It is difficult to find a person who does not know about back pain in the lumbar region. Most often, this problem occurs after a person spends a lot of time in one position - for example, sitting. According to statistics, about 90% of all people periodically experience pain in the lumbar region.
The problem is experienced by both men and women, more often in their fifties and old age. Acute pain not only causes discomfort, but also disables for a long time. In some cases, a person cannot completely move around and serve themselves.
In most cases, pain in the region of the spine is caused by inflammatory processes, less often by diseases of internal organs. Unpleasant sensations rarely go away on their own, so it is important not to miss alarming symptoms and consult a doctor in time. Prompt diagnosis will help to avoid serious complications in the future.
The structure of the lumbar region
The kidney is part of the posterior abdominal wall. This is a fairly powerful and durable muscle plexus, designed to protect the spinal cord from damage and injury. The lumbar region is involved in the movement of the body during sports, sitting and walking. The upper edge of the lumbar region is considered the edge of the costal bones, the lower edge runs along the iliac crests.
The components of the department are:
- Five vertebrae;
- Bone structures;
- Ligaments and tendons;
- joint capsules;
- Blood vessels.
Damping of the spine is carried out using intervertebral discs. The lumbar region is not only very strong, but also flexible - it is it that provides the possibility of rotational, bending, stretching movements. The spinal cord inside the spine is protected by an arc of processes, the joints of which are responsible for the direction of movement. The muscles of this section ensure a stable position of the body.
Possible foci of inflammation
Acute or recurrent pain in the lower back can be the result of inflammatory processes in the internal organs located in the retroperitoneal space.
In the sacrolumbar region, the following tissues and organs are susceptible to inflammation:
- Skin covers.Pain in the lumbar region can be caused by pathogens (streptococci, staphylococci). They penetrate the sebaceous and sweat glands, forming a focus of purulent-necrotic inflammation, which gradually spreads to surrounding tissues (furunculosis). If several glands located next to each other are affected at once, carbuncle can form - an accumulation of lymph and inflamed cells, reaching a diameter of several centimeters. If, as a result of injury or injury, streptococci get under the skin, pyoderma is formed - painful ulcers form on the surface;
- Spine.Pain in the spine can be caused by non-infectious inflammation of the lumbosacral region and adjacent tissues. This disease is known as ankylosing spondylitis. In this case, the patient feels pain not only in the spine, but also in the muscles. Progressing, the disease deprives a person of the ability to move normally, the pain spreads to the hip joints. Less often, inflammation of the spine may be due to tuberculosis, brucellosis, or osteomyelitis;
- Ligaments and muscles.In case of hypothermia, injuries or a sedentary lifestyle, lower back pain will be the result of inflammatory processes in muscle tissue and ligaments;
- Appendix.Often this organ is located behind the cecum, with appendicitis (inflammation of the appendix), a person, along with other symptoms, feels sharp pain in the lower back.
- Kidneys.One of the signs of inflammation of the renal pelvis is severe pain in the lumbar region.
Only a qualified doctor can determine the cause of pain in the spine. It is impossible to delay the visit to the doctor, especially for acute inflammation of the appendix - in this case, emergency hospitalization and surgical intervention are required.
Causes of back pain
What can cause lower back pain? Modern medicine separates the primary and secondary causes of pain in the spine. In the first case, various pathologies of the spine are involved, in the second, diseases of the internal organs take place.
Equally important are the predisposing factors, the presence of which can provoke the development of the disease:
- A special specificity of regular activity is heavy physical labor, professional sports;
- Forced stay in one position for a long time - work at a computer, study;
- lack of physical activity;
- Poor nutrition - consumption of a large amount of fatty and sugary foods in the absence of cereals, vegetables and dairy products;
- Abuse of tobacco and alcohol;
- Big overweight.
It is important, if possible, to reduce or eliminate risk factors, this will not only prevent spinal problems, but also improve overall health.
The main causes of pain are pathologies of the spine. Called various degenerative-dystrophic processes in this part of the body, this category includes the following diseases:
- Lumbar osteochondrosis- a disease associated with degenerative changes in the cartilage and intervertebral discs. The tissue structure gradually changes, leading to pinched nerves and relentless tension in the back muscles. Against the background of osteochondrosis, hernias and protrusions develop, the pain becomes unbearable over time;
- Spondylarthrosis- deformation of the cartilage, due to which they lose their elasticity. Over time, the articular surfaces of the vertebrae become exposed and the joint capsules become inflamed;
- Spondylolisthesis- displacement of the vertebrae relative to each other. Due to this, the lumen of the spinal canal changes and the roots of the spine are damaged and there is aching pain in the lower back.
