Minor discomfort in the back caused by active sports, heavy physical labor, uncomfortable position during a night's rest, is unlikely to be a serious cause for concern, especially if this symptom occurs from time to time and is not accompanied by other health problems. Pain from overwork after a good rest and relaxation of the back muscles, light massage and wet rubbing. And fatigue of the spine due to a long stay in an uncomfortable static posture is removed with the help of moderate physical activity and charging.
A weak irregular pain syndrome, with well-explained reasons, does not pose a danger, although it pushes one to think what the person did wrong, and this caused the appearance of pain. But different types of severe back pain, even if they occur once and do not remind of themselves for a long time, should be alarming. This is an obvious signal of the body about a specific violation, which the visit to the doctor can help decipher.
Do not pay attention to this symptom is impossible, as often happens with children and athletes. Very often they have acute severe back pain that signals a fracture, nadkole, dislocation of the vertebral joints, as a result of which the spinal cord can be damaged, tumor processes develop, the innervation of the body and extremities can be disturbed, which can lead to disability in the absence of appropriate treatment and caution.
Back pain can also be triggered by cancer problems. And although severe pain usually arises in the late stages of cancer, there is still hope, and in no case should you miss it, because there is nothing more precious than human life.
With the help of pain, our body tells us about various violations in their work. But even knowing the structure of this complex mechanism is not always easy to understand in which department it had a failure. Nevertheless, this symptom is already enough to call for help to someone who can help solve the difficult medical puzzle. At the same time, both local and reflected pains must be taken into account. For example, back pain helps to diagnose kidney disease in time. And discomfort in the right upper quadrant with irradiation to the back helps to suspect pathologies of the liver and gall bladder in time, until they remind of themselves of complications in the form of failures in the work of other organs and deterioration of the patient’s general state caused by intoxication and necrotic processes in tissues of the diseased organ).
If intense back pain appeared after an infectious disease, it indicates the development of complications and that the treatment was unsuccessful. So, in the future there is still a struggle with the consequences of the disease. And the sooner it is started, the greater the chance of success.
With spinal pathologies, severe back pain is characteristic of acute conditions, and if you respond immediately, the progression of the disease can be stopped quite quickly. If nothing is done to treat a disease, then it is likely to take a chronic form, whose therapy is very difficult and has only a temporary effect. Now the pain will appear with any exacerbation of pathology, provoked by loads on the back, hypothermia, infections, stress, etc. Moreover, even achieving remission does not completely stop the progression of the disease and the destruction of the spinal structures.
Intense back pain is not a specific disease, but a signal to action. And the prognosis for the treatment of the pathology that caused the symptom depends on how quickly the person will respond to it. Any kind of severe back pain should alert the person, because the greater the intensity of pain, the more serious the problem that causes them, and the harder the consequences of careless attitude towards them.
Age pain in the back
After a person turns 60, he enters the category of older people, and at 75 he can already be considered an old man. Life does not end there, but it becomes more difficult in terms of health, especially when you consider that during life few people carefully take care of their health, accumulating a baggage of all sorts of diseases. Moreover, physiological aging is accompanied by age-related changes that are not conducive to excellent well-being.
Try today to surprise someone with the fact that older people often have all kinds of severe back pain. At the same time, scientists proved that in older age the sensitivity to pain increases due to the expectation of its appearance, for the same reason physical activity decreases, which only aggravates the pathologies of muscles and joints.
Old women and old men bent in three deaths are a common phenomenon regardless of where they live. With age, the motor activity of a person decreases, the metabolism slows down, which leads to the exacerbation of existing diseases and the appearance of new ones caused by the wear of tissues.
But if in young people degenerative changes in the spine (osteochondrosis) are considered to be the most frequent reason for referring to the therapist and neurologist, then muscular dysfunction and osteosclerosis caused by a chronic course of osteochondrosis and other spinal pathologies of a dystrophic nature are more characteristic of older people. That is, fibrous changes in the soft tissues and joints that make them less elastic and mobile plus add water to the fire accumulated diseases make themselves felt.
