Low back pain or lumbalgia is a very prevalent symptom in the population. It is estimated that the majority of people suffer some episode of low back pain in their lives and it is the main cause of suffering and absenteeism in the active population after the upper respiratory tract, with the consequent economic cost for any advanced society.
In the vast majority of cases, low back pain occurs in a benign manner and is resolved within 15 days without major consequences.. However, it is very important to follow the evolution of these episodes and the association with the so-called "alarm symptoms", since the presence of these is what should concern and deepen the search for the exact cause of low back pain, since Simple diagnosis of low back pain is totally nonspecific.
Sciatica and other symptoms of low back pain
The symptom that is most frequently associated with low back pain is sciatica or sciatica , which is the irradiation of low back pain by one or both legs.. This symptom is also nonspecific, but indicates that the pathology that causes low back pain is very likely causing, in addition, the compression of one or more nerves at the lumbar level. The zone of distribution of the pain and the presence of areas in the skin asleep, with "tingling" and / or with muscular weakness, indicate the level and severity of the possible injury. In extreme cases, this compression can produce genital symptoms or loss of sphincter control .
In the case of the appearance of some of these symptoms, you should go to the specialist in Traumatology for the correct diagnosis and resolution of the picture, as it is possible that the delay in your treatment leaves its presence as a permanent sequel despite have been treated the origin of them.
Causes and origin of low back pain
The age and the form of appearance and evolution of the episodes, is also very indicative in terms of the severity of low back pain.
The most frequent lumbalgia pictures are also the most banal, and they respond to muscular contractures due to bad habits or occasional overexertion.
The most frequent pathology at the lumbar level is degenerative. With this word is not meant to necessarily be progressive pictures, but its cause is the deterioration of the bony, articular and disc structures of the lumbar spine. We must bear in mind that the bipedal position causes weight and greater mobility to mechanically overload the lower lumbar segments.
The most important exponents are the osteoarthritis of the intervertebral joints or facets, developing the so-called Facetario Syndrome , and the herniated disc , which is usually accompanied by ciatalgia due to nerve compression.
In people over 60 years old, with discs already worn and a severe osteoarthritic component, there is a narrowing or stenosis of the lumbar canal with the consequent compression of the structures that are inside. The predominant symptom in this case is the claudication to gait that occurs each time at shorter distances as the picture progresses.
Treatments of lumbago according to its origin
The vast majority of these paintings, fortunately, tend to have a successful treatment by conservative methods, starting with postural hygiene rules, habits, weight loss if necessary, stretching, etc.. Other medication treatments, Rehabilitation, or assessment of infiltrations in Pain Units can be associated at the beginning or as required.
When the table does not respond or is associated with symptoms of neurological compression, the surgical treatment of low back pain should be evaluated, but for the latter to have a greater chance of success, it is essential to do it at the right time.
Complications of back pain
The other causes of low back pain are much more unlikely but are usually more severe and are usually associated with other warning symptoms, such as fever, pain even at rest, weight loss, the appearance in children, the deformity of the spine, the appearance with a traumatism or mild effort, etc.. These cases can translate other pathologies of the spine or of another nature that begin with low back pain, such as vertebral fractures, scoliosis or other deformities of the spine, infections or tumors, primary or metastatic.
The four keys to low back pain
As a summary, it is important to keep several notions:
- Low back pain is a very prevalent entity and in the vast majority of cases it responds to mild pathologies and can be treated conservatively by modifying some habits.
- It is important to go to the consultation when the picture is not resolved within the first 15 days or when it is accompanied by pain radiating to the legs, weakness, loss of bowel or bladder control, claudication when walking or any other warning symptom.
- The success of the surgical treatment is much greater than what the general belief attributes, but it is very conditioned by the moment of its application and always within the general environment of each patient.
- In some cases, this treatment aims to stabilize (non-progression) the picture or as a palliative treatment if there is no other option, considering it a satisfactory result.