Human Papillomavirus (HPV): Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

HPV is the common term for the human papillomavirus. There are more than 100 different subtypes of HPV, and thirty of them exclusively affect the genital area. Genital warts caused by HPV also referred to as venereal warts or HPV warts. HPV warts are one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases. They affect both men and woman. This STD is highly contagious and is easily spread from one partner to another through the skin to skin contact, sexual contact, or oral contact. This highly contagious virus can lead to other health issues. Pregnant women are most susceptible because Human Papillomavirus can be spread from mother to child during birth.
Human Papillomavirus and cancer of the cervix
HPV may contribute to the development of cancer of the cervix, vulva, vagina, penis, anus, and oropharynx.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) increases a woman’s risk of cervical cancer. And although it is usually rare, it can also increase the risk of penile cancer in men. According to recent statistics from The American Society estimates for 2017 that more than 360 men in the United States died from penile cancer. This HP virus has also been associated with cancer of the anus. The risk of anal cancer increases in sexually active bisexual and gay men, with numbers soaring to 17 times greater than heterosexual men. Men whose immune system has been compromised by HIV are also at a higher risk for this cancer.

Treatments for human papillomavirus (HPV)

  • Over-The-Counter (OTC): Salicylic acid for common warts removal
  • surgical interventions: Remove the warts
  • Topical prescription: Medications that will destroy the wart
  • Antiviral Injections
At times, warts can often resolve by themselves without treatment. However, there are topically applied medications to remove warts itself and include an over-the-counter (OTC) salicylic acid for common warts like Compound W or Duofilm, and prescription medications including:
  • Podophyllin (chemical applied by a healthcare provider)
  • Imiquimod (Aldara, Zyclara) Prescription Medicine
  • Podofilox (Condylox) Prescription Medicine
  • Trichloroacetic acid (chemical applied by a healthcare provider)

In certain situations, surgical interventions may be necessary and include:

  • Cryotherapy: a method that uses liquid nitrogen to freeze the abnormal areas
  • Electrocautery: a method that uses an electrical current to burn the abnormal areas
  • Laser therapy: method using a light beam to remove abnormal areas
  • Interferon injection: rarely used due to a high side effect profile and cost Surgical removal
It is important to speak with your healthcare provider about which treatment is best for you depending on the type and location of the wart being treated. It is also important to note that although warts and cellular abnormalities may be removed or resolve, the virus can remain in the body and it can be passed to others; there is no treatment to eliminate the virus from the body. All of these treatments have the potential for side effects. Because a virus causes warts in the body, warts can often come back, even after treatment. An estimated 25% of all cases of HPV warts come back within three months after treatment. One method, which involved injecting antiviral medication directly into the wart, proved successful in about 30 percent of the patients. However, using this treatment on several warts would be painful and costly. These warts may not always look the same. They can be clear or pinkish bumps that can be flat or raised, as large as a pea or small and hard to see. They may be single or clustered. Sometimes they are rough and resemble a tiny cauliflower shaped bump on the skin. They almost always itch, however. They can occur in both sexually active men and women of any age. About half of all sexually active men will get HPV. In women, these warts usually appear outside of the vagina, but they can also develop inside a woman’s cervix where they are harder to see. In men, they usually appear on the surface of the penis or near his groin. However, they can also appear near the thighs or scrotum, or in the anus. Because some warts are harder to see or do not develop right away, it is possible to have the infection and not even realize it. In fact, HPV warts may not always appear when the virus is present. Some people are asymptomatic but are still contagious. If you suspect HPV, avoid sexual contact which will spread this highly contagious virus. You should not ignore HPV warts.