Facet syndrome - the so-called cause of back pain in the elderly. Faceted joints are called the processes on the vertebrae, which provide the spine with sufficient mobility (movement between the vertebrae) and flexibility, and at the same time are peculiar fixers that prevent excessive movements (ensure stability).
The facet joints, especially in the lumbar and cervical parts, are in constant motion, therefore, they wear out faster with age. Wear of the joint is characterized by thinning of the cartilage, to which compensatory mechanisms react by overgrowth of bone tissue and the formation of osteophytes on the vertebrae, which increase the size of the joint, but limit its mobility. We are talking about the development of osteoarthritis, which is called the facet joints syndrome. Inflammation of the facet joints provokes a defensive reaction in the form of a painful muscle spasm, which is experienced by more than 85% of elderly patients.
Since pathology does not imply an impact on the nerves, the pain is usually aching in nature, aggravated by bending backwards, extending the body, while sitting and driving in a car. Predict the occurrence of pain is impossible. The frequency of occurrence of pain, their duration and intensity may also be different.
Symptoms of facet syndrome in the cervical region are local pains that can be reflected in the shoulder and upper back. If, in addition, the patient is diagnosed with a hernia of intervertebral discs in the neck, he may also experience pain in his arm and hand.
For lumbar pain syndrome, irradiation to the buttocks and the back of the thigh is typical. If the pain spreads below, the cause may be, again, a hernia of the spine, but already in the lumbosacral region, which affects not only muscles, but also nerve fibers.
An age-related decrease in the elasticity of the musculo-ligamentous joint in combination with spinal pathologies that have accumulated over the years of life (which only osteochondrosis is diagnosed in 80% of the population) and facet joints wear leads to a redistribution of the load on the spinal tissues and excessive muscle tension, which results in chronic pain. The situation is aggravated by a decrease in bone density (osteopenia and osteoporosis).
It is most difficult for women in whom osteoporosis is common and diagnosed 2 times more often than in men. During menopause, it is caused by a decrease in the production of female hormones. Complicated fractures of the spinal column (usually in the thoracic region) are considered as a consequence of osteoporosis in the post-mamacteric period, in which there is severe acute back pain, aggravated by any movement. In more than half of the patients, the pain becomes chronic, can torment a person practically throughout the day and interfere with a normal night’s rest.
Dysplastic processes and age-related instability of the spine cause physicians to diagnose degenerative spondylolisthesis (shift of individual vertebrae relative to the axis of the spine) and spinal canal stenosis in elderly people . Decrease in physical activity, partly caused by pain, and pain in the legs, which are also often reflected from the spine, forcing the elderly to walk less and sit more, only complicate the situation. Indeed, in a sitting position the load on the spine is especially great, while the lumbar region suffers the most. And it is not surprising that when you are getting up on your feet, elderly people may experience quite severe back pains that spread to their legs.
As you can see, older people and old people have more reasons to complain about different types of severe back pain. And we talked only about dorsalgia - pain syndrome caused by diseases of the spine. But after all, not only skin, bones and cartilage wear out with age, a decrease in functionality is also noted in the internal organs.
Few people over the age of 60 can boast a strong, healthy heart. This muscular organ also undergoes considerable wear over time, and in old age we have different degrees of heart failure. The risk of a heart attack also increases in old age, and for this pathology, as well as for angina pectoris, irradiation of back pain is characteristic.
Those who were fond of alcoholic beverages in their youth, in their old age, can have problems with the kidneys and liver, the pains from which are quite often reflected in the back and can be quite intense. And it is difficult to protect oneself from infectious diseases at any age, plus the presence of chronic diseases luggage considerably heats up immunity.
Among infectious diseases in the elderly, osteomyelitis and tuberculosis and ankylosing spondylitis are most often diagnosed, which most often develops against the background of pulmonary tuberculosis, even if the latter has been treated. Both diseases are accompanied by intense back pain.
Another problem is cancer, the risk of which increases when a person crosses the 40-year mark. Chordoma, hemangioma, osteosarcoma - the most common cancers in the spine. But in addition to local neoplasms in old age, metastatic tumors are often detected, which in 70% of cases produce metastases in the thoracic region (less often in the lumbar and cervical).