Secondary causes of pain are called factors that are formed due to the development of pathologies of internal organs.There can be several diagnoses in this situation:
- Metabolic disorders.Due to an acute lack of vitamins and minerals, bones and joints lose their elasticity and are destroyed;
- Malignant formationslocated near the spine. Severe pain in this case causes metastases penetrating into the intervertebral space;
- Infectious diseases- purulent cystitis, spondyloarthritis, epiduritis;
- Curvature of the spine- scoliosis, kyphosis;
- Miscellaneous injuries- fractures of the vertebrae, sprains, displacements;
- Psychogenic disorders.The pain in this case is due to brain disorders (for example, after a stroke);
- Pathologies of the gastrointestinal tract- for example, bowel obstruction;
- Diseases of the pelvic organs- inflammation of the appendages or ovaries, sexually transmitted diseases in an advanced stage.
Women are probably familiar with lower back pain caused by physiological processes - for example, menstruation.
Pregnant women also complain of discomfort - the increased load on the spine makes itself felt with periodic pain, which increases as the date of birth approaches.
Symptoms of back pain
Back pain can manifest in different ways. Classify painful sensations according to their severity and frequency. Pain aching for a long time is called low back pain.
Sudden sharp pain for a relatively short period - lumbago. The pain can be recurrent, occurring from time to time - for example, after heavy physical exertion or overexertion.
Pain that occurs in the sacrolumbar region due to mechanical stress has the following symptoms:
- Most often occurs in the afternoon, after intense training or other unusual physical exertion. Unpleasant sensations completely disappear after a good rest. Pain of this nature is observed in middle-aged and elderly people;
- Inflammatory pain, on the contrary, appears more intensely in the morning. Often decrease or completely disappear after exercise or pain medication. Typical for young people.
The location of the pain also depends on the structure of the existing damage:
- Local back pain appears after damage to certain areas of the spine. Painful sensations are usually not too pronounced, are permanent, with a change in the position of the body, the pain may increase or disappear;
- Pain resulting from inflammation of the internal organs (reflex). Deep pain sensations are permanent, can be transmitted to the pelvic region and femoral joints;
- Irritation of the spinal nerve roots causes severe pain that may extend along the periphery to the toes;
- Pain caused by a spasm of the abdominal muscles (fibromyalgia) is characterized by aching pain and cramping.
If the patient has a sharp pain in the spine, in any case you should not self-medicate and postpone a visit to the doctor.
What to do if you have back pain in your lower back? Depending on the cause of the discomfort, the patient may need to consult one or more doctors:
- therapist- in case of suspicion of acute appendicitis;
- surgeon- if you suspect existing inflammatory processes in internal organs and intestinal obstruction. The doctor carefully probes the abdominal cavity for dense painful areas, a general blood test is performed;
- Rheumatologist- for the diagnosis of ankylosing spondylitis. The doctor takes into account the specific symptoms of the disease, prescribes an X-ray or MRI, studies a complete blood count;
- Neurologist- if you suspect myositis or osteochondrosis. The diagnosis is made after an ultrasound examination, a complete blood count and electromyography (a method that allows you to assess the degree of muscle damage);
- Dermatologist- with skin lesions caused by the penetration of pathogenic bacteria. The doctor makes a diagnosis after a visual examination of the damaged area of the skin and the bacterial culture;
- Traumatologist- if there were any bruises or spinal injuries. The diagnosis is made after ultrasound or computed tomography;
- Orthopedist- with scoliosis, kyphosis and congenital anomalies of the spine. Diagnosis is usually made during adolescence;
- Infectist- in case of suspicion of brucellosis. A general blood test and bacteriological culture are carried out to detect the pathogenic agent;
- Nephrologist- for the diagnosis of pyelonephritis. When making the diagnosis, the results of a complete blood count, urinalysis and ultrasound and urography (examination of the kidneys, bladder and urinary tract) are taken into account.
Since there are so many causes of lower back pain, it can be difficult for a doctor to make a diagnosis based on a single scan or study.
Most often, an integrated approach is practiced, which includes several types of diagnostic procedures at once, each of which has certain requirements:
- X-ray imagesof the lumbar region must be done in frontal and lateral projections. In rare cases, an examination in a flexed position may be necessary;
- CT methodIt is considered more effective because it allows you to see existing hernias and spinal injuries. Such a study is rarely carried out, since the patient receives a large dose of X-rays;
- MRI(magnetic resonance imaging) displays with high accuracy the condition of the intervertebral discs, processes and joint tissue. It is carried out in combination with a medical examination and other diagnostic procedures;
- radioisotope scanningperformed to detect malignant tumors. The method consists of the introduction of a radioisotopic substance into the blood. After some time, the substance is localized in the tumor area, the focus is detected using a special scanner;
- Densitometry- allows you to detect changes in the bone tissue of the spine, indicating the presence of osteoporosis at an early stage;
- General blood testperformed to diagnose inflammatory processes that cause lower back pain. With its help, a number of serious diseases can be detected in a timely manner.
