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Category Archives: Back Pain

A businesswoman experiencing acute back and leg pain when sitting at her desk.

Back and Leg Pain When Sitting: What Gives?

What causes some people to have chronic back and leg pain when sitting from something as simple as taking a load off your feet? The question doesn’t have a simple answer.

Back pain occurs when any of the regions in your back are inflamed, including the spine, different muscle groups, and various nerve endings. Your posture is the most common cause of lower back pain when you sit. If your back of legs hurt when sitting, something more serious with your spine is going on.

Nevertheless, if you sit too long, you might lose the cushioning in the discs in your vertebrae. The result is chronic back pain, particularly when sitting. Although society describes sitting as “natural,” it isn’t always so. Sure, we’re expected to sit all the time since that’s the usual semi-resting position.

However, from an anatomical standpoint, the human body is designed to stand upright. In this way, your body is more supported by your core, and your weight is evenly distributed. You essentially push your body out of alignment when you sit down.

In spite of the fact that pain can be caused by taking a rest for too long, poor posture behind an office desk can also be a big reason leading to back and leg pain when sitting. Your spine may also be affected by improper lifting, trauma, infection, or carrying a heavy load over a long period of time.


Common Causes for Back and Leg Pain When Sitting

Back and leg pain when sitting often occurs as a result of sciatica, herniated discs, muscle strains, degenerative disc diseases, osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis, inactivity, and poor posture.

  • Sciatica is a painful condition going down the back of the leg as a result of irritation or pressure on the sciatic nerve. From the lower back, down each leg, the sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body. Sensations are sent to the back of the thigh, the outer and back parts of the lower leg, as well as the soles of the feet.
  • Herniated discs occur when the soft, jelly-like center of an intervertebral disc (the cushion between bones in your spine) pushes through a tear in the tough outer layer. Back, neck, arm or leg pain, numbness and weakness can result from pressure on the spinal cord or nerves.
  • Muscle strains are injuries to muscles or tendons, which connect muscles to bones. When you lift something too heavy or when you overuse your muscles, you can strain your muscles.
  • Over time, the discs in your spine break down, causing degenerative disc disease. Disks lose their cushioning ability as they break down, putting pressure on the nerves in your spine. If your back of legs hurt when sitting, it may simply be because of aging — which happens to everyone.
  • As the spinal cord and nerves are housed within the spinal canal, spinal stenosis narrows this space. Back, neck, arm or leg pain, numbness and weakness can result from this narrowing.


The Real Question

How can you determine if your back and leg pain when sitting is caused by sitting and not some other cause? Sleeping on your side may also cause back, neck, or even shoulder pain. Being honest with yourself is crucial for getting the right diagnosis.

Sedentary lifestyles are common among Americans. Does your chair meet ergonomic standards? What’s your posture at your desk? Are you slouching? Is the pain getting worse over time? Your problem may be solved by answering some of these questions.

Sitting isn’t the real issue. Most people would have back pain problems if that were true. Sitting in the wrong chair, sitting for too long, sitting in an unhealthy position, as well as ignoring these problems for too long are all contributing factors. Furthermore, you might want to research the concept of proper sitting so you can recognize if you’re doing something wrong. Calf pain while sitting is a constant reminder for many patients that something deeper is going on.

Anyone who works a desk job can relate to just how likely it is for all of these factors to coincide, even though it may seem like a perfect storm of coincidences to some. Additionally, they probably suffer from back pain from sitting at a desk all day.


Sedentary Lifestyle: Back and Leg Pain When Sitting

Back and leg pain when sitting is commonly caused by sedentary lifestyles and desk jobs. In spite of the fact there are many ways to treat this problem, prevention is always the best option.

The latest ergonomic trends for U.S. workers are eye-opening:

  • The average American spends more than eight hours a day sitting down.
  • The death rate increases by 71 percent with a sedentary lifestyle.
  • Physical fitness in the United States ranks 143 out of 168 countries.
  • Physical inactivity is more prevalent among women than among men.
  • Physical inactivity is linked to 6 percent of deaths worldwide.
  • The risk of death is 55 percent lower for people who sit for less than 30 minutes at a time.
  • Sedentary behavior increases the risk of cardiovascular disease by 147 percent.
  • There is a 66 percent increase in cancer risk associated with sedentary behavior.
  • The risk of diabetes increases by 112 percent when you sit for long periods of time.
  • Depression, dementia, and Alzheimer’s are much more likely to develop in people who sit for more than seven hours a day.
  • There has been an 83 percent increase in sedentary jobs since 1950.
  • By moving just two minutes every hour, premature death risks can be reduced by 33 percent.

