These days, it has become common to see young people and adults complaining about back pain or tension, symptoms that should be significantly addressed because in the not-so-distant future, these conditions can worsen.
Known as one of the most common causes for medical consultations, low back pain or lumbago is a localized contraction in the lower part of the back that originates from the musculoskeletal structure of the spine. This contraction causes strong muscular stiffness and can spread to other vertebral areas, buttocks, and legs.
This condition can be considered acute when it lasts only a few days. However, it is classified as chronic when the discomfort exceeds three months, limiting a person’s ability to carry out their daily activities.
Its symptoms are quite noticeable and manifest through the combination of the following signs:
Specialists indicate that more than 80% of the global population experiences this condition at some point in their lives. Generally, people between the ages of 30 and 60 are most prone to experiencing severe back pain due to lumbar muscle strain or lumbar disc herniation, among other factors.
Types and severity levels
This type of low back pain is more common in middle-aged women and can be caused by heavy lifting, adopting incorrect postures, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, pregnancy, or stress.
Non-specific low back pain accounts for 80% of all cases, and the exact cause of the pain is not clearly identified. Similarly, its duration is limited and does not pose any risk to the patient.
This type of low back pain has an identifiable cause, and in at least 5% of these patients, the pain is a result of a severe condition such as osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, herniated disc, ankylosing spondylitis (inflammatory type), or even spinal metastasis.
Patients with this condition need to be aware of the measures they should take to prevent future complications, as their occupational performance may be affected to the point where they are unable to maintain a normal routine.
The treatment for low back pain depends on each person’s background and the severity of the pain.
The majority of cases can be cured in approximately six weeks without resorting to surgery, with a regular exercise routine being a fundamental part of the healing process.
Ceasing activities for at least a few days allows the injured tissues to begin healing and can alleviate low back pain. However, resting for too many days can lead to muscle weakness, and those weakened muscles may have difficulty adequately supporting the spine. Specialists explain that people who do not exercise regularly are more prone to experiencing recurrent or prolonged low back pain.
Cold and heat compresses:
They help alleviate lumbago and reduce inflammation. Compresses can be alternated between cold and heat for a duration of 5 to 10 minutes, at least 35 minutes per day.
A wide variety of over-the-counter medications are available in pharmacies to help alleviate the effects of low back pain. While most of them reduce inflammation, which is the main cause of pain, some may have counterproductive effects. Therefore, it is highly recommended that they be prescribed by a specialist doctor.
However, patients with lumbago should consume nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and naproxen.
NSAIDs help reduce inflammation around the disc or arthritis in the back, which is the most affected area.
Exercises for low back pain
Physical activity in the hands of a spinal health professional such as an orthopedist, physiotherapist or specialist in physical medicine and rehabilitation, is key in treatment. Some of these exercises should include aerobic conditioning, stretching and strengthening exercises, with the aim of achieving a more resistant and flexible spine.
General physical exercises
In addition to the specific exercises mentioned above, any aerobic physical activity, such as walking, is in most cases ideal for the lower back, as it promotes oxygenation of the soft tissues of the back to speed healing.
It is indisputable that in order to achieve physical well-being each person must responsibly assume a healthy routine that includes correct physical posture, nutrition and not overloading the body with weight. If a person needs to sit for hours, they must condition the space and seat properly, otherwise they will be harmed.