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Severe pain in the lumbar spine that occurs suddenly, for example with a certain movement and which leads to extensive inability to move, is known as lumbago. This symptom is commonly known as "lumbago". Lumbago often arises from a state of complete freedom from symptoms, triggered, for example, by lifting objects in a stooped position, turning the upper body or straightening up from a stooped position…
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The most common causes are nerve irritation in the lumbar spine, for example:
- Muscle tension,
- Functional causes (joint blockage),
- Inflammatory irritation of the intervertebral joints,
- Signs of wear of the intervertebral discs (protrusion or prolapse),
- Arthrosis in intervertebral joints.
The following are particularly beneficial:
- weak back muscles,
- Bad posture,
- Sedentary lifestyle.
Rare causes of lumbago include diseases of the genital organs, the kidneys, the main artery or the rectum.
Lumbago often arises from a state of complete freedom from symptoms, triggered, for example, by lifting objects in a stooped position, turning the upper body or straightening up from a stooped position. Either immediately or shortly after the triggering event, severe pain occurs in the lumbar spine with every slightest movement. The back muscles cramp as a result. Certain movements are largely impossible; forced postures are often adopted (e.g. bent upper body) in order to make the symptoms more tolerable. With a longer duration, the pain can also radiate to the buttocks, groin or thighs.
Diagnosis is usually possible based on typical symptoms and a physical examination. Further examinations such as x-rays or magnetic resonance tomography may be useful to determine the cause. These also serve to rule out serious illnesses (e.g. herniated disc, vertebral body fracture in osteoporosis).
Treatment depends on the trigger. The following options are available:
- Bed rest: to relieve the back;
- Cold therapy: for pain reduction (acute phase);
- Massages, heat applications (eg hot water bottle, heat packs): especially to relax the muscles (subacute phase);
- analgesic and anti-inflammatory preparations (analgesics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for swallowing, as an infusion (intravenous) or infiltration into the pain area (skin, muscles, on the vertebral joints);
- muscle relaxing substances, especially for swallowing.
- Physiotherapy: physiotherapy, manual medicine to mobilize movement-impaired spinal segments, etc.
Whom can I ask?
If you have lumbago, you can contact the following offices:
- General Practitioner,
- Specialist in physical medicine and general rehabilitation,
- Specialist in orthopedics.
How are the costs going to be covered?
All necessary and appropriate examinations and therapies are covered by the health insurance providers. Basically, your doctor or the outpatient clinic will settle accounts directly with your health insurance provider. With certain health insurance providers, however, you may have to pay a deductible (BVAEB, SVS, SVS, BVAEB). However, you can also use a doctor of your choice (ie doctor without a health insurance contract) or a private outpatient clinic. For more information, see Costs and Deductibles.