A pain-free future begins with being aware of the dangers of these lifestyles and career choices. As your back of legs hurt when sitting, remember these facts. Use them to help you make some healthier, ergonomic choices.


Treatment for Back and Leg Pain When Sitting

So what does back and leg pain when sitting have to do with trigger points? We’re glad you asked.

A trigger point can develop in any muscle, but the most common muscles treated with trigger point injections include muscles in your jaw, neck, hip, a deep muscle in your low back, the muscle that extends over your back, your shoulders, the front of your neck, and the sides of your head. When touched, they are tender and painful areas of muscle. Despite coming from the trigger point, they can cause pain elsewhere in the body.

In the buttocks, piriformis syndrome can be caused by trigger points that affect the piriformis muscle. During this condition, your sciatic nerve is compressed by the piriformis muscle. You will feel pain or numbness in your buttocks and down the back of your leg as a result. If the back of legs hurt when sitting, you can envision what’s happening in that area of your body.

Injections for trigger points are used to treat pain caused by these trigger points. Various conditions can be treated with these injections, including neck pain, back pain, shoulder pain, arm pain, calf pain while sitting, myofascial pain syndrome, and even fibromyalgia. Professionals such as doctors and physical therapists perform the injections. Medications will be injected into the trigger point by your pain management professional. There are two types of medication that may be used: Local anesthetics and corticosteroids. With injections usually lasting only a few minutes, the local anesthetic will numb the area, and the corticosteroid will reduce inflammation and pain.


More on Trigger Point Injections

Whenever your pain management specialist locates a trigger point manually prior to injecting medication, you are likely to feel some pain. When the needle and medicine are inserted, you may feel a stinging and burning sensation. You may feel a brief increase in pain when the needle tip touches the trigger point. Despite being uncomfortable, this pain indicates the needle has been inserted correctly.

Physical therapy or massage therapy may be combined with trigger point injections in some cases. As a result, the injections can be more effective and provide long-term pain relief. If over-the-counter pain medication, heat therapy, massage therapy, myofascial release, and physical therapy have not improved your trigger point pain, a trigger point injection may be right for you. Pain relief, inflammation reduction, improved range of motion, and muscle function are all benefits of trigger point injections.

Injections in trigger points are generally considered safe and can provide pain relief to patients with back and leg pain when sitting who do not find relief with more conservative treatments, like over-the-counter pain medications or physical therapy. Depending on the affected muscle, injections can also improve range of motion and overall muscle functionality.

A pain management specialist needs to perform a thorough physical exam and rule out other possible causes of your pain before recommending trigger point injections. Among them are spinal issues, such as degenerative arthritis, a herniated disk, or spinal stenosis; structural causes of back pain; muscle strains; and calf pain while sitting.


Wellness and Pain Can Help

A range of options for back and leg pain when sitting are available at Wellness and Pain. We offer conservative treatments, routine visits, and minimally invasive quick-recovery procedures. We can keep you free of problems by providing lifestyle education and home care advice to help you avoid and manage issues, quickly relieving the inhibiting lifestyle conditions for when your back of legs hurt when sitting.

At Wellness and Pain, we personalize patient care plans based on each patient’s condition and unique circumstances to relieve pain, improve mobility and mental space, and improve your overall health.

Want to learn if trigger point injections are right for you?

A close-up of someone receiving acupuncture for back pain.

Acupuncture for Back Pain: Expectations, Benefits & More

Acupuncture for back pain can overcome many health issues. It can also help treat, chronic (long-term) pains such as arthritis, back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, knee pain, headaches, migraines, sports injuries, jaw pain, sinus congestion, facial pain, neuropathy, and menstrual cramps.

Scientists don’t yet understand the exact healing factors of acupuncture and back pain therapy. However, many believe it involves a combination of mechanisms. For one, your body releases endorphins, which relieve pain. By stimulating your nervous system, you can control mood, pain, and other bodily functions. Additionally, it relieves stress and helps you relax.

Acupuncture for chronic back pain is historically a form of traditional Chinese medicine that involves inserting thin needles into the skin at specific points on the body. Each point influences key things like organs, emotions, and senses. Acupuncture can also help with anxiety, depression, insomnia, headaches, migraines, nausea and vomiting, menstrual cramps, fertility problems, smoking cessation, and weight loss.


Benefits & Patient Dynamics of Acupuncture for Back Pain

There are several benefits of acupuncture for back pain when it comes to your spine and intertwined nervous system. It can reduce inflammation and pain while increasing flexibility, or range of motion. As well as reducing muscle spasms, improving sleep, and boosting overall mood, it can also help you with relaxation.

