What’s Causing My Back Pain and Dizziness

What’s causing my back pain and dizziness?

Back pain is one of the most common problems among the population. There are many reasons behind it. For example, there are various causes like overuse injuries, muscle strains or even spinal cord injury (SCI). Back pain may occur due to a number of different factors including:

1) Lower back strain : If your lower back is not properly supported then it will cause you to experience pain in your lower spine area.

2) Muscle strain : If you have a tight muscle, then it will cause you to feel pain in your lower back area.

3) Spinal Cord Injury (SCI): If you suffer from SCI, then it means that your spinal cord has been damaged.

This condition is usually caused by trauma such as car accident or falls. You may experience back pain and dizziness if you are suffering from this condition.

The Causes of Back Pain and Dizziness?

There are several possible causes of back pain and dizziness. These include:

1) Neck Pain : When you have neck pain, then it means that something is blocking the flow of blood to your brain.

This blockage could be due to a number of things such as:

a) A tumor in the neck region such as a benign cyst or a cancerous growth. Some tumors may affect both sides of the neck. Other times they may only affect one side.

b) An aneurysm: This is a condition in which a blood vessel near the brain is weak and begins to bulge.

c) Other conditions: Other causes of neck pain may include conditions such as arthritis or even multiple sclerosis (MS).

2) Spinal Strain : If your spine has been overworked, then it can cause muscle strain.

The muscles around your spine become weak and unable to bear the weight of the human body.

3) Disk Herniation : When the soft cushioning material between your spine (vertebrae) gets a tear in it, then it is known as a herniated disk.

This condition can lead to pressure on the spinal cord and may even result in a spinal stroke.

4) Arthritis: Osteoarthritis is a condition in which the cartilage between your vertebrae wears away.

As a result, the bones become bone to bone contact. The bones then rub against one another, which can cause lower back pain.

5) Obesity: If you are obese or overweight, then it puts an extra strain on your lower back.

The body has to work harder to carry the weight of additional pounds and this can cause strain on the spine.

6) Spondylolisthesis : Spondylolisthesis is a condition in which one vertebra slides over the other.

This can cause the spinal cord to become pinched. The condition usually occurs in young people and in women more than men.

7) Pregnancy: Some women experience back pain during pregnancy due to the extra weight gain and strain put on the back.

8) Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD): Normally, your discs are made up of strong fibrous material.

As you age, however, the center of the disc begins to dry out and become weak. This condition is known as degenerative disc disease and it commonly occurs in people over the age of 30. The discs begin to lose their fluid content and become thinner. Eventually, they can even begin to collapse into each other.

9) Lack of Exercise: If you do not exercise on a regular basis, then your core muscles will weaken and this can lead to back pain.

10) Other Conditions: Other conditions that may cause back pain include kidney failure, lung disease, pneumonia, and other infections.

Who is at Risk of Back Pain and Dizziness?

1) You are at risk of back pain and dizziness if you suffer from a condition such as arthritis or multiple sclerosis (MS).

2) If you have a herniated disk, then you are also at risk of experiencing back pain and dizziness.

3) Pregnant women may also experience dizziness as a result of back pain due to their changing center of gravity and the extra weight gain experienced during pregnancy.

4) If you suffer from chronic back pain, then there is a good chance that you may also experience dizziness at some point.

5) If you are obese, then you are more likely to suffer from back pain and experience dizziness.

Treatment for Back Pain and Dizziness

1) If you suffer from a herniated disk, then your physician may prescribe pain medication to help ease the pain until the symptoms subside.

2) If you suffer from degenerative disc disease or spondylolisthesis, then there is not much that can be done except to control the symptoms with medication.

3) If you are suffering from a pinched nerve, then your physician may inject a long-acting anesthetic into the area to numb the pain.

In some cases, surgery may be required to eliminate the pressure on the nerve.

4) If you are suffering from arthritis, then your physician may suggest certain exercises or stretches that will strengthen the muscles in your back and abdomen.

He may also suggest taking over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce pain and inflammation.

5) If you are obese, then your physician may suggest a diet and exercise plan to help you lose weight.

6) If you are pregnant, then your physician may suggest that you avoid certain postures and activities to prevent back pain and other discomforts.

When to See a Doctor

1) If you experience severe shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing.

2) If you feel weak in one arm or leg.

3) If the pain is so great that it is disrupting your sleep and normal daily activities.

4) If you are suffering from dizziness or a spinning sensation.

5) If you are experiencing numbness in the hands, feet, legs, or arms.

NOTE: If your symptoms do not improve within a week of treatment, then you should seek immediate medical attention.

Prognosis for Back Pain and Dizziness

The prognosis for most people with dizziness as a result of back pain is good. Most people will feel better within a few days to a week depending upon the underlying cause of the problem. In some cases, symptoms may last for more than a year. Once the problem is resolved, in most cases the dizziness should subside as well.

Additional Info for Back Pain and Dizziness

1) Quitting smoking can help prevent back pain.

2) Maintaining a healthy weight can help to reduce your chances of developing back pain