Improve Your Digestive Health With A High Fiber Diet

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Improve Your Digestive Health With A High Fiber DietLooking back a few years, people were not very concerned about how much fiber was in their everyday diet. Even though we all know that a diet high in fiber is one of the best ways to avoid constipation and improve your digestive health. It also helps lower your cholesterol, makes you feel fuller, so you eat less food overall, it is a great reason to have a high fiber diet. Fiber is the indigestible part of plant material which cannot be absorbed by the body. It categorized into two different types — Insoluble fiber & Soluble fiber.
  • Soluble fiber attracts water and turns to gel during digestion and slows digestion. Soluble fiber is found in oat bran, barley, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, peas, and a few fruits and vegetables. It is found in psyllium, a well-liked fiber supplement. Some types of soluble fiber could facilitate lower risk of heart disease.
  • Insoluble fiber is in foods such as wheat bran, vegetables, and whole grains. It adds bulk to the stool and appears to help food pass more quickly through the stomach and intestines.
Insoluble fiber is the kind that passes through our digestive system but does not dissolve in water. Because it doesn’t dissolve in water, it adds extra bulk to your stool and can absorb water like a sponge. This is the primary reason a high-fiber diet is such an essential element for a healthy colon. On the flip side of that, soluble fiber is that part of the dietary fiber that forms a “gel” when combined with water. For example, pectins and plant gums that help to increase the glutinousness of the intestinal contents.

Foods That Are High In Fiber

Soluble fiber is found in a variety of foods, all with different amounts. Below is a list of foods that are naturally high in soluble fibers:
  • Whole grains, such as barley, oats, rye, and chia
  • Artichokes, broccoli, carrots and other vegetables
  • Legumes such as peas and any bean
  • Potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions and other root vegetables, especially when you leave the skins on
  • Fruits such as apples, pears, plums, berries, bananas, and prunes
  • Mucilage soluble fibers like psyllium husk
Beans are High In Fiber
Pinto Beans Are High In Fiber
One of the best foods for soluble fiber are beans, as already mentioned above and pictured on the right. The skins on of some fruits and vegetables are an excellent source to add more fiber to your diet.

10 Universal Benefits of a High Fiber Diet

Following are the advantages of consuming soluble fiber-rich foods:
  1. Helps prevent constipation and removes excessive blood fats
  2. Improves overall bowel regularity since fiber absorbs water
  3. Helps lower cholesterol and triglycerides in the body, as well as check their production in the liver
  4. Soluble fiber helps in delaying gastric emptying time and absorption of nutrients from the small intestine
  5. It renders a feeling of fullness, reduces the absorption of calories and thus aids weight loss
  6. It can help increase your transit time by speeding up the elimination of wastes from your body
  7. Soluble fiber helps in the removal of toxins and heavy metals from the body.
  8. It helps in increasing friendly bowel bacteria.
  9. It maintains insulin function, which lowers the GI (Glycemic index) of carbohydrates.
  10. Fiber soothes the intestines and helps with symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
These are some of the main reasons why you should eat lots of high-fiber foods. Of course, there are supplements out there that also help with this, but I would only take one of those if you can’t get the necessary fiber from a natural food source.

Psyllium Information

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Also Known As Psyllium Husk, Plantago Ovata, Ispaghula, Ispaghula Husk, Psyllium Psyllium is a common additive in over-the-counter (OTC) laxatives and fiber supplements, such as Metamucil.

Medicinal Uses of Psyllium:

Psyllium or Psyllium Husks primarily used by those who suffer from constipation and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Psyllium works by absorbing water and swelling inside the colon. Psyllium Husks produces a substance called mucilage, which is similar to adhesive glue and attaches itself to the impacted fecal matter in the colon. Colon Cleansing Products, such as Colonix, use psyllium for this reason. It would explain the images of ‘poop-ropes’ you see scattered around on Dr. Natura’s website. These are not parasites or long worms, as many believe. The core of those ropes is the mucilage created from the psyllium husks.

Psyllium Safety Concerns & Restrictions:

When used in small doses, psyllium can be relatively harmless. However, if used exceedingly, psyllium might cause injury to the bowels. Always seek advice from your doctor, before the use of psyllium husks. DON’T take Psyllium or products containing psyllium husks if you suffer from Diverticulitis or Diverticulosis. If you have diabetes, you should only take psyllium under the close supervision of your doctor. It is possible for psyllium to lower the blood sugar levels in the body. Therefore, your glucose levels should be observed. Remember to drink plenty of water while taking Psyllium or products containing Psyllium. If adequate water is not consumed, it’s possible you will become constipated. It is not recommended that you ingest more than two tablespoons of psyllium per day.

