Understanding the symptoms of any ailment is integral to treatment and cure and the same applies to back aches. Back pain on the whole is so widespread that we tend not to think too much about it. Often after a long day at the office or a few hours at the gym, we tend to experience back pain. Under such circumstances, we dismiss the pain as the result of strenuous exercise or simply yet another long work day. It is not entirely uncommon for this pain to build up and magnify till we realize that we have major back issue on our hands. Bearing this in mind, let’s look in to some of the symptoms of lower back pain and explore the issues that they are indicative of.
Degenerative Discs and its Symptoms:
Degenerative Disc Disease or DDD is a common ailment that affects the lower end of the spinal cord causing lower back pain. While orthopedic doctors consider genetic influence as one of the factors behind this ailment, DDD is mainly caused by wear and tear or a minor accident that may worsen over time. It is rare for DDD to come about as the direct result of a major accident. In most cases, this process is gradual as the lumbar discs do not have any bloody supply and hence cannot self repair unlike other tissues in the body. This inability to self repair causes gradual degeneration over a period of time. DDD is fairly common and would show up pretty often on an MRI scan of an individual over the age of sixty. The symptoms associated with Degenerative Disc Disease are primarily a low intensity back pain that one may experience over a long period of time, often over six weeks. The pain is generally centered on the lower back and rarely extends to the hips or legs. The pain is known to intensify whilst sitting for long durations of time as the weight of the upper body puts undue pressure on the lower lumbar discs. Excessive walking, bending, twisting or lifting weights might also intensify the pain.
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Herniated Discs and its Symptoms:
DDD is often known to lead to herniated discs. This occurs when a degenerative disc gradually disintegrates to a level that causes its inner core to spill out from its outer core. This leakage of the soft jelly like inner core often aggravates the spinal nerve root leading to a pain that radiates along the path of the nerve, right from the lower back, down to the posterior and further down to the legs. This pain is referred to by orthopedic doctors as sciatica and even radiculopathy. In typical cases the leg pain is worse than the back pain. In some cases, there may be no back pain at all. Numbness, tingling sensations and weakness in the lower body is fairly common. Losing control over one’s bladders or bowels is indicative of an acute problem.
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Lower Back Muscles or Ligament Strains and their Symptoms:
Back muscle or ligament strains are the most common reasons for lower back pain. This is generally the direct result of strenuous physical activity which includes lifting heavy weights, twisting or sudden motion. General symptoms of back muscle or ligament strains are pain that is limited to the lower back. The area might also be sore upon touch. Sudden and searing pains that are accompanied by muscle spasms are also fairly common in such cases.
Getting older may also result in chronic lower back pain due to various ailments. Osteoarthritis of the spine is one such ailment that is generally characterized by symptoms that intensify over a period of time. Symptoms include lower back pain that fluctuates between severe and mild and relief can be achieved by resting or sitting down. Standing upright or walking can often aggravate the pain that radiates right down to the legs.
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