If you have lower back pain, you are certainly not alone. Even actress Gal Gadot is braving back pain as she promotes her new Wonder Woman blockbuster. During a May press conference with her cast mates in Los Angeles, she told reporters she had to stand during interviews and press events because she threw her back out while working on the film.
How Lower Back Pain Happens
You certainly don’t need to perform high-action stunts to hurt your lower back.
Low back pain can commonly be caused by a lack of regular exercise, fracture, ruptured disk, arthritis, or even something as simple as lifting an object in an improper position or having poor posture. The pain is a result of the injury being caused to a muscle, also known as a strain or a ligament, which is called a sprain. Most days, the lower back works in conjunction with joints, nerves, muscles and ligaments to allow you movement and support; but at the same time, this complex system is also fragile.
It doesn’t take much to end up with a discomforting injury or, in some cases, severe pain.
Treatments for Lower Back Pain
The good news is that most lower back pain will go away on its own in a matter of weeks. People will usually feel better with the following techniques:
- Heat or Ice: a cold pack, heating pad or alternating between the two can bring quick relief
- Physical Therapy or Therapeutic Massage: these techniques will promote mobility, function, improve blood flow and reduce muscle stiffness
- Exercise and Weight Loss: a combination of strengthening, stretching and low-impact aerobic exercises will help reduce pain and weight, which can cause pressure on the lower back
- Pain Reliever: pain relievers like acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen or muscle relaxers can help reduce swelling, pain and joint stiffness
But for those cases where the pain just won’t go away or worsens, it might be time to see if something more serious is at the root of the problem and if it calls for more intense treatment – or even surgery.
What If It Won’t Stop Hurting?
The first step to take if your lower back pain won’t go away or worsens, is to get the correct diagnosis. The right diagnosis is important when it comes to the lower back because severe lower back pain can be caused by medical conditions you wouldn’t normally consider. For example, many cases of lower back pain will involve a tumor, infection, or fracture; but in some cases, the problem could stem from the front of the body, in the abdomen or lungs.
Actress and singer Olivia Newton-John is putting her recent tour on hold after discovering she has cancer. The 68-year-star thought her severe back pain was from her sciatica. Her management team initially released a statement saying her back pain was forcing her to postpone part of her tour; however further tests uncovered that it was breast cancer that metastasized to her sacrum, which is a bone in the lower back between the two hipbones of the pelvis.
The late actor Andy Whitfield, star of the hit TV show, Spartacus, began suffering from severe back pain that worsened over time.
It was months before he was diagnosed with a large tumor pressing against his spine. You can see his story and learn more about his symptoms in a documentary chronicling his battle with stage 4 non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Clearly, chronic lower back pain should be taken seriously. If you are also experiencing any loss of bowel or bladder control, or a progressive weakness in the legs, get in the doctor’s office right away.
Pain Experts Can Bring Relief
The medical experts at Jacksonville Spine and Pain Center can provide an accurate diagnosis of lower back pain and recommend a variety of treatments and procedures. Whether your pain is temporary or becoming more severe over time, it’s important to discuss treatment options with your doctor before it limits your mobility and ability to live your life.
There are numerous non-invasive or minimally-invasive techniques and procedures, like epidural injections or nerve root blocks, that can be done to help ease the pain. They can even help get enough mobility back to incorporate exercise and stretching into a routine that will help with pain and promote an overall healthy lifestyle.
For more information on lower back pain or for any other pain relief procedures, call the Jacksonville Spine and Pain Center for an appointment. Jacksonville Spine and Pain Center is also a Veterans Choice Program.
Call 904-223-3321 to get started today.