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Back ache symptom: Acupuncture for back pain? – Mayo Clinic


Acupuncture for back pain? – Mayo Clinic

Many people who have chronic low back pain have found acupuncture to be helpful. But the scientific evidence to support these claims has been mixed, partly because it can be difficult to devise a good form of sham acupuncture for comparison.

Acupuncture for back pain involves inserting very thin needles to various depths into strategic points on your body. Scientific studies have indicated that sham acupuncture works just as well as real acupuncture for back pain. A key point, though, is that in several studies, both sham acupuncture and real acupuncture relieved low back pain better than having no treatment at all.

This could mean that sham acupuncture could be having an effect, or it could mean that the effects of acupuncture may be due in part to a placebo effect.

The research on acupuncture is growing, but interpreting it is still a challenge. For now, most studies seem to indicate that, for most people, acupuncture results in some beneficial effect with a low risk of side effects when provided by a well-trained practitioner.

So if other treatments haven’t helped your low back pain, it may be worth trying acupuncture. But if your back pain doesn’t begin to improve within 6 to 8 weeks, acupuncture may not be the right treatment for you.


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Show references

  1. AskMayoExpert. Acupuncture. Mayo Clinic. 2019.
  2. Hochberg MC, et al. Complementary and alternative medicine. In: Rheumatology. 7th ed. Elsevier; 2019. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed April 21, 2021.
  3. Acupuncture: In depth. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/acupuncture-in-depth. Accessed April 21, 2021.
  4. Cifu DX, et al., eds. Physical agent modalities. In: Braddom’s Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 6th ed. Elsevier; 2021. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed April 21, 2021.
  5. Patel M, et al. The role of acupuncture in the treatment of chronic pain. Best Practice & Research Clinical Anaesthesiology. 2020; doi.10.1016/j.bpa.2020.08.005. Accessed April 21, 2021.
  6. Ahn AC. Acupuncture. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed April 21, 2021.
  7. Bauer BA (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic. April 22, 2021.

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Infographic: Back Pain

80% of the population will have low back pain in their lifetime.

25% report back pain in the past 3 months.

$100-200 billion annual cost to U.S. economy, two-thirds being lost wages and productivity.

Causes of back pain.

  • Spine arthritis

    Due to aging, genetics and wear over time, the joints of the spine may develop arthritis and cause pain and stiffness.

  • Bulging disc

    The soft material inside a disc can lose cells or become inflamed, causing low back pain. Disc bulge or rupture may press on a nerve, causing leg pain.

  • Sacroiliac joint pain

    Located where your lower spine and pelvis connect, inflammation or wear over time can cause pain in the buttocks or back of the thigh.

  • Muscle and ligament strain

    Repeated heavy lifting or a sudden awkward movement may cause strain of muscle and ligaments, causing painful back spasms.

  • Skeletal irregularity

    Abnormal curves, defects or abnormal bone sizes in the spine can result in back pain.

  • Infection and tumor

    Certain infections and tumors that affect the vertebra or spinal canal can cause back pain.

Treatment options.

  • Rest and activity modification
  • Physical therapy
  • Pain medication
  • Spinal manipulation and chiropractic
  • Steroid injections
  • Surgery, in some cases
  • In some cases, neurostimulation therapy
  • Adult stem cells (experimental)
  • Complementary and integrative health treatments (massage and acupuncture)

Healthy activities can help prevent recurring low back pain.

  • Avoid excessive bed rest. If you have back pain, move as much as you can, as motion aids recovery, while lying down can weaken the back muscles and make back pain worse.
  • Practice proper posture and body mechanics. Poor posture can lead to back pain, as can incorrect lifting or twisting motions.
  • Strengthen your core. Exercise can build up the muscles that keep your back healthy and reduce likelihood of back pain.

Most back pain will generally improve with physical therapy and time. Consider seeing your doctor if pain:

  • Accompanies bladder or bowel function changes
  • Includes leg weakness
  • Accompanies tingling or numbness that spreads down legs
  • Is severe or doesn’t improve

Sources: MayoClinic.org; Ninds.Nih.gov; Ncbi.Nlm.Nih.gov.

Low Back Pain: Causes, Diagnosis & Treatments


What is lower back pain?

Low back pain can result from many different injuries, conditions or diseases — most often, an injury to muscles or tendons in the back.

Pain can range from mild to severe. In some cases, pain can make it difficult or impossible to walk, sleep, work or do everyday activities.

Usually, lower back pain gets better with rest, pain relievers and physical therapy (PT). Cortisone injections and hands-on treatments (like osteopathic or chiropractic manipulation) can relieve pain and help the healing process. Some back injuries and conditions require surgical repair.

How common is lower back pain?

Around four out of five people have lower back pain at some point in their lives. It’s one of the most common reasons people visit healthcare providers.

Some people are more likely to have lower back pain than others. Risk factors for lower back pain include:

  • Age: People over 30 have more back pain. Disks (soft, rubbery tissue that cushions the bones in the spine) wear away with age. As the disks weaken and wear down, pain and stiffness can result.
  • Weight: People who are obese or carry extra weight are more likely to have back pain. Excess weight puts pressure on joints and disks.
  • Overall health: Weakened abdominal muscles can’t support the spine, which can lead to back strains and sprains. People who smoke, drink alcohol excessively or live a sedentary lifestyle have a higher risk of back pain.
  • Occupation and lifestyle: Jobs and activities that require heavy lifting or bending can increase the risk of a back injury.
  • Structural problems: Severe back pain can result from conditions, such as scoliosis, that change spine alignment.
  • Disease: People who have a family history of osteoarthritis, certain types of cancer and other disease have a higher risk of low back pain.
  • Mental health: Back pain can result from depression and anxiety.

Symptoms and Causes

What are the symptoms of lower back pain?

Symptoms of lower back pain can come on suddenly or appear gradually. Sometimes, pain occurs after a specific event, such as bending to pick something up. Other times, you may not know what caused the pain.

Pain may be sharp or dull and achy, and it may radiate to your bottom or down the back of your legs (sciatica). If you strain your back during an activity, you may hear a “pop” when it happened. Pain is often worse in certain positions (like bending over) and gets better when you lie down.

Other symptoms of lower back pain include:

  • Stiffness: It may be tough to move or straighten your back. Getting up from a seated position may take a while, and you might feel like you need to walk or stretch to loosen up. You may notice decreased range of motion.
  • Posture problems: Many people with back pain find it hard to stand up straight. You may stand “crooked” or bent, with your torso off to the side rather than aligned with your spine. Your lower back may look flat instead of curved.
  • Muscle spasms: After a strain, muscles in the lower back can spasm or contract uncontrollably. Muscle spasms can cause extreme pain and make it difficult or impossible to stand, walk or move.

What causes lower back pain?

Many injuries, conditions and diseases can cause lower back pain. They include:

  • Strains and sprains: Back strains and sprains are the most common cause of back pain. You can injure muscles, tendons or ligaments by lifting something too heavy or not lifting safely. Some people strain their back by sneezing, coughing, twisting or bending over.
  • Fractures: The bones in the spine can break during an accident, like a car crash or a fall. Certain conditions (such as spondylolysis or osteoporosis) increase the risk of fractures.
  • Disk problems: Disks cushion the vertebrae (small spinal bones). Disks can bulge from their position in the spine and press on a nerve. They can also tear (herniated disk). With age, disks can get flatter and offer less protection (degenerative disk disease).
  • Structural problems: A condition called spinal stenosis happens when the spinal column is too narrow for the spinal cord. Something pinching the spinal cord can cause severe sciatic nerve pain and lower back pain. Scoliosis (curvature of the spine) can lead to pain, stiffness and difficulty moving.
  • Arthritis: Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis to cause lower back pain. Ankylosing spondylitis causes lower back pain, inflammation and stiffness in the spine.
  • Disease: Spine tumors, infections and several types of cancer can cause back pain. Other conditions can cause back pain, too. These include kidney stones and abdominal aortic aneurysm.
  • Spondylolisthesis: This condition causes the vertebrae in the spine to slip out of place. Spondylolisthesis leads to low back pain and often leg pain as well.

