Lumbago

March 2017


Definition


Lumbago is a term for back pain in the lower back. Typically, this term is used to define acute low back pain of sudden onset. In this case, back pain is due to a trauma of the lumbar region, after intensive and brutal activity in most cases. It can also result from a sporting activity without a proper warm-up or with repeated trauma to the area. Lumbago is considered the equivalent of sprained joints located between vertebrae. Treatment should be initiated promptly after the accident, in order to relieve pain, which should disappear spontaneously after a few days.

Symptoms


Lumbago is manifested by:
  • pain occurring suddenly and localized in the lower back;
  • a feeling of cracking, tearing;
  • loss of mobility: the position is blocked, and usually the person stays hunched down, and must walk in a bent position;
  • pain relief in a fully extended position;
  • is increased pain during mobilization, but also during coughing or defecation.

Diagnosis


A diagnosis is made after clinical examination of the person. The position after the accident is generally characteristic of lumbago. Palpation of the area is also done to assess the type of damage caused and the level of pain experienced. Usually a description of the onset of symptoms is sufficient and no further review is necessary.

Treatment


The initial treatment of lumbago consists of drugs to decrease pain, usually conventional painkillers or anti-inflammatory drugs. Drugs relaxing the muscles, called muscle relaxants, may also be prescribed. Note that contrary to popular belief, prolonged rest is absolutely not recommended in cases of lumbago. Recovery by walking and other moderate activities will contribute to better healing and recovery.

Prevention


To avoid the occurrence of back pain, some tips are recommended:
  • not carrying heavy or several things;
  • If something needs to be lifted, it is not the back that should do the work but the legs: bend your legs and push up on your legs, keeping your back straight;
  • Properly warming up is recommended before sports or physical activities requiring the use of the back.

Related

Original article published by . Translated by Jeff.
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