Modern diagnostic methods allow you to quickly and accurately determine the cause of back pain.
It is important to describe in detail and accurately the symptoms of the disease to the doctor, not forgetting to mention existing injuries, congenital pathologies and past illnesses (if any).
Back pain in the lumbar region - how to treat? If discomfort occurs after a bruise or sprain, the cold will help relieve the condition. This will not only reduce pain, but also prevent swelling.
It is also recommended to minimize the load on the spine and take one of the available painkillers. If a serious injury is suspected - a broken bone or sprain - an ambulance should be called immediately.
Severe pain in the lumbar region involves the use of therapeutic drugs and exercises. The introduction of drugs is carried out in several ways:
- Subcutaneous injections (injections in places of pain localization);
- Take medication in the form of tablets;
- Rub ointments, gels and anesthetic solutions on the skin.
Treatment should be supplemented with gymnastics (if the pain is not associated with injuries) and diagnosis of the disease causing pain in the lower back.
Such treatment is prescribed after the elimination of the pain syndrome by medical methods. Physiotherapeutic procedures activate tissue metabolism, accelerate tissue regeneration and stop further destruction of bone and joint tissue.
The list of procedures is as follows:
- Electrophoresis.Provides rapid delivery of drug solution to places of pain localization. The procedure looks like this - cotton swabs soaked in a solution of the drug are applied to the lower back. From above, special plates are attached that emit discharges of electric current. Under the influence of impulses, the solution enters the zone of inflammation;
- Ultrasound treatment.Sound waves of a special range stimulate blood circulation in the sacro-lumbar region. Damaged areas receive maximum nutrients and molecular oxygen. The result of the procedures is an increase in metabolism and relief of the patient's condition;
- Laser therapy.This method is used to treat destructive changes in the spine. Radiation in the infrared range activates blood supply to cartilage and joints, helps to remove toxins from the body;
- Magnetotherapy.Under the influence of magnetic waves, blood circulation is stimulated in the damaged areas of the spine, the pain decreases or completely disappears.
Physiotherapy will be effective only in combination with drug treatment, so the procedures should be agreed with the attending physician.
Folk methods of treatment
To get rid of pain in the lumbar region, traditional healers offer many recipes based on medicinal herbs. Often you can find recommendations to increase the amount of liquid you drink - all kinds of decoctions help to remove toxins from the body, which are formed due to inflammatory processes.
Many medicinal herbs contain biologically active substances that have anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antiseptic effects.
Medicinal decoctions, compresses and ointments can be used to relieve back pain. Here are some popular recipes:
- Lingonberry leaves, marigold flowers and St. John's wort in equal proportions pour boiling water, insist for half an hour. Drink the infusion during the day in small portions;
- Dried rosehips, junipers and blueberries (a small handful of berries of each type) are placed in a thermos and filled with boiling water. Take half a glass half an hour before meals;
- In one hundred grams of honey, dissolve 2 tablespoons of pharmacy alcohol and 100 grams of petroleum jelly, use as a compress before going to bed.
It is important to remember that treatment with folk methods is suitable only for minor back pain.Inflammatory processes, accompanied by acute pain, require treatment in the hospital.
A set of therapeutic measures is prescribed individually, the doctor selects the optimal treatment strategy depending on the cause of back pain, the present symptoms and the age of the patient.
No one is immune to back pain. Avoiding the natural wear and tear of bones and joints is totally impossible. Nevertheless, it is quite possible to avoid serious spinal problems, just follow a few simple rules:
- Do not neglect physical activity - hiking and swimming, exercises to strengthen the back and abdominal cavity;
- If possible, avoid excessive stress on the spine - do not lift too heavy objects, do not move furniture by yourself, etc. ;
- Monitor body weight. Excess weight contributes to the destruction of joint and bone tissue;
- Try to walk and sit up straight. Good posture will relieve many spinal problems and prevent the formation of hernias and protrusions.
These simple rules will not only help maintain spinal health, but also improve overall well-being. All symptoms of diseases associated with the spine - pain, stiffness, tension - should not be ignored.
Prompt and competent treatment will help to avoid serious complications in the future.