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Night and morning pains
The fact that the back hurts badly at night does not necessarily indicate a swelling. The reason for such pain may be uncomfortable posture or bed during a night's rest, severe fatigue the day before, poor posture, which increases the load on the back muscles and provokes the development of pathologies such as osteochondrosis, spondylolisthesis, scoliosis, herniated intervertebral discs, myositis, etc. With all such diseases, a person may be tormented by nightly pains of varying intensity, while a change of position sometimes helps to reduce their severity.
But night pains in the back with diseases of internal organs (heart, kidneys and urinogenital system, liver, lungs) and pathologies of the nervous system, the intensity of pain usually does not depend on the posture in which a person sleeps and bed comfort. Their intensity and other characteristics depend on the type of disease and the degree of development of the pathology.
Sometimes patients complain that they have a bad back in the morning after sleep. If a similar symptom appears in a pregnant woman, there is nothing to be surprised about, because the expectant mother with a tummy growing day by day is not so easy to find a position comfortable for sleeping and relaxing the back muscles.
Back pain in the morning can also be a consequence of the use of synthetic bed linen (during friction, electrical charges can occur, causing muscle contraction and fatigue). In this case, the person does not notice the other symptoms of indisposition, the discomfort disappears when changing clothes.
Morning back pain is a problem that can be an echo of back injuries, various diseases of the spine and internal organs. Pain after waking up and while getting out of bed is most often tormented by patients with osteochondrosis. Due to a decrease in the mobility of various parts of the spine, any change in the position of the body can be accompanied by a painful strong painful syndrome.
Identical situation is observed with damage to the joints of the spine ( spondylarthrosis ). If the cervical spine is affected, pain may occur along the spine between the shoulder blades and in the shoulders. For spondyloarthrosis of the lower spine is characterized by pain in the lumbar region.
Pains in the mornings and at night are also characteristic of pathologies of the kidneys, liver, gallbladder, with the above diseases severe pain is localized mainly in the lumbar region, i.e. In the back under the ribs. But the pain between the shoulder blades after sleep may indicate diseases of the respiratory system and the heart.
Morning pain often occurs with neurological problems. During sleep, a person may be in a posture for a long time, in which an additional compression of the affected nerve occurs. It is not surprising that the patient can wake up with severe back pain, because an uncomfortable posture on the eve of awakening can provoke a similar symptom even in a healthy person.
Types of morning and night spinal pains depend on the pathology that causes them. In spinal diseases and neurological problems, the pain is usually acute and severe. But in case of inflammatory pathologies of internal organs, the pain will be more aching and different in intensity. Although with stones in the kidneys and renal colic, it is again about an acute pain syndrome that causes a person to stand still and not move.
Manual therapy and exercise therapy: treat or maim?
Diseases of the spine - a serious problem that requires an integrated approach to treatment. These include drug therapy, surgical treatment, and auxiliary methods: manual therapy and massage, physiotherapy, osteopathy, acupuncture, various methods of physiotherapy, etc. But given that any disease greatly weakens the spinal tissue, any manipulation should be carried out with extreme caution.
Alas, both the patients themselves and the doctors often simply forget about caution. The leader in the number of complaints related to the fact that after the treatment procedure, various types of severe back pain appeared, manual therapy is. Quite often, patients say that before treatment, the intensity of pain was lower. And some even claim that the pain has changed its location and character (for example, they have treated my back, and my shoulder has started to hurt, and the pain has turned from aching to acute, tearing).
The reason for the undesirable outcome of treatment is the insufficient qualification of the chiropractor. Sometimes people who do not have medical education and who actually act at random because of ignorance of how their impact will affect the condition of diseased organs and nearby structures, identify themselves as manual and osteopathic.
An experienced manual therapist must accurately calculate his strength, because with excessive zeal there will be more stretching of the muscles than their relaxation. This massage will bring only temporary relief, after which the pain will appear with a new force. Inadequate muscle relaxation with the doctor’s haste may cause painful muscle spasms. And if at the same time the doctor’s remarkable strength is also used, then it is not far from stretching the ligaments. Not to mention the fact that only a highly qualified professional, whose actions will never lead to a fracture of the spine or its blockade, can reduce the vertebrae.
