My Lower Back Is Killing Me – Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

By Last Updated: October 27th, 2022Categories: Daily

“My lower back is killing me.”

We often hear these words from older people, especially senior citizens. However, lower back pain can happen to anyone, regardless of age, gender, and status.

While low back pain is quite common and not really serious as it just goes away over time, you still shouldn’t ignore it. There are cases where low back pain is a sign of something more serious.

So, if your lower back has been in pain and it has been making your daily life uncomfortable, this article is written for you. Below, we have discussed the causes of lower back pain, its symptoms, and the possible treatments you need to know in case it gets worse.

Part 1: Causes of Lower Back Pain

Low back pain usually occurs in the lumbar spine. It’s a sophisticated structure in your lower back that connects bones, muscles, nerves, ligaments, etc. to give support to your upper body. And because of some extreme activities we do, the lumbar spine becomes prone to getting injured or damaged. Read on to learn more about the most common causes of low back pain below.

Strain in the Muscle or Ligament

When you carry heavy things improperly or they’re too heavy for you, low back pain may occur. This is particularly common if you are lifting weights in the wrong posture. It can cause strain in the muscles or ligaments in the lower back, which may result in prolonged pain. So, if you are planning to hit the gym, you better have a professional coach.

Lower Back Hurt Man

Another instance is when you move in an uncomfortable position that could put an unhealthy amount of pressure on your lower back. When this happens more often, muscle spasms may occur, which could be unbearably painful.

Low back pain caused by muscle or ligament strain can also occur during accidents.

Arthritis

If you have arthritis that affects your lumbar spine, there will be swelling or inflammation of the connective tissues there. That can cause sudden sharp pain in your lower back. This can lead to a condition called Spinal Stenosis where the space around the spinal cord becomes pretty slim.

Osteoporosis

This is pretty common with adults above 50. It happens when some parts of the vertebrae are quite brittle, which causes breaking or fracturing that’s painful most of the time.

As you age, you lose bone mass and so you should be careful with your activities that involve your vertebrae, especially if you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis.

Spinal Tumors

Tumors can also form near your lumbar spine. It could be malignant or benign, but either way, it can cause pain in your lower back. The cells of the tumor may not necessarily come to the spine.

Spinal Deformity

Spinal Deformities

If you have Scoliosis or similar spinal deformities, you are likely to suffer from back pain. Abnormal curvature of the spine can present risks, especially if you have Lordosis where your spine at the lower back curves inward.

Part 2: Symptoms of Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain has three different types or categories depending on the number of days it persisted. They’re acute (days to 4 weeks), subacute (4 to 12 weeks), and chronic (12 weeks or longer). And these are characterized by the following symptoms.

  • Ache that’s focused on your lower back.
  • Your low back, hips, and pelvis tend to get tight with muscle spasms

  • Pain that’s coming from your low back down to either or both of your legs.

  • Your movement or flexibility is affected because it aches whenever you bend your back,

  • The pain persists even when you’re sitting and relaxed.

  • Standing for prolonged periods tends to cause unusual pain to your low back.

If these symptoms persist, you may need to have it treated ASAP.

Part 3: Treatments for Lower Back Pain

These treatments include self-care at home, prescribed medications, and invasive surgeries.

1. Take Care of Low Back Pain at Home

If you have acute low back pain and access to medical attention is far from reach, there are things you can do at home to alleviate the pain.

Rest for a while

If you’re working on something and your back suddenly hurts, stop at once. Find a comfortable chair or anywhere you can lie down to relax your back. Avoid doing demanding activities that involve your back for a while. Just let your back be okay again before you continue what you were doing.

Resting Back

Take over-the-counter pain relievers

When you need to endure the pain and you don’t have time to rest, you may try taking pain relievers. You can purchase some over-the-counter medications such as aspirin, naproxen, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen. They can temporarily relieve you of the discomfort.

Use Cold/Hot Packs

When the low back is swelling, you may use ice packs to reduce it. This may also help against irritation. And if the pain is caused by a muscle strain, you may use heating pads to relax the muscle and allow it to heal. Taking a warm bath can help, too.

If the pain eases, it’s better that you take that opportunity to go to the doctor’s clinic and have it checked professionally. That way, you can make sure whether something serious is going on.

2. Visit Your Physician

If the low back pain is unbearable, you should visit your physician ASAP to get more effective interventions. They can prescribe relaxants for your muscle pains or narcotic medications to effectively relieve the pain. However, the latter can’t be a long-term solution for your low back pain as it can become addictive.

Talk Doctor

Apart from prescriptions, your doctor may also advise the use of back braces. Such devices may help you be more comfortable and get less surge of pain in your lower back. Massage therapy may also be an option to relieve muscle spasms and encourage blood flow to your lower back and hasten the healing process.

3. Undergo Surgery

If the low back pain has progressed to the chronic category, and it’s severely painful, the only way to stop it once and for all is surgery. Of course, your doctor will only suggest such an invasive procedure when prescription medications and home remedies don’t work anymore.

With that in mind, you may need to undergo decompression surgeries. These will remove the things that are causing the pain in your lower back. There are other surgeries that may be suggested for your case.

Nevertheless, you need to talk to your doctor about them and ask for help to get the best surgeon in town.

Conclusion

Low back pain could be serious or not. But it shouldn’t be ignored especially if it strikes you and all you can muster is “My lower back is killing me”. We recommend that you have it checked by a physician before it’s too late.

FAQs

One of the most common reasons why back pain occurs is being overweight. Your vertebrae can only take so much. Losing weight can help ease back pain and eventually prevent more back issues in the future.

Yes! Studies have found that going on a walk regularly can alleviate and relieve the discomfort from any low back pain. You can set up your walk routine every other day for 30 minutes to 1 hour.