Diagnosis and Tests

How is lower back pain diagnosed?

Your provider will ask about your symptoms and do a physical exam. To check for broken bones or other damage, your provider may order imaging studies. These studies help your provider see clear pictures of your vertebrae, disks, muscles, ligaments and tendons.

Your provider may order:

  • Spine X-ray, which uses radiation to produce images of bones.
  • MRI, which uses a magnet and radio waves to create pictures of bones, muscles, tendons and other soft tissues.
  • CT scan, which uses X-rays and a computer to create 3D images of bones and soft tissues.
  • Electromyography (EMG) to test nerves and muscles and check for neuropathy (nerve damage), which can cause tingling or numbness in your legs.

    Depending on the cause of pain, your provider may also order blood tests or urine tests. Blood tests can detect genetic markers for some conditions that cause back pain (such as ankylosing spondylitis). Urine tests check for kidney stones, which cause pain in the flank (the sides of the low back).

Management and Treatment

What are the treatments for lower back pain?

Lower back pain usually gets better with rest, ice and over-the-counter pain relievers. After a few days of rest, you can start to get back to your normal activities. Staying active increases blood flow to the area and helps you heal.

Other treatments for lower back pain depend on the cause. They include:

  • Medications: Your provider may recommend nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or prescription drugs to relieve pain. Other medications relax muscles and prevent back spasms.
  • Physical therapy (PT): PT can strengthen muscles so they can support your spine. PT also improves flexibility and helps you avoid another injury.
  • Hands-on manipulation: Several “hands-on” treatments can relax tight muscles, reduce pain and improve posture and alignment. Depending on the cause of pain, you may need osteopathic manipulation or chiropractic adjustments. Massage therapy can also help with back pain relief and restore function.
  • Injections: Your provider uses a needle to inject medication into the area that’s causing pain. Steroid injections relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
  • Surgery: Some injuries and conditions need surgical repair. There are several types of surgery for low back pain, including many minimally invasive techniques.


Can I prevent lower back pain?

You can’t prevent lower back pain that results from disease or structural problems in the spine. But you can avoid injuries that cause back pain.

To reduce your risk of a back injury, you should:

  • Maintain a healthy weight: Excess weight puts pressure on vertebrae and disks.
  • Strengthen your abdominal muscles: Pilates and other exercise programs strengthen core muscles that support the spine.
  • Lift the right way: To avoid injuries, lift with your legs (not your back). Hold heavy items close to your body. Try not to twist your torso while you’re lifting.

Outlook / Prognosis

What is the outlook for people with lower back pain?

The outlook depends on the cause of pain. Most people with back strains and sprains recover and do not have long-term health issues. But many people will have another episode within a year.

Some people have chronic back pain that doesn’t get better after several weeks. Older people with degenerative conditions such as arthritis and osteoporosis may have symptoms that get worse over time. Surgery and other treatments are effective at helping people with a range of injuries and conditions live pain-free.

Living With

When should I see my healthcare provider about lower back pain?

Lower back pain usually gets better with rest and pain relievers. Back pain that doesn’t go away may be a sign of a more serious condition.

See your provider if you have:

  • Pain that doesn’t get better after about a week of at-home care.
  • Tingling, numbness, weakness or pain in your buttocks or legs.
  • Severe pain or muscle spasms that interfere with your normal activities.
  • Fever, weight loss, bowel or bladder problems or other unexplained symptoms.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Millions of people live with low back pain. Stiffness, pain and limited movement can have a major impact on quality of life. But you may be able to avoid lower back pain by maintaining a healthy weight and staying active. Talk to your provider if back pain doesn’t go away or if you’re unable to do the activities you enjoy. Several treatments can relieve pain, help you move better and get more out of life.

Lower Back Pain: What Could It Be?

Do you have lower back pain? You are not alone. Anyone can experience lower back pain at any time, even if you don’t have a prior injury or any of the risk factors. It is not always serious and can often get better on its own. But in some cases pain is your body’s way of telling you that something isn’t right.

Learn more about lower back pain and what causes it from rehabilitation physician Akhil Chhatre, M.D., who specializes in back pain in the Johns Hopkins Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Why is lower back pain such a common problem?

The bottom part of your back typically has just five vertebrae — fewer than your neck and mid-back. And these vertebrae do a lot of heavy lifting! Your lower back is where your spine connects to your pelvis, bearing the weight of your upper body. This area experiences a lot of movement and stress, which may lead to wear, tear and injuries.

What are some common causes of lower back pain?

Arthritis of the Spine

Arthritis of the spine — the slow degeneration of the spinal joints — is the most frequent cause of lower back pain. All of us experience wear and tear as we age, and it is normal for your lower back to start acting up as you get older. As the cartilage breaks down between the spinal joints, surrounding tissues may become inflamed. The inflammation and the thinning of cartilage increase friction in the joints, which may cause pain in the lower back.

Back Injuries

A bad fall or a car accident can cause a lower back injury. But so can carrying a laundry basket up the stairs. Some back injuries can be sudden and traumatic, and some happen slowly over time. You may think that athletes and active people get injured the most due to their active lifestyle. “But this is not always the case,” Chhatre says. You are just as likely to tweak your back while bending over to pick up a sock from under the bed. It’s the everyday tasks, like holding a child, that may lead to back injuries when done improperly.

Herniated Discs

A herniated, or bulging, disc is a disc that has “spilled out” of its lining. This happens most frequently in the lower back. The injured disc may not always hurt. But even if it’s painless, its contents can press on or irritate nearby nerves, causing pain in the lower back and other areas.

Which lifestyle factors contribute to lower back pain?

There are three major lifestyle factors that may affect your chances of developing lower back pain:

  • Multiple studies have established a link between smoking and lower back pain. Smoking raises inflammation inside the body and hinders the body from healing itself.
  • Obesity is also associated with several types of chronic pain, including lower back pain. In people with high body mass index (BMI), the stress on the spine increases, contributing to even more wear and tear.
  • Your level of physical activity can also play a role in your lower back health. While a sedentary lifestyle could increase your risk of developing lower back pain, so can excessive or strenuous physical activity. Check with your doctor if you are unsure about your ideal level of physical activity.

Can lower back pain be related to weather?

If you feel like your lower back pain worsens on days when it’s cold or the weather is changing, you are not imagining things. Back pain can indeed be related to barometric pressure and outdoor temperature. Changes in pressure can sometimes cause pain in arthritic joints, including the spine. Muscles and joints in general react to the environment, which can make them stiffer and more likely to suffer an injury.

Could lower back pain be kidney pain?

It absolutely can. Kidneys are located on the back side of your body and kidney pain can sometimes feel like back pain. The only true way to tell the difference is to visit a doctor who can conduct a thorough examination.

What does it mean if lower back pain is shooting into legs?

Lower back pain can radiate to other parts of the body: up or down from its place of origin. Sometimes lower back pain can be on one side of the back, which is also normal.

If the pain is shooting from the lower back into one or both legs, it could be sciatica (nerve pain), but it’s not always the case. There are many parts in the lower back that may cause the pain to radiate into the legs, such as facet joints, sacroiliac joints, muscles or inflammation of the bursa.

Can lower back pain be a sign of something serious like cancer?

