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BACK PAIN

Low back pain can range from mild, dull, annoying pain, to persistent, severe, disabling pain in the lower back. Pain in the lower back can restrict mobility and interfere with normal functioning. About 80% of people experience back ache in their lifetime and 70% of these subside within a month. But unfortunately in most of the cases it recurs.

Symptoms

 It can be acute(<3 months) or  chronic(>3 months).

  • Pain: dull or burning or aching or stabbing
  • Associated symptoms:
  • Stiffness
  • Pain in other joints
  • Neurological symptoms: Numbness, tingling, weakness

Causes

  • Overuse, strenuous activity, or improper use (such as  repetitive or heavy lifting, exposure to vibration for prolonged periods of time)
  • Injury
  • Degeneration of vertebrae (often caused by stresses on the muscles and ligaments that support the spine, or the effects of aging)
  • Infection
  • Abnormal growth (tumor)
  • Obesity (often increases weight on the spine and pressure on the disks)
  • Poor muscle tone in the back
  • Muscle tension or spasm
  • Sprain or strain
  • Joint problems (such as spinal stenosis)
  • Smoking
  • Protruding or herniated (slipped) disk
  • Disease (such as osteoarthritis, spondylitis, compression fractures, osteoporosis)

Diagnosis

  • Physical examination
  • Radiology: X-ray, CTscan, MRI
  • Blood test

Preventions

  • Use correct lifting techniques
  • Maintain correct posture while sitting, standing, and sleeping
  • Exercise regularly (with proper stretching before participation)
  • Avoid smoking
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Reduce stress which may cause muscle tension

Treatment

1. General

  • Rest : Not more than 2-3 weeks on hard bed
  • Analgesics
  • Physiotherapy
  • Traction
  • Corsets
  • EducationSpecific treatment according to the diagnosis