Lower back pain that occurs at any time during life negatively affects the quality of life due to its restrictive effect on daily habits and mobility. Pain is often interpreted as a lumbar disc herniation, and early diagnosis and treatment options are ignored due to fear of surgery. However, not every pain indicates a lumbar disc herniation, and it can also occur as a symptom of an important disease.
Herniated disc in youth, osteoarthritis in old age cause pain
Lower back pain manifests itself in the form of lumbar disc herniation at a young age, and problems due to calcification of the spine called "spondylosis" in advanced age. In lower back pain due to canal stenosis, numbness in the legs and decrease in walking distance problems also occur. Patients consult doctors because of severe pain and sometimes loss of strength. Rheumatic diseases are one of the important causes of lower back pain. The most common of these is called “ankylosing spondylitis”. Besides; infections, the spread of cancer in any organ in the body or bone cancer, metabolic causes, fractures and pain reflected from internal organs are shown as the most common causes of low back pain.
Lower back pain may be due to these 5 causes
Daily life habits are an important factor that triggers lower back pain. Most of the pain is caused by mechanics, and this situation occurs as a result of excessive use, strain, or deformation of the structures that make up the spine. Lower back pains that make it difficult to stand and sit, restrict movements, often indicate a lumbar disc herniation. However, the severity and location of the pain varies from person to person. Therefore, pain alone is not an adequate criterion for diagnosing a lumbar disc herniation. Lower back pain is most often observed due to the following reasons:
1. Lifting heavy weights, accidental trauma and especially straining movements have a detrimental effect on the structure of the vertebrae. With the deterioration of the structure, the disc between the vertebrae protrudes and a lumbar disc herniation occurs. Disruption of the vertebral structure also leads to lumbar vertebrae displacement and pain.
2. Sedentary life and excessive weight are among the causes of lower back pain. Lower back muscles weakened due to lack of activity and the heavy load of excess weight cause lower back pain.
3. Excessive stress is an important factor that negatively affects the human body in all respects. Especially in people who are in occupational groups with a high stress rate, lower back pain is more common.
4. The wrong choice of matress and chair also sets the stage for lower back pain. Lower back pain can even become chronic due to non-ergonomic matresses and office chairs.
5. Long-term wear and tear on the joints turns into calcification over time. Calcification, which develops due to aging, is also one of the causes of lower back pain.
6. It has been proven that smoking causes lower back pain.
7. Lower back pain is also more common in people belonging to certain occupational groups. These include; long-distance drivers, those who use vibratory tools (asphalt or concrete crusher), those who lift heavy weights and those who stand for long periods of time.
Beware of rheumatic diseases!
It is known that when the necessary treatment is not given to patients whose quality of life decreases due to lower back pain, the problem continues to progress and the pain becomes chronic. In particular, the rheumatic disease called "ankylosing spondylitis" is a health problem that can be seen in young men. In this disease, unlike lumbar disc herniation, the pain does not go away with rest, on the contrary, it increases. In ankylosing spondylitis, where the pain level continues to increase, even if there is no significant pain in the lower back, there may be wandering hip pain, pain in the heels, swelling in the knees and ankles. After waking up in the morning, if there is stiffness in the lumbar region for more than one hour, it is recommended that the patient consult a specialist.
8 Criteria that require monitoring
For people suffering from lower back pain, medical monitoring is performed depending on the ”red flag" criteria.
- If the person has suffered severe trauma, such as a fall from a height, a traffic accident,
- If there is constant, progressive and non-mechanical pain,
- If there is recurrent or consistent lower back pain.
- If the patient has previous cancer, cortisone use, substance use, HIV history and excessive alcohol consumption,
- If there is a serious limit in leaning forward,
- If complaints such as prolonged fever, weight loss are present,
- If sudden loss of sensation that occurs in the legs,
- And if bladder and bowel problems are found, medical monitoring is necessary.
A multifaceted approach to treatment
In the treatment of lower back pain, generally, a multifaceted approach is used. The treatment plan is started primarily with detailed examinations and tests. In mechanical lower back pain; In addition to medication, rest and physical therapy, exercises to strengthen the lower back muscles and changes in lifestyle are effective. In a very small proportion of those with mechanical lower back pain, for example, those who develop loss of sensation in the legs, urgent surgical intervention may be required. In rheumatic lower back pain, the patient should be under regular check-ups and follow-ups. The success of treatment with anti-rheumatic drugs used in recent years has been increasing.
Prepared by the Medical Editorial Board. Our health library contents have been prepared for informational purposes only and with the scientific content on the registration date. For all your questions, concerns, diagnosis or treatment about your health, please consult your doctor or health institution.