Lower back pain can be related to cancer. In fact, it is one of the first symptoms of prostate cancer when it metastasizes and creates lesions. Almost any cancer can spread to the back and some, like sarcoma, can originate in the back. Be cautious, especially if you are experiencing other symptoms besides lower back pain. Talk to your doctor if you have additional symptoms or concerns.

What can I do for low back pain at home?

If your lower back pain has just started, the best thing you can do is start a log. Record your symptoms, times, dates and which activities trigger the pain or make it worse or better. Take this information to your family physician if the pain doesn’t resolve on its own. It will make diagnosing the cause much easier.

Once you know which motion or position causes your lower back pain, try to avoid it and see if you get better. Icing the painful spot can also help. And so can over-the-counter pain relievers that help reduce inflammation. Just remember that pain killers treat only the symptom — pain — and not its cause.

When should I see a doctor if I have lower back pain?

In many cases lower back pain stops on its own. But if it doesn’t, here are some guidelines on when you may want to start seeking professional help:

  • If the pain lasts four weeks or longer
  • If the pain keeps getting worse as time goes by
  • If you are experiencing other symptoms, such as fever, major weight loss or weight gain, loss of function or weakness in extremities, bladder problems, etc.

Who should I see for lower back pain?

Your primary care physician knows you best and should be your first contact for lower back pain. If he or she is unable to diagnose or treat the issue, you may get referred to a specialist, such as a rehabilitation physician (physiatrist). These specialists practice a comprehensive approach to lower back pain, and can diagnose and treat a variety of conditions that have lower back pain as a symptom.

Later, you may get referred to a physical therapist, a chiropractor or another practitioner depending on the nature of your back pain. The good news is that surgery is rarely needed for lower back pain. “Only about one in ten patients needs lower back surgery,” Chhatre says.

Back pain – Causes – NHS

It’s not always possible to identify the cause of back pain but it’s rarely anything serious.

Most back pain is what’s known as “non-specific” (there’s no obvious cause) or “mechanical” (the pain originates from the joints, bones or soft tissues in and around the spine).

This type of back pain:

  • tends to get better or worse depending on your position – for example, it may feel better when sitting or lying down
  • often feels worse when moving – but it’s not a good idea to avoid moving your back completely, as this can make things worse
  • can develop suddenly or gradually
  • is sometimes the result of poor posture or lifting something awkwardly, but often happens for no apparent reason
  • may be caused by a minor injury such as sprain (pulled ligament) or strain (pulled muscle)
  • can be associated with feeling stressed or run down
  • will usually start to get better within a few weeks

Medical conditions that cause back pain

Conditions that can cause back pain include:

  • a slipped (prolapsed) disc (a disc of cartilage in the spine pressing on a nerve) – this can cause back pain and numbness, tingling and weakness in other parts of the body
  • sciatica (irritation of the nerve that runs from the lower back to the feet) – this can cause pain, numbness, tingling and weakness in the lower back, buttocks, legs and feet
  • ankylosing spondylitis (swelling of the joints in the spine) – this causes pain and stiffness that’s usually worse in the morning and improves with movement
  • spondylolisthesis (a bone in the spine slipping out of position) – this can cause lower back pain and stiffness, as well as numbness and a tingling sensation

These conditions are treated differently to non-specific back pain.

Very rarely, back pain can be a sign of a serious problem such as:

  • a broken bone in the spine
  • an infection
  • cauda equina syndrome (where the nerves in the lower back become severely compressed)
  • some types of cancer, such as multiple myeloma (a type of bone marrow cancer)

If you see a GP with back pain, they’ll look for signs of these.

Page last reviewed: 14 January 2020
Next review due: 14 January 2023

Low Back Pain | Cedars-Sinai

Not what you’re looking for?

What is low back pain?

Low back pain can range from mild,
dull, annoying pain, to persistent, severe, disabling pain in the lower back. Pain
the lower back can restrict mobility and interfere with normal functioning.

What causes low back pain?

The exact cause of low back pain
can be hard to determine. Back pain may be a symptom of many different causes, including
any of these:

  • Overuse, strenuous activity, or
    improper use (such as repetitive or heavy lifting, exposure to vibration for
    prolonged periods of time)
  • Injury
  • Degeneration of vertebrae (often
    caused by stresses on the muscles and ligaments that support the spine, or the
    effects of aging)
  • Infection
  • Abnormal growth (tumor)
  • Obesity (often increases weight on the
    spine and pressure on the disks)
  • Poor muscle tone in the back
  • Muscle tension or spasm
  • Sprain or strain
  • Ligament or muscle tears
  • Joint problems (such as spinal
  • Smoking
  • Protruding or herniated (slipped)
  • Disease (such as osteoarthritis,
    spondylitis, compression fractures)

What are the symptoms of low back pain?

Low back pain is classified as
acute (or short term) and chronic. Acute low back pain lasts from a few days to a
weeks. Most acute low back pain will resolve on its own. Chronic low back pain lasts
more than 3 months and often gets worse. The cause of chronic low back pain can be
hard to find.  

These are the most common symptoms
of low back pain. Symptoms may include discomfort or pain in the lower back that is:

  • Aching
  • Burning
  • Stabbing
  • Sharp or dull
  • Well-defined or vague

The pain may radiate into one or
both buttocks or even into the thigh, hip, lower leg, and foot.

The symptoms of low back pain may
look like other health problems. Always see your healthcare provider for a

How is low back pain diagnosed?

For most people with back pain, no
testing is needed. Along with a complete health history and physical exam, tests for
back pain may include:

  • X-ray. This test uses electromagnetic energy beams to make
    images of bones onto film.
  • CT scan. This imaging test uses X-rays and computer
    technology to make detailed images of any part of the body, including the bones,
    muscles, fat, and organs. CT scans are more detailed than general X-rays.
  • MRI. This test uses large magnets and a computer to
    make detailed images of organs and structures in the body.
  • Radionuclide bone scan. This imaging technique uses a very
    small amount of radioactive material that is injected into the patient’s bloodstream
    to be detected by a scanner. This test shows blood flow to the bone and cell activity
    within the bone.
  • Electromyogram (EMG). This test checks nerve and muscle

How is low back pain treated?

Treatment may include:

  • Changes in activity
  • Medicine
  • Physical rehabilitation, therapy, or
  • Osteopathic manipulation
  • Occupational therapy
  • Weight loss (if overweight)
  • No smoking
  • A prevention program (as directed by
    your healthcare provider)
  • Surgery
  • Assistive devices (such as mechanical
    back supports)

Rehabilitation is often a part of
treatment for low back pain. Generally, there are 3 phases of low back pain rehab.

  • Acute phase. During this initial phase, the physiatrist (a
    healthcare provider who specializes in rehab medicine) and treatment team develop
    plan to reduce the initial low back pain and source of inflammation. This may include
    using ultrasound, electrical stimulation, or specialized injections.
  • Recovery phase. Once the initial pain and inflammation are
    better managed, the rehab team focuses on helping you return to normal daily
    activities while starting a specialized exercise program to regain flexibility and
  • Maintenance phase. In this phase, you will learn ways to
    prevent further injury and strain to the back. You will also learn how to start a
    fitness program to help further increase strength and endurance.

What can I do to prevent low back pain?

The following may help to prevent
low back pain:

  • Use correct lifting techniques.
  • Maintain correct posture while
    sitting, standing, and sleeping.
  • Exercise regularly (with proper
    stretching beforehand)
  • Don’t smoke.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Reduce stress, which may cause muscle

When should I call my healthcare provider?

Call your healthcare provider

  • Your pain becomes worse or spreads to
    your hips, thighs, legs, or feet.
  • Your pain medicine no longer works
    well for you.
  • Your pain begins to interfere with
    your daily activities, or interferes with activities more than usual.

