• Background Image

    New York, NY

11/07/2020

Herniated disk

Overview

Herniated disk

Herniated spinal disk

Herniated disk

The rubbery disks that lie between the vertebrae in your spine consist of a soft center (nucleus) surrounded by a tougher exterior (annulus). A herniated disk occurs when a portion of the nucleus pushes through a crack in the annulus. Symptoms may occur if the herniation compresses a nerve.

A herniated disk refers to a problem with one of the rubbery cushions (disks) that sit between the individual bones (vertebrae) that stack to make your spine.

A spinal disk has a soft, jellylike center (nucleus) encased in a tougher, rubbery exterior (annulus). Sometimes called a slipped disk or a ruptured disk, a herniated disk occurs when some of the nucleus pushes out through a tear in the annulus.

A herniated disk, which can occur in any part of the spine, can irritate a nearby nerve. Depending on where the herniated disk is, it can result in pain, numbness or weakness in an arm or leg.

Many people have no symptoms from a herniated disk. Surgery is usually not necessary to relieve the problem.

Symptoms

Most herniated disks occur in the lower back, although they can also occur in the neck. Signs and symptoms depend on where the disk is situated and whether the disk is pressing on a nerve. They usually affect one side of the body.

  • Arm or leg pain. If your herniated disk is in your lower back, you’ll typically feel the most pain in your buttocks, thigh and calf. You might have pain in part of the foot, as well. If your herniated disk is in your neck, you’ll typically feel the most pain in your shoulder and arm. This pain might shoot into your arm or leg when you cough, sneeze or move into certain positions. Pain is often described as sharp or burning.
  • Numbness or tingling. People who have a herniated disk often have radiating numbness or tingling in the body part served by the affected nerves.
  • Weakness. Muscles served by the affected nerves tend to weaken. This can cause you to stumble, or affect your ability to lift or hold items.

You can have a herniated disk without symptoms. You might not know you have it unless it shows up on a spinal image.

When to see a doctor

Seek medical attention if your neck or back pain travels down your arm or leg, or if you also have numbness, tingling or weakness.

Causes

Disk herniation is most often the result of a gradual, aging-related wear and tear called disk degeneration. As you age, your disks become less flexible and more prone to tearing or rupturing with even a minor strain or twist.

Most people can’t pinpoint the cause of their herniated disk. Sometimes, using your back muscles instead of your leg and thigh muscles to lift heavy objects can lead to a herniated disk, as can twisting and turning while lifting. Rarely, a traumatic event such as a fall or a blow to the back is the cause.

Risk factors

Factors that can increase your risk of a herniated disk include:

  • Weight. Excess body weight causes extra stress on the disks in your lower back.
  • Occupation. People with physically demanding jobs have a greater risk of back problems. Repetitive lifting, pulling, pushing, bending sideways and twisting also can increase your risk of a herniated disk.
  • Genetics. Some people inherit a predisposition to developing a herniated disk.
  • Smoking. It’s thought that smoking lessens the oxygen supply to the disk, causing it to break down more quickly.

Complications

Just above your waist, your spinal cord ends. What continues through the spinal canal is a group of long nerve roots that resemble a horse’s tail (cauda equina).

Rarely, disk herniation can compress the entire spinal canal, including all the nerves of the cauda equina. Rarely, emergency surgery might be required to avoid permanent weakness or paralysis.

Seek emergency medical attention if you have:

  • Worsening symptoms. Pain, numbness or weakness can increase to the point that they hamper your daily activities.
  • Bladder or bowel dysfunction. Cauda equina syndrome can cause incontinence or difficulty urinating even with a full bladder.
  • Saddle anesthesia. This progressive loss of sensation affects the areas that would touch a saddle — the inner thighs, back of legs and the area around the rectum.

