Nowadays, back pain is one of the most common reasons why people seek qualified advice. According to some data, it occurs at least once in a lifetime in at least 80% of the adult population, and at least 4 to 9% annually seek qualified advice about it. Among the most common discomforts are painful sensations just above the lumbar region, in the back. In this article we will talk about what problems can cause pain in this area, how they are identified and we will also touch on the topic of how to combat them.
Some possible causes of pain
Most cases of pain in the back and lumbar region are musculoskeletal pain, which can be caused by osteochondrosis, myositis and intervertebral hernia. However, it can also be caused by other pathologies, as well as certain conditions of the human body. Let's look at some common reasons.
Or, according to the term adopted today in the international classification of diseases, dorsopathy. These are dystrophic changes in the cartilaginous tissue of the intervertebral discs, which compensate for the load on the spine, providing shock absorption during movement, vibrating loads, etc. In most cases, pathology can appear due to a genetic predisposition, as well as a sedentary lifestyle and lack of physical activity.
These are muscle pains that can be due to various reasons. Just above the lower back are the muscles that support and stabilize the spine. Therefore, the reason for painful sensations in them can be various diseases of the spine itself, as well as increased physical activity, hypothermia, etc.
This is one of the complications of spinal osteochondrosis, in which the integrity of the intervertebral disc is disturbed and the aqueous nucleus located inside protrudes into the spinal canal. Depending on the size of the hernia and its location in the back, sharp stabbing pains may appear, which sometimes radiate to other parts of the body and extremities (in case of pathology above the lumbar area, it may be the leg or arm. ).
Diseases of internal organs.
Back pain is not always a sign of problems with the spine. It can also often be a symptom of pathologies of internal organs: gastric and duodenal ulcers, pancreatitis, cholecystitis, urolithiasis, kidney diseases, etc. However, it does not always hurt in the abdomen, side or other area where the affected organ is located. .
With age, the structure of the spine undergoes a number of changes, especially noticeable with a sedentary lifestyle and reduced load. They refer to the ligamentous apparatus, muscles and bone tissue. Osteochondrosis and osteoarthritis, combined with muscle atrophy and loss of elasticity of the ligaments, can periodically cause pain in the lumbar region.
Back pain is not always a sign of pathology. For example, late pregnancy can also cause this condition in women. According to available data, 90% of pregnant women complain of back pain and 50% of discomfort specifically located in the lumbar region. But why does this happen? The reasons are physiological changes in the biomechanics of the pelvis and spine. In most cases, pain can occur in women who have previously experienced back problems.
Types of painful sensations
Understanding what type of pain a person is experiencing is important for diagnosis. Back pain above the lower back can be tight, painful, tight, dull, sharp, etc. Sensations are just additional data that are used in diagnosis. You should not completely trust them let alone diagnose yourself based solely on this information.
Some possible diagnostic methods.
During a qualified consultation, anamnesis and data on symptoms are collected. However, this is not enough: additional tests are needed to make a more accurate diagnosis. The specialist may limit himself to one of them or prescribe several.
This is a diagnostic technique based on the use of X-rays. With the help of such an examination, it is possible to identify fractures, osteochondrosis of the spine, spondylosis, neoplasms, as well as curvatures and other disorders. When performing an x-ray, the image of the organ being studied is projected onto film or paper in a single projection; This method is less informative than CT and MRI with X-rays.
X-ray computed tomography (X-ray computed tomography)
X-ray CT is similar to radiography in the technology used: it is also based on X-ray radiation. However, as a result of such a diagnosis, not a 2D, but a 3D image is obtained, which is available for study layer by layer. This uses stronger ionizing radiation, which should not be used too frequently. RCTs can be performed with or without contrast, which provides a clearer picture and increases success in diagnosing certain diseases.
Magnetic resonance imaging is a diagnostic method that also allows obtaining a multilayer image in several projections, but it has no relation to the use of X-rays. It is based on magnetic resonance imaging and is therefore safer than X-rays and CT scan, but is not suitable for patients with permanent metal structures in the body. Additionally, this study is noisier and longer. Like CT scans, MRIs can be performed with contrast to more accurately diagnose certain diseases.
This technique is based on the principle of echolocation and, as a rule, is used to diagnose diseases of internal organs if the symptoms make one suspect their presence. It is very informative and safe in the study of organs and tissues. An ultrasound of the spine is also performed, but very rarely.
To diagnose an inflammatory process, the presence of an infection or tumor, a general blood test with ESR leukocyte formula may be prescribed. In the future, if pathologies of internal organs are suspected, additional laboratory tests may also be prescribed.
Other diagnostic methods
If a specific nature of the pain or a disease of internal organs is suspected, other tests may be prescribed until a diagnosis is made and the cause of the pain is identified.
Treatment of back pain above the lumbar region.
The most important step to get rid of back pain is to get qualified advice. After diagnosis, exclusion of diseases of internal organs, serious pathologies of the spine and determination of pain as nonspecific, the following can be recommended:
- taking NSAIDs.Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for internal and local use are often used to relieve nonspecific back pain, osteochondrosis, hernias and other pathologies. The category of such drugs includes the active ingredient in the composition: nimesulide;
- taking muscle relaxants.They are designed to help combat muscle spasms, thereby improving mobility and reducing pain;
- taking other medications.For diseases of internal organs or back pain during pregnancy, the set of medications will most likely be different;
- physiotherapy and exercise therapy.During the acute period, various physical procedures may be recommended to relieve pain and accelerate improvement. These include, for example, electrophoresis with analgesics, pulsed currents, ultraviolet irradiation, massage, physiotherapy, as well as mineral baths, mud therapy, etc. ;
- Surgical intervention.Surgery for herniated discs may be prescribed if other methods of pain relief do not work for a long time, and may also be indicated based on the results of an MRI, X-ray, or x-ray.
Some possible prevention measures
Since the risk factors for the development of musculoskeletal back pain, including in the area above the lumbar region, include intense physical work, a sedentary lifestyle, as well as frequent bending of the body, lifting objects heavy loads and vibrations, it is recommended to minimize these factors. as a preventive measure. If your back already hurts above the lower back, you should not immediately overload your muscles with gymnastics and especially sports; You must first seek qualified advice to rule out pathologies.