Benefits of a Natural Colon Cleanse

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Benefits of a Natural Colon CleanseIf you have never heard of the various benefits of colon cleansing, it might be in your best interest to do some further research into the many different colon cleansing remedies floating around. One such solution, doing a natural colon cleanse, can help for a variety of ailments, whether it be contributing to clear up acne, eliminating painful cramps and gas, help with bad breath, increase your overall energy, or possibly help with constipation relief. There are a couple of television specials, and radio spots that tout the various benefits that a natural colon cleanse can bring to the table. While a lot of that is merely hype to sell a colon cleansing product, there are indeed many benefits that can help with common ailments we all suffer from. A safe, natural colon may contribute to making some of these conditions and illnesses a lot better.

Natural Colon Cleanse: How it works

There are different ways that you can go about doing a natural colon cleanse. The best way is to eat lots of food high in fiber and engage in a regular exercise routine. There are plenty of cleansing supplements and medications available that are intended to help cleanse the colon of toxins that may have backed up over the years. Natural colon cleansers may contain different cleansing herbs, such as Senna, Cascara Sagrada or Psyllium, that help loosen compacted stool and make bowel movements easier to pass. But you should be careful when ingesting these types of herbs, as they can sometimes do more harm than good.

10 Benefits of a Natural Colon Cleansing

There are many benefits of a natural colon cleanse that is worth examining. If you have particular medical problems, you can treat them with the use of a colon cleanse at home. They can help to ease the pains and symptoms associated with things such as:
  1. Relief from constipation and diarrhea
  2. No more gas or bloating
  3. Reduce excess weight and feel lighter
  4. No more stomach cramping or abdominal pains
  5. Increase energy levels and vitality
  6. Better absorption of nutrients
  7. Flatter stomach and waistline
  8. Improved concentration
  9. Clearer skin and healthy hair
  10. Overall healthier lifestyle!
Above is just a short list of possible ailments that may improve after doing a natural colon cleanse. There are also unique teas that can help make the cleanse as easy and painless as possible. Of course, avoid all of this with a diet high in fiber. If you are experiencing a recurring health problem, you might want to try doing a natural colon cleanse. At first, it may not seem like you are improving, but after awhile, things will start to improve. You will then see the many benefits that natural colon cleansers can provide and then you can watch your health and life improve dramatically. Just remember to do the proper research and consult with your doctor before starting.

Effective Lower Back Pain Remedies: Prevention and Management

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Effective Lower Back Pain Remedies: Prevention and Management

Lower Back Pain Remedies

There are no one-size-fits-all lower back pain treatments. Even advice on back care and preventive measures remain a controversial issue among health care providers. But while it is true that there is no 100% remedy for lower back pain, most people would benefit from back pain prevention measures. Some of these basic steps are easy to implement in your daily life and are essential to prevent back pain from developing and to prevent spinal injury.

Foremost among these lower back pain remedies is observing good posture:

