With an increasing number of people working from home, a case of lower back pain when standing is not limited to aged individuals anymore. In fact, reports of accidents or injuries are far less than that of working millennials. However, the pain intensity is not severe in most conditions, leaving only 2-8% of cases to be chronic.
Whether acute or chronic, the causes of lower back pain are quite the handful in amount. While general reasons include muscle strains, more serious ones are spinal stenosis and degenerative disc disease.
Symptoms of Lower Back Pain
The primary symptoms include having mild to severe pain at the lower portion of one’s back. One may face this issue on either side of their back, along with neck pain. Luckily, it lasts for a week or so if the problem is acute. But people with chronic pain may experience a slow pain development over time.
Other than that, weakness, weighing below a healthy weight, and recurring fevers are pretty common in most individuals. In addition, some people also reported bowel incontinence which refers to uncontrolled bowel movements. However, a few asymptomatic individuals might as well suffer from lower back pain.
When Should I Be Worried About Lower Back Pain
Generally, you should consider paying a visit to the doctor if the lower back pain continues even after 7-15 days. Moreover, if you notice the following symptoms alongside your lower back pain, seek medical care asap.
Severe stomach ache
A high fever during extended periods
Losing strength in the leg muscles
Loss of bowel control
Symptoms of other organ damage besides back pain
What Organs Can Cause Lower Back Pain
Sometimes, any medical condition related to internal organs can result in lower back pain. If someone is experiencing any of the issues below, they should seek immediate medical attention.
Lower back pain can be an indicator for a small handful of kidney diseases. Meanwhile, the most common is having kidney stones that form due to a high concentration of salt and minerals. Besides, any form of viral or bacterial infections inside the kidneys might be the reason behind back pain.
The presence of fibroids on the uterus walls can cause lower back pain in females. However, not all cases of fibroids show such symptoms. Apart from that, people with endometriosis can also experience lower back pain.
Ulcers and inflammations in the colon, aka large intestine, also share similar symptoms like lower back pain. For instance, affected people usually feel a sharp pain on either side of the back followed by weight loss.
People with lower back pain can also be susceptible to appendicitis, a common inflammatory condition in the appendix. Nevertheless, the pain is most likely to be on the right side of one’s back, considering the position of the appendix.
How Do You Tell if Lower Back Pain Is Muscle or Disc
A cross-sectional study from a CT scan helps determine the root of the pain, whether it is in the muscle or disc. Aside from imaging tests, doctors may examine muscle strength, number of steps without pain, and reflexes. Throughout these diagnosis methods, one might show signs of disc herniation.
Disk herniation is an issue related to the intervertebral disc, a rubbery cushion in between the human vertebra. Generally, a few specific symptoms that help identify this issue are as follows.
Pain development right after significant weight gain
Symptoms started due to an accident involving neck and back twisting
Pain becomes unbearable after walking only a couple of steps
Losing sensation or a tingling experience in the limbs
Back pain while sneezing, coughing, or standing up
Anything except the above symptoms is most likely to be lower back pain due to muscle issues.
Why Does My Lower Back Hurt When I Stand Still
Standing still for long periods can push your pelvis backward, causing pain in the lower back. Besides, a slight curvature in standing can also put pressure on the tissues around your spinal cord. As a result, the muscles in your lower back tighten and give birth to neck pain and aches near the spinal cord. As a note for nerds, Jack P. Callaghan and Nelson Wong have detailed studies on it.
Lower Back Pain When Standing up From Sitting
While sitting, the facet joints found in your lower back switch to an open and flexed state. Once you begin to stand up from the seated position, they get compressed and sometimes cause pain. However, this regular event does not cause pains of any sort unless you have painful joints due to arthritis.
Lower Back Pain When Standing
Though chronic lower back pain might result from internal organs, it is evident that healthy individuals with occupational standing face it too. However, there’s a lot more to it than standing for prolonged periods.
Lower Back Pain When Standing Reasons
The most common cause for lower back pain when standing is postural stress, the increased pressure on the spine. Nine out of ten times, it is prolonged standing that gives birth to postural stress as well as the medical conditions below.
