A sedentary lifestyle causes back pain, especially in the lumbar region. This condition is familiar to almost every modern person. The pain forces you to abandon your usual way of life, for a while forgetting about your beloved summer villa, outdoor recreation and other joys of life. It seems that this condition will never end, even if it does, the pain will reappear. Why does my back hurt? How can I help her?
Causes of back pain
It turns out that the most common cause of low back pain is osteochondrosis. It is a disease in which the intervertebral discs are affected. They normally connect the vertebrae to each other, reducing the overall stress on the spine. Intervertebral discs have the same role as shock absorbers in a car - they mitigate the impact of walking, running and jumping. But once they fail, once every movement in the spine becomes painful.
According to statistics, intervertebral cartilage degeneration is present in about 60% of people aged 20+. Moreover, the older the person, the less active a lifestyle is, the higher the prevalence of the disease. Back pain with osteochondrosis is the most common reason to visit doctors of various specialties.
In this disease, the height of the intervertebral discs decreases and the cartilaginous plate covering the vertebrae becomes thinner and destroyed because it cracks due to developing dryness (the water content in the cartilage decreases). As a result, friction between the vertebrae increases, especially the lumbar region suffers because it experiences the greatest stress. Friction leads to pain. If nothing is done at this stage, the disease continues to progress, an intervertebral hernia is formed. This is a stage of osteochondrosis, in which the intervertebral disc extends beyond the boundaries of the spine and begins to squeeze the nerve roots that pass nearby. Back pain gets worse as it gets worse. at this stage, it already consists of 2 components - friction between the vertebrae and compression of the nerves.
Any bending and stretching of the spine in the lumbar spine, bending the body forward and backward becomes unbearable. It is at this stage that the symptom of blockage appears, when, by bending over, a person can no longer be directed. In such a situation, emergency assistance is necessary.
Rarely, low back pain is associated with other conditions. It can be:
- hypothermia, which is called "through";
- chronic stress or acute psycho-emotional overload (muscle spasm develops, which leads to pain);
- metabolic disorders with the development of calcium imbalance (gout, diabetes mellitus);
- infectious spinal lesions;
- spinal cord injuries;
- adhesions of the pelvic organs.
But we repeat once again that the most common cause of back pain is osteochondrosis. The following symptoms help to distinguish this condition and make an accurate diagnosis:
- the sudden onset of pain sensations and their independent relief in the early stages of the disease (against the background of the progression of the pathology, the pain disappears only when taking painkillers);
- increased pain in a position when a person lies on his back and tries to straighten his legs (a symptom of tension in the nerve trunks, which are compressed and swollen);
- the desire to change posture to reduce the severity of pain;
- foot radiation, sometimes because of this there may be a lameness;
- a burning sensation, numbness, and crawling in the foot on the affected side.
Treatment of back pain
Treating back pain requires a gradual and comprehensive approach. In case of an acute attack, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can help relieve the pain. However, to prevent recurrence and improve the condition of the spine, comprehensive care is required. These are basic therapies with medication, massage, physiotherapy exercises, swimming and other activities.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in the form of powders, tablets and injections are used to relieve severe pain. They effectively relieve pain, but their continued use is not safe, as these drugs increase the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding, gastric ulcer, liver damage and hematopoietic system. Therefore, NSAIDs are used as an emergency medicine.
The main rule that follows from this is that the use of NSAIDs is only necessary for severe pain, and not constantly. Give good basic therapy to help prevent chronic pain.
Ointments and gels
Most often, anti-inflammatory and warming medicines are produced in the form of ointments and gels. However, their active ingredients may not exert their full effect (they are characterized by low efficacy) because absorption through the skin in an adult is minimal. These drugs offer relief only in the early stages of the disease. Can not be used as a stand-alone line - ointments and gels complement only the main treatment.
Chondroprotectors - these drugs are included in modern standards for the management of patients with degenerative intervertebral cartilage lesions as basic therapy. They help restore the cartilage structure from within and increase its hydration (the amount of fluid it contains). Chondroprotectors affect the main links of the disease (etiopathogenetic treatment). Therefore, they not only treat back pain, but also prevent its occurrence.
Consult your doctor before using any medicine!
Properly performed massage helps to eliminate chronic muscle spasm that develops as a result of "lowering" of the intervertebral disc. However, this method can be used only in the absence of acute pain, otherwise the massage can be harmful. Massage acts on the muscles, ie on the secondary connection of the pain syndrome. Unfortunately, it does not affect the primary connection (damaged vertebrae).
Prevention of back pain
To help your back, follow these simple preventative instructions.
- Eat properly! Too often, back pain bothers people who are overweight. Under such conditions, the load on the spine increases tenfold, so the intervertebral cartilage is consumed faster. Your goal in preventing back problems is to lose weight. Therefore, adjust the power supply:
- Get rid of animal fats (sausages, fast foods), replacing them with seafood. Nutritionists recommend that you definitely include mackerel, salmon and other fatty fish that contain many beneficial omega-3 acids in your menu.
- Eat more fresh greens and vegetables. They are rich in vegetable fiber, the digestion of which requires energy from the body, which means minus fats.
- Drink more. It is recommended to drink 2-3 liters of ordinary water a day. It is necessary not only for the better functioning of the whole organism, but also for the "flooding" of cartilage.
- Do aerobics regularly! The dosed load on the spine without force exercises strengthens its muscle corset. And that's an extra protection for the beads. If you do not like gymnastics, and you like to swim - swim, doctors advise. It is a good alternative for gymnastic prophylaxis.