back pain

BACK PAIN ACCOMPANIED BY OTHER SYMPTOMS

Back pain varies widely. Some symptoms may suggest that back pain has a more serious cause. These include fever, recent trauma, weight loss, a history of cancer and neurological symptoms, such as numbness, weakness or incontinence (involuntary loss of urine). https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/back-pain/

Sometimes back pain usually is accompanied by other symptoms that may help point to its cause. For example:

  • Fibromyalgia – In addition to back pain, there are usually other areas of pain and stiffness in the trunk, neck, shoulders, knees and elbows. Pain may be either a general soreness or a gnawing ache, and stiffness is often worst in the morning. People usually complain of feeling abnormally tired, especially of waking up tired, and they have specific areas that are painful to touch, called tender points.
  • Degenerative arthritis of the spine – Together with back pain, there is stiffness and trouble bending over, which usually develops over many years.
  • Osteoporosis – This common condition is characterised by thinned, weakened bones that fracture easily. It is most common in postmenopausal women. When vertebrae become compressed because of fracture, posture may become stooped over or hunched along with back pain. At times osteoporosis is not painful unless a bone fractures.
  • Back sprain or strain – Back pain typically begins on the day after heavy exertion. Muscles in the back, buttocks and thighs are often sore and stiff. The back may have areas that are sore when touched or pressed.
  • Inflammatory arthritis, including ankylosing spondylitis and related conditions – In these disorders, there is a pain in the lower back, together with morning stiffness in the back, hips or both. There also can be pain and stiffness in the neck or chest or an extremely tired feeling. Other features may include psoriasis, eye pain and redness, or diarrhoea, depending on the specific disorder causing back pain. 
  • Spinal stenosis – pain, numbness and weakness affect the back and legs. Symptoms get worse when you are standing or walking, but are relieved by sitting or leaning forward.
  • Pyelonephritis – People with a kidney infection typically develop sudden, intense pain just beneath the ribs in the back that may travel around the side toward the lower abdomen or sometimes down to the groin. There also can be a high fever, shaking chills and nausea and vomiting. The urine may be cloudy, tinged with blood or usually strong or foul-smelling. There may be additional bladder related symptoms, such as the need to urinate more often than normal or pain or discomfort during urination.
  • Protruding disk – People with significant disk disease sometimes have severe pain in the lower back. If a disk compresses a nerve, the pain may spread down one leg. The pain gets worse during bending or twisting.
  • Cancer in the spinal bones or nearby structures – Back pain is consistent and may become worse when you are lying down. Numbness, weakness or tingling of the legs that continues to get worse. If cancer spreads to spinal nerves that control the bladder and bowel, there may be bowel or bladder incontinence (loss of control).
back pain

BELOW ARE 10 STRUCTURAL PROBLEMS THAT MAY CAUSE BACK PAIN

  1. Muscle spasm and strained muscles or ligament. Activities that can lead to muscle strains or spasms include; lifting something improperly, lifting something too heavy, making an abrupt and awkward movement.

2. Injuries on the back, fractures and falls can cause back pain.

3. Ruptured disks. Each vertebra in the spine is cushioned by disks, if the disk ruptures, there will be more pressure on a nerve resulting in back pain.

4. Bulging disks. In much the same way as ruptured disks, a bulging disk can result in more pressure on a nerve.

5. Sciatica. A sharp and shooting pain that travels through the buttock and down the back of the leg caused by a bulging or herniated disk that is pressing on a nerve. Sciatica can also cause numbness, tingling and weakness in the lower back, buttocks, legs and feet.

6. Arthritis. Osteoarthritis can cause problems with the joints in the hips and lower back.

7. Spinal stenosis. A narrowing of space around the spinal cord.

8. Abnormal curvature of the spine. If the spine curves in an unusual way, back pain can result. An example is a scoliosis in which the spine curves to the side.

9. Osteoporosis. A condition where the bones, including the vertebra of the spine, become brittle and porous making compression fracture more likely.

10. Kidney problem. Kidney stones or kidney infection can cause back pain. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/back-pain/causes/

back pain

LOWER BACK PAIN ONLY WHEN STANDING OR WALKING

Lower back pain that occurs only when standing or walking may be due to muscle fatigue, alternatively, it may be caused by one of the following medical condition(s):

  • hyperlordosis
  • degenerative disk disease
  • spinal stenosis

Muscle fatigue. Prolonged walking or standing can tire or strain the muscles in the lower back and legs which can lead to aches & pains. Treatment for muscle fatigue is rest, take over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers, gentle exercises to stretch.

Hyperlordosis. This is an excessive inward curvature of the lower spine that causes the buttocks to become more prominent and the stomach to stick out. Hyperlordosis can result from spinal injuries or conditions such as osteoporosis, spondylolisthesis and rickets. Treatment options depend on person’s age and severity of the curvature & symptoms. For children, doctors recommend wearing a back brace while they are still growing, for adults, doctor may recommend conservative treatment. In rare instances, a doctor may recommend corrective surgery.

Degenerative disk disease. Degeneration of disks can lead to the bones in the spine rubbing against one another, which may cause back pain and stiffness. Treatment options can include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), such as ibuprofen & naproxen, physical therapy & back brace. If this treatment does not improve a person’s symptoms, a doctor may recommend artificial disk replacement or spinal fusion.

Spinal stenosis. Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spine that can place extra pressure on the spinal cord and nerves. Treatment for spinal stenosis is usually nonsurgical treatments such as physical therapy, NSAIDS, steroid injections, alternative therapies such as chiropractic or acupuncture.