Do you feel pain in the lower part of your back and can hardly move? Then you might be suffering from lumbago, popularly known as lower back pain. Lumbago is a very painful condition. You will experience severe pain along with limited mobility, which might cripple you for at least two days. When this pain travels down into your lower limbs, doctors call it as lumbago with sciatica.
According to some studies related to back pain say, 85% of them might suffer from lumbago at least one time in their life. Of particular interest, the fact is that it does not commonly affect the elderly: it is most often found in people in their 30s and 50s.
What is lumbago?
The condition of acute lumbago involves limited back muscle function, especially in the region of the lumbar spine. It commonly happens with regular activities such as lifting objects, bending or standing up from a sitting position. Lumbago is a protective reflex that occurs when you tense up your lower back muscles. The reflexes tend to safeguard the nerve fibres and spine from an injury.
Due to the increased tension, the lumbar spine area becomes more sensitive to pressure, resulting in symptoms like restricted movement and back pain. However, this condition can’t harm your spine. There will be no changes in the elements of the spinal structures, which include vertebrae, discs, and ligaments.
Nearly 80% of the people suffering from back problems will experience acute and chronic back pain. Lumbago is often considered nonspecific back pain. This is because nonspecific means the exact reason for the pain might be not known. Why? Because the regular procedures used to diagnose the pain might not be able to reveal muscle tension, fascial adhesions, and myofascial imbalances.
Common Symptoms of lumbago
Lower back pain is the primary symptom of this condition, and besides that, there are other important signs that could indicate lumbago.
- The pain in the lumbar spine region is typically associated with stiffness of lower back muscles, muscular strain, and cramps. In severe cases, movement may be limited.
- People may experience localized pain; in other words, the pain is restricted to a small area.
- Another sign of this condition is restricted back movement, i.e., you may find it difficult or unable to bend over or lean backwards.
- Sometimes in this condition, the pain felt in the lower back might radiate down into the buttock, the groin area, or down into the legs (back of the thigh).
- If your back pain is associated with numbness in the lower back, buttocks or the thighs, along with the feeling of a tingling sensation that travels into your foot, it is defined as sciatica. This condition develops when the sciatic nerve gets affected or irritated.
- Inflamed or swollen back or legs should be considered warning signs.
- Pain in the lower back when you sneeze, or cough is also one of the symptoms.
What are the causes of lumbago?
In some cases, lumbago is difficult to diagnose, even after thorough medical testing has been conducted. A number of factors may lead to this condition, but the primary cause is repetitive motions or overuse of the lower back and suddenly picking up heavy weights. Here are some other factors that can lead to this condition:
- Herniated Disc, also known as slipped disc
- Arthritis of the spine, such as osteoarthritis or spondylosis
- Osteoporosis, a condition that makes your bones fragile and vulnerable to fracture
- Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), a progressive autoimmune disorder and inflammatory disease
- Scoliosis, an abnormal spinal curve
- Spinal Stenosis, compression of the nerves in the spine
- Malignant or benign spinal tumors.
- Poor sitting posture
Treatment Options for Lumbago
Lumbago treatment varies from one person to another based on different factors such as the age of the patient, activity level, the cause, and much more. Here are the treatment options any spine doctor would suggest:
- To get relief from pain and inflammation, medications like NSAIDs and anti-inflammatories are suggested
- Use of hot or cold compresses
- An exercise regimen and gentle stretches under an expert
- Chiropractic – a form of treatment for musculoskeletal system disorders, especially the spine
- Spinal manipulation
- Physical therapy
Surgery – In severe cases or when other treatment options fail, surgical treatment options like discectomy, laminectomy, spinal fusion or nerve decompression etc., are suggested based on the cause.
Living your best life isn’t impossible due to lower back pain! Call Dr. Surya Prakash, an orthopedic spine specialist at Medicover Hospital, Hyderabad, to know more about lower back treatment options. Call +91 98480 24699 to schedule an appointment with the doctor.