What to Do if Your Back Hurts When Bending Over

Category: Spine | Author: Stefano Sinicropi

Bending After Spine Surgery

If you’re reluctant to bend over and pick something off the ground or to perform a task like putting your socks on, you’re not alone. Countless Americans have issues with their back that makes bending over uncomfortable or downright painful. But what is going on in your spine to cause this discomfort, and more importantly, how can you treat the issue so that bending over is no longer painful? We answer those questions and more in today’s blog.

Back Pain When Bending

Bending over increases the amount of strain on your lower spine, so if you already have an underlying condition or the action overloads an area with stress, an injury can develop. Here’s a look at some of the issues you may be dealing with if you are experiencing discomfort when bending over.

  • Muscle Strain – Bending will put a lot of stress on the muscles in your lower back, and if they become overwhelmed due to acute or chronic overload, the muscle can become strained. Pain from a muscle strain can be sharp or dull, but bending over can cause more discomfort. These injuries can typically be treated with rest, posture improvements and a gradual return to strenuous physical activities.
  • Herniated Discs – Bending over also greatly increases the strain on the intervertebral discs, which help to provide mobility to the spinal column and take stress off spinal vertebrae. If these discs become overloaded, they can herniate, which leads to the soft inner core breaking through the hard outer layer of the disc. Herniated disc material can compress nearby nerves, causing pain at all times, but especially when bending or moving. Rest, posture improvements, physical therapy and weight loss can help to address the issue, but if these treatments fail, surgery can fix the herniated disc.
  • Sciatica – We’ve talked about sciatica numerous times on the blog in the past, but it involves damage or compression to the largest nerve in your body as it traverses from your lower back down your legs. Bending over can narrow the passageway where the nerve travels, leading to uncomfortable symptoms. Many of the previously listed conservative treatments will also prove effective for treating sciatic nerve pain.
  • Arthritis – For older individuals, their discomfort when bending over could be caused by arthritic degeneration. There are a number of facet joints in your spine that help to provide mobility to the area, and if protective cartilage wears down as a result of injury or natural aging, pain can develop when stress is placed on these joints. Stretching, exercise, anti-inflammatory medications, ice/heat therapy and weight loss are all effective ways to prevent or treat arthritis-related back pain.

Conservative treatment can oftentimes help to provide relief for your back pain that develops or worsens when bending over, but it may be helpful to connect with a spine specialist to get to the bottom of your spinal discomfort before moving forward with treatment. They’ll be able to provide you with an individualized diagnosis and a specific treatment plan for your needs. Not all spine conditions are treated the same, so it is helpful to have a professional assist with your recovery.

We bend over a lot throughout the day, and daily activities can become more difficult if bending is uncomfortable or painful. Instead of trying to work around your back pain, confront it with the help of a spine specialist. To connect with a spine specialist who can diagnose and treat your back pain, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi and the team at The Midwest Spine & Brain Institute today at (651) 430-3800.

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