BACK PAIN CAUSES
Sometimes back pain or lower back pain can be the result of a problem not located in the back. Possible causes include:
• Kidney stones or kidney infections. Because of the kidneys’ location in the lower back, problems with the kidney may be felt as back pain.
• Pregnancy. Weight gain from pregnancy can both stress the back and stretch and weaken muscles that support the spine.
• Obesity. Being overweight or obese, particularly if excess weight is carried in the abdomen, places stress on back muscles, causing pain.
• Endometriosis. This is a condition in which the endometrial tissue (tissue that lines the uterus) migrates from the uterus and deposits on other organs and structures. Pain from endometriosis is often felt in the abdomen and back.
• Aortic aneurysms. In rare cases, the aorta (the body’s main artery that originates at the heart and runs down the body just in front of the spine) develops an aneurysm, a balloon-like swelling in the artery’s muscular wall. If the wall ruptures or causes compression of the blood vessels that run off it, the result can be pain that is felt in the chest, abdomen and/or lower back. This is a medical emergency, requiring immediate treatment.
• Tumors. In rare cases, tumors – either malignant (cancerous) or benign (not cancerous) – can affect the tissues of or near the spine, causing pain.
BACK PAIN TREATMENT:
Relief is Possible
Most low back pain goes away when the root cause is treated. Then it just needs a little rest, heat or cold and movement to get you back in the game. If your pain is due to arthritis and won’t stay away, your back will need ongoing TLC. Try these self-care tips to ease your ache and get back to doing the things you love.
Therapeutic aquatic exercise can ease back pain and help you move better. In Europe, people also soak in hot mineral springs (called balneotherapy), and studies show the benefits are even greater when combined with exercise. So get moving – in warm water, with or without minerals.
2. Move and Strengthen It
Various types of exercise can relieve back pain, improve movement and enhance your quality of life. Yoga, tai chi, Pilates, aquatic exercise, and motor control exercise (that strengthen trunk muscles that hold up the spine) – have been shown helpful.
3. Find Your Zen
Stress and anxiety can worsen back pain. People with low back pain who engage in mindfulness-based stress reduction, biofeedback or cognitive-behavioral therapy report less pain. A licensed therapist can help you find your happy place and pain relief.
4. Cinch It In
Wearing a brace or elastic corset can help to stabilize in your low back and abdomen and improve your mobility. Studies show that for people with a history of low back pain, wearing back support can reduce lost days of work. Will support weaken core muscles? Experts say no need to worry.
5. Trim It Down
If you are overweight or obese, losing weight can ease your back pain. Overweight and obese people have nearly twice the rate of low back pain than healthy-weight people. The formula is simple, although carrying it out may not be: Eat less and move more.
6. Manipulate It
Spinal manipulation and mobilization by a licensed chiropractor can relieve back pain and improve movement. They help to keep spine joints in proper alignment. Tell the practitioner if you have osteoporosis, spinal cord compression or inflammatory arthritis before trying these procedures.
7. Apply Pressure
Massage can provide relief for all types of pain but it’s not a long-term fix. If you have chronic back pain, not only your body will benefit from the therapy but also your mind. It’s a great stress reliever, which is also good news for pain relief and general well-being.
For chronic low back pain, acupuncture, a popular form of Chinese medicine, can result in less pain and better function after the procedure and may last up to 12 weeks. Inserting thin needles at specific points is said to help release the body’s natural pain-relieving chemicals.