate over time, making them more prone to bulging or protruding outward (called a bulging or slipped disc).