Lower back pain is a condition often causing people seek care in the doctor’s office, clinic, and emergency room. Most individuals will experience lower back pain at least once in their lifetime. Thankfully, there are ways to prevent and treat back and neck pain conditions to heal and avoid further injury.
Symptoms of Lower Back Pain
Some of the noted symptoms of lower back pain are:
- Sharp lower back pain.
- Lost ability to move due to back pain.
- Specific right side lower back pain or left side lower back pain.
- Pain that radiates from lower back down the leg.
Causes of Low Back Pain
Back pain may come on suddenly and last for up to three months. Some of the most common causes are:
- Increased heavy lifting or physical activity.
- Arthritis in the lower back.
- Scoliosis where the spine curves causing right side lower back pain or left side lower back pain.
- Bulging or herniated disk.
- Compression fractures due to osteoporosis.
How to Relieve Lower Back Pain
There are many options available on how to relieve lower back pain. Chronic lower back pain can benefit from preventative measures such as stretches for lower back pain, weight loss and correcting improper lifting methods. Surgery for lower back pain is usually the last option for treatment. Herniated disk and back and neck pain conditions caused by skeletal and structural reasons may benefit from surgery.
Treatment Options for Chronic Lower Back Pain
Most lower back pain symptoms will get better with care at home and lifestyle changes. Some of the conventional treatment options include:
- Medication such as over-the-counter pain relievers and topical pain relievers.
- Physician prescribed medications or injections for the short term.
- Physical therapy and regular exercise including stretches for lower back pain.
- Alternative medicine treatments such as chiropractic care, accupuncture, therapeutic massage or yoga.
Causes of low back pain can be hard to diagnose. Discussing the symptoms and treatment options with your physician will be the first step in recovering. Your doctor may order more specific tests to assist in diagnosis such as:
- X-Rays to check for possible arthritis or other skeletal conditions.
- MRI or CT scans to check for muscle, tendon, or blood vessel involvement.
- Nerve studies to check for compressed nerves due to ruptured or damaged disks.
- Blood tests to check for possible infection.
If you begin to experience sharp lower back pain, note any recent physical activity changes or current stressful events and contact your physician to discuss the appropriate treatment options.