(ORDO NEWS) — 36-year-old Xiao Wu prefers to spend free time playing football with friends. Last weekend, he accidentally got a ball in the back, at that moment it did not cause any discomfort. However, later in the evening, Xiao Wu suddenly felt a sharp pain in his lower back, because of this he could not fall asleep and tossed and turned all night.
The next morning, due to severe pain, he could not get up. As a result, Xiao Wu was admitted to the Third Hospital at Southern Medical University for emergency care. The patient was received by the deputy chief physician of the second surgical department, Dr. Qiu Yian. He compiled a medical history and conducted a detailed examination, after which he was diagnosed with “facet syndrome of the lumbar region”.
The main symptom of the syndrome is severe back pain
According to Qiu Iyan, the disease was caused by long-term damage to the lumbar spine and secondary displacement of the facet joints resulting from damage to the peripheral ligaments. There are a lot of clinical symptoms of this disease, but the main ones are severe pain and limited mobility of the lumbar spine.
At the same time, pressing pain usually decreases when leaning forward or after resting. Recently, a large number of patients with impaired functioning of the facet joints, including many young people, have been admitted to the department. Some of them have pain in the middle of the night. It hurts to such an extent that a person cannot get out of bed, and his relatives bring him in a wheelchair.
The lumbar spine is usually very mobile. Although the upper and lower facet joints are connected by muscles and ligaments, there is still some space for joint movement. With prolonged sitting or standing, the lumbar muscles and ligaments are in tension, which weakens the protection of facet joints. Accidental shock or excessive mobility of the lower back increases the load on the joints, which leads to disruption in their work.
Facet syndrome should not be confused with overwork of the lumbar muscles
Stretching the lumbar muscles often leads to lower back pain. Some people cannot distinguish it from facet syndrome. Qiu Yan said that stretching the lumbar muscles is mainly a problem of soft tissues and muscles, and facet syndrome occurs in the joints. In addition, back pain caused by overexertion is often not serious and resolves on its own after rest.
How then to diagnose the facet syndrome of the lumbar? According to Qiu Iyan, firstly, you need to look at the clinical manifestations and exclude other causes of lower back pain, such as compression fracture of the lumbar spine, prolapse of the intervertebral discs, spinal stenosis, bone tumors and so on. Secondly, a comprehensive diagnosis is carried out using a tomographic study, during which degenerative changes in the lumbar region or facet joint hyperplasia can be detected.
Qiu Yian recommends that if there is an unreasonable pain in the lower back, you should first seek the help of an orthopedist at a regular hospital. Relatively conservative methods are often used to treat a mild illness, such as a warming compress, massage, acupuncture in combination with drug treatment. Patients should follow the doctor’s recommendations, rest longer, and after a few days the condition will return to normal. In severe cases, doctors can perform manual reposition.
Disease Prevention: Strengthening Back Muscles Through Exercise
Qiu Yan said that performing some exercises to strengthen the lumbar muscles can improve or prevent the occurrence of facet syndrome. One such exercise is the swallow. It is necessary to gradually increase the number and intensity of the exercise. If the day after sports, there is pain or discomfort in the lower back, you must accordingly reduce the intensity and frequency of the exercise, or stop it altogether to avoid exacerbating the symptoms. When playing sports, it is important to correctly calculate strength and not to overdo it.
Technique for performing the “swallow” exercise: take a supine position on a hard bed or floor, then carefully lift the shoulder girdle with your head, while taking your shoulders back and up.
At the same time with your hands, slightly raise your legs, tensing the muscles in the lower part of the lower back. Try to stay in this position on the ribs and abdomen for three to five seconds. Then relax the muscles and return to the starting position for three to five seconds. Repeat the exercise several times. Each day, it is recommended to do 30-50 repetitions, you can divide them into two or three approaches.
In addition, swimming two to three times a week has a beneficial effect on the health of the entire spine, in particular this helps to strengthen the lumbosacral muscles. This may also help other symptoms of back pain which may also be recommended by a lower back pain chiropractor should you need to see one.
To prevent disturbances in the work of facet joints, you also need to form useful habits: for example, sitting correctly, not staying too long at the computer, or not sleeping on too soft a mattress.
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