Prevention

To help prevent a herniated disk, do the following:

  • Exercise. Strengthening the trunk muscles stabilizes and supports the spine.
  • Maintain good posture. This reduces pressure on your spine and disks. Keep your back straight and aligned, particularly when sitting for long periods. Lift heavy objects properly, making your legs — not your back — do most of the work.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Excess weight puts more pressure on the spine and disks, making them more susceptible to herniation.
  • Quit smoking. Avoid the use of any tobacco products.

Sept. 26, 2019

Source

11/07/2020

Lower Leg Pain: Causes and Treatments


Build Your Migraine Response Kit

Articles OnLeg Pain

Leg Pain

Leg Pain – Lower Leg Pain: Causes and Treatments

The lower parts of your legs take the brunt of your day-to-day life. You shouldn’t have to be in pain, though.

Medical treatments can help if your doctor says you have a condition like leg cramps, blood clots, or issues with the nerves. But you can do things at home that help, too.

Bones, Joints, and Muscles

Muscle cramp. It can strike in your sleep or in the middle of the day. This sudden, tight, intense lower leg pain is sometimes called a “charley horse.” When it takes a grip, it can get worse quickly. It happens when your muscles are tired or dehydrated. Drink more water if you’re prone to leg cramps.

It might help to gently stretch or massage the area where your muscle has tensed up. Stretch your legs properly before you exercise, too.

Shin splints. You can feel this pain right up the front of your calf. The muscles and flesh along the edge of the shin bone become inflamed, so it hurts to walk, run, or jump. Doing activity over and over on hard surfaces can bring this on. You may also be more likely to get shin splints if you have flat feet or your feet turn outward.

Rest your legs to feel better. Ice helps. So can anti-inflammatory meds such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen, if your doctor says these are safe for you. You can buy them over the counter.

You might want to see your doctor if the pain stays. Try not to do anything that makes your leg hurt more. Once it feels a little better, do some stretches. The next time out, wear comfortable, supportive shoes. And don’t run on hard surfaces if possible.

Tendinitis. One of the first warning signs you have an inflamed Achilles tendon is pain in your lower calf, near the back of your heel. It’s a common injury that makes the tendon swell, stretch, or tear. You can get it from overworking the calf muscle or climbing the stairs. It might stick around for a long time, too.

Continued

Apply ice to get some relief. Or take anti-inflammatories if your doctor says they’re okay for you. Avoid doing anything that causes pain. When it hurts less, stretch and strengthen your leg.

If your pain feels severe, your Achilles tendon may be torn. Another possible sign of a tear is having trouble pointing your toe downward. Your doctor may inject medicine into the inflamed area. You might need surgery to repair the damage.

Broken bones or sprains. Say you twist your ankle and get a mild sprain. Try the RICE treatment: rest, ice, compression, and elevation.

For a more severe sprain or a broken bone (fracture), apply ice and see your doctor right away. You may need a cast or brace. You may also need physical therapy.

It will take time, but gradually you’ll be able to walk comfortably, again. Go slow as you gradually increase your strength and put weight on the injured leg.

Veins and Clots

Blood clot . When your blood thickens in a vein and clumps together, it can turn into a clot. One that develops in a vein deep in the body is called deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

Most deep-vein blood clots happen in the lower leg or thigh. They’re more likely to happen if you’re inactive for long periods, like on a long flight or car ride. You’re also at risk if you’re overweight, or you smoke, or take certain medications.

There’s a chance a clot could break off into your bloodstream and travel to an artery in the lungs. If so, it could block blood flow. This is a serious condition called pulmonary embolism.

If you think you might have a blood clot, go to your doctor or emergency room right away.

Medications, support stockings, and weight loss are types of treatments to help you avoid getting clots.

Varicose veins . You might be familiar with these, because you can see them at the surface of the skin. They appear to be twisted, dark blue or purple veins, and are caused by weak valves and vein walls. They may cause a dull ache, especially after standing.

Continued

Try support stockings to relieve the pain. And throughout the day, switch between standing and sitting. See your doctor about other types of treatment if your varicose veins are very painful.

