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Lower Back Pain: Symptoms, Causes, and How to Overcome It

 Low back pain (low back pain) is pain in the waist or lower back bone that can be felt up to the buttocks and thighs. Even in some cases, the pain felt by the sufferer can spread to the feet.

The lower back is composed of the backbone, ligaments, and muscles. This part of the body is a strong structure, and plays an important role in supporting the body when standing upright and when moving in various directions.

In addition, there is also a nerve that functions to regulate the movement and capture excitatory from the lower body. This spinal cord is inside the spinal cavity, and is protected by nerve cushions.

If there is interference with these structures, low back pain will appear.

Symptoms of Lower Back Pain

The level of back pain felt by each patient varies, ranging from mild to severe pain that interferes with activity. But in general, symptoms of low back pain have the characteristics of:

  1. Back pain that feels like being stabbed or electrocuted.
  2. Back pain can be felt only in the back alone or extends to other body parts, for example spread to the feet.
  3. Pain is felt in certain positions, such as when sitting or walking, but improves when standing or lying down.
  4. Back pain recurs or gets worse after lifting heavy objects.
  5. Back pain can be accompanied by twitching of muscles (spasms).

Causes of Lower Back Pain

Low back pain can be felt for several days to several weeks, but usually less than 6 weeks. This pain can be caused by a number of things, such as injuries due to falls or collisions, excessive body movements, or lifting heavy loads.

In addition, low back pain can also be caused by:

Muscle stiffness

Stiff muscles due to rarely moving can cause low back pain.

Damage to the spinal joint gap

As we get older, there will be weakness in the tissue in the joint gap, so that the spinal cushions protrude. This protrusion can compress the spinal cord (pinched nerve) and cause pain that radiates to the legs. In addition, spinal displacement or spondylolisthesis can also cause low back pain.

Arthritis (arthritis)

In some cases, arthritis can cause constriction in the joints and vertebrae, causing pain.

Deformity and spinal loss

Spinal deformities, such as kyphosis and bone loss (osteoporosis) can cause nerve stress and cause pain.

Disorders of the spinal cord

This condition can occur due to inflammation, pressure, injury, or tumors that compress the spinal cord.

Kidney stones

Usually lower back pain due to kidney stones is felt only on one side of the back, and the pain feels sharp.

Apart from some of the causes above, lower back pain is also more risky to appear in people who:

  • 30-50 years old.
  • Overweight or obese.
  • Rarely exercise.
  • Overload.
  • Having a job that requires a lot of sitting, bending, or lifting heavy objects.
  • Is pregnant.
  • Smoke.

  How to Overcome Lower Back Pain

The initial steps that can be done at home to relieve symptoms, while preventing recurrence of low back pain are:

  • Routine exercise, especially those that train the stomach and back muscles. Good types of exercise for back pain are yoga, pilates, walking, and swimming.
  • Maintain body posture. Standing posture when sitting or standing can reduce excess pressure on the muscles and spine.
  • Reducing weight. Overweight will give greater emphasis to the muscles of the lower back and spine.
  • Avoid stress.
  • Quit smoking. Cigarettes can disrupt the flow of blood vessels in the spine, and slow the healing of back pain.
  • Give a cold compress to the back. The trick, wrap the ice with a cloth, then stick it on your back for 15-20 minutes. Three days after back pain appears, replace it with warm compresses.
  • Improve sleep position. It is recommended to sleep with your feet slightly higher. You can try propping your feet with a pillow while you sleep to reduce the pressure on your back.
  • Avoid lifting heavy objects, so that lower back pain does not reappear.

If the methods above do not succeed in dealing with back pain, you should immediately consult a doctor. The doctor can do several examinations to confirm the diagnosis and determine the cause of low back pain.

Examinations to be performed by doctors include physical examinations, X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs. In some cases, your doctor may also recommend an EMG examination to evaluate the condition of your lower back nerve.

After the diagnosis of low back pain and its cause is known, new doctors can provide appropriate treatment, including:

1. Pain relievers
Severe lower back pain often requires pain medication from a doctor, such as NSAIDs, both in the form of oral and topical medications.

2. Muscle relaxants
This type of medication can overcome muscle stiffness due to excessive muscle work. Muscle relaxants can also be given if low back pain is accompanied by muscle spasms.

3. Narcotic drugs and antidepressants (tranquilizers)
The use of these drugs requires close supervision from a doctor, and usually only for a short period. This type of medication is used to relieve very severe low back pain.

4. Physiotherapy and physical exercise
Physiotherapy with heat, ultrasonic waves, or electrical stimulation can help overcome back pain. After the pain has resolved, physiotherapy can be continued with special movement exercises to increase the strength and flexibility of the back muscles.

 5. Acupuncture
This alternative therapy is believed to help reduce low back pain. The results will be better if acupuncture is combined with physiotherapy and medicine.

6. Spinal surgery
In severe cases, such as abnormalities of the spinal structure or pinched nerves that do not improve with treatment, surgery can be done to correct abnormalities in the nerves and spine.

Lower back pain will usually improve after some time, with rest and care independently at home. But if the pain does not go away, gets worse, accompanied by fever, urination or defecation, leg muscle weakness, and tingling in the legs, thighs, buttocks, or back, immediately consult a doctor.

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