Low 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 life had unpleasant sensations in the belt area. It is also known that one of the main symptoms of a wide range of ailments is lower back 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 sharp or intermittent, but appears periodically, people are not inclined to attach importance to it and go to the doctor. As a result, there is usually an increase in unpleasant sensations and their acquisition of a chronic nature. During the appointment with a specialist, it turns out that the cause of the discomfort was a serious illness that required surgical treatment.

Typically, severe lower back pain eventually becomes permanent. According to neurologists, within a year after recovery, a 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 no longer notice them. In general, discomfort in the lower back can be observed in a person once, after which it never occurs.

And they can constantly come back, causing incredible suffering. But even before consulting a doctor, it is possible to determine by the symptoms of the pain syndrome and its localization to which disease it is caused.

There are five types of low back pain:

  • local;
  • reflexive ;
  • reflected spondylogen (pathological);
  • root;
  • caused by muscle spasms.

Local and referred low back pain

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

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

Spondylogen-referred pain in upper lumbar spine injury is felt in the lower back, inguinal area, or front of the thighs. When the pathology affects the lower lumbar region, discomfort usually occurs in the buttocks, the back of the thighs and, in rare cases, in the calves or feet.

Sharp and spasmodic pain

Classic lower spine discomfort of root origin is usually characterized by the severity of the manifestation and its spread to the leg.

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

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

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

Common causes of back pain

Doctors recommend paying attention to an unpleasant feeling in the lower back, mainly because it can be one of the symptoms of a number of serious diseases. The nature of the manifestation of the lumbar syndrome depends only on the causes that caused it. Only a specialist can determine the "source" of the pain, as well as the disease that may have caused 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;
  • gastric 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 these diseases, when the joints of the spine become inflamed. In addition, pain in the spine in the lumbar region can cause bacterial infection, osteomyelitis.

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

  • degenerative-dystrophic diseases of the spine (osteochondrosis, deforming spondylosis, progressive arthrosis, herniated disc);
  • severe overstrain 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 of medicine, is caused by psychological problems. For example, the inability to find one's true purpose, too heavy a burden (caring for a sick loved one, a young child, family problems, etc. ). In this case, working on yourself will help.

Provoking factors

In the case of a significant number of spinal conditions and nerve root injuries, discomfort in the lower back can be observed.

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

Factors contributing to the occurrence of back pain:

  • ignorance of weight lifting rules;
  • insufficient physical activity;
  • Hormonal imbalance;
  • use of uncomfortable furniture (chair, armchair, etc. );
  • bad posture.

Hypothermia, atmospheric pressure changes, and magnetic storms can also cause lower back pain. In either 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.

Low back pain: symptoms

Any disease has its own symptoms, but with lumbar syndrome, symptoms appear depending on the causes that caused discomfort in the lower back. For example, acute 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.

Pain in the lower back and groin is sometimes a reflection of the movement of a pebble from the renal pelvis to 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, 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 spine and discomfort along it. Such symptoms are characteristic of fibrositis. At the onset of the disease, 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 attention, taking into account the sides of the body:

  • pain 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 caecal process (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 for other reasons, is so strong that it is impossible to do without therapy. Whatever the cause of 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, a heating pad or a warm bath will help improve well-being. In case of serious damage, you should immediately consult a doctor.

Conservative therapy

Irritating ointments, as well as mustard or pepper dressings, will help to carry out local warming up of the lumbar zone in the most painful area.

It will bring relief and wrapping in a warm woolen scarf, applying an electric heating pad, a heated sandbag, leeches. With myositis, warm compresses help well.

Depending on the parallel symptoms observed, back pain can be relieved by electroprocedures: diadynamic currents, transcutaneous electroanalgesia, sinusoidally modulated currents, novocaine electrophoresis, etc. Reflexology (acupuncture, cautery, electroacupuncture, laser therapy), including novocaine blockages, will also help 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 performed in a hospital setting. Balneotherapy is also recognized for its effectiveness. These are radon, sulfide, chloride, sodium, turpentine, iodine-bromine baths, low-temperature mud applications, naftalan.

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


Wearing external support systems - orthoses is of no small importance in eliminating lumbar syndrome and preventing its attacks.

At the discretion of the doctor, it can be a corset, a half-corset, a posture corrector or a tilter (a special corset that eliminates tilting), 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 set of health-enhancing exercises). It is also important to monitor your posture while sitting, and at the time of numbness in the lumbar region of the back, perform light exercises. Massage will help a lot. It will relieve muscle spasms and bring the muscles to proper tone.

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