What To Do For Severe Back Pain

What To Do For Severe Back Pain?

Every one of us might have experienced back pain in our lives at some stage or the other. Though back pain is quite common, it normally occurs when we suffer from an injury or a disease or due to problems in the spine. The pain is dull like a muscle ache or can also be a sharp pain that can even affect the ability of the person to bend or even stand straight. In such situations, people often think as to how to get relief from the severe back pain?

In a number of cases, back pain can be caused due to a strain in the muscle or the ligament which surround the spine. It can also be caused due to a number of structural problems, which is again related to the bones present in the spine. Though there are various treatment options available for the same, knowing the causes as well the symptoms will help prevent severe pain in the very first place.

Generally, the lower back pain can be linked to the spinal cord and nerves, the pelvic internal organs and the abdominal organs and can also occur due to a problem in the bony lumbar spine or the lower back muscles.
Likewise, the upper back pain can occur due to tumours, inflammation in the spine or due to aorta disorders. Let us learn about the causes in detail.

Main Causes of Severe Back Pain

The human back is complex and comprises of muscles, tendons, bones and a number of ligaments. All of these have to work together to provide the support to the body and this enables proper movement of the body as well.

The segments provided in the spine are always cushioned with soft pads that are called as Disks. When a problem arises in these segments, it can lead to a back pain. The severity of the pain depends on how big the problem is. Normally damage can occur due to strain or poor posture or even due to various medical conditions.

Due to Strain

In a number of cases, back pain is often caused due to strain or an injury. Some of the reasons why one can have back pain frequently are

  • Strain in the muscle or in the ligaments
  • A moderate to severe muscle spasm
  • The tension in the muscles
  • Damage in the disks
  • Due to injuries or falls or even due to fractures

Physical Activities

There are a few activities too that can often lead to severe back pain. They are

  • Trying to lift a heavy object improperly.
  • Lifting something that is very heavy.
  • Make a very abrupt movement that can result in a sprain.

Structural Problems

A number of times, severe back pain can also occur due to structural problems. Some of them are mentioned below

  • Rupture in the disk, which puts a lot of pressure on the nerves, which results in back pain.
  • A bulge in the disk can also lead to severe back pain.
  • Sciatica too can be one of the reasons why people experience sharp and shooting pain in the back.
  • Osteoarthritis causes problems in the joints of the hips and the lower back. People suffering from the same often complain of severe pain in the lower back.
  • Back pain can also occur when the curve of the spine is very abnormal.
  • Problems in kidney like kidney stones can also cause back pain.

Due to Movement or Posture

As mentioned, back pain can also occur due to poor posture and it can also occur due to muscle tension, sudden twisting, overstretching, bending for a long time or due to sleeping on a hard or uncomfortable mattress. Some of the other causes of severe back pain are

Severe back pain during pregnancy is also common, especially in the third trimester due to the increase in the weight of the mother and the baby.

Know More about Lower Back Pain on Right Side About Hip

What To Do For Severe Back Pain?

Most of us ignore back pain and end up taking a painkiller to subside the pain. But it does not work the same way always. It is important to know when you need to seek help from your doctor. Mentioned below are some of the symptoms that need immediate medical attention.

  • Pain that doesn’t improve even after taking rest.
  • Increasing pain after an injury.
  • Severe pain with numbness.
  • Having fever and severe weakness.
  • Sudden weight loss

Once you see such symptoms, you need to get a diagnosis made so that proper treatment can be provided on time. Normally, back pain reduces with rest and one can follow some simple home remedies as well. But in severe cases, medical treatment is recommended.

Home Treatments

If you are having a mild back pain, you can try taking an over the counter medication for pain relief. You can even try applying an ice pack or even a hot compress on the area to reduce discomfort and pain. And, above all, you need to get as much rest as possible.

Medical Treatment

In some cases, where home treatment does not do the treat have to be cured with medical treatment. Your doctor might put you on some specific medication and physical therapy as well. Your doctor might prescribe some muscle relaxants or even antidepressants.

Physical therapy includes applying ice or heat or you can get treatment under a trained physical therapist who would suggest some lower back pain relief exercises. These exercises will help release the tension of the muscles and reduces the pain. Once the pain decreases, you might as well have to try some strength and flexibility increasing exercises.

There are also a number of lower back pain relief products or treatments that can be used like

  • Cortisone Injections
  • Botox
  • Traction
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

There is also a chance that an underlying condition might be causing the back pain and your doctor might suggest a few more tests to know about the same. In a number of cases, the following treatment methods are used.

Over the Counter Meds – In a number of cases, the patient might be asked to take anti-inflammatory drugs that are nonsteroidal like ibuprofen or Advil or so on. These provide a lot of relief from acute back pain.

Muscle Relaxants – If the pain does not get any better after using these over the counter meds, you might as well need to take muscle relaxants, but do remember that these can make you very dizzy at times.

Antidepressants – In some cases, doctors might as well suggest taking mild antidepressants. Some of these like amitriptyline do provide relief from severe back pain.

Now that you know the causes, the symptoms and what to do for severe back pain, do consult a doctor in case you suffer from the same. Remember, do not delay the treatment.

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Kaushal M. Bhavsar (MBBS, MD)Assistant Professor in Pulmonary Medicine, GMERS Medical College, Ahmedabad