The severity of back pain and its response to treatment determine how many acupuncture and back pain sessions are needed. It usually takes 6 to 12 sessions for most people to feel relief. In some cases, more sessions might be necessary, while in others, fewer sessions may be sufficient.

How much acupuncture treatment for back pain is needed can be influenced by the severity of the pain, the individual’s response to treatment, the cause of the pain, and the patient’s overall health. To create the right treatment plan for you, a qualified acupuncturist can assess your individual needs.


Acupuncture for Back Pain: What You Can Expect

If you receive acupuncture for back pain, you’ll lie on a comfortable table and be cleaned by the acupuncturist. They will then insert very thin needles into specific points on your back.

The needles may cause a slight pricking sensation and you may feel some warmth or tingling after they are inserted. The average acupuncture treatment lasts between 15 and 30 minutes, but sometimes more, depending on your condition.

After your first acupuncture and back pain treatment, you might feel relaxed and calm and your pain might subside. Acupuncture is most effective after a half-dozen — or up to a dozen — treatments.

In addition to mild bruising at the needle insertion sites, acupuncture can cause lightheadedness or dizziness after treatment. An allergic reaction to acupuncture can occur in very rare cases. Your acupuncturist should be informed of any side effects experienced after acupuncture.

The first time you receive acupuncture for back pain, getting a ride home is always a good idea. Try to rest for five to ten minutes before driving home if that is possible. Following each session, your practitioner may advise you to take it easy.


How Acupuncture for Back Pain Does the Trick

In order to understand how acupuncture for back pain works, researchers have developed two hypotheses. According to one theory, the needle stimulates pain-sensing nerves, which trigger the brain to release endorphins, which are similar to opium. A placebo effect, in which the patient’s thoughts release endorphins, is another theory regarding acupuncture.

Acupuncture therapy restores your Qi (pronounced “chee”) balance by pressing needles on acupuncture points throughout your body. The body contains hundreds of acupoints that compose the energy-carrying channels known as meridians. The insertion of needles releases endorphins, a natural painkiller and neurotransmitter produced by your body.

Causative factors for lower back pain caused by internal disorders can be quite complex, as various pathogenic factors are often present at the same time. After identifying the chief and secondary causes of chronic back pain, one can apply a corresponding acupuncture treatment.

Stagnation of Qi and Blood usually causes chronic lower back pain. Both herbs and acupuncture points can promote Qi and Blood circulation and relieve pain; however, acupuncture points in the local region are crucial to relieve pain. It is crucial to differentiate which channel is mainly involved when selecting acupuncture points to treat lower back pain. Your acupuncture for back pain treatment will not be effective without this step.

The causative factors of lower back pain are not easy to eliminate completely with acupuncture, despite the fact it can successfully control lower back pain. Chronic cases often require regular, ongoing acupuncture treatment for back pain.


Acupuncture for Back Pain: Easing a Group of Symptoms

Lower back pain is expected to increase significantly as the global population ages, becoming one of the most common medical conditions for which the aging population seeks acupuncture for back pain treatment. Working adults (ages 18 to 64), who account for 63 percent of the population, make the majority of low back pain health care visits.

Low back pain affects all age groups across the lifespan, as it is not a disease. The prevalence of this is higher in women between the ages of 35 and 55. Acute, subacute, and chronic low back pain can be classified based on onset, duration, and severity. In addition to occupational posture, depressive moods, obesity, gender, and age, a combination of these factors most likely affects the risk.

Acupuncture and back pain research is growing, but interpreting it is still a challenge. A well-trained practitioner may provide acupuncture to most people with low risks of side effects and some beneficial effects. You may want to try acupuncture if other treatments have not worked. The right acupuncture for back pain may not be acupuncture if it does not improve within six to eight weeks.

Studies have found that non-pharmacological interventions such as acupuncture for back pain can provide safer benefits than pharmacological or invasive treatments. In acupuncture trials, the harm level warnings were lower than those for spinal manipulation, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), a combination of opioids, or steroid injections.


Four Common Scenarios According to Acupuncturists

Acupuncturists who specialize in acupuncture for back pain diagnose patients within four common categories:

  • Symptoms of trauma, such as a car accident, may include local stabbing pain in the low back as a result of stagnation of blood.
  • People over 40 often experience kidney Qi deficiency. In addition to the kidney meridian, the spine, the low back, and the knees are all part of the kidney meridian. Joint pain and stiffness can occur when kidney Qi is weak. Western-style diseases of the kidney may contribute to the deficiency of kidney Qi.
  • The management of anger, emotion, and stress is another cause of back pain. Road rage, frustration, and things of the like often result from this. In this case, an acupuncturist might consider liver chi stagnation as the diagnostic pattern
  • Lastly, there’s always the chance of a wind-cold scenario. Cold temperatures tend to cause blood to stagnate, which can cause pain — especially if the wind is blowing. Cold climates or iced backs may put you at risk for wind-cold infection. This pattern is characterized by a tight and painful low back, low energy, and frequent urination.

