Severe Pain in the Lower Back
Severe Pain in the Lower Back
Whenever someone starts to feel severe pain in the lower back, this should be taken as a warning sign for something that is medically serious. While there are many potential causes for lower back pain, there’s a good chance that it may also indicate a herniated disc, especially when the pain recurs on a regular basis. A herniated disc occurs when a spinal disc bulges out because of wear and tear or damage, or the gel leaks out and impinges on nerves in the back area resulting in excruciating pain that cannot be managed by simple pain medication alone.
Not too many years back, severe pain in the lower back was typically limited to people who lived an active lifestyle such as professional sports athletes, manual laborers or those who were exposed to violent trauma like a nasty fall or a car crash. In recent years, the demographic has grown to include people who are predominantly sedentary because of their corporate jobs. Doctors think this is due to poor posture while sitting in front of a computer for extended hours resulting in the weakening of the back and the spinal disc.
Further research also showed that old age and lack of exercise directly correlate to instances of herniated disc. As one ages, the muscles in the back become less elastic and are less able to support the spine from moving. This is exacerbated by poor posture and lack of exercise because the muscles are weak to begin with. Over years and years of sitting in front of a computer, the spinal alignment can be compromised resulting to severe pain in back.
Common diagnostic techniques rely on powerful imaging machines like a magnetic resonance imager (MRI) to get a visual snapshot of the spinal column to see if there are any discs that are out of place. From the image, doctors then confirm if there is a need to conduct surgery or if non-surgical therapy methods can be relied on to remedy any severe pain in the lower back. In many cases, surgery is only reserved for the serious conditions that demand an immediate cure.
When the MRI results indicate a mild degree of herniation, doctors will recommend the services of a therapist to work with the patient to alleviate the condition. In these cases, a carefully designed program consisting of rest, medication, exercises is sufficient to remedy severe pain in the lower back. Likewise, non-surgical methods of treatment are also less risky and more likely to allow a patient to resume his or her normal activities as opposed to surgery which may require months of rehab depending on the severity of the initial condition.
The increasingly computer-based work of many of today’s office workers magnifies the risk for severe pain in the lower back due to a herniated disc. For this, it is very important to adopt regular stretching to correct poor posture and alleviate stress building in the spinal discs. Exercise is also a powerful tool to combat the natural weakening of the back muscles. With the painfully awful symptoms associated with a herniated disc, one should take all the proper precautions to combat its onset because, as the old medical adage truthfully preaches, an ounce of prevention is still better than a pound of cure.