Low Back Pain Causes
The Most Serious
The Most Common

There are many possible low back pain causes, and some of them can be very dangerous, but these are not common. The most common low back pain causes are not very dangerous, and they will resolve with simple home treatments.

                                    It is important that you know how to tell the difference.

  

  

  

  

  

Red Flags are signs that May Indicate a Medical Emergency


**Red flags that doctors look for when evaluating low back pain include:

**Low back pain that starts suddenly, that is a very severe, and the patient describes it as a ripping or tearing sensation, may indicate an abdominal aortic aneurysm.                             

**When low back pain causes severe abdominal pain, it may be a pancreatitis symptom if there is a history of alcohol abuse.

**Low back pain with abdominal pain may also be caused by gallbladder disease, ovarian cysts, or gastroesophageal reflux disease.

**Low back pain with sciatica and lower extremity weakness or difficulty controlling your bowels and bladder may indicate cauda equina syndrome from a herniated disc or spinal stenosis.

**Low back pain that radiates to the flank and abdomen, with a history of osteoporosis, may indicate a vertebral compression fracture.

**Low back pain that migrates to the right or left side and around to the abdomen may indicate a kidney stone that is slowly moving through the urinary tract.

**Low back pain that occurs only on the right or left side of your back when you are having a fever may be a sign of the kidney infection.

**Low back pain that occurs in early pregnancy can be normal but should be mentioned to your obstetrician.

If you're having low back pain that is associated with any of these more serious signs and symptoms you need to be seen by your doctor immediately. He will examine you and order the appropriate tests to confirm a diagnosis and determine a treatment plan to get you on the road to recovery.

"the most common reason for your pain is muscle strain"

If you are not having any of these signs or symptoms of more serious low back pain causes, the most common reason for your pain is muscle strain. It can start suddenly while you're doing something to strain your back, or you may not notice it until the next day, or it may develop over long periods of time.

  


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The Most Common Low Back Pain Causes are less Dangerous

One of the most prevalent low back pain causes is muscle strain and this will affect most people at some point in their life. In many cases you will know what you did to cause your back pain. Your lower back pain may be a acute, or chronic, but you will at least suspect some activity that caused it.

"will begin suddenly; during, or soon after an activity"

Acute low back pain may be from working in the garden, heavy lifting, or too much weekend football. In any case, acute low back pain caused by muscle strain, will begin suddenly; during, or soon after, an activity that you are not accustomed to.

Acute low back pain causes pain across the low back that does not radiate or spread into your lower extremities or around onto your abdomen. It may be severe and prevent normal activities.

The initial treatment for acute low back pain is rest; not bed rest, but very limited activity. Bed rest longer than 24 hours has been shown to cause stiffness and lengthen your period of disability.

"gentle stretches to limit stiffness and improve your mobility"

Depending on your job, if your low back pain causes severe pain, you may not be able to work for a few days. But you should be up and moving around as much as possible. When the pain will allow it you can began gentle stretches to limit stiffness and improve your mobility.

As your pain improves you can benefit from more aggressive stretching and begin strengthening exercises to strengthen your back, abdominals, and other muscles of your core. Increased muscle tone in the muscles that protect your back will help you return to your former level of fitness, and help prevent recurrent episodes of muscle strain.

Exercises to strengthen your core and protect your back:

Plank exercises will strengthen your abdominal muscles.

   1) Lie prone on the floor or an exercise mat 
   2) Bring your elbows in under your shoulders to support your upper body 
   3) Tighten your stomach muscles and raise your hips off of the floor 
   4) Hold a straight line between your ankles, hips, and shoulders 
   5) Hold for account of five 
   6) Do a set of five everyday

Back extension exercises will strengthen your back.

   1) Lie on the floor or on an exercise mat on your stomach 
   2) Reach your arms out above your head 
   3) Raise your right arm and left leg off the floor 
   4) Hold for a count of 10 and repeat with the opposite side 5) Perform five sets daily


"long hours in awkward positions at home or work"

Chronic low back pain caused by muscle strain may develop slowly over weeks or months. This is often caused by spending long hours in awkward positions at home or work. Mental stress or tension can also contribute to your pain.

Chronic low back pain causes pain across the low back that will often radiate into the upper back and neck. This type of low back pain may get better on weekends, on vacations, and other times when you are in a different environment.

"be creative when finding ways to improve your position"

If your pain goes away, or at least gets better when you are not at work, you need to analyze your work environment. If your position at work is not ergonomically correct you need to find ways to improve it.

If you are hunched over at work, you need to find a way to raise your work up and avoid bending. If you work at a desk raise your monitor to eye level and adjust your chair so that your feet are flat on the floor.

Every person, every job, and every environment is different, so you may have to be creative when finding ways to improve your position at work. Adjust your workstation so that you can sit or stand with your head up and shoulders back.

Exercises can also help to improve your posture:

Head retractions strengthen the muscles that hold your head up.

   1) Sit or stand up straight with your head up and looking straight ahead 
   2) Bring your chin straight back without tilting your head up or down 
   3) Hold for account of five and release 
   4) Repeat five times, three times per day

Back extension exercises will strengthen your back.

   1) Lie on the floor or on an exercise mat on your stomach 
   2) Reach your arms out above your head 
   3) Raise your right arm and left leg off the floor 
   4) Hold for a count of 10 and repeat with the opposite side 
   5) Perform five sets daily

"you should avoid activities that aggravate your back"

Remember your pain may take several weeks to completely resolve but you should see improvement after a few weeks of rest and limited activity. If after a few weeks, your pain is not improving, there may be more going on then you realize, and you need to be seen by your doctor. He can evaluate you to rule out more serious low back pain causes.

If you are improving you should avoid activities that aggravate your back, practice good back mechanics, and exercise regularly to strengthen your core and improve your general conditioning. 



  


  

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