Lower 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 at least once in their lives had unpleasant sensations in the zone of the belt. It is also known that one of the leading symptoms of a wide range of ailments is lumbar pain. Some experts believe that discomfort in this area of the spine is a kind of human retribution for walking straight.

pain in the lumbar region

For the most part, while the pain in the lumbar region is not strong or intermittent, but appears periodically, people are not inclined to attach importance to it and go to the doctor. As a result, usually there is 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.

As a rule, acute lower back pain eventually becomes permanent. According to neurologists, within the next year after recovery, relapse occurs in 40% of patients, while in the long term, discomfort returns in 85% of patients.

Types of low back pain

For some people, lower back problems become so habitual that they stop noticing them. In general, discomfort in the lower back can be observed in a person once, after which it never occurs.

And they can constantly return, causing incredible suffering. But even before visiting a doctor, it is possible to determine by the symptoms of the painful syndrome and its localization what disease it is caused by.

There are five types of low back pain:

  • local;
  • reflected;
  • reflected spondylogenic (pathological);
  • radicular;
  • caused by muscle spasm.

Local and referred low back pain

Local localization of the pain syndrome occurs as a result of irritation or compression of sensitive nerve endings. It provokes fractures, ruptures or tension of sensitive fibers. Unpleasant sensations of a local nature, which do not change their strength when the position of the body changes, suggest the presence of a spinal tumor or infection.

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

Spondylogenic referred pain in case of damage to the upper lumbar spine is felt in the lower back, inguinal zone or on the 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 discomfort in the lower spine of radicular origin is usually characterized by the severity of manifestation and spread to the leg.

Often, back pain when coughing provokes coughing, sneezing, or other tension in the tissues of the abdominal muscles. This happens due to the tension of the affected root or nerve at a certain position or movement of the body.

So, back pain when sitting occurs due to tension of the sciatic nerve (react roots L5 and S1), passing along the back of the thigh. The nature of the sensations themselves usually does not allow distinguishing radicular pain from non-radicular pain. What causes discomfort from muscle spasms is usually unclear. Soreness occurs with various ailments of the spine. With a spasm, the spine curves, the deep muscles of the back tense, and a dull pain occurs.

Often discomfort in the lower back appears in the pathology of the spine. In some cases, it can cause damage to the kidneys, pancreas and tissues of the lumbar muscles. The cause of the pain is usually determined by a neurologist. If necessary, a therapist and orthopedist are involved.

Common causes of back pain

Doctors recommend paying attention to an unpleasant sensation in the lower back, primarily because it can be one of the symptoms of a number of serious ailments. The nature of the manifestation of lumbar syndrome depends purely on the causes that caused it. Only a specialist can determine the "source" of pain, as well as what kind of ailment may have provoked discomfort in the lumbar region.

Causes of persistent low back pain:

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

Causes of pain associated with 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. Also, pain in the spine in the lumbar region can provoke a bacterial infection, osteomyelitis.

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

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

Separately in this list of reasons is psychosomatics - back pain, according to this direction in medicine, is caused by psychological 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

In the case of a significant number of ailments of the spine and damage to the nerve roots, discomfort in the lower back may be observed.

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

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 provoke pain in the lower back. In any case, irritation of the sensitive nerve roots of the spinal cord occurs. It can also be observed due to pathological deposits of calcium salts. Vertebral hernias, protrusions (protrusions of the intervertebral discs) can also cause pain in the coccyx and lower back.

Lower back pain: symptoms

Any ailment has its own symptoms, but with lumbar syndrome, the symptoms appear depending on the causes that caused discomfort in the lower back. For example, sharp discomfort may be the result of renal colic. In this case, a person will not be able to find such a position of the body that would allow him to endure discomfort.

Soreness in the lower back and groin is sometimes a reflection of the movement of a pebble from the renal pelvis into the ureter. When the fifth vertebra is displaced, pain with severe weakness can be felt not only in the lumbar region, but also in the hips and legs.

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

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

Lumbar syndrome deserves special consideration, taking into account the sides of the body:

  • soreness in the right region of the lumbar region is a sign of problems in the genital area, as well as a signal about the pathology of the right kidney, abdominal wall, intestines or process of the caecum (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.

Lower back pain treatment

It happens that the pain in the lower back with a cold, as well as due to other reasons, is so strong that it is impossible to do without therapy. Regardless of what caused the attack, it is recommended to stay in bed for the first few days. If the discomfort in the lower part of the spine is caused by a sprain, then 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 plaster, will help to conduct local warming up of the lumbar zone in the area of \u200b\u200bmost soreness.

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

Depending on what parallel symptoms are observed, back pain can be relieved by electroprocedures: diadynamic currents, transcutaneous electroanalgesia, sinusoidally modulated currents, electrophoresis with novocaine, and others. Reflexology (acupuncture, cauterization, electroacupuncture, laser therapy), including novocaine blockades, will also help to 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 setting. Balneotherapy is also recognized as effective. These are radon, sulfide, chloride, sodium, turpentine, iodine-bromine baths, mud applications of low temperatures, naftalan.

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


Of no small importance in the elimination of lumbar syndrome and the prevention of its attacks is the wearing of external support systems - orthoses.

At the discretion of the doctor, this can be a corset, semi-corset, posture corrector, or a reclinator (a special corset that eliminates tilt), a bandage. Sometimes belts are recommended: corset, anti-radiculitis, 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 health-improving set of exercises). It is also important to monitor your posture when sitting, and at the time of the numbness of the lumbar region of the back, carry out light exercises. Massage will help a lot. It will relieve muscle spasm and bring the muscles into proper tone.

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