  • Lifting: Bad posture while lifting heavy objects is the most frequent cause of lower back pain. Even if the item to be picked up is light, like a piece of paper, never bend over from the waist. Instead, squat down by the object with the spine straight, knees bent, and head tilted backward. Then, slowly rise with the object. This posture puts less weight on the back and instead lets the quadriceps muscles of the thighs do the work. Lifting is the most common cause of a herniated disc and sciatica.
  • Standing: The correct posture while standing has the body up straight, shoulders back, abdomen pulled in, chin in, the small of the back flat, and the pelvis straight. When standing for an extended period, it is advised to move around frequently and shift the weight from one foot to the other or to alternately elevate one foot and then the other by stepping on a footrest. The latter helps to flatter the lumbar spinal area and reduce muscle fatigue associated with swayback (excessive inward or downward curvature of the spine).
  • Sitting: While people often offer a seat so that one could rest, sitting could be very stressful on the back if the individual does not know the right way to sit. When sitting, the chair should be straight-backed with good lumbar support. In the absence of this support, a small pillow placed behind the lower back will help. The chair should also swivel to allow one to move so that there would be less strain on the back. For an excellent orthopedic “back-friendly” chair, be sure to visit HERE. On long trips, having a small pillow to place behind the lower back provides ample lumbar support. Take regular road breaks to stretch the back.
  • Sleeping: Back pain could develop if the mattress is too firm or too soft. Do not use a high pillow that could strain the neck, shoulders, and arms. Excellent orthopedic mattresses and pillows are also available in medical equipment stores and online shops. The best sleep posture is the fetal position, which is lying on the side with the knees bent at right angles to the body and the neck straight. Never sleep prone or on the stomach because it increases swayback in the lower lumbar area. When sleeping supine or on the back, place a small pillow between the head and neck and another pillow under the knees.
In lower back pain arising from a kidney infection, aside from getting the necessary prescription antibiotics from the doctor, it is vital to drink lots of fluids wash out the bacteria, toxins, and minerals that have accumulated in the kidney. An effective diuretic and natural kidney cleanser are coconut water.

Exercises: Appropriate Lower Back Pain Remedies?

Finally, some specific activities and exercises are good for the lower back. While high-impact activities like running, tennis and basketball pose an increased risk for lower back pain, low-impact activities such as walking, swimming, and riding the bike are beneficial to back health. Before embarking on any exercise regimen that you’ve seen on TV or DVD, always consult with your doctor and a physical therapist on the best exercises to do and the proper way to perform them. Some effective exercises for the lower back are abdominal crunches, the pelvic tilt, and stretches. Never perform any exercise regimen — whether it be Yoga, Pilates, or regimens using devices such as balls and abs rockers — without being first guided by a licensed expert in these exercises. Without proper guidance, these activities, considered by many to be good lower back pain remedies, may end up doing more harm than good.

Chronic Back Pain Relief: What To Do For Lasting Effect

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Chronic Back Pain Relief: What To Do For Lasting Effect

Chronic Back Pain Relief

Achieving chronic back pain relief is particularly troublesome for both the patient and the doctor. Just check out the many health blogs, and you’ll see just how great a deterrent to normal living prolonged lower back pain is. Persistent pain may lead to many time-offs from work and lost income. In those with low pain tolerance, they may develop fear anxieties that any movement or work would increase their suffering, resulting in no or minimal relief with medications and other conventional forms of treatment. Doctors, on the other hand, would find it difficult to convince their patients to engage in activities such as exercise that could help relieve chronic lower back pain. Even treatments like surgery could produce poor outcomes because the patient is depressed and believes that he or she would have to live with the pain for the rest of their life. But, there is hope even for chronic lower back pain sufferers, as certain treatment regimens and surgery can help alleviate their suffering.

Chronic Back Pain Relief Options Include:

  • Exercise: Unlike in acute back pain, exercise has been shown to provide some measure of relief for chronic lower back pain. Stretches have been particularly helpful. Another good example is the Schroth Method, a specialized exercise regimen which can reduce severity and frequency of back pain in patients with scoliosis, kyphosis, and spondylolisthesis. Running is not considered a good practice for both acute and chronic lower back pain. A high impact activity puts a lot of pressure and stress on the lower back.
  • Weight loss: Losing those extra pounds reduces the load that is being carried by the lower back.
  • Acupuncture: Although studies on its effectiveness in relieving chronic back pain remains contradicting, it cannot be denied, that acupuncture provides relief for individual patients.
  • Meditation Techniques: Yoga and other meditation techniques help in relieving chronic back pain through gentle, but intensive muscle strengthening and toning exercises, as well as breathing techniques that could relax the mind and reduce anxieties.
  • Tricyclic Antidepressants: Have been found useful for chronic back pain relief, especially in patients with accompanying anxiety disorders. Prescription of these drugs, however, must follow the guidelines set by the American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society in 2007.
  • Transcutaneous Electric Manipulation (TENS): Acts by electrically stimulating the back in pulses through surface electrodes. Results on its effectiveness in chronic back pain sufferers are mixed. But, like acupuncture, TENS has been found to give relief to some patients.
  • Spinal Manipulation: Osteopathic and chiropractic spinal manipulation is more effective in acute lower back pain. Studies on these spinal alignment correction procedures on chronic back pain patients have produced contradicting results, so its effectiveness remains controversial. Patients with pinched nerves or nerve root problems will not benefit from spinal manipulation.
For patients in whom the cause of the chronic lower back pain has been identified, pain relief is assured in 90% of cases when the underlying condition is treated.
Drawing of a disc herniation in the human lumbar spine
Drawing of a disc herniation in the human lumbar spine
An effective form of non-surgical treatment for chronic lower back pain is spinal decompression. Often mistaken for regular traction, spinal decompression acts not only by stretching muscles and mobilizing joints but also by creating a negative pressure that would pull bulging disc material back toward the center of the disc. The pain relief accorded by regular traction to chronic pain patients is limited to muscle stretching and joint mobilization. Using a spinal decompression machine has been touted to treat lower back pain caused by sciatica, stenosis of the spine, disc herniation and disc degeneration. Surgery is indicated when pain could not be relieved through conventional and other non-surgical forms of treatment, or if the patient shows any of the Red Flags, or develops neurologic symptoms such as bladder or bowel incontinence which accompanies severe central lumbar disc herniation resulting in spinal abscess or cauda equina syndrome. At present, minimally-invasive surgical techniques are being evaluated for their safety and effectiveness. Other forms of therapy are in their experimental stages. One of these is stem cell therapy. The recent discovery of the immune system substance interleukin-17 or IL-17 in patients with degenerative or herniated disc disease has opened doors for research on immunosuppressive therapies for chronic lower back pain caused by these disorders. Indeed, there are quite some chronic back pain relief treatments being produced which could hopefully alleviate patients of these troublesome burdens on their health.

Lower Back Pain Causes – An Overview

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Lower Back Pain Causes The Symptoms and Treatment

There Are So Many Lower Back Pain Causes.

No one is immune from lower back pain. Everyone, at certain times in life, will experience some measure of back pain. While for most the pain may last only a couple of weeks, for some it will become a part of their lives, the aches in their lower back becoming so excruciatingly painful and debilitating that it interferes with daily life. As many lower back pain sufferers have come to understand, it is through knowledge of the causes of lower back pain disease process that one could learn how to deal with it, and better still, prevent it. This post provides great information about lower back pain causes, disease conditions that manifest this as a symptom or symptoms and how they are diagnosed, treatments, and back care tips and prevention measures. This post does not replace the expert opinions of doctors and other health professionals. But, hopefully, it would guide and encourage lower back pain sufferers to seek medical attention so that they could explore with their physicians the various treatment options that are available.

Lower Back Pain Causes: An Introduction

Lower back pain afflicts millions of people all over the world. In the United States, around 90% of the population has experienced some pain in the lower back during their lifetime. Around 50% of these would have developed a single episode of debilitating pain that led to the loss of valuable work hours and income. Around 10% of this population would suffer from varying degrees of lower back pain for the rest of their lives.

Lower Back Pain is a Significant drag on people’s productivity, health, and income.

Just to distinguish concerning anatomy, the back consists of the upper back (also called the middle back) and the lower back. The upper back consists of the area at the junction of the neck and shoulder to the upper ¾ of the torso. Specifically, it starts below the level of the 7th cervical vertebra (C-7) at the 1st thoracic vertebra (T-1) descending to the 12th thoracic vertebra (T-12). The lower back or lumbar regions encompasses the area of the five lumbar vertebrae (L-1 to L-5), the sacrum (S-1 to S-3) and the coccyx (or tailbone). The entire length of the spine serves as protection for the spinal cord within its spinal canal. In between each vertebra are intervertebral discs, discs of fibrocartilage which prevents them from rubbing together. Small branches of the spinal cord branch out through the vertebral foramen to innervate muscles, ligaments, and other structures in the back, pelvis, and abdomen. Small joints called facet joints allows for the lumbar region’s greater flexibility and movement. It is because of the lumbar region’s anatomical construction that much of a person’s body weight is supported here. How does lower back pain develop? First of all, it is imperative to emphasize that lower back pain is NOT a DISEASE. It is a SYMPTOM, which tells the individual that there is something wrong in this region of his or her body.