Living with low back pain

Most back pain will ease in a few
days to a few weeks. If the pain lasts longer than 3 months, it’s considered chronic
you should talk with your healthcare provider. Recovery from low back pain can take
time. To prevent back pain from coming back, it’s important to follow good health
practices, such as:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Exercising regularly with emphasis on
    strengthening both back and abdominal muscles
  • Practicing good lifting
  • Maintaining good posture while
    sitting, standing, and sleeping
  • Not smoking

Key points about low back pain

  • Specific treatment for low back pain
    depends on the cause of the pain and the severity. But it often includes pain
    medicines and muscle relaxers, physical therapy, and assistive devices such as a back
    support. It also may include lifestyle changes such as stress reduction, weight loss,
    and increased physical activity.
  • A back rehab program may be used as
    part of the treatment for low back pain.
  • Measures to prevent back pain include
    using safe lifting techniques, maintaining correct posture, regular exercise, staying
    at a healthy weight, not smoking, and reducing stress.

Next steps

Tips to help you get the most from
a visit to your healthcare provider:

  • Know the reason for your visit and
    what you want to happen.
  • Before your visit, write down
    questions you want answered.
  • Bring someone with you to help you ask
    questions and remember what your provider tells you.
  • At the visit, write down the name of a
    new diagnosis, and any new medicines, treatments, or tests. Also write down any new
    instructions your provider gives you.
  • Know why a new medicine or treatment
    is prescribed, and how it will help you. Also know what the side effects are.
  • Ask if your condition can be treated
    in other ways.
  • Know why a test or procedure is
    recommended and what the results could mean.
  • Know what to expect if you do not take
    the medicine or have the test or procedure.
  • If you have a follow-up appointment,
    write down the date, time, and purpose for that visit.
  • Know how you can contact your provider
    if you have questions.

Medical Reviewer: Joseph Campellone MD

Medical Reviewer: Marianne Fraser MSN RN

Medical Reviewer: Raymond Kent Turley BSN MSN RN

© 2000-2021 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional’s instructions.

Not what you’re looking for?

How Do You Know When Back Pain Is Serious

In many cases, back pain can be as commonplace as a mild headache, a sneeze here and there, or eye strain. In fact, non-specific low back pain is a frequent ailment. One study reports that the lifetime prevalence of chronic low back pain is as high as 84%, making one’s chances of experiencing discomfort at one time or another pretty high.

Here’s how to tell if your back pain may be something serious

Then there are those other times, when the back pain just doesn’t feel right and your gut is saying that something more is going on. Many people have been known to go to the emergency room when experiencing low back pain—in 2012, a study found that low back pain accounted for 3.15% of all emergency visits in the United States. When you consider how many conditions can land someone in the ER, that number is fairly substantial.

Let’s say that you’re experiencing a significant amount of back pain, wondering, “How do I know if my back pain is serious?” This guide will help you decide if it warrants a trip to your doctor or the emergency room.

Signs of Something Serious

So, can back or neck pain be a sign of something serious? An expert helps us navigate the waters.

“While back pain is very common and usually benign and self-limiting, there are some signs and symptoms which could indicate a more serious medical condition requiring further evaluation and treatment,” says Mark Drymalski, MD, Medical Director of the University of Missouri Health Care’s Comprehensive Spine Center.

According to Dr. Drymalski these red flags can include:

  • Persistent fevers
  • Unplanned weight loss
  • Blood in the stool or urine
  • Progressive numbness or weakness in the legs
  • Inability to urinate or have a bowel movement
  • Loss of bowel/bladder control
  • Pain at night
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Balance problems
  • Pain not alleviated or worsened by different positions
  • Recent IV drug use
  • Progressive worsening of pain despite relative rest
  • Recent trauma

Some symptoms can come on suddenly while others can ramp up gradually. There are several conditions that can bring on these so-called red flags.

Possible Conditions Causing Severe Back Pain

Dr. Drymalski also details several conditions that can cause intense back pain, many of which center on the bones or discs. But you also might be wondering, “How do I know if my back pain is kidney-related? Problems with what other organs can cause lower back pain?”

He shares a wide-ranging list of potential conditions that can bring about extreme back pain:

Spotting the Signals

Although that list of possible conditions may seem daunting, the important thing to do is to focus on your symptoms and how you’re feeling. Also, be sure to consider any symptoms that you’re experiencing beyond back pain.

Pay attention to severe back pain and other symptoms that appear with it.

“Pay attention to the other symptoms in addition to your back pain, especially your bowel/bladder function and leg function,” Dr. Drymalski says.

He adds that if you demonstrate any of the above red flag symptoms, if your pain persists and does not appear to be related to movement, or if you have a history of cancer, recent IV drug use, or a vascular disease, you may be at increased risk for serious back conditions.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Luckily, you won’t have to navigate these signs and symptoms alone. This is where a doctor’s expertise comes in.

Dr. Drymalski explains, “If red-flag symptoms are present, urgent or emergent imaging, bloodwork, and evaluation may be required, which is best accessed through a local emergency department.”

When it comes to seeking a doctor’s diagnosis, the very best thing is to go in as soon as you think something could be wrong, since early and thorough treatment can help you avoid more serious symptoms and conditions.

“Early identification and treatment of many of the severe spine conditions, such as meningitis, discitis, and cauda equina syndrome from a disc herniation or mass, is essential to prevent death or a protracted hospitalization in some cases or permanent neurologic impairment, such as permanent leg weakness or bowel/bladder dysfunction, in others,” Dr. Drymalski says.

Get Help for Your Back Pain

While this all may sound dire, you can take comfort in knowing that upwards of 90% of low back pain presentations in the ER are benign, according to findings. The important thing is to stay as calm as you can as you assess your pain and symptoms and rely on medical experts to assist you and get down to the bottom of why you’re feeling the way you are.

Dr. Drymalski emphasizes, “Remember that back pain is very common and the vast majority of the time it will be self-limiting and benign. If you are concerned or have red-flag symptoms, emergent evaluation may be necessary. It is important to always tell your doctor all of your symptoms, even if you don’t know if they are related to your back pain, so your doctor can develop the most appropriate workup and treatment plan for you.”

90,000 Blown back: symptoms and treatment

12 December 2018

The back area often hurts from a sharp temperature drop, after physical activity on the street, from drafts, hypothermia. Inflammation of the muscles (myositis) begins. To prevent this from happening, you must dress correctly and follow safety measures.

Symptoms of myositis

Pain syndrome is the main symptom of back muscle inflammation.The provoking factor is spasm and inflammation. Characteristic features of aching, pulling pain:

  • constancy, lack of relief after rest;
  • strengthening with body movements;
  • does not go away after rest;
  • unbalanced;
  • palpation enhancement;
  • The presence of nodules and swelling in the muscles.

Additional signs include itching, redness, and fever.

Distribution of symptoms:

  1. Buttocks from the side of inflammation.
  2. The leg is on the same side.

The nerve endings of the spine become inflamed. Pain in the abdomen when urinating. Women complain of pain in the uterine appendages.


If the proper measures are not taken, the disease can become chronic. You should seek the help of a doctor.


  • Complete rest (warm).
  • Taking painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • The use of special gels, taking into account contraindications.
  • Warming up the back with a heating pad, pepper plaster or a bag of dry salt.
  • Use of alcohol compresses.
  • Selection of exercises to relax sore muscles.

The patient can be prescribed a course of physiotherapy, for example, muscle stimulation with electrical impulses, as well as therapeutic massage.In the presence of a severe pain syndrome, it is possible to use a novocaine blockade.

Buy medicines to relieve muscle inflammation in the Stolichki pharmacy network at affordable prices.

90,000 Back pain

About 80% of the adult population suffers from recurrent back pain, the cause of which can be vertebrogenic and non-vertebral in nature.