Lower-extremity peripheral arterial disease. This can happen when the arteries in your legs become damaged and hardened. When your arteries narrow or become blocked, your legs miss out on the blood flow they need. That can cause your lower leg to cramp and feel pain when you walk, climb stairs, or do other kinds of exercise, because muscles aren’t getting enough blood.

Resting helps. But if your arteries become severely narrowed or blocked, the pain may persist, even when you rest. Also, wounds may not heal well.

You’re more likely to get this condition if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or you smoke or are obese.

Fix it with a change of lifestyle:

  • If you smoke, quit.
  • Eat healthier.
  • Manage your weight.
  • Exercise.

Other treatments include medications to control cholesterol, diabetes, or high blood pressure. Some people need surgery to improve blood flow to the area.

Lower Leg Pain: Nerves

The source of some pain is problems with your nerves.

Narrowed spinal canal (stenosis) and sciatica. A common cause of a narrowed spinal canal is arthritis of the spine. Sometimes a herniated disc puts pressure on nearby nerve roots, which can lead to symptoms of sciatica, such as:

  • Burning, cramping leg pain when standing or sitting
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness

Pain may begin in your back and hip, then later extend down into your leg. Rest is often the cure for other pains of the leg, but not this one. It doesn’t help sciatica.

Treatment may involve resting for a few days, along with taking anti-inflammatories and pain medications. Cold and heat can help with some symptoms. Physical therapy and stretching exercises are often useful. Gradually increase movement over time. Your doctor may also recommend other treatments or surgery if your pain doesn’t get better.

Diabetic neuropathy is a common complication of diabetes. Nerves can be damaged from high blood sugar levels. It can cause pain in both of your legs along with numbness and less sensation in the lower legs.

Talk to your doctor about medications to control the pain and help manage your blood sugar levels.

Sources

SOURCES:

AAOS: “Muscle Cramp.”

Merck Manuals Online Medical Library: “Lower Leg Injuries.”

American Academy of Family Physicians: “Leg Problems.”

NHLBI: “How Is Deep Vein Thrombosis Treated?”

Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern California: “Leg Pain and Lower Extremity Arterial Disease.”

American Heart Association: “Symptoms and Diagnosis of PAD.”

NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases Spine Center: “Lumbar Herniated Disc.”

National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse (NDIC): Diabetic Neuropathies: The Nerve Damage of Diabetes.”

© 2020 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved. 0) { aspcaLogo = $firstArtImg.attr(‘src’).indexOf(‘163x68_aspca_reference’); // if image is ASPCA logo if (aspcaLogo !== -1) { $firstArtImg.hide(); } }   }); ]]> -1 && $.inArray(window.s_business_reference, moveAdBuisRef) > -1){ // The logic below reads count all nodes in page 1. Exclude the footer,ol,ul and table elements. Use the varible // moveAdAfter to know which node to place the Ad container after. window.placeAd = function(pn) { var nodeTags = , nodes, target; nodes = $(‘.article-page:nth-child(‘ + pn + ‘)’).find(nodeTags.join()).not(‘p:empty’).not(‘footer *’).not(‘ol *, ul *, table *’); //target = nodes.eq(Math.floor(nodes.length / 2)); target = nodes.eq(moveAdAfter); $(”).insertAfter(target); } // Currently passing in 1 to move the Ad in to page 1 window.placeAd(1); } else { // This is the default location on the bottom of page 1 $(‘.article-page:nth-child(1)’).append(”); } } })(); $(function(){ // Create a new conatiner where we will make our lazy load Ad call if the reach the footer section of the article $(‘.main-container-3’).prepend(”); });

Pagination

Next In Leg Pain Series:

How to Improve Circulation = 0) && cssBlockOverride.indexOf(s_business_reference) === -1) { $(‘.module-tools-and-resources’).css(‘display’, ‘block’); webmd.oas = window.webmd.oas || {}; webmd.oas.mapping = window.webmd.oas.mapping || {}; webmd.oas.mapping = ; } } ]]>

Tools & Resources

0) { $(‘.module-tools-and-resources’).hide(); } }); } ]]> You will receive your first newsletter with our next scheduled circulation!’, content: ” + ‘n’ + ‘{header}]]>

n’ + ‘{preContent}’ + ‘n’ + ‘{preForm}’ + ‘n’ + ‘{postForm}’ + ‘n’ + // .nls-content ‘{postContent}’ + ‘

Source

11/07/2020

Why Does My Back Hurt?

