Lower back pain & Symptoms
This page explains many different symptoms and the cause of lower back pain. You can find the optimal treatments for your symptoms.
What is herniated disc？
A herniated disc is the disease that the intervertebral disc of the backbone is denatured by aging or external forces. As a result, the ligament, nerve root and spine are compressed, and causing the pain and numbness of the lower back or legs.
A herniated disc occurs in the neck, chest, and lower back mainly. Many cases can be seen particularly between the 4th and 5th vertebra of the lumbar spine, and between the 5th lumbar spine and 1st sacral spine.
The intervertebral disc consists of the anulus fibrosus and nucleus pulposus. When the expansion, rupture, or protrusion from the intervertebral disc occurs, the nucleus pulposus which prolapsed from the anulus fibrosus compresses the nerve root of the spinal, and causes an intense pain.
These symptoms are often caused by the unnatural movements such as lifting heavy weights carelessly or twisting a body.
The symptoms of herniated disc
The directions of a protrusion and prolapse of the intervertebral disc are various such as right and left, forth and behind, up and down, and they often direct to the rear dynamically. When the outer layer of the posterior longitudinal ligament or the annulus fibrous is compressed, lower back pain or neck pain is caused. If the nerve root is compressed, sciatica or numbness in the limbs may occur.
Although many cases of herniated disc are from obvious cause such as external injury, the other cases of lower back pain or neck pain often occur by uncertain cause. Also there are some cases that gradually progress and cause a pain. The pain rises when slouching, standing up, coughing or sneezing. Sometimes sciatica or the upper limb pain occurs, and the pain sometimes increases when lifting the legs with stretching because the nerve is pulled. Also muscle weakness and dull sense may develop in the fingers and toes.
Treatments for herniated disc
For detailed explanation, please click here "What is Spinal stenosis?"
What is sciatica？
The sciatic nerve is the largest and longest peripheral nerve in the human body, passing through the buttocks and thighs from the lower back, and extending to the back of the knees. Sciatica shows the symptoms of feeling the pain or numbness in the buttocks, back of the thighs or legs caused by the sciatic nerve compression from the lumbar herniated discs, lumbar spinal canal stenosis, spondylolysis, spondylolisthesis and so forth.
Cause of sciatica
The cause is different according to the age. The main cause in the case of young people is by a lumbar herniated disc. A Lumbar herniated disc is the disease that the intervertebral disc in the lumbar spine is weakened and smashed by repetition of a load, and the nucleus pulposus in the intervertebral disc protrudes out. When the protruded nucleus pulposus irritates the sciatic nerve, the symptom of sciatica appears as the pain or numbness in the legs.
In the case of the middle-aged and elderly, the major cause is by lumbar spinal canal stenosis. The factor is that the nerve passing through the inside of the spinal canal which was narrowed by aging, is compressed.
Sciatica is also caused by spinal column spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis. The factors are that a part between the projections of the spinal column separates and the intervertebral body slips forward. Therefore, the spinal canal is compressed. It occurs also by piriformis muscle syndrome and lumbar spondylosis. The cause is that the sciatic nerve passing through the piriformis of the buttocks, is compressed. Also an external wound could cause sciatica.
Treatments of sciatica
- Medication, Nerve block, Rehabilitat
- When the cause is from a Herniated disc, the treatment is the same as the herniated disc's
- When the cause is from Spinal stenosis, the treatment is the same as the Spainal stenosis's
- When the cause is from Spondylolisthesis, the treatment is the same as the Spondylolisthesis
- In case of non-spesific lower back pain, the treatment is SCS (Spinal Cord Stimulation)
What is spondylolisthesis?
The spine consist of the vertebral body of frontward and the projection portion of backward. Spondylolysis is the disease that separation occurs in a part between the articular projections of the projection part. Consequentry, lower back pain occur, and usually this symptom is seen in the 5th lumbar vertebra of the lower lumbar vertebra.
Spondylolysis is divided into separation spondylolisthesis and degenerative spondylolisthesis without spondylolysis.
A part between the articular projections separates, and the vertebral body of the spine becomes unstable, causing transformation and slips forward. These cause separation spondylolisthesis.
Degenerative spondylolisthesis often occurs in the middle-aged. It is caused because an intervertebral body is denatured by aging. When a vertebral body slips forward and compresses the spinal canal which the nerves pass through, the symptom like lumbar spinal canal stenosis comes out.
Symptoms of spondylolisthesis
Lower back pain is strengthened when bending, twisting the lower back, or pushing the separation part. The pain may occur in the legs if the nerve root is compressed.
If spinal canal stenosis occurs during degenerative spondylolisthesis, since the nerve roots or the cauda equina nerve is compressed, not only lower back pain and leg pain, but also lower limb numbness or intermittent claudication or dysuria may be caused. The pain or numbness is likely to increase during the movement than at rest.
Treatment of spondylolisthesis
Acute and chronic lower back pain
What is acute and chronic lower back pain?
A lumbar spine supports most of the body weight and has flexibility. Lower back pain is easily caused by the load of movement, therefore, so many people are suffering from lower back pain.
There are two different types of lower back pain - acute lumbago and chronic lumbago. Acute lumbago is caused by such as a sudden large load is applied to the lower back. As a result, a severe lower back pain occurs. It becomes unable to move due to the intense pain. Generally, it is also called a strained back.
Chronic lumbago is a lingering lower back pain, so everyday life is adversely affected by the pain. Many cases are encouraged by the mental stress, and fall into a vicious circle.
The symptoms of acute pain and chronic pain
Regarding acute lumbago, the movement of flexion and rotation in the lower back will be restricted due to the intense pain. As a result, it becomes unable to move.
Though chronic lumbago does not involve a severe pain like acute lumbago, the dull pain or heavy languor of the lower back is prolonged, and the pain is encouraged by the movement. In addition to the pain in the lower back, the pain or numbness in the buttocks or thighs might be caused.
Treatments of acute・chronic pain
About numbness of the legs
Cause of numbness of the legs
Treatment for numbness of the legs
After identifying the cause, the method of treatment is determined by a thorough checkup.
All you have to do is to rest when you are suffering from lower back pain and numbness.
In many cases, the symptom of the nerve compression remains, so the excessive exercise must be avoided when feeling the pain and numbness. Continuing further compression may take a turn for the worse.
At the time of a sudden pain, taking a rest immediately is necessary. Once the pain is alleviated, it is also important to train positively for strengthening the muscle around the lumbar spine.
Furthermore, it is also important to correct the posture wearing a corset and to reconsider the eating habits. The relationship between eating habits and lower back pain are very close and important. Above all, it is necessary to take complex carbohydrate that promotes muscular exercise and protects the nerves. Also calcium and vitamin D are significant for the health of the bone.
In addition, it is the most important to do moderate training and stretching before the pain and numbness are caused.
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