Reflecting this fact for 2011 in the BVL “Big Salts” of the total number of patients treated with back pain – 86.7% and specifically with back pain as a result of osteochondrosis – 74%.
There is no need to talk about complete and final recovery in the vast majority, since most often the problem of back pain is a chronic process, and our treatment procedures are specifically aimed at the normal functioning of the spine at all stages of the disease, including traditional and modern techniques, significantly reducing pain in back, making the remission of the exacerbation more stable and the prevention of the disease.
In this regard, the therapeutic measures of BVL are built taking into account the most important thing, this is the elimination of spasm of the deep muscles of the back, followed by the restoration of trophism and biomechanics of the spine.Therefore, a set of therapeutic measures is individually selected, including a combination of general and local procedures as a whole, with the priority of the latter.
Taking into account the emphasis placed, the discharge rate of patients with a significant reduction in back pain is always high and in 2011 amounted to 99.3% 90,064
Deputy chief physician for medical work, traumatologist – orthopedist Emelina Natalya Nikolaevna
Causes of back pain and treatment.

People have suffered from back pain at all times.This is evidenced by ancient manuscripts, drawings, burials. To better understand the very nature of back pain, you need to imagine the reason leading to it. Taking into account the rich experience in this area, BVL “Big Salts”, it is possible to distinguish such reasons as a forced long stay in a monotonous position, which causes static muscle tension (driving a car, working at a computer, air travel), as well as large muscle loads when playing sports , lifting weights, injuries.
BVL “Big Salts” has everything to cope with the problem of “back pain”. This is represented by a variety of procedures, such as medical gymnastics in the hall, carried out individually with the patient, directed to a specific part of the spine, which allows to increase blood supply, improve trophism and functional abilities. Remedial gymnastics in a warm pool with mineral water, which allows you to feel comfortable with back pain when exposed to a particular part of the spine.Polish-French technique, “Ugul” suspension therapy, aimed at relaxing and relieving tension in case of back pain. Detenzor is a German technology that is very successfully applied in the BVL “Big Salts”, which gives excellent results and is aimed at muscle relaxation and safe traction in case of back pain. A professional gym equipped with the most modern innovations in this area is aimed at strengthening the muscle corset, and also allows you to work on specific muscle groups, and also allows you to take into account a variety of concomitant diseases in the patient.
Also in BVL “Big Salts” there is a kinesiotherapy device Exart, which allows you to deal with the consequences of back pain. Classic massage and hydromassage – allows you to relax muscle groups, bring them to the desired state and reduce back pain. Baths with unique mineral water also help fight back pain.
Physician of physiotherapy exercises I.V. Govorov

Three reasons to treat back pain in the “Big Salts”.

CAUSE FIRST. Our specialists have extensive experience in rehabilitation treatment and will be able to correctly determine the cause of your problems.
The causes of back pain can be divided into two large groups: those arising from diseases of the spine and those not related to diseases of the spine. The success of treatment is associated primarily with the correct formulation of the most accurate diagnosis. Having established the diagnosis, our doctors will select the optimal treatment regimen, taking into account your medical history and all existing contraindications.
THE SECOND REASON. We are not treating a disease, but a patient.
For many decades, we have been implementing the most effective methods and methods of treating back pain – hardware, physiotherapy and medication, studying the most modern achievements of domestic and foreign medicine, including military space. The specialists of the “Big Salts” investigated the effectiveness of the use of various methods of complex treatment, depending on the degree of clinical and pathological changes in our patients.We approach the treatment of back pain in a comprehensive manner, relying not only on reducing pain syndrome and restoring motor functions, but also on general improvement and strengthening of the body. We change the quality of life of patients, returning them to an active life without pain for LONG YEARS.
REASON THIRD (in order, not in importance!) Magic natural mineral water of the “Bolshiye Sali” spring.
Most of the health resorts offering mineral baths for the treatment of back pain use natural water with a fairly high mineralization.To carry out medical procedures, such water must be DILUTED with plain water in order to reduce the concentration of salt (macronutrients) per unit volume. But at the same time, the amount of useful microelements (selenium, molybdenum, magnesium, etc.) also decreases, which reduces their overall beneficial effect on the patient’s body.
The hospital “Bolshiye Sali” uses a unique local mineral spring, the water of which belongs to the class of chloride-sulphate-sodium waters with a total mineralization of 20-25 g / l, which makes it possible to use this water in an UNDILUTED form, and, therefore, it retains a unique (harmonized by nature itself!) a complex of macro- and microelements, which provides a significant and lasting healing effect.
Taking a course of rehabilitation treatment with us regularly every six months, you will forget about back pain and many other health problems.
Read more about interesting offers and unique opportunities for complex restoration and rejuvenation of the body in the hospital “Big Salts” in other articles on our website.
Neurologist A.P. Guriev

Back pain and how it is relieved in BVL “Big Salts”

Back pain is a symptom characteristic of a huge number of diseases both from the spine and from the internal organs, and Not only.Back pain can also occur in a practically healthy person after a certain type of stress – both physical overstrain and prolonged stay in a certain static position.
The nature of back pain can be different, and only the person who is experiencing pain can give it an appropriate description. From scientific definitions, it follows that physical pain is a subjective perception of the tightness of the nerve endings by the surrounding spasmodic tissues. Accordingly, efforts to eliminate pain syndrome should be aimed primarily at eliminating muscle spasm, which is achieved by various methods of manual therapy.
Mobilization, manipulation and traction techniques, post-isometric relaxation and myofascial release are all aimed at eliminating muscle spasm and leading to a decrease in pain. In combination with the rest of the directions for the treatment of diseases of the musculoskeletal system used in the Bolshiye Sali Rehabilitation Hospital, manual therapy helps to eliminate back pain and normalize the general condition of the patient.
Manual therapy doctor A.N. Kapranov

Place of reflexology in the treatment of back pain.

JSC BVL “Bolshiye Sali” have a unique 95-year experience in the fight against back pain. The presence of mineral waters, methods worked out over the years, unique specialists in various fields of medicine, the most modern equipment and a well-designed treatment process are the key to success in this struggle.
The reflexology method was introduced in the hospital about 25 years ago.The use of needles for the treatment of back pain has been used by the founders of the method by the Chinese for over 3000 years.
Obtained empirically, knowledge has been confirmed by modern science. It has been proven that when the needles are placed at certain points of the human body, special substances are produced in the central nervous system – endorphins, which have a strong analgesic effect. In addition, acupuncture allows you to relax the muscles of the back, thereby reducing pain, normalizing the psychological background of the patient, and successfully combating the formidable complications of osteochondrosis: paresis and paralysis of the limbs, muscle atrophy, and impaired sensitivity.In addition to setting needles, the hospital also actively uses other methods of reflexology: electroacupuncture (treatment with needles with electric current), cupping massage according to the Vietnamese technique, bioresonance therapy. The competent application of this method is the key to success in the treatment of such a formidable ailment as back pain.
Doctor-acupuncturist P.V. Sergeev

Acupuncturist T.A. Afanasyeva

A new method for the treatment of back pain.

Statistics for a long period of time show that about 80% of all patients of “Big Salts” are patients with back pain, that is, 80% of the hospital operates as a vertebro-neurological hospital. And this is no coincidence – patients vote with a ruble for this direction, since the problems of back pain are very relevant today, almost everyone has on the one hand, and on the other hand, the Bolshiye Sali hospital offers a unique intensive and highly effective complex of treatment of this problem …The unique complex consists in a harmonious combination of traditional methods of treatment with mineral waters, massage (manual classical and hydromassage), underwater traction in mineral water, with manual therapy, IRT, powerful kinesitherapy (in the gym, in the pool, in the gym) and suspended therapy, hardware physiotherapy, including SCENAR and VTES.
This complex of treatment, worked out and tested over the years, in the vast majority of patients with back pain leads to a noticeable improvement after 2-3 weeks of treatment.If there is pain in the lower back, come to “Big Salt “.