Women is getting back pain treatment at Launchfit NYC

Who experiences back pain?

Lower back pain, also called lumbago, is not a disorder. It’s a symptom of several different types of medical problems.

It usually results from a problem with one or more parts of the lower back, such as:

  • ligaments
  • muscles
  • nerves
  • the bony structures that make up the spine, called vertebral bodies or vertebrae

It can also be due to a problem with nearby organs, such as the kidneys.

According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, 75 to 85 percent of Americans will experience back pain in their lifetime. Of those, 50 percent will have more than one episode within a year.

In 90 percent of all cases, the pain gets better without surgery. Talk to your doctor if you’re experiencing back pain.

This diagram shows which muscles in the lower back may be causing you pain.

Many individuals will not need extensive treatment for back pain. Over-the-counter pain medications are often sufficient.

In more severe cases, stronger treatments may be necessary, but they’re typically provided under close supervision from your doctor.

Medication

The majority of back pain episodes are relieved by treatment with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), such as:

Pain relievers, or analgesics, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), are also an option, though they don’t have the anti-inflammatory properties.

Be careful with medications like ibuprofen if you have kidney problems or stomach ulcers.

Never take more than the recommended dose of over-the-counter medications without talking to a doctor, as even these medications may have severe side effects if taken incorrectly.

Other medication options include:

Topical rubs and ointments

Topical products may be highly effective at reducing back pain. Many of these contain ingredients like ibuprofen and lidocaine, which have been found to work better than a placebo when it comes to pain relief.

Opioids

Opioids are stronger pain medications that can be prescribed for more severe pain. These medications, such as oxycodone (OxyContin) and a combination of acetaminophen and hydrocodone (Vicodin), act on the brain cells and body to reduce pain.

Opioids should be used with caution, however, due to a risk of addiction.

Muscle relaxants

Muscle relaxants can also be used for low back pain, especially is muscle spasms are occurring alongside pain. These medicines act on the central nervous system to reduce pain.

Antidepressants

Antidepressants and other medications can sometimes be used off-label for the treatment of back pain.

If your back pain is severe, your doctor may prescribe amitriptyline, a tricyclic antidepressant, because it focuses on different parts of the pain response. This antidepressant may also work better for nerve-related pain.

Steroid injections

Your doctor might also recommend cortisone steroid injections for severe back pain. However, pain relief from steroid injections usually wears off by around three months.

Surgery

Surgery is a last resort treatment and is rarely needed for back pain. It’s usually reserved for structural abnormalities that haven’t responded to conservative treatment with medicines and therapy.

This includes:

Spinal fusion is a surgery in which painful vertebrae are fused into a single, more solid bone. It helps eliminate painful motion of the spine.

Surgery to partially remove and replace disks and vertebrae may be done to relieve pain caused by degenerative bone diseases.

Alternative medicine

Alternative therapies that may help relieve back pain include:

Be sure to talk to your doctor before undergoing any alternative or complementary treatment. If you’re experiencing back pain, these lower back pain treatment options might be helpful.

Many home remedies can be used with traditional back pain treatments. If you have questions about these, talk with your doctor.

Heat/ice therapy

Ice packs may relieve discomfort and help lessen inflammation in acute phases of back pain. Note: Don’t apply the ice directly to your skin. Wrap it in a thin towel or gauze to prevent damage to your skin.

Warm compresses may also relieve pain when inflammation has subsided. Consider alternating between heat and cold.