The muscles in the lower back become tired and go through strains due to excessive standing. Hence, it leads to muscle fatigue and eventually back pain. Furthermore, being overweight can put specific individuals at the risk of muscle strains. Usually, muscle fatigue should fade away after a good rest or cold therapy.
The narrowing of spaces in one’s spine that puts additional pressure on the spinal cord and nearby nerves is known as spinal stenosis. Generally, it occurs in L1 to L5 lumbar vertebrae, causing lower back pain in aged people. Additionally, one might face the following symptoms as well.
A growing numbness throughout the buttocks
A sharp ache down the legs
Do note that spinal stenosis occurs mainly due to aging and spinal injuries. Yet, rare cases include children being born with a narrower than usual spinal canal.
Degenerative Disc Disease
Degenerative disc disease is yet another condition that is common among aging people. It refers to the wearing down or shrinking of the vertebral discs, eventually leading the spinal bones to rub against each other. Since the discs act as shock absorbers, irritation during spine mobility takes place if they wear down.
Although complexities of degenerative disc disease fade over time by walking and applying cold therapy, they grow worse by lifting weight. Such complexities may include:
Severity and length of pain varies from time to time
Pain spreads from the lower back to thighs and buttocks
Weakness during walking
Hyperlordosis occurs when the buttocks get more prominent, and the stomach sticks out due to the curved lower spine. With Hyperlordosis, one may notice a C-shaped curve on their lower back while lying on a flat surface. Additionally, it causes lower back pain and hip pain that gets worse with frequent movements.
According to physical therapists, obesity or poor posture in day-to-day life can cause hyperlordosis. Whereas doctors usually diagnose past events of osteoporosis, rickets, and spondylolisthesis as the root cause. Either way, maintaining a healthy weight and sitting in a proper upright position can reduce the risk of hyperlordosis.
Lower Back Pain When Standing RemedyConditionHome RemediesMedicationsAlternative TherapiesMuscle Strains1. Relax and take proper rest2. Gentle stretching exercises to loosen the tight muscles3. Cold Therapy1. OTC (Over the Counter) pain relievers e.g. ibuprofen (Motrin and Advil), naproxen (Aleve)1. Lumbar spinal massageSpinal Stenosis1. Physical therapy1. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) 2.Steroid Injections1. Acupuncture2. Chiropractic treatmentDegenerative Disc Disease1. Ice or heat packs2. Modified exercise to aggravate the lower back3. Use a back brace4. Lose weight1. Pain relievers such as naproxen and acetaminophen2. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen3. Corticosteroid injection in disc space1. Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression Therapy2. Laser treatments like percutaneous laser disc decompression (PLDD)3. AcupunctureHyperlordosis1. Wear a back brace (for children)2. Use a lumbar roll3. Physical therapy1. OTC pain relievers (for adults)1. Corrective surgery
Lower Back Pain When Standing Prevention
With a few simple steps, you can reduce the risk of lower back pain down to zero.
Exercise and Stretching
Each day, keep aside at least 30 minutes of your time to exercise. For beginners, home workout sessions can help until joining a gym. Try mixing short-term high-intensity workouts with low-intensity ones to get better results.
Try to maintain an upright position and avoid leaning forward whenever sitting or walking. In addition, you might consider spending on supportive shoes or shoe inserts.
If you work on a desk, put in the effort to adjust monitor and desk height at eye level. Besides, using an ergonomic chair and footrest also helps a lot. As it is said, your daily activities shape you.
Although preventing lower back pain includes a few easy steps, maintaining them is easier said than done. Especially for elder citizens aged over 50, lower back pain when standing is a common thing. Fortunately, with treatments like laser therapy, getting rid of this ever so painful issue is a matter of time.
The doctors at Connecticut Disc & Laser Therapy Centers offer non-surgical solutions without hospitalization. Most interestingly, patients have reported an 80-90% improvement over a year against satisfying expenses. Set up an initial free consultation today to get the best remedies available.