Most Americans think about and pay attention to health through our Western medical system. It has only been in the last 30 years that holistic therapies — especially for neck, back, and other joint problems — have made their way into the mainstream. Acupuncture for back pain is one of these treatments.


What Makes Acupuncture Different

Unlike Western medicine, acupuncturists think differently. Chinese medicine takes the personality of the patient into account when prescribing a medicine or therapy. Westerners think in terms of that particular medicine or therapy for that particular problem. It’s an incredibly complex structure.

That’s why decades of development of acupuncture for chronic back pain has been making huge inroads across the nation as a well-respected alternative — if not a “go to” — for so many patients nowadays.


Wellness and Pain

A doctor who cares about your health and wellbeing is a better choice if you’re considering acupuncture for back pain. Wellness and Pain offers acupuncture therapy options. Our treatments include conservative treatments, minimally invasive procedures, and surgery. We can help you avoid and manage problems by providing lifestyle education and home care advice, and we can quickly relieve the conditions inhibiting your life by using state-of-the-art acupuncture treatment.

We customize our care plan to each patient’s medical condition and unique circumstances, aiming to reduce pain, improve mobility, enhance mental clarity, and improve overall health.

A back and pain management specialist showing a patient where her pain is via a tablet.

Back and Pain Management: Disorders and Your Health

Back and pain management treatment is one of the most effective remedies for musculoskeletal disorders, back pain, spinal issues, and muscle spasms — all of which are closely related and require special medical expertise.

You can suffer from musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) when you experience pain in your muscles, bones, joints, or tendons. About 80 percent of people experience back pain at some point during their lives, making it the most common MSD and oftentimes requiring lower back pain management and treatment.


Back and Pain Management for Musculoskeletal Disorders

Back pain can be caused by a variety of factors, which usually leads patients to integrate a steady routine of back and pain management into their lives.

Injuries, such as falls or car accidents, can result in back pain. You can also experience back pain if you repeatedly use your back in the same way over and over again. Poor posture can also cause pain in the muscles and joints of the back.

In older people, the discs in their spine can break down, causing back pain. You may also experience back pain if you suffer from conditions such as arthritis or osteoporosis, making spinal pain management even more important as you age.

It’s common for older adults to suffer from musculoskeletal disorders due to a variety of factors. There are also certain occupations that are more likely to lead to MSDs, including those in construction and manufacturing. Depending on your genes, you may be at a greater risk for developing MSDs. In addition, obesity can increase your risk of MSDs by putting extra strain on your muscles and joints. Finally, smoking and a lack of exercise can damage your muscles and joints, increasing your risk.

Reducing Spinal Pain

Many patients find that reducing spinal pain through routine back and pain management is an optimal health and lifestyle choice. The term refers to a wide range of treatments for spinal pain. Bones, joints, ligaments, muscles, and nerves make up your spine. Injuries, inflammation, and degenerative changes can cause pain anywhere in the spine. In order to treat spinal pain, a variety of treatments are available. Individual patients will require a different treatment depending on the cause of their pain. A common choice in handling spinal pain include a lower back pain management specialist diagnosing your condition and discussing treatment options with you.

Lower back pain management treatments are available in a variety of effective forms. You will begin to feel better sooner if you start treatment right away.


Your Spinal Structure: Back and Pain Management

To understand the benefits of back and pain management, you must first understand the makeup of your spine. The spinal column (vertebral column) supports the entire structure and nervous system of your body. A spinal column has 34 bones that hold the body upright, yet also allow it to bend and twist easily while transmitting nerve signals from your brain to your toes.

There are four parts to the spinal column:

  • Cervical spine: The shoulders, esophagus, diaphragm, part of the chest, and arms.
  • Thoracic spine: Areas of your esophagus, trachea, arms, liver, gallbladder, small intestine, heart, and lungs.
  • Lumbar spine: Your lower extremities (feet and legs).
  • Sacrum: Sexual organs, bowels, and bladder.

Conversations with your doctor or health specialist around the history and development of back and pain management will underscore the importance of healthy spinal column support. Under the last lumbar vertebra, there’s a triangular-shaped bone called a “sacrum.” In the pelvis, the sacrum sits between the hip bones. On both sides, the sacroiliac joints (SI joints) connect the sacrum to the pelvis.