Physiotherapist, Scenar therapist Khrushchev Petr Vladimirovich

SCENAR in the treatment of back pain.

Back pain is the result of degenerative-dystrophic processes occurring in the tissues and cells of the body. One of the mechanisms of the appearance of pain syndrome is a violation of the conduction of a nerve impulse. To solve the problem of back pain in BVL “Big Salts”, SCENAR is actively used along with many methods of treatment.SCENAR is a self-controlling energy-neuroadaptive regulator. The action is based on electrical impulses, a special shape, reminiscent of the natural nerve impulses of the human body, which causes a resonance effect in organs and tissues. The device enters into biofeedback with the body. It changes the shape of electrical impulses depending on the reaction of the body, has a direct healing effect and activates the body’s defenses. The therapeutic effect occurs through reflexogenic zones and biologically active points located on the surface of the skin.
Under the influence of SCENAR, blood circulation is improved, immunoactive cells are stimulated, the body’s production of natural substances with anesthetic effect is activated.

Physiotherapist, Scenar – operator Golenkova Victoria Lvovna

Take a course of treatment in Big Salts!

The cost of treatment programs.

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Placement Order.Reservation.

Organization details.

Consultation on your medical condition

Bolshakova Olga Nikolaevna


I will be happy to answer your questions and advise you on the treatment program and the complex of procedures prescribed in your case.

To receive a consultation, you must report: complaints, diagnosis, results of additional examinations (MRI, CT, X-ray), concomitant diseases.
The required data must be sent to the email address [email protected]


90,000 Symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis (ankylosing spondylitis)


The article was checked by the therapist-rheumatologist Borodin OO. is for general informational purposes only and does not replace specialist advice.
For recommendations on diagnosis and treatment, a doctor’s consultation is required.

Doctors of the Clinical Hospital on Yauza will help to get rid or alleviate the symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis (ankylosing spondylitis) with the help of modern methods of therapy, including the use of biological genetically engineered drugs, hemocorrection.

Ankylosing spondylitis (ankylosing spondylitis) – an inflammatory disease of the spine and joints.

Complaints and clinical manifestations

  • Back pain. Back pain is most pronounced early in the morning. A characteristic symptom of ankylosing spondylitis is a feeling of stiffness in the morning. Both pain and stiffness gradually decrease over the course of the day as you begin to move. With prolonged immobility (sitting, lying), the pain may worsen.With ankylosing spondylitis, pain usually first appears at a young age (20–40 years).
  • Changes in the joints. In addition to back pain, ankylosing spondylitis is characterized by damage to the joints of the extremities (especially hip, knee), which is manifested by painful limitation of mobility and edema.
  • Eye involvement. In 30% of cases, there is a certain form of inflammation of the eyeball, the so-called uveitis or iridocyclitis – inflammation of the iris.
  • Pain at the tendon insertion sites. In addition, one third of patients with ankylosing spondylitis have symptoms such as soreness and edema in the area of ​​tendon attachment (so-called enthesis) – enthesitis . The most commonly affected sites are the attachment points of the Achilles tendon to the calcaneus, the plantar ligament to the calcaneus, and tendons attached to the inner side of the knee joint and the outer side of the elbow joint.
  • Decreased mobility of the spine. In the final stages of the disease, back pain is gradually associated with immobility of the spine . This is due to the fact that as a result of the inflammatory process, bone adhesions are formed between the vertebral bodies and in the small intervertebral joints, which impede the normal mobility of the spine. In this case, the pain syndrome usually weakens and even stops completely.
  • Associated symptoms. The inability to maintain daily physical activity leads to the development of atrophy of the back muscles, muscle pain, and an increased risk of fractures.In addition, impaired mobility of the spine and chest joints provokes impaired breathing and difficulty breathing, which in turn increases the risk of lower respiratory tract infections.
  • The course of the disease. Ankylosing spondylitis can be extremely varied.
    The most common is a slowly progressive course with alternating periods of exacerbations and spontaneous remissions with no clinical manifestations. At the same time, the duration of remission is individual in nature, and in some cases, the disease after a certain point may not worsen at all.
    On the other hand, about 5% of cases represent rapidly progressive forms in which complete immobility of the spinal column can develop already in the first 10 years of the disease.

Diagnostics and treatment of ankylosing spondylitis in the Clinical Hospital on Yauza

Treatment of ankylosing spondylitis should begin as early as possible in order to exclude the development of severe disabling complications and always correspond to the activity of the disease. We use the most modern informative diagnostic methods and effective treatment regimens for ankylosing spondylitis

You can look at prices for services in the price list or check the phone number indicated on the website.


  1. Alekseev E.I., Litvitsky P.F. Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis: etiology, pathogenesis, clinic, diagnostic and treatment algorithms // Vedi. 2007.

  2. Noskov S.M. Conservative treatment of osteoarthritis // GEOTAR-Media.2014.

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90,000 A serious illness often lurks behind back pain: specialist advice

About 70% of Russians under 45 experience chronic back pain. However, only two-thirds of these people will go to the doctor with such symptoms, the rest will prefer to wait or will try to heal themselves.

What diagnosis will they give themselves? What could be behind back pain? How common is ankylosing spondylitis in our country? The observer “MK” talked about this with the head of the Department of Therapy, Clinical Pharmacology and Emergency Medicine of the Moscow State Medical University named after A.I. Evdokimov Arkady Vertkin and professor, head of the laboratory of spondyloarthritis of the FSBSI “NIIR im. V.A. Nasonova “Erdes Sandor.

– What is the most common diagnosis for patients with back pain?

Arkady Vertkin:

– There are a lot of diseases in which back pain can disturb – from damage to the musculoskeletal system to various diseases of internal organs.Unfortunately, in our country, back pain, for some reason, primarily in the minds of both doctors and patients, is associated with the diagnosis of osteochondrosis. It is he who is put most often. Osteochondrosis (degenerative changes in the cartilage and adjacent bone) is not a disease, but a sign of aging – the same as wrinkles, baldness and gray hair. Thus, in young people, this diagnosis is generally unacceptable, but, as the VTsIOM poll shows, every fourth patient under 45 was diagnosed with the notorious osteochondrosis.

Osteochondrosis cannot be the cause of back pain – bones, cartilage, spinal cord and brain do not have pain receptors. Therefore, their damage does not give pain symptoms. The diagnosis of osteochondrosis is often made indiscriminately. For example, according to the Center for Medical Rehabilitation, 82% of patients diagnosed with osteochondrosis, after an in-depth examination, this diagnosis was withdrawn. Meanwhile, one of the causes of pain may be ankylosing spondylitis, which is not immediately detected by all therapists. Not so long ago, scientists from the UK have identified a serious problem in the timely diagnosis of ankylosing spondylitis.The results of their research showed that people too often use modern pain relievers, which alleviate symptoms on examination. Most often, these are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). As a result, the correct diagnosis is made on average 5-10 years after the onset of the disease.

In order to suspect ankylosing spondylitis (ankylosing spondylitis), you must first of all remember that such a disease exists as one of the causes of back pain.And be able to suspect her. As our survey of outpatient doctors shows, they, unfortunately, do not know how the back pain in ankylosing spondylitis differs from pains of a different nature. The overwhelming number of therapists, first of all, think of osteochondrosis as the cause of back pain. In addition, for some reason, this disease is considered rare, although from 0.1% to 6% of the population are sick. More than 100 thousand patients with ankylosing spondylitis have been officially registered in Russia. However, it is necessary to understand that such a picture does not fully reflect the real picture of morbidity, since from the moment of the start of pathological changes to the final diagnosis, an average of 5 to 10 years pass.

