FAQS on Lower Back Issues

FAQS on Lower Back Issues

Q1. Spinal stenosis was just recently diagnosed in my mum, aged 83. She frequently experiences leg discomfort as well as back pain. She spends the majority of the time hunched forward to avoid the agony. Should she wear a brace?

A: In this age group, lumbar spinal stenosis is typically brought on by the spine's aging process naturally. The term for the condition refers to a narrowing of the space in the spine that is available for the spinal cord, nerve roots, and blood vessels. The portion of the spine most frequently affected by this illness is the lumbar spine (low back area). It has been demonstrated that wearing a corset or brace helps patients by reducing their pain, making it easier for them to stand up and walk without assistance. However, the advantages also disappear when the brace is taken off. Wearing a brace is not a permanent solution, in other words. Results from the use of other treatments have been studied and researched. A few of the treatments studied include traction, electrical stimulation, and acupuncture.

Q2. I'm considering giving acupuncture a try to treat my low back discomfort. I've tried every other option, and I no longer want to take painkillers. I believe I can manage the uncomfortable needle aspect, but are there any additional adverse effects I need to be aware of?

A: The news has been talking about acupuncture as a complementary medicine. Studies demonstrating its beneficial effects on persistent low back pain are increasing. However, there are still lingering questions about the genuine efficacy of this treatment due to variations in the methods used in the research. The majority of unfavourable effects are moderate and transient. Some patients claim that their back discomfort initially gets worse before going away. The local pain from the needle placement is intolerable to some people. If a little vein is punctured, there is a chance of bruising where the needle enters the skin. It is possible to feel discomfort someplace along a meridian since acupuncture needles are implanted along these energy pathways or meridians. Therefore, acupuncture for low back pain may cause discomfort in the foot or shoulder. Patients occasionally describe feeling lethargic or experiencing generalized body aches in the first 48 hours following their acupuncture treatment. But over time, all of these possible side effects pass, leaving you feeling far better than you did before the treatment.

Q3. When our son first started experiencing low back discomfort, we were extremely taken aback. He transitioned from having a spondylolysis, or fracture of the spine, to a spondylolisthesis, or fracture that separates and shifts. What course of action do you suggest taking?

Athletes who participate in sports are not exempt from low back discomfort, like you have now learned. A prominent cause of excruciating lumbar instability is bony abnormalities like spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis, which can be present from birth or caused by stress fractures from usage. The supporting bony column (known as the pars interarticularis) fractures in spondylolysis cases. As you said, spondylolisthesis is the medical term for a fracture that displaces (separates) and causes the vertebral body to slip forward.

The majority of athletes would prefer a non-operative course of action, but preferably one that rapidly gets them up and participating fully. The best sources of information will be the doctor and physical therapist who are treating your youngster. Based on your son's age, the severity of the spondylolisthesis, and your aspirations for his return to exercise and involvement in sports, they will provide you advise and recommendations.

Q4. Our workplace will transition more toward standing stations and away from desk-based work. This is meant to lessen our stress at work and, perhaps, decrease absences from work owing to back issues. Do other businesses experience the same issues with decreased productivity brought on by back disabilities as we do?

A: It's undeniable that lost productivity brought on by back discomfort is a significant issue in the workforce. Most developed nations on the planet have heard of this. An increasingly common strategy is getting desk workers out of their chairs for part of the day. Exercise is also a proven means of preventing (or, if necessary, managing) spinal diseases, according to research.

In fact, people generally get better when they exercise in different ways (such as stretching, relaxation, aerobics, coordination, strength training, and calisthenics). Back pain episodes are reduced, absenteeism from work is decreased, and productivity is increased. For those employees who continue to struggle with a decreased capacity to perform daily tasks due to back discomfort from spinal problems, a more specialized approach may be required. Instead of a general workout strategy, physiotherapy to address specific issues may be beneficial.

Q5. What does it signify when I slouch that my back discomfort travels down my right leg?

A: You might be performing your own "slump" test, which is frequently done by doctors and physiotherapists to evaluate the neural (nerve tissue) architecture. In order to perform the slump test, you must sit in a "slumped" position with your head, neck, and spine bowed forward (chin to chest). Radicular pain is the term used to describe back discomfort that radiates pain down the leg. Radicular pain is typically brought on by a "mechanical" condition, such as a misalignment of the soft tissues or bony structures. Physiotherapy is a treatment option for issues of this nature.

The therapist employs methods including the McKenzie method manual treatment (hands-on), stretching, detailed motions, nerve gliding, and stabilizing or core training exercises. Visit your primary care doctor or physiotherapist for an assessment if your symptoms do not go away on their own and/or worsen. Once the issue has been correctly identified, the underlying causes of the issue can be treated.

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