Low Back Pain - Types, Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

According to statistics, back pain is quite common. This is confirmed by the fact that about 80% of the population experienced unpleasant sensations in the belt zone at least once in their lives. It is also known that low back pain is one of the leading symptoms of a variety of ailments. Some experts believe that discomfort in this area of the spine is a form of human retaliation for walking straight.

pain in the lumbar region

Although the pain in the lumbar region is not severe or intermittent, but occurs regularly, for the most part people are not inclined to give it importance and go to the doctor. As a result, there is usually an increase in unpleasant sensations and their acquisition of a chronic nature. At the appointment with a specialist, it turns out that the cause of the discomfort was a serious illness that requires surgical therapy.

Acute back pain usually becomes permanent at some point. According to neurologists, 40% of patients will relapse within the next year after recovery, while over the long term, 85% of patients will experience symptom recurrence.

types of back pain

For some people, back problems become so habitual that they don't even notice them. In general, lower back pain can be observed in a person once, after which it never recurs.

And they can constantly return and cause incredible suffering. But even before visiting a doctor, the symptoms of the painful syndrome and its localization can be used to determine which disease caused it.

There are five types of back pain:

  • local;
  • reflected;
  • reflected spondylogous (pathological);
  • rooted;
  • caused by muscle spasms.

Local and referred back pain

Local localization of the pain syndrome occurs due to irritation or compression of sensitive nerve endings. It provokes fractures, tears or tension of sensitive fibers. Unpleasant sensations of a local nature that do not change in strength when changing the position of the body indicate the presence of a spinal tumor or infection.

The source of the reflected pain felt in the lower back can be problems with the organs of the abdominal cavity or small pelvis. Very often, but not always, in addition to the lower back, the pain is localized in the abdomen, in the small pelvis. When the spine moves, the discomfort does not increase, but there is no particular relief either.

Spondylogenic referred pain in damage to the upper lumbar spine is felt in the lower back, groin, or front of the thighs. When the pathology affects the lower lumbar region, discomfort usually occurs in the buttocks, on the back of the thighs, and in rare cases in the calves or feet.

Sharp and spasmodic pain

Classic ailments in the lower spine of radicular origin are usually characterized by the severity of the manifestation and spread to the leg.

Back pain when coughing often provokes coughing, sneezing or other tension in the tissues of the abdominal muscles. This occurs due to the tension in the affected root or nerve when the body is in a specific position or movement.

So, back pain when sitting occurs due to tension in the sciatic nerve (reaction roots L5 and S1) that run along the back of the thigh. The nature of the sensations themselves does not usually allow radicular pain to be distinguished from non-radicular pain. What causes discomfort from muscle spasms is usually unclear. Pain occurs in various diseases of the spine. During a cramp, the spine curves, the deep muscles of the back tense up and a dull ache occurs.

Often complaints in the lower back appear in the pathology of the spine. In some cases, damage can occur to the kidneys, pancreas, and lower back muscle tissue. The cause of the pain is usually determined by a neurologist. If necessary, a therapist and an orthopaedist will be consulted.

Common causes of back pain

Doctors recommend paying attention to low back discomfort, especially because it can be one of the symptoms of a number of serious medical conditions. The nature of the manifestation of lumbar syndrome depends solely on the causes that caused it. Only a specialist can determine the "source" of the pain, as well as the discomfort in the lumbar region.

Causes of persistent back pain:

  • cholelithiasis;
  • pancreatitis;
  • prostatitis;
  • inflammatory diseases of the pelvic organs;
  • benign and malignant tumors of the pelvic organs;
  • gastric and duodenal ulcer;
  • aortic aneurysm;
  • kidney stones or urinary tract infections.

Causes of pain related to the spine and back muscles

In medicine, a number of rather rare pathologies of the spine are known that can cause lumbar syndrome. Ankylosing spondylitis stands out among such diseases when the joints of the spine become inflamed. Pain in the spine in the lumbar region can also provoke a bacterial infection, osteomyelitis.

In 90% of cases, lumbar syndrome is caused by various problems with the spine and the tissues of the back muscles. In this regard, the most common causes of pain are:

  • degenerative-dystrophic diseases of the spine (osteochondrosis, deforming spondylosis, progressive osteoarthritis, herniated disc);
  • severe overstrain of the lumbar muscles;
  • complex fractures of the spine - traumatic or compression.

Separately in this list of reasons is psychosomatic - according to this direction in medicine, back pain is caused by mental problems. For example, the inability to find one's true purpose, too heavy a burden (caring for a sick relative, a small child, family problems, etc. ). In this case, work on yourself will help.

provoking factors

With a significant number of diseases of the spine and damage to the nerve roots, discomfort in the lower back can be observed.