Lower back pain develops in the following circumstances:

  1. Strain or sprain the muscles and tissues of the lower back
  2. Injured or torn ligaments during muscle activity
  3. Tearing or disc herniation
  4. Friction between the vertebrae and facet joints resulting from disc degeneration due to aging
  5. Nerve impingement resulting from sciatica, spinal stenosis, scoliosis, or a tumor
  6. Infection, such as shingles pain or postherpetic neuralgia (caused by Herpes zoster)
  7. Kidney or other lower abdominal disorders which manifest as lower back pain owing to shared nerve networks (known as “referred pain”)
  8. Greater mobility of vertebrae as a result of diminishing functionality of the facet joints and ligaments.
These are just a few of the underlying conditions that would lead to the development of lower back pain.

Characterizing Lower Back Pain Symptoms

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Characterizing Lower Back Pain Symptoms

Lower Back Pain Symptoms: Help Your Doctor Diagnose and Treat

It is important to consider the character of lower back pain symptoms because knowing how intense the pain is and where it will give your doctor vitals clues on your health and the causes of the back pain.
Left gluteal region, showing surface markings for arteries and sciatic nerve.
The left gluteal region, showing surface markings for arteries and sciatic nerve.
Lower back pain symptoms primarily arise in the lumbosacral region (or the lower part of the back). The pain may confine to the lower back, or it may radiate to the back, front or side of one leg. In cases of pinched nerves like sciatica, numbness felt in the leg that is being innervated by the affected nerve. Commonly, lower back pain is one-sided. Depending upon the affected nerve, you may have lower left back pain or lower right back pain symptoms- telling your doctor if the pain is on the left side or the right side can help diagnose the injury. Certain conditions may aggravate your lower back pain symptoms. Strenuous and high-impact activities and heavy lifting may make the pain worse. Lower back pain may also worsen when lying down or when sitting (like while taking a long trip in a car) or standing for a prolonged period. Lower back pain may be acute, sub-acute or chronic. Pain with a duration of fewer than four weeks is called acute. The pain of more than 12 weeks duration is chronic. Between 4 to 12 weeks duration, the lower back pain characterized as sub-acute. Doctors also ask patients to describe their lower back pain with the use of a Pain Scale from 0 to 10, with 0 as no pain to 10 for severe pain. The character of lower back pain could give clues to the doctor on what is causing it, and open up treatment options. For example, numbness and weakness in one leg are indicative of a compressed nerve. Compression of the 5th lumbar nerve (L5) is suspected if the patient could not move his big toe upward. Fifth sacral nerve compression is entertained if the patient could not stand on his toes or bring his foot downward (known as plantar flexion).

Lower Back Pain Symptoms: When to Seek Immediate Medical Care

While it is highly recommended that acute lower back pain sufferers seek medical attention right away, there are warning signs — “Red Flags” — which when accompanied by lower back pain warrant immediate emergency care. These Red Flags of Lower Back Pain are enumerated below.
  • Recent significant trauma (fall from a height, motor vehicle accident, or similar incident)
  • Recent mild trauma in patients 50 years old and above (such as slipping and landing on the buttocks and falling down a few steps)
  • Chronic steroid use (especially patients with asthma, COPD, and rheumatologic disorders)
  • Osteoporosis
  • Individuals older than 70 years old: There is an increased indication that lower back pain in this age group caused by infections, cancer, and abdominal disorders
  • Unexplained fever of over 100 degrees Fahrenheit
  • History of recent infection
  • History of previous or current cancer
  • Intravenous drug use
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Lower back pain symptoms worsen at rest: Pain may be of infectious (such as with a kidney infection) or malignant origin. Lower back pain kidney symptoms are severe and should investigate right away.
  • Presence of a focal neurologic deficit: Inability to walk, raise or lower the foot at the ankle, failure to move the big toe upward, and the inability to walk on heels or stand on toes
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control, including incontinence (difficulty in starting or stopping passage of urine), are symptoms of cauda equina syndrome and is considered a serious medical emergency
All of these Red Flags of lower back pain symptoms warrant that the patient goes to the hospital for immediate determination of the lower back pain causes and appropriate back pain relief treatment.

