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Constant Lower Back Pain

Rujuta Borkar Apr 23, 2019
Constant lower back pain can come about due to many reasons and can affect the normal functioning of the body. It therefore becomes necessary to know what leads to the same and how to go about treating it.
The back is one of the most important areas of our body because it houses the spinal cord, the vertebrae, several tissues, tendons, bones and muscles. It is responsible for carrying through major functions like supporting the body's weight and controlling its movements, among others.
We also use our lower back for carrying forth varied simple and complex actions like walking, bending and stretching, and therefore, this area is brought under constant use; which makes the risk of over usage or strains and pulls quite high.
In fact, lower back pain is one of the most common ailments that people suffer from. Being one of the most limiting conditions, it is important that we acquaint ourselves with the causes and treatment forms of the same.

Symptoms

The following are some of the most common symptoms that lower back pain can bring along with it:
  • Dull or severe ache in the affected area that radiates down the buttocks and legs.
  • Tingling sensation in the back, buttocks, spinal region and legs.
  • Muscle stiffness and cramps in the back region.

Causes

Lower back pain (lumbago) can either be acute (lasts less than 3 months) or chronic (lasts for 3 months or more). Constant lower back pain can develop due to reasons like trauma to the area, sudden jerks (due to a fall or accident), or muscle pull (wrong bending and stretching), and can get worse. It could even lead to an imbalance in the spinal structure.

Over Usage

The most common cause of lower back pain is the constant use of, and thereby strain to the different muscles, ligaments, discs and joints in the back region. So also, an injury in the lower back can cause tremendous pain.
The muscles and discs that are affected are usually the facet joints and the sacroiliac joints. If there are problems experienced with the discs or facet joints between two vertebrae, it could lead to pain as well.

Sciatica (Nerve Root Pain)

Sciatica is the term given for acute nerve root pain in the lower back. Nerve root pain is commonly caused by pressure put on the nerve root. There are a number of reasons of why there might be pressure expended on the spinal cord.
One of the main ones is the instance of a slipped disc, also known as prolapsed disc. In this, a softer part of the disc makes its way out of the harder part and forms a bulging disc. This then applies pressure on the nerve and causes back pain.
At other times, it could be the case of a herniated disc, which comes about when a person does not lift something in the proper manner or when there is constant motion and vibration experienced. A sudden jerking movement is enough to drive a person into extreme back pain.

Spinal Stenosis

In this, the spinal canal begins to get narrower and narrower and presses into the nerves and surrounding muscles, causing pain and discomfort. Osteoarthritis is another cause of pain wherein there is joint degeneration typically due to age. In this, small joints in the spine suffer and lead to pain in the nerve roots, leading to consistent lower back pain.
Conditions like spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis, can also lead to this condition. These come about when there are defects in the vertebrae. Other related problems of the vertebrae includes fractures and spinal deformities.

Dysmenorrhea

Dysmenorrhea is experienced by most women during menstruation. It not only leads to constant lower back pain but also muscle and lower back cramps. Even though the pain slowly fades as the cycle ends, the cramps might last up to 2 weeks and cause discomfort. Dysmenorrhea is usually caused by the prostaglandins chemicals that lead to uterine contractions.

Fractures

Compression fractures lead to a lot of pain and discomfort. These are more common among people who suffer from conditions like osteoporosis or have been consuming corticosteroid medication.

Other Causes

Here are some of the other reasons that can cause lower back pain:
  • Bacterial Infections that affect the spine, due to the blood that is carried from the infected region in the body.
  • Spinal tumors
  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Fractured or cracked ribs
  • Obesity and sudden weight gain
  • Wrong posture while sleeping or performing an activity.

Treatment

Lower back pain is quite a limiting condition because it affects all the regular activities of a person. Treatment, therefore, becomes necessary. Acute back pain is treated by following a combination of several methods which are all aimed at reducing the pain and restoring the functionality of the back muscles.
Following the injury, a cold compress should be applied to the affected area. After 2-3 days, this should be replaced with a heat compress. Applying a pain-relief cream or gel to the area helps in relaxing the sore muscles and taking the pain away.
Similarly, painkillers might also be prescribed by the doctors. In order to strengthen the weakened muscles, the patient might be asked to carry through certain stretches and exercises, which include walking, stretching or swimming.
In case of chronic back pain, certain specialized treatment options have to be looked into. Some of these may include traction, acupuncture and massages and surgery in case of severe damage to the peripheral nerves.
Constant lower back pain should not be ignored. There are chances that it might develop into more serious problems, which will make it even more difficult for treatment thus resulting in irreparable damage. So whenever you experience chronic and continuous lower back pain, make sure that you get a thorough checkup done to rule out any health risks.
Disclaimer: This is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for medical advice.