To know just how painful back pain is is to listen to someone who has suffered it. Through personal experience, back pain has to be one of the most excruciating pains ever. I don’t refer to the pain got from sitting awkwardly or from straining it where after resting and painkillers ease the discomfort, but rather pain got from a fractured spine “and” in two places might I add.

Note: Be careful defrosting the freezer or you could end up disabled! Believe me, I know because this was my plight and still got the scars to prove it both mentally and physically.

What have I learned from this? I learned that it was stupid not to have listened to those warnings on how to protect the back during lifts. Had I listened, I may not be walking with the aid of a Zimmer frame today. Regardless, what’s done is done, so enough about me.

Back pain no matter how minor see a doctor. The longer the delay in getting help can make things worse and believe me being disabled is a challenge.

Symptoms not to be ignored…

Unexplained fever with back pain
Back pain after a fall
Inflammation in the back region
Knee pain
Signs of numbness in the buttocks-thigh-leg or pelvis
Bloody urine or burning
Pain that wakes you from sleep
Lasting pain that prevents getting comfortable
Losing control over bowels and bladder

Back pain is commonly anticipated after bending down too quickly to lift up a heavy object or from sitting awkwardly. A bad attempt at a lift or whatever can bring permanent paralysis, so any pain resulting from either of the two mentioned here have the pain investigated.

Ignorance comes with consequences…

Trauma to the back or spine needs treating sooner than later. Minor back pain is treated with rest and painkillers, but, NOT for the serious case of back pain developed through disease, which, bed rest and painkillers ain’t going to cut it!

Look at sportspeople who wouldn’t dream of putting their back at risk in case of spinal damage which could paralyze them, so, what do they do, they learn how not to put their back in danger by using proper lifting techniques.

While non-sportspeople like you and ME who bends down too quickly or sit in an awkward position and feels pain, tend to assume that this pain has happened as a result of the bad bend or awkward sit, “but” what if it isn’t? It is a big mistake to assume and yes it is coincidental that the pain came when it did, but how can you be sure it is not an underlying problem that’s surfaced at the same time of the bad bend and awkward sitting position. Swap the assumption to make way for a doctors diagnosis.

Sciatica:

Most people will have heard of Sciatica while most have also suffered it too. It isn’t a condition, but rather a symptom of another medical matter. It’s linked with pain, weakness, numbness or tingling sensation in the leg. It happens through injury or compression of the sciatic nerve which begins in the spine running down the back of both legs. This nerve manages the muscles of the back of the knee and lower leg and gives a sensation to the back of the thigh and part of the lower leg and soles of the feet. Generally, sciatica pain can be managed and most people able to cope, but having said this and sciatica pains different, some people can’t cope. Symptoms such as tingling, a dull ache or burning sensation are easily tolerated among individuals if they are mild, but if the symptoms are severe restricting movement, it’s time to see a doctor.

Sciatica Symptoms:

Pain happens down one side
A weak feeling in the affected leg
Sharp pain in one part of the leg, hip and numbness
Sensations on the back of the calf or on the sole of the foot

Sciatica pain generally comes slowly at first but can increase:

After standing upright
Sitting down
Evening time
During a sneeze
While coughing/laughing

Treatment:

Some sciatica won’t need treating, but for sciatica that does, it may be suggested that the patient to help reduce inflammation will for the first 2/3 days apply ice to the affected area followed with heat treatment.

Again because pain differs in people, pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) is effective for sciatica pain.

Another pain relief method is to lie in a foetal position with a cushion between the legs. If preferred lying on the back with a folded bath towel under the knees will ease the pressure.

Physical therapy exercises although good for most problems is, however, good for controlling sciatica discomfort. Not all sciatica pain will respond and disappear, and therefore injections known to reduce inflammation around the nerve could be the next course of treatment suggested by the GP. The cause of the sciatic nerve dysfunction if it is found and successfully treated a full recovery is likely.

Complications include:

Some or total loss of leg movement
Some or total loss of sensation in the leg
Repeating or overlooked injury to the leg
Side effects of medication

See a doctor if:

Fever with back pain occurs for no reason
Back pain after a knock or tumble
Inflammation or redness on the back or spine
Pain below the knee
Weakness or numbness in the buttocks-thigh-leg or pelvis
Bloody urine or burning while urinating
Pain that wakes you up at night
Pain that prevents you from getting comfortable
Loss of bladder control and stools

All symptoms will be investigated to check for signs of infection, ruptured disk, hernia, twisted testicle, spinal stenosis, cancer, kidney stone and other conditions. The bottom line is when unexplained pain occurs from whatever part of the body, don’t make assumptions unless you think like a doctor.

All content on this website/blog should not be substituted for that of the opinion of a doctor or other type of back pain professional!

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