What Are The Causes Of Lower Back Pain You Should Know About?

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What Are The Causes Of Lower Back Pain You Should Know About

Causes of Lower Back Pain – What You Should Know

Before one considers the causes of lower back pain, it is imperative to mention again that lower back pain is not a disease, but a symptom. A manifestation of abnormalities in the muscles, ligaments, and nerves of the back and possible disease processes developing in the abdomen or pelvis, such as in the kidneys. Because many diseases could produce lower back pain, cited here are the most common causes of lower back pain.
  • Bad posture, especially when lifting heavy objects (the mere act of lifting an object greater than your body weight could lead to back pain and is one among the many causes of lower back pain.
  • Trauma and fractures
  • Non-specific strain or sprain of the back muscles, ligaments, and soft tissues
  • Mechanical causes such as disc degeneration in spondylosis, stenosis of the spine, disc herniation, spinal abnormalities such as scoliosis, and leg length difference (one leg is shorter than the other)
  • Inflammatory conditions, like rheumatoid arthritis and spondylitis
  • Infections, like osteomyelitis, epidural abscess, and Post-herpetic neuralgia, cause nerve inflammation
  • Metabolic conditions, such as osteoporosis and osteomalacia
  • Tumors of the bone and spine that would compress upon the nerves
  • Referred pain, such as in kidney disease and prostate cancer
  • Pinched nerve, which correctly termed as nerve root impingement (direct irritation on a nerve) or nerve root syndromes, such as sciatica and cauda equina syndrome.
  • Healthy pregnancy (the increasing weight and the load of carrying a child causes lower back strain, nerve irritation, and stretching of pelvic ligaments)
  • Musculoskeletal pain syndromes, such as fibromyalgia (characterized by generalized pain, tenderness, stiffness, and fatigue) and myofascial pain (with pain and tenderness felt in localized areas called “trigger points,” which follow the dermatomal or radiating pattern of a peripheral nerve)
Depression has also cited as one of the lower back pain causes. However, studies on lower back sufferers using antidepressants as treatment have produced inconclusive results.

Causes of Lower Back Pain – Characteristics

It is important to consider the character of the lower back pain because knowing how intense the pain is and where it will give the doctor vitals clues on the causes of the pain. The causes of lower back pain arise primarily in the lumbosacral region (or the lower part of the back). The pain may confine to the lower back, or it may radiate to the back, front or side of one leg. In cases of pinched nerves like sciatica, numbness may be felt in the leg that is being innervated by the affected nerve. Commonly, lower back pain is one-sided. Depending upon the affected nerve, the pain may be felt on the left side or the right side. Certain conditions may aggravate lower back pain. Strenuous and high-impact activities and heavy lifting may make the pain worse. Lower back pain may also worsen when lying down or when sitting (like while taking a long trip in a car) or standing for a prolonged period. Lower back pain may be acute, sub-acute or chronic. Pain with a duration of fewer than four weeks is called acute. The pain of more than 12 weeks duration is chronic. Between 4 to 12 weeks duration, the lower back pain is characterized as sub-acute. Doctors also ask patients to describe their lower back pain with the use of a Pain Scale from 0 to 10, with 0 as no pain to 10 for severe pain. The character of lower back pain could give clues to the doctor on what is causing it. For example, numbness and weakness in one leg are indicative of a compressed nerve. Compression of the 5th lumbar nerve (L5) is suspected if the patient could not move his big toe upward. Fifth sacral nerve compression is entertained if the patient could not stand on his toes or bring his foot downward (known as plantar flexion). While it is highly recommended that lower back pain sufferers seek medical attention, there are warning signs — known as “Red Flags” — which when accompanied by lower back pain warrant immediate emergency care.