Erdes Sandor:

– At present, it is believed that the incidence of the disease should be approximately 0.2-0.4% among the adult population, respectively, at least 300 thousand of such patients should be in the country. However, according to the official statistics of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, this figure is several times (!) Lower.

But doctors know little about the symptoms of the disease. How are we? If a patient has a backache, they give him a label – “osteochondrosis”, while they absolutely do not think that young people aged 20-25 cannot have “osteochondrosis”! The diagnosis of osteochondrosis is a scourge for all patients with back pain.When we investigated this issue, among the 150 patients surveyed, 95% had this diagnosis at first. Sometimes, at the initial stage of the disease, patients are even diagnosed with a herniated disc. And hernias are such a good thing that if you look for it persistently, you can find it in every second or third.

– What are the specific symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis?

Arkady Vertkin:

– The most common symptom is the so-called inflammatory back pain, which has characteristic features: the age at which the pain first began to disturb, as a rule, less than 40 years; pain syndrome develops gradually, patients, as a rule, cannot say for sure when back pains appeared; for inflammatory pain, it is very characteristic of intensification after being in a static state, at rest, this pain intensifies in the morning after sleep, and may be accompanied by stiffness lasting more than half an hour; after exercise, warm-up, inflammatory pain decreases.In addition, with ankylosing spondylitis, intermittent pain in the buttocks, which is often confused with sciatic nerve neuralgia, may disturb. A fairly common symptom – pain in the joints (knee, hip, and others), as well as in the heels – is a manifestation of inflammation of the Achilles tendon. Some patients may develop uveitis – inflammation of the choroid of the eye, about 5% – inflammation of the intestines. Ankylosing spondylitis should be suspected if at least one of the four criteria is met. First: pain in the lower back that does not go away for 3 months, the intensity of which decreases with physical exertion, but does not subside at rest.Second: deterioration of mobility in the lumbar spine when bending back and forth and left and right. Third: a decrease in the mobility of the ribs, exceeding age and sex norms. Fourth: inflammation in the articulation of the sacrum and the ilium (sacroiliitis). If these symptoms occur, the patient, first of all, should contact the polyclinic to see a general practitioner or general practitioner at the place of residence.

– Why does the disease mainly affect young people?

Erdes Sandor:

– It is not known yet.Perhaps the reason is due to the fact that at a young age there is an active formation and the end of the formation of the spine. And if certain genetic defects are superimposed on this process, they can manifest themselves in the form of the development of the disease under the influence of certain external (mental or mechanical trauma) or internal (infection) reasons.

Arkady Vertkin:

Today, there are three probable factors for the onset and development of ankylosing spondylitis: genetic predisposition, immunopathological reactions, as well as external factors, among which special attention is paid to an infectious agent.The search and confirmation of possible microorganisms continues, which indirectly or directly determine the development of the disease in a genetically predisposed organism.

In most cases (for reasons unknown today), ankylosing spondylitis begins at a young working age (16-30 years). Men, as a rule, get sick 5 times more often and much more severely than women. Interestingly, ankylosing spondylitis practically does not occur in individuals of the Negroid and Mongoloid races.The prevalence of disability in people with this pathology is 50-70%, and with a rapidly progressive course – up to 90%. Mortality in ankylosing spondylitis reaches 5%, the main cause of which is the pathology of the cervical spine, leading to compression of the spinal cord.

– What kind of life should such patients lead?

Arkady Verkin:

Active. Preferred sports: tennis, volleyball, swimming. Aerobics exercises have a good effect.Sleep preferably on a firm and level surface. Along with this, it is necessary to systematically monitor the posture of the body. During the working day, with a long stay in a forced position (for example, at a desk), be sure to take breaks: get up several times and perform a set of exercise therapy exercises prescribed by a doctor. Even during an exacerbation of the disease, when patients experience severe pain, it is worth performing exercise therapy exercises under the guidance of an experienced specialist. Kinesiotherapy and remedial gymnastics, carried out daily for 30 minutes, can significantly reduce the stiffness of the joints and spine.Exercise therapy in the pool has a good therapeutic effect – when exercising in the water, it is possible to achieve a good removal of muscle tone. Recently, exercise therapy for ankylosing spondylitis is carried out in an installation called a “dry pool” or “coal”. In it, the patient is suspended in a supine or sitting position with the help of special mounts, which allows you to relieve excessive muscle tension, reduce the severity of pain, and also facilitate the performance of motor exercises.

Erdes Sandor:

– Such patients should perform it daily, including at home.Physiotherapy exercises, in addition to improving the mobility of the spine, slows down the progression of the disease and, at times, allows you to reduce the dose of drugs.

Why does your back hurt and what to do about it

When you need to call an ambulance for back pain

Contact for emergency medical help if:

  1. Your back hurts badly and this condition is accompanied by a high fever.
  2. You suspect your acute back pain is related to a recent fall, bump, or other injury.
  3. Back pain gets worse after eating or going to the bathroom.

Any of these symptoms may be associated with serious, life-threatening internal organ damage. So don’t be afraid to overshoot.

When you need to see a doctor quickly with back pain

If there are no threatening signs, analyze the nature, duration of pain, and check them against your age and lifestyle. Be sure to complain about the discomfort to the therapist if:

  • It hurts, even when you lie down and take the most comfortable position.
  • Your back prevents you from getting enough sleep at night.
  • In addition to pain, you notice weakness and / or numbness in your legs or arms.
  • Unpleasant sensations last for weeks.
  • Pain is accompanied by weight loss.
  • You are over 50 years old.
  • You have osteoporosis.
  • You have previously received treatment for any type of cancer.
  • You are using steroids.
  • You drink or use drugs.

These signs, either together in any combination or separately, indicate that there may be problems with your spine or internal organs.

The most common pathologies are malignant tumor, fracture, cauda equina syndrome (this is the name for damage to the nerve bundle extending from the lower spinal cord) or infection, and not necessarily the spine, but, for example, the kidneys or urinary tract.

The doctor will prescribe additional examinations and, if necessary, will treat the underlying disease.

Why does your back hurt?

Suppose you have no dangerous symptoms, but your back still hurts – pricks, shoots, whines, hurts.Doctors honestly admit that they cannot always determine exactly what exactly leads to pain. Here are five common reasons.

1. Muscle load

The most obvious case: you lifted something heavy, your back muscles (most often the lower back) overextended, there was a spasm.

Less obvious, but just as popular: you just sat too much. When you sit, for example, in front of a computer, it is the back muscles that support the bulk of the body. And if the seat is dragged on, they can overexert themselves.

By the way, this is why physiologists recommend sitting as deep as possible in the chair, leaning on its back, so as not to allow rounding of the spine.

2. Herniated discs

This is another scourge of those who lead a sedentary lifestyle. Often, when we sit in a chair or chair, we slouch. Due to the rounding of the lower back, the load on the intervertebral discs increases by a factor of 10–11.

Over time, the vertebrae are increasingly pressed against each other, and the discs between them flatten out and begin to bulge out of the spinal column.This is how a hernia occurs.

Its side effect is compression of nerve endings and back pain.

3. Colds

You cough and / or sneeze, but these movements are quite abrupt and can also cause overexertion or stretching of the back muscles.

4. Myalgia

This is the general name for pain in the muscles, including the back. Dozens of factors can cause muscle pain , including hypothermia and prolonged stress.

If you have a stressful job, plus you’re doing it in an office chair and under an air conditioner, your chances of getting back pain are increased.

5. Scoliosis

Curvature of the spine to either side also increases stress on the back muscles and can lead to pain.

