Lumbago is a condition when you feel pain in the lower part of your back. The discomfort or pain may range from mild to severe. It can also come suddenly or chronically depending on your condition. At one point in our lives, lumbago will occur. In fact, it's one of the more common reasons why people consult with doctors. Lumbago may happen no matter what age you're in, but it's more familiar with older people. Most of the time, it goes away after a couple of weeks, but it can be a persistent issue for others.

The causes of lumbago

In most cases, it's quite impossible to identify precisely what's causing lumbago. For instance, there may be some minuscule tears or strains in the ligaments and muscles of the lower back, and those are the ones causing pain. But even in such case, it's still difficult to pinpoint the exact location of the ligament or muscle causing the pain because of the complexity of the lower back's structure. There are, however, some cases where doctors can find the specific problem. Usually, the patient has a condition such as arthritis, a slipped disc, or a fracture of the vertebrae.



Risk factors of lumbago

There are some risk factors for lumbago, and any one of these will increase the likelihood that a person would develop the condition. These risk factors include aging, traumatic injury, athletic activity, pregnancy, and heavy lifting.



The common symptoms of lumbago

The most common symptom of lumbago is a pain felt across the lower back which radiates into the end of the thigh, the groin or the buttocks. Usually, the pain gets worse with movement. Another symptom is a restriction of motion, especially when leaning back or bending forward. Other symptoms include tense spinal muscle spasms and back stiffness. You may notice that your back starts to tilt to one side causing a limp or a change in posture.



The danger signs of lumbago

One danger sign of lumbago you need to look out for is if you're suddenly unable to control your bowel movements or your bladder. Also, if your lower back or your legs suddenly feel weak or turn numb. These danger signs may indicate that you have spinal damage.

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Diagnosing lumbago

Most of the time, your doctor can easily diagnose lumbago based on the information you provide regarding your symptoms. Usually, chiropractors and physiotherapists will perform an examination which is exceptionally thorough. The specialist would study the movement of the joints in your hips, pelvis, and spine. Then, they would perform muscle and orthopedic tests to see if there are any nerves trapped in your spine.



Factors to consider when diagnosing lumbago

Lumbago is a general term which refers to pain felt in the lower back. We've already discussed how it's difficult to determine the exact cause of lumbago in most cases. But your doctor can consider some factors as they diagnose the condition initially. One thing to consider is the type of pain felt. So your doctor will ask to describe the pain, and what makes the pain better or worse. The other thing to consider is the pain distribution. This refers to where the patient feels the pain, whether it's just on the lower back or is it radiating to other body parts.



Treatment for acute lumbago

The treatment for lumbago would depend on whether the condition is acute or chronic. According to research, those who suffer from acute lumbago can benefit from taking NSAIDS. They should also stay as active as they can. However, if you can't stand the pain and it's starting to interfere with your routine, then it's best to consult with a specialist to obtain professional treatment.



Home remedies for acute lumbago

Of course, there are also some home remedies you can do if you suffer from acute lumbago. For one, you can alleviate the pain by regularly taking painkillers. Your doctor may also prescribe some particular medications for you which will help relax your back muscles. You can take the painkillers throughout the day and for a few days, not just when you can't tolerate the pain. Another way to ease the pain is to apply a hot pack to your lower back. Also, you may use a heat cream to the affected area or swim in a warm swimming pool. Try not to bend, stoop, lift or sit on low chairs. If all else fails, try to sleep on a firm and flat surface.



Treatment for chronic lumbago

People who have chronic lumbago will benefit from multidisciplinary treatment and performing specific back exercises. Other therapies which may help are NSAIDs, analgesics, behavioral therapy, spinal manipulation or ligament and trigger point injection. You may also have a physiotherapy treatment, or you can get the treatment you need from a chiropractor or an osteopath.



Home remedies for chronic lumbago

Those who have chronic lumbago may experience pain for extended periods of time. In such cases, the best thing to do is consult with a doctor to find out what you should do next. Usually, your doctor might suggest that you have an x-ray. In general, patients who endure chronic lumbago for more than six weeks can choose from many treatment options which they can do at home or in a clinic. For one, you can follow an exercise program that's structured. A specialist will customize this program for you, and it may last for up to 12 weeks. Finally, some would even recommend that you take an acupuncture treatment for your condition. In any case, keep in mind that patients with lumbago will benefit from remaining active.



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