Causes Of Lower Back Pain – Red Flags of Lower Back Pain :

  • Recent significant trauma (fall from a height, motor vehicle accident, or similar incident)
  • Recent mild trauma in patients 50 years old and above (such as slipping and landing on the buttocks and falling down a few steps)
  • Chronic steroid use (especially patients with asthma, COPD, and rheumatologic disorders)
  • Osteoporosis
  • Individuals older than 70 years old: There is an increased indication that lower back pain in this age group by infections, cancer, and abdominal disorders
  • Unexplained fever of over 100 degrees Fahrenheit
  • History of recent infection
  • History of previous or current cancer
  • Intravenous drug use
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Lower back pain worsens at rest: Pain may be of infectious (such as with a kidney infection) or malignant origin
  • Presence of a focal neurologic deficit: Inability to walk, raise or lower the foot at the ankle, failure to move big toe upward, inability to walk on heels or stand on toes
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control, including incontinence (difficulty in starting or stopping passage of urine), are symptoms of cauda equina syndrome (CES) and is considered a serious medical emergency.
All of these Red Flags warrant that the patient goes to the hospital for immediate determination of the causes of lower back pain and the institution of emergency care.

Simple Acute Lower Back Pain Remedies

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Acute Lower Back Pain Remedies: Simple But Effective

Lower Back Pain Remedies- Is there a Quick Fix?

There is still a lot of controversy surrounding acute lower back pain remedies. Studies have shown that in 90% of cases, acute low back pain either improved or became resolved on its own within 30 days of pain onset even without pain intervention. Low back pain is the reason why most doctors will not order tests for spinal health or low back issues until the 30 day period has passed. Of course, chronic lower back pain relief is another matter- treatment may include nerve repair, spinal surgery, or decompression therapy. Rarely is the single cure for lower back pain.

Lower Back Pain Remedies: Common Choices

But for people in whom acute lower back pain interferes with daily routine, the doctor may simply prescribe medications, many of which are available also without a prescription. Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) are the drugs of choice for back pain relief. Examples of these drugs are ibuprofen, naproxen, and ketoprofen. The doctor may switch drugs or adjust dosages to determine what works best for the patient. It is important to note that prolonged use of NSAIDs may cause liver and kidney damage and gastric irritation, so these drugs must only be used when necessary. NSAIDs must never be taken in anticipation of pain occurrence. Equally effective as NSAIDs as a lower back pain cure for minor flare-ups are acetaminophen (Tylenol). Sometimes, muscle relaxants have been given to treat lower back pain. However, unless the cause of the pain has been demonstrated to be muscle spasms, muscle relaxants have little to no effect on lower back pain.
All-Natural Alternative Vioxx and Celebrex
All-Natural Alternative Vioxx and Celebrex
COX-2 inhibitors, such as celecoxib (Celebrex), are the latest wave of NSAIDs. But despite their promising start, prolonged use has shown an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. Other drugs given for lower back pain are steroids and opioid analgesics. Both of these drugs, however, are for short-term use only and intake and dosage need to be monitored by the physician. Opioids have the added risk of addiction. Studies on epidural steroid injections have produced mixed results and given to patients in whom this treatment is effective in alleviating pain. For those patients who suffer from intolerable acute lower back pain: Remedies also include Transcutaneous Electric Manipulation (TENS) has been proven to be effective. This procedure involves stimulating the back in pulses through electrodes attached to the surface of the skin on the lower back. Rather than take drugs, many patients have found alleviation for their lower back pain through simple remedies, such as heating pads or the application of deep-heating topical rubs (like Ben-Gay).

Exercise and Rest: Viable Lower Back Pain Remedies?

Prolonged bed rest has been found to lead to a longer period of recovery. Patients with acute back pain need to become active after 2-days of bed rest to prevent decreased muscle tone, development of leg blood clots, and depression. Although no specific lower back exercises prove as effective acute lower back pain remedies, stretching exercises, in particular, are still necessary to strengthen the back muscles and improve muscle tone, which in turn could help minimize occurrences of back pain