Lower back pain is a very common problem. This is a musculoskeletal problem that affects about 80% of people, and this pain can occur at any point in their lives. There are many reasons why people develop back pain, and depending upon the cause, lower back pain can easily be treated or not.
Causes of Back Pain
The most common cause of lower back pain is mechanical. This is due to arthritis of the spine, degeneration and herniation of the disks, fracture of the spine, scoliosis, dysfunction of the joints, difference in the leg length, abnormalities of the hip and foot, as well as congenital abnormalities. Pain occurs because the spine is forced into an uncomfortable position; however, if you correct the problem, the pain usually goes away.
Another cause of lower back pain is inflammatory. This includes infection of the spinal fluid, inflammatory arthritis, etc. Lower back pain may also be caused by cancer, metabolic abnormalities, referred pain, and even depression.
Diagnosing Causes of Lower Back Pain
More often than not, lower back pain is only a symptom of a disease, so to treat the pain, the cause for the lower back pain should be determined. Now, there are many laboratory tests and examinations that can be done to make the diagnosis. The most common of these diagnostic tests and procedures include x-ray imaging and CT scans. In addition to these, MRI scans may also be recommended. If infection is suspected, spinal tap may also be given.
Treatment for Lower Back Pain
The most common treatment for lower back pain includes pain medications. Anti-inflammatory medications and antibiotics may also be given if inflammation and infection is present.
Physical therapy and back exercise programs may also be recommend to strengthen back muscles and correct improper spine alignment.
If these measures do not alleviate back pain, surgery may be advised by the physician.
Palliative care, in addition to medical treatment, may also be recommended to the individual. This includes applying hot packs or cold compresses to the painful site, and the packs or compresses should be left for about 20 minutes each treatment. This way, burning of the skin is prevented.
In addition to hot and cold packs, massage may also be given. Similar to hot compresses and cold packs, massage relaxes the muscles and allows good blood flow in the area. This will wash away the chemical that causes pain.
Acupuncture may also be recommended. People who undergo acupuncture therapy for their lower back pain admit to marked improvement in the pain.
The Right Mattress Choice
You can also alleviate your lower back pain by choosing the right mattress. For one, a firm mattress is very good for lower back pain. Compared to soft mattresses, firm mattresses can provide better support to your spine. It can keep your spine in proper alignment and, at the same time, relieve common pressure points. Because your lower back is properly supported, you can have a restful and relaxing sleep.
Some of the mattress choices that are perfect for lower back pain include memory foam mattresses as well as coil mattresses. You can purchase one online or at a brick-and-mortar department store.