Vertibra Diseases – Back Pain
What is low back pain, and what causes it?
The lower back is an elegant construction of bone, muscle, and ligament. Because the lower back is the hinge between the upper and lower body, it is especially vulnerable to injury when you are lifting, reaching, or twisting. When low back pain strikes, we become acutely aware of just how much we rely on a flexible, strong back. Ironically, most of us don’t think of the importance of keeping our back and stomach muscles strong until we have back trouble.
Up to 85% of all people have low back pain at one time or another. Low back pain is often triggered by some combination of overuse, muscle strain, or injury to the muscles and ligaments that support the spine. Less commonly, low back pain is caused by illness or spinal deformity.
Back pain can be:
- Acute , lasting less than 3 months. Most people gain relief after 4 to 6 weeks of home treatment.
- Recurrent , a repeat episode of acute symptoms. Most people have at least one episode of recurrent low back pain.
- Chronic , lasting longer than 3 months.
What are the symptoms of low back pain?
The term “low back pain” is used to describe a spectrum of symptoms. Depending on the cause, low back pain may be dull, burning, or sharp, covering a broad area or confined to a single point. It can come on gradually or suddenly and may or may not be accompanied by muscle spasms or stiffness.
Leg symptoms can be caused by lower spine problems that place pressure on a nerve to the leg; they can occur on their own or along with low back pain. Leg symptoms can include pain, numbness, or tingling, usually below the knee.
Weakness in both legs, along with loss of bladder and/or bowel control, are symptoms of cauda equina syndrome, which requires immediate medical attention.
How is the cause of low back pain diagnosed?
Your health professional can assess acute low back pain by talking to you about your medical history and your work and physical activities, and doing a simple physical examination.
For 95% of people with low back pain, this type of assessment is all that is necessary for a health professional to make treatment recommendations.
Occasionally imaging tests are used to gather more information about back problems. Imaging tests for lower back problems include magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, computed tomography (CT) scan, bone scan, and X-ray. If your examination suggests a serious underlying health condition, your symptoms have lasted longer than 4 to 6 weeks, or you have persistent severe back pain, leg pain, or leg numbness, an imaging test might shed more light on your condition and its cause.
- The key to preventing low back pain is keeping your back, stomach, and leg muscles strong, and using smart body mechanics throughout the day. To prevent low back problems:Low Back Pain Prevention
- Exercise to keep your back healthy and strong . Exercise programs that include aerobic
- conditioning and strengthening exercises can help reduce the recurrence of low back pain
- Use proper lifting techniques.
- Protect your back while sitting.
- Try different sleeping positions that protect your back.
- Maintain a healthy weight to avoid excess strain on your lower back. For more information, see the topic Healthy Weight .
- If you’re a smoker, quit. For helpful information, see the topic Quitting Tobacco Use .
- Smoking increases the risk of osteoporosis , which weakens the vertebrae.
- Nicotine and other toxins can impair the spinal discs’ ability to absorb nutrients they need from the blood, making the discs more prone to injury.
- Smoking increases your sensitivity to pain.
2. The patient has aching pain, stabbing pain or dull pain in the lumbus which can radiate to the buttocks and the posterior sides of his lower limbs. The pain is obvious after the patient has got up in the morning and relieved after he has done some activity and aggravated when he is fatigued. The pain becomes severe in cold condition and alleviated in warm condition.Traditional Chinese Medicine Treatment:
Chronic lower back pain is caused when the lumbar muscles are intensely strained in a continuous or repeated way within a short period of time, which exceeds the physiological endurance and, therefore, results in a chronic aseptic inflammation in the lumbar muscular fibers. The occurrence of the illness is closely related with the damp room one lives in or damp ground one lies or sits on. It manifests itself in a long-time pain in the lumbus of one side, which will e aggravated when the patient is tired, but relieved when he has some gentle activity.
Main Points of Diagnosis
1. The patient has a history of acute lumbar muscle strain which has not been well treated, lingered for a long time and become chronic, or has a history of chronic labour strain which is often seen in doctors or other workers whose backs bent for a long time and sportsmen whose lumbuses have over fatigued.
3.There is a deep tenderness in one side or both sides along the lumbar region. The pain is aggravated when the patient bends his back. There is a limit t the lumbar movement of flexion, extension or bending sideward.
4. X-ray film helps the differential diagnosis of the illness.
Differentiation and Treatment of Common Syndromes
1. Herbal Therapy according to Syndromes.
1) The Type of the Stasis of Blood and Qi and the Obstruction in the Channels and Network-Channels.
Main Symptoms and Signs: The illness has a long duration. The patient has stabbing pain in the lumbus which occurs at a fixed location. Part of the lumbar muscles feels hard and the lumbus becomes rigid and contracted. It will become better after some gentle activity and aggravated when in fatigue. The tongue looked dark with petechiae or ecchymoses on it. The pulse is taut and uneven.
Therapeutic Principle: Relaxing muscles and tendons, activating collaterals and promoting the flow of qi and blood.
2) The Type of Chronic Strain Complicated with the Affection due to Wind, Cold and Dampness
Main Symptoms and Signs: There is chronic lumbago which is sometimes mild and sometimes sever and which is characterized by distending pain, sensation of heaviness and discomfort due to muscular contracture. This illness is relieved in warm weather and aggravated in cold weather.
Therapeutic Principle: Relaxing muscles and tendons, removing obstruction in the collaterals, expelling wind and cold and removing dampness.
Recipe: Pubescent Angelica and Loranthus Decoction.
3)The Type of Chronic Strain Complicated with Deficiency of the Liver and Kidneys.
Main Symptoms and Signs: The lumbago is lingering. The patient feels soreness and weakness of lumbus and can’t stand on his feet for long. The illness becomes severe when the patient is fatigued. The patient looks pale. He is in low spirit and has spermatorrhea and prospermia. The female patient may have scanty menstruation. The tongue of the patient is pale with white fur. The pulse is deep and feeble.
Therapeutic Principle: Relaxing muscles and tendons, activating collaterals and tonifying and replenishing the liver and kidneys.
Recipe: Decoction for Tonifying the Kidney and Strengthening the Muscles and Tendons
2. Other Treatments
Acupuncture, massage, etc. can be employed as auxiliary treatments