However, these diseases can occur for a long time without any manifestations. Only under the influence of certain factors do they make themselves felt. Therefore, it is necessary to eliminate not only unpleasant sensations, but also the main disease.

Factors contributing to the occurrence of back pain:

  • ignorance of the rules of lifting weights;
  • insufficient physical activity;
  • hormonal imbalance;
  • use of uncomfortable furniture (chair, armchair, etc. );
  • wrong posture.

Hypothermia, changes in atmospheric pressure, and magnetic storms can also cause lower back pain. In any case, the sensitive nerve roots of the spinal cord are irritated. It can also be observed due to pathological deposits of calcium salts. Fractured vertebrae, protrusions (bulging of the intervertebral discs) can also cause pain in the tailbone and lower back.

Lower Back Pain: Symptoms

Each disease has its own set of symptoms, but with lumbar syndrome, symptoms appear depending on the causes that caused discomfort in the lower back. Sharp discomfort can be the result of renal colic, for example. In this case, a person cannot find such a position of the body that would allow him to endure discomfort.

Lower back and groin pain sometimes reflects the movement of a pebble from the renal pelvis into the ureter. When shifting the fifth vertebra, pain with severe weakness is felt not only in the lumbar region, but also in the hips and legs.

It is difficult for a person to move, as the syndrome only intensifies and becomes unbearable. The disease itself is called spondylolisthesis.

Middle-aged women often suffer from back pain after sleeping, as well as morning weakness. In addition, there is spinal inactivity and discomfort along the spine. Such symptoms are characteristic of fibrositis. When the disease begins, the pain in the lower back becomes quite severe during movement, since the fibrous connective tissue, having become inflamed, is very sensitive to the movement of the human body.

The lumbar syndrome deserves special attention considering the sides of the body:

  • Pain in the right lumbar region is a sign of problems in the genital area, as well as a signal of the pathology of the right kidney, abdominal wall, intestines or cecum process (appendicitis);
  • Discomfort in the left side of the lumbar region is a sign of diseases of the reproductive system, problems with the ureter, left kidney, hernia, intestines and abdominal wall.

Treatment of lower back pain

It happens that the pain in the lower back with a cold, as well as for other reasons, is so severe that it is impossible to do without therapy. Regardless of what caused the seizure, staying in bed for the first few days is recommended. If the discomfort in the lower part of the spine is caused by a sprain, a heating pad or a warm bath will help to improve well-being. In case of serious damage, you should immediately consult a doctor.

Conservative therapy

Irritating ointments as well as mustard plasters or pepper plasters help to locally warm up the lumbar spine in the area of the most severe pain.

It will bring relief and wrap in a warm woolen scarf, apply an electric heating pad, a bag of heated sand and leeches. With myositis, hot compresses help well.

Depending on what parallel symptoms are observed, back pain can be relieved by electro procedures: diadynamic currents, transcutaneous electroanalgesia, sinusoidal modulated currents, electrophoresis with novocaine and others. Reflexology (acupuncture, cautery, electroacupuncture, laser therapy), including novocaine blockades, also helps relieve discomfort.

With sciatica, provoked by a displacement of the intervertebral discs, traction therapy is prescribed - stretching the body on a bed or under water. Similar procedures are carried out in a hospital. Balneotherapy is also recognized as effective. These are radon, sulfide, chloride, sodium, turpentine, iodine-bromine baths, low-temperature mud applications, naftalan.

Sufficiently effective in lumbar syndrome are rubs with anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs. You can relieve pain and flush the diseased area with ethyl chloride.


Of no small importance in eliminating lumbar syndrome and preventing its attacks is wearing external support systems - orthoses.

At the discretion of the doctor, this can be a corset, a semi-corset, a posture corrector or a reclinator (a special corset that eliminates the inclination), a bandage. Belts are sometimes recommended: corset, antiradiculitis, elastic and others.

Only one universal remedy will help relieve back pain after sitting and prevent the development of lumbar syndrome - physiotherapy exercises (or yoga - a set of exercises to improve health). It is also important to monitor your posture when sitting and do light exercises in case of numbness in the lumbar region of the back. Massage will help a lot. It relieves muscle spasms and puts the muscles in the right tone.

In general, back pain can have different causes. It is important not to neglect the symptoms and go to the clinic on time. Prophylaxis prolongs the achieved effect of the treatment. Therefore, you should not carry heavy weights and fully adhere to the doctor's recommendations. Then, perhaps, the pain in the lumbar region will never manifest itself again.