At adulthood, three to five small bones naturally fuse together to form the coccyx (or tailbone). It’s the tailbone that supports your weight when you sit, even though it’s small.

The spinal column isn’t just bones. To maintain its shape, support the skeleton, and route nerves, the spine also relies on a bunch of supporting structures. Discs, vertebrae, and facet joints are connected by strong, tough ligaments. In a limited range, ligaments let bones, discs, and joints move. Small and large spinal muscles and tendons stabilize and strengthen your spinal column while supporting and restricting extreme bends, flexes, and twists.

For those needing it, spinal pain management is oftentimes the best solution to your lower back issues.


Musculoskeletal Facts: Back and Pain Management

By 2013 and since then, back pain became the most common cause of health care visits among musculoskeletal disorders in the United States, leading many to seek professional back and pain management treatment. Back pain was diagnosed on almost one-quarter of Americans in that year and many subsequent years. Non-invasive spine treatment has also increased, such as lower back pain management and related treatment and procedures.

Over the past few years, the number of physician office visits for back pain has increased substantially, becoming the reason for nearly 75 percent of those office visits. In addition to previous years’ statistics, this is a significant increase. There were 32 million visits in 1998, 45 million in 2004, and over 57 million in 2013.

The number of people going to the doctor for lower back pain management has steadily increased since then, along with the share of the population who suffer from it. According to a 1998 survey, about 12 of every 100 doctor visits were attributed to back pain. In 2004, this number increased to 15 people per 100 visits. Since 2008, the ratio has fallen slightly, but by 2013, it has reached 18. Low back pain accounted for most of the increase.

Breaking Down the Numbers

Females made up 58 percent of back pain health care visits, but their total number of back pain visits per 100 patients was slightly lower than that of males. Patients aged 45 to 64 were diagnosed with back pain at the highest rate of approximately 10 per 100 visits, but people age 65 and older had the highest rate of 44 per 100 visits.

Across racial groups and geographic regions, back and pain management visits per 100 patients were similar. Non-Hispanic whites and northerners had the highest rates (23 and 30). The U.S. Bone and Joint Initiative collects and publishes many of these helpful statistics.


Also Important: Your Muscle Health

Muscle spasms in your back may occur occasionally, which is another area that proper back and pain management can help remedy. Depending on how you look at it, it may be light, in the middle, or pretty bad. Is that telling you anything about your body or your habits?

Muscle spasms in the back can range from mild discomfort and stiffness to sharp and severe pain, as well as muscle tightening that prevents you from moving. If you’re experiencing back discomfort or pain, it’s an indication there is a serious problem in your spine that needs to be addressed through effective spinal pain management.

Spasms in the Back

Spasms in the back often subside on their own. It is possible that you will see them again, but it is also possible that you will not. Depending on the cause, the situation at hand will differ. The severity of arthritis, for example, usually increases over time. When an individual is willing to try different medications, his or her symptoms may improve. Nevertheless, having lower back spasms that won’t go away is painful, frustrating, and calls for a lower back pain management plan.

The first step in treating your back muscle spasms with back and pain management treatment is to get an accurate diagnosis. A variety of factors can cause these types of spasms. The muscles use it as a way to protect themselves. Muscle, tendon, and ligament injuries can cause back spasms. This type of soft tissue injury usually results in muscle spasms lasting one to two weeks.

Muscle spasms can also be caused by anatomical problems. Back spasms may be a sign of an underlying anatomical problem in your spine if they don’t go away after a week or two. Disc degeneration, spinal stenosis, herniated discs, and osteoarthritis of the facet joints can cause back spasms.

Further, muscle spasms tend to repeat whenever the spine is inflamed or unstable. In addition to treating the symptoms through back and pain management techniques, you may want to seek medical attention for the underlying problem.


Wellness and Pain

When it comes to back and pain management, you’re better off seeing a specialist who truly cares about you and your health. An evaluation may include nerve and muscle testing (NCV/EMG) to evaluate for any problems relating to nerves or muscles, as well as blood flow and/or circulation ultrasound, massage treatment, acupuncture, or trigger point injections.

Practitioners at Wellness and Pain confidently provide these important evaluations, apply their professional expertise, and offer the caring and sensitive back and pain management treatment you need to improve any symptoms you are experiencing.

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Wellness and Pain accepts most major insurance plans. Here is a list of some of the major insurance plans we accept. If you do not see your insurance plan listed, please call our office to confirm.

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