What to do if your back hurts

In any case, it is worth consulting with a therapist: suddenly you are missing an important symptom. But in general, modern medicine suggests that back pain can be treated with simple home remedies .

1. Don’t stop moving

It used to be that bed rest would help with back pain.But it is now known that people who remain active recover faster.

2. Do some simple back exercises

For example, these. Among other things, training like this will strengthen your muscles and help them withstand stress. This will reduce the risk of future back pain.

3. Take pain reliever

Advice for those who find the pain too debilitating. Ibuprofen will reduce discomfort.

4. Be optimistic

This will help you relax and distract yourself from thoughts of pain.Plus, being optimistic can help you fight stress. This means that you will quickly get rid of muscle spasms caused by it.

Read also 🧐

Back pain treatment | Federal State Budgetary Institution “Polyclinic No. 1” of the Administrative Department of the President of the Russian Federation

Back pain most often occurs as a result of musculoskeletal disorders: microdamage to the ligaments and joints of the spine, stretching or muscle spasm.Somewhat less often, pronounced changes in the spine, for example, herniated intervertebral discs or displacement of the vertebrae, become the cause of pain. Finally, in rare cases, back pain can be associated with serious illnesses: tumors and inflammatory processes in the spine and spinal cord, diseases of internal organs – kidneys, heart, pelvic organs and others.
There are also symptoms associated with back pain: the symptom of “restless legs”, pain in the joints and spine, muscle twitching, decreased growth, secondary weakness of the abdominal wall, insomnia, tooth decay, increased blood pressure and others.

There are no muscles in the human body that are constantly tense. However, in skeletal muscles, so-called trigger points are sometimes formed, painful to pressure, which, on palpation, cause reflected pain, which, for example, can be felt as a headache in the frontal, parietal or orbital region. Trigger points do not disappear on their own – they must be eliminated with a special load and relaxation massage. When working with patients who have constant muscle tension, the exercise therapy doctor seeks to stretch the muscles, due to which tension disappears.Next, you need to teach the muscles to contract and relax correctly, only after that training for strength and endurance begins.

As a rule, back pain is permanent, aggravated by movement and physical exertion, and is accompanied by limited mobility in the spine, a feeling of stiffness in the back.

At the same time, people suffering from back pain often act recklessly: they go to bed and refuse any movement, hoping that the pain will go away by itself.However, after two weeks of a recumbent lifestyle, a person can lose up to 10% of muscle mass, and after six months – up to 50%. It is important to remember that loss of muscle mass and strength is the first and foremost factor in aging, but muscles can recover through exercise. Useful for this exercise exercise therapy according to special programs for strengthening the muscles of the back and abdominal muscles, as well as massage.

Before going to exercise therapy, the cause of the pain must be diagnosed, since the patient’s condition and his diagnosis are of decisive importance in the choice of physical exercises, and not only the underlying disease, but also accompanying ones, are taken into account.The task of the exercise therapy doctor is to make a functional diagnosis, which will determine the further program of therapy with physiotherapy exercises.

Doctors of the Exercise Center have developed a special program “Back and Joint Pain” aimed at eliminating back pain: at rest and during movement, restoring normal movements in the joints, spine, training the strength and endurance of the muscles of the trunk and limbs, increasing adaptation to physical and psycho-emotional stress.

This program is indicated for osteochondrosis of various parts of the spine with and without neurological manifestations, as well as for muscle pain.

The department conducts fitness classes for pregnant women: yoga, Pilates, training in special breathing and relaxation techniques, training of intimate muscles, as well as gymnastics in the water. Through exercise during pregnancy, you can prevent back pain, swelling, excessive weight gain, the development of varicose veins, bloating, and more.

Physical exercise promotes faster and easier recovery in the postpartum period. Regular exercises will help to significantly facilitate childbirth and make it possible to give birth to a healthy baby.Special sets of exercises have been developed and used to restore physical fitness in the postpartum period.

For people with reduced physical performance, overweight, chronic fatigue syndrome, insufficient physical activity, preventive programs have been developed.

In the conditions of the department, it is possible to visit the pool in the free swimming and aqua aerobics mode, as well as the sauna.

90,000 Treatment of back pain, pain in the spine, lower back, neck

Pain is a signal of the body about trouble

Back pain is the most common pain symptom.Almost everyone has experienced this kind of pain. In some cases, it can be short-term painful sensations, in other cases they become quite pronounced, cause significant inconvenience and can lead to disability and disability.

Therefore, if even small symptoms occur, you need to treat this problem responsibly, so as not to miss the development of more serious diseases. Most of the diseases that cause pain are preventable.

The earlier the treatment of the spine is started, the more chances there are to completely get rid of the problem and prevent the development of the disease.

Most common reasons:

  • diseases of the spine (vertebral bodies, intervertebral discs, joints, ligaments)
  • Injuries and diseases of muscles
  • lesions of the nervous system (spinal cord, roots, peripheral nerves)
  • pathology of the internal organs of the chest and abdominal cavity, small pelvis
  • mental disorders

Diseases of the spine, accompanied by pain

Most diseases of the spine are accompanied by back pain.The most common cause of chronic pain is degenerative dystrophic diseases of the spine. These include osteochondrosis, protrusions, spinal hernias, spondylosis and spondyloarthrosis (degenerative damage to the intervertebral joints).

In these diseases, pain can be long-lasting, sluggish. Under the influence of certain factors, it intensifies, then it can calm down and not disturb the person for a while.

In the presence of protrusion or hernia of the spine , the pain becomes more acute, and when the hernia of the nerve root is compressed, a sharp unbearable pain appears, which is localized in the back and spreads along the compressed spinal nerve.

In case of posture disorders, stoop, scoliosis , pelvic distortions, clinical manifestations at the initial stages may be absent, but then, as the disease progresses, symptoms appear.

Soreness of varying intensity appears with inflammatory, infectious, oncological diseases of the spine, with osteoporosis, systemic connective tissue diseases, back injuries.

Sometimes serious diseases of the spine are asymptomatic or accompanied by minor sensations.Patients notice an increase in pain in the later stages of the disease. Such a clinical course of the disease is also dangerous, since patients with such symptoms delay a visit to the doctor or self-medicate the disease without preliminary examination, while aggravating the course of the disease.

Muscle diseases

Problems with the muscles of the back are a common cause of pain.

Pain in the muscles of the back can be both an independent problem and a consequence of various diseases of the spine.

It develops at prolonged fatigue or overload. Muscles in such cases spasm, become dense, tense, painful. With prolonged spasm, blood supply is disrupted in them, ischemia develops and areas of fibrously altered muscle fibers are formed, the so-called myofibrous nodes or trigger points, which are a source of constant discomfort.

Changes in muscles often develop against the background of an underlying disease of the spine and in the future can themselves become a source of pain.As a result of the painful reaction, the muscles spasm and become painful.

Pain of neurogenic origin

Develops as a result of trauma, compression or inflammation of the nerve roots or spinal nerves.

Back pain in such cases, as a rule, spreads along the innervation of the nerve and may be accompanied by impaired reflexes, motor and sensory disorders.

Other causes of pain:

  • sedentary,
  • prolonged stays in a monotonous position (driving a car; working at a computer, etc.)etc.),
  • overload (playing sports, working at a summer cottage, lifting weights).


    Main objectives of back pain treatment:

  • pain relief
  • detection and treatment of the causes of pain
  • Treatment of the underlying disease causing pain
  • treatment of concomitant pathology that developed as a result of the underlying disease and can become a source of pain impulses
  • restoration of tissue trophism, blood circulation, muscle tone, innervation

As we can see, the main task is not only to relieve pain, but also a number of measures aimed at identifying and fabrics.