Exercises

Exercises to improve posture and strengthen the muscles of the back and abdominal muscles — called the core muscles — are a treatment option that should be strongly considered.

This treatment often involves:

  • improving posture
  • using proper lifting techniques
  • strengthening core muscles
  • stretching muscles to improve flexibility

A physical therapist can teach you how to perform these types of exercises at home.

Essential oils

Research suggests lavender essential oil or ointments made with capsaicin may help decrease pain.

Capsaicin is the ingredient in peppers that make them hot. These ingredients may desensitize the nerves in the impacted area and decrease the pain you feel.

Salt baths

A hot bath can do wonders for aching muscles, but while you’re soaking, give the water an added boost for your back with Epsom salt. Your body can absorb the minerals from the salt bath, and they can help ease aching muscles.

Home remedies may be highly effective at reducing back pain. Learn more about how to use them and how they work.

The most common causes of lower back pain are strain and problems with back structures.

Strain

Strained muscles often cause back pain. Strain commonly occurs with incorrect lifting of heavy objects and sudden awkward movements.

Strain can also result from over-activity. An example is the sore feeling and stiffness that occurs after a few hours of yard work or playing a sport.

Structural problems

Vertebrae are the interlocking bones stacked on top of one another that make up the spine. Disks are areas of tissue that cushion the space between each vertebra. Disk injuries are a fairly common cause of back pain.

Sometimes these disks can bulge, herniate, or rupture. Nerves can get compressed when this happens.

Herniated disks can be very painful. A bulging disk pressing on the nerve that travels from your back down your leg can cause sciatica or irritation of the sciatic nerve. Sciatica can be experienced in your leg as:

Arthritis

Spinal osteoarthritis is also a potential cause for back pain. It’s caused by damage and deterioration in the cartilage of joints in your lower back.

Over time, this condition can lead to narrowing of the spinal column, or spinal stenosis.

Osteoporosis

Loss of bone density and thinning of the bone, called osteoporosis, can lead to small fractures in your vertebrae. These fractures can cause serious pain and are referred to as compression fractures.

Other causes of back pain

There are many other potential causes of back pain, but most of these are rare. Be sure to see your doctor if you experience regular back pain that does not go away.

After ruling out the more common causes of back pain, your doctor will perform tests to determine if you have a rarer cause. These can include:

  • displacement of one vertebral body onto another, called degenerative spondylolisthesis
  • loss of nerve function at the lower spinal cord, called cauda equina syndrome (a medical emergency)
  • fungal or bacterial infection of the spine, such as Staphylococcus, E. coli, or tuberculosis
  • cancer or nonmalignant tumor in the spine
  • kidney infection or kidney stones

Back pain can have many symptoms, including:

  • a dull aching sensation in the lower back
  • a stabbing or shooting pain that can radiate down the leg to the foot
  • an inability to stand up straight without pain
  • a decreased range of motion and diminished ability to flex the back

The symptoms of back pain, if due to strain or misuse, are usually short-lived but can last for days or weeks.

Back pain is chronic when symptoms have been present for longer than three months.

Back pain symptoms that may indicate a serious problem

See your doctor if back pain doesn’t improve within two weeks of developing. There are times when back pain can be a symptom of a serious medical problem.

Symptoms that can indicate a more serious medical problem are:

  • loss of bowel or bladder control
  • numbness, tingling, or weakness in one or both legs
  • onset following trauma, such as a fall or a blow to the back
  • intense, constant pain that gets worse at night
  • presence of unexplained weight loss
  • pain associated with a throbbing sensation in the abdomen
  • presence of fever

Let your doctor know if you have any of these symptoms.

A physical exam is typically all that’s needed to diagnose back pain. During the physical exam, your doctor may test your:

  • ability to stand and walk
  • spine’s range of motion
  • reflexes
  • leg strength
  • ability to detect sensations in your legs

If a serious condition is suspected, your doctor might order other tests, including:

  • blood and urine tests to check for underlying conditions
  • X-rays of the spine to show alignment of your bones and check for breaks
  • computed tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to assess your disks, muscles, ligaments, nerves, and blood vessels
  • bone scan to look for abnormalities in the bone tissue
  • electromyography (EMG) to test nerve conduction

These tips can help ease back pain when it happens. They can also help you prevent back pain in the first place.

Carry less

Heavy briefcases, laptop bags, suitcases, and purses can add unnecessary stress and strain to your neck and spine.

Try to reduce what you need to carry, and use bags that distribute the weight more evenly, such as a backpack. If you can, use a bag with wheels to keep weight off your back entirely.

Work your core

The muscles in and around your abdomen and back help keep you upright and carry you through your physical activities. Strengthening them can also reduce the chances of pain, strain, or damage to your back.

Plug strength-training workouts with a core focus into your regular fitness routine at least twice a week.

Improve your posture

Poor posture can put unnecessary pressure and strain on your spine. Over time, this can lead to pain and damage.

Regularly remind yourself to roll back rounded shoulders and sit upright in your chair.

Change shoes

High-heeled shoes are likely to cause damage to your back if you wear them frequently. Pick comfortable, low-heeled shoes when you can. One inch is a maximum heel height suggestion.

Stretch often

Doing the same thing every day can leave your muscles fatigued and more apt to strain. Stretch regularly to help improve circulation in those muscles and lower the risk of back pain and damage.

If you think these five tips are helpful for preventing back pain, read five more ways to help reduce your chances of hurting your back.

According to the Mayo Clinic, you’re at an increased risk for back pain if you:

  • work in a sedentary environment
  • don’t exercise
  • engage in high-impact activity without stretching or warming up first
  • are older
  • have obesity
  • are a smoker
  • have been diagnosed with a specific condition like arthritis

Your emotional health also has an effect on your risk for back pain. You may be at a higher risk for back pain if you have a stressful job or have depression and anxiety.

Back pain during each trimester of your pregnancy isn’t uncommon — several causes can be to blame. However, you should be sure to talk to your doctor about what you’re experiencing, in the event the pain may be part of a bigger problem.

Here are a few reasons why you may be experiencing back pain during pregnancy:

Shifting center of gravity

As your baby grows, the center of your body’s “gravity” moves outward. Your spine and back arch to make up for the change in balance. This put extra stress on the lower lumbar spine.

Weight gain

Weight gain can be a healthy part of pregnancy, but even the little bit you’re likely to gain during those 9 months can put more stress on your back and core muscles.

Hormones

As your body prepares to deliver the baby, it releases hormones that loosen the ligaments that stabilize your pelvis and lumbar spine. These same hormones can cause the bones in your spine to shift, too, which may lead to discomfort and pain.

Gentle stretches and easy exercises can help ease back pain and prevent future problems.

Here are two exercises you can try. These moves require no special equipment and can be performed anywhere you can access an area of open floor. A yoga mat is recommended but not necessary.

Bridges

  1. Lie on the ground with your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart.
  2. With your hands by your sides, press your feet into the floor as you slowly lift your buttocks off the ground until your body is in one straight line. Keep your shoulders on the floor.
  3. Lower down. Rest for 1 minute.
  4. Repeat 15 times.
  5. Perform 3 sets.
  6. Lie on your stomach. Stretch your arms above your head and lengthen your legs straight behind you.
  7. Slowly lift your hands and feet off the ground. Start about 6 inches off the ground and go higher as you feel comfortable.
  8. Push through your belly button to lift your legs and arms off the ground. Stop when you feel your lower back contract. To prevent neck strain, keep your head down, looking at the ground.
  9. Hold your stretched posture for 2-3 seconds.
  10. Return to neutral and relax your muscles.
  11. Repeat this stretch 10 to 12 times.

Superman

If you have back pain and want relief, try these exercises plus three more to help reduce back pain.

Yoga may be thought of as a way to reduce stress, but it can also be a great way to ease muscle pain. Certain yoga poses can help stretch and strengthen the muscles in your core and back, too. That can ease pain and prevent future back problems.

Practice these yoga poses for a few minutes every day. They’re great for beginners. You can add new ones for more strenuous stretching later.

Cat-Cow

  1. Lower to the floor and get on your hands and knees.
  2. Align your body so your hands are directly below your shoulders and your knees are under your hips. Evenly balance your weight on all fours.
  3. Slowly inhale air and look up to the wall in front of you. Let your stomach drop toward the mat.
  4. Slowly exhale the air, tuck your chin to your chest, draw your navel toward the back of your spine, and arch your back.
  5. Turn steps 3 and 4 into a continuous movement and repeat for at least 1 minute.
  6. Lie on your stomach. Stretch your legs straight behind you. Rest your hands, palms down, beside your shoulders.
  7. Engage your core, lower back, and buttocks muscles to slowly lift your upper torso and head away from the ground. Use your arms for support only.
  8. Draw on your lower back and push your belly button into the ground to maintain the stretch.
  9. Remain in this stretch for 2-3 minutes.
  10. Relax and return to the ground.

Sphinx pose

As your muscles grow stronger, you can hold this pose longer. Work toward 5 minutes.

If you’re considering yoga to relieve back pain, watch videos of these two yoga poses plus eight more that may be beneficial to get started.

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection in the parts of your body that are responsible for carrying urine. This could be the kidneys, ureters, urethra, or bladder.

A UTI is most often caused by microbes or bacteria that enter the urinary tract and multiply.

If you have a UTI, you may experience some level of back pain or lower back discomfort. In addition, you may experience:

  • frequent urination
  • burning during urination
  • bloody urine
  • cloudy urine
  • urine with a strong odor
  • feeling an urgent need to urinate
  • producing little urine despite feeling intense pressure

UTIs can be treated with antibiotics. Once treatment begins, symptoms including back pain should resolve quickly.

Frequent urination and back pain can be caused by other conditions. Read more about each of them and how they can be diagnosed.

Back pain is a common ailment, and the older you get, the more likely you are to experience it. In fact, the majority of Americans will cope with back pain at some point in their lives. For a small percentage, back pain may become chronic.

With treatment, most episodes of back pain will resolve on their own. Occasionally, you will need help from your doctor in the form of prescription medication or injections. Surgery may be an option in very rare cases.

The good news for people who’ve experienced back pain and want to avoid another bout with it is that you can take steps to prevent back pain. Daily stretches, yoga, and strength training can help make your back and core muscles stronger and more resilient.

Source

11/07/2020

Leg pain Causes

Most leg pain results from wear and tear, overuse, or injuries in joints or bones or in muscles, ligaments, tendons or other soft tissues. Some types of leg pain can be traced to problems in your lower spine. Leg pain can also be caused by blood clots, varicose veins or poor circulation.

Causes shown here are commonly associated with this symptom. Work with your doctor or other health care professional for an accurate diagnosis.

Source

11/07/2020

Back pain

Overview

Back pain is one of the most common reasons people go to the doctor or miss work, and it is a leading cause of disability worldwide.

Fortunately, you can take measures to prevent or relieve most back pain episodes. If prevention fails, simple home treatment and proper body mechanics often will heal your back within a few weeks and keep it functional. Surgery is rarely needed to treat back pain.

Symptoms

Back pain can range from a muscle aching to a shooting, burning or stabbing sensation. In addition, the pain may radiate down your leg or worsen with bending, twisting, lifting, standing or walking.

When to see a doctor

Most back pain gradually improves with home treatment and self-care, usually within a few weeks. Contact your doctor if your back pain:

  • Persists past a few weeks
  • Is severe and doesn’t improve with rest
  • Spreads down one or both legs, especially if the pain extends below the knee
  • Causes weakness, numbness or tingling in one or both legs
  • Is accompanied by unexplained weight loss

In rare cases, back pain can signal a serious medical problem. Seek immediate care if your back pain:

  • Causes new bowel or bladder problems
  • Is accompanied by a fever
  • Follows a fall, blow to your back or other injury

Causes

Low back pain caused by spinal degeneration and injury.

Click here for an infographic to learn more

Back pain often develops without a cause that your doctor can identify with a test or an imaging study. Conditions commonly linked to back pain include:

  • Muscle or ligament strain. Repeated heavy lifting or a sudden awkward movement can strain back muscles and spinal ligaments. If you’re in poor physical condition, constant strain on your back can cause painful muscle spasms.
  • Bulging or ruptured disks. Disks act as cushions between the bones (vertebrae) in your spine. The soft material inside a disk can bulge or rupture and press on a nerve. However, you can have a bulging or ruptured disk without back pain. Disk disease is often found incidentally when you have spine X-rays for some other reason.
  • Arthritis. Osteoarthritis can affect the lower back. In some cases, arthritis in the spine can lead to a narrowing of the space around the spinal cord, a condition called spinal stenosis.
  • Osteoporosis. Your spine’s vertebrae can develop painful fractures if your bones become porous and brittle.

Risk factors

Anyone can develop back pain, even children and teens. These factors might put you at greater risk of developing back pain:

  • Age. Back pain is more common as you get older, starting around age 30 or 40.
  • Lack of exercise. Weak, unused muscles in your back and abdomen might lead to back pain.
  • Excess weight. Excess body weight puts extra stress on your back.
  • Diseases. Some types of arthritis and cancer can contribute to back pain.
  • Improper lifting. Using your back instead of your legs can lead to back pain.
  • Psychological conditions. People prone to depression and anxiety appear to have a greater risk of back pain.
  • Smoking. Smokers have increased rates of back pain. This may occur because smoking prompts more coughing, which can lead to herniated disks. Smoking can also decrease blood flow to the spine and increase the risk of osteoporosis.

Prevention

You might avoid back pain or prevent its recurrence by improving your physical condition and learning and practicing proper body mechanics.

To keep your back healthy and strong:

  • Exercise. Regular low-impact aerobic activities — those that don’t strain or jolt your back — can increase strength and endurance in your back and allow your muscles to function better. Walking and swimming are good choices. Talk with your doctor about which activities you might try.
  • Build muscle strength and flexibility. Abdominal and back muscle exercises, which strengthen your core, help condition these muscles so that they work together like a natural corset for your back.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight strains back muscles. If you’re overweight, trimming down can prevent back pain.
  • Quit smoking. Smoking increases your risk of low back pain. The risk increases with the number of cigarettes smoked per day, so quitting should help reduce this risk.

Avoid movements that twist or strain your back. Use your body properly:

  • Stand smart. Don’t slouch. Maintain a neutral pelvic position. If you must stand for long periods, place one foot on a low footstool to take some of the load off your lower back. Alternate feet. Good posture can reduce the stress on back muscles.
  • Sit smart. Choose a seat with good lower back support, armrests and a swivel base. Placing a pillow or rolled towel in the small of your back can maintain its normal curve. Keep your knees and hips level. Change your position frequently, at least every half-hour.
  • Lift smart. Avoid heavy lifting, if possible, but if you must lift something heavy, let your legs do the work. Keep your back straight — no twisting — and bend only at the knees. Hold the load close to your body. Find a lifting partner if the object is heavy or awkward.

Buyer beware

Because back pain is so common, numerous products promise prevention or relief. But there’s no definitive evidence that special shoes, shoe inserts, back supports, specially designed furniture or stress management programs can help.

In addition, there doesn’t appear to be one type of mattress that’s best for people with back pain. It’s probably a matter of what feels most comfortable to you.

The Mayo Clinic experience and patient stories

Our patients tell us that the quality of their interactions, our attention to detail and the efficiency of their visits mean health care like they’ve never experienced. See the stories of satisfied Mayo Clinic patients.

Aug. 21, 2020

Source