Manual therapy is a mechanical effect on human tissue, the purpose of which is to relieve muscle tension, stretch the spine and restore its original shape. To achieve these goals can only professional actions of the doctor. The choice of the chiropractor and the implementation of his recommendations after the procedure depends on the patient.
Slightly less often complaints about the renewal and intensification of pain come in relation to physical therapy. Every tenth patient complains about it. But here it is much more difficult to look for the guilty. The fact is that here we are talking about joint efforts of the exercise therapy trainer and the patient.
Yes, quite often people with various problems with the spine say that they prescribe group exercises with the same set of exercises for both osteochondrosis and spinal fractures. And if they bring relief to patients with degenerative changes in the tissues of the spinal column, then with injuries some exercises can only provoke increased pain.
Here there is a negligence of physicians of physical therapy, because the set of exercises should correspond to the patient's diagnosis and ideally should be made individually. In addition, those exercises that are permissible in case of remission of the disease can harm during its exacerbation.
But often the patients themselves are responsible for their problems. Before you complain that after exercise therapy, your back hurts more than before class, you should ask yourself if you did everything right? For example, in the acute stage of the disease exercise therapy is undesirable in general. There are not many exercises that are allowed during the exacerbation period. These are mainly static exercises with a minimum load on the diseased organ, which, if performed correctly, contribute to the reduction of pain.
Any exercises of physical therapy for diseases of the spine and back pain does not imply pain. This is not a sport where intense muscle training takes place. In the case of exercise therapy, the same goals are achieved by more gentle methods, gradually, gently. You should not needlessly increase the number of exercises or take on those that in this situation would be too difficult. With the appearance of pain or their strengthening classes stop.
Exercise therapy classes can be conducted both in a medical institution under the supervision of a trainer, and at home. But in any case, moderation and caution will have to be observed, especially if the patient has already stepped over a 60-year milestone. Age is not a contraindication to exercise therapy, but it must be borne in mind that bones and joints do not grow strong over the years, which means that large loads cannot be given on them.
By the way, with regard to contraindications. They have almost any therapeutic manipulation, especially those that involve physical or mechanical effects on the structure of the body. Treatment of exercise therapy in the acute stage of the disease, especially after spinal injuries, is possible only with the permission of the doctor, when he considers such exercises to be completely safe. Manual therapy is carried out only in the period of remission.
Such manipulations are undesirable in the period of any acute inflammation in the body, especially those that occur with fever and are associated with infections. Both manual massage and exercise therapy stimulate blood circulation and lymph flow in diseased tissues. And this is fraught with the fact that the temperature rises even more, and the infection will actively spread throughout the body in a hematogenous and lymphogenous manner. It is not surprising that in this case I can increase the pain, and sometimes even appear where they have not been before.
Do not help exercise therapy and cancer cause of pain. Exercise can be applied only during the recovery period after illness and then strictly metered.
Physical therapy should be abandoned in case of some systemic diseases, acute tumor processes, after head injuries. Contraindications to standard complexes may also be certain chronic diseases (for example, hypertension) and vascular diseases. In any case, to start classes without consulting a doctor is impossible, and even more so to conceal from him the presence of various associated diseases. Such a short-sighted behavior often leads to the fact that after exercise therapy and manual therapy under the guidance of professional doctors, the back starts to hurt more.
If we are talking about the treatment of diseases associated with pain, it is difficult to determine whether the increase in pain is associated with a moderate load on the diseased organ (and this is normal), or it is a question of complications that intensify the inflammatory and degenerative processes due to a violation of the state of the tissues during an excessive load on them. It is very important to pay attention to the nature and location of pain.
The presence of sharp pain during class is a signal to stop them. Most often, this symptom is associated with stretching of the muscles or ligaments, which happens if you move to the main exercises without prior preparation and heating of the muscles. In this case, the patient can indicate exactly where his back hurts.
But aching or pulling pain without a clear localization, often appearing after a few lessons, is not considered a symptom of complications. It may appear to the patient that the treatment has the opposite effect, which is in fact incorrect. The path to recovery often lies through pain, but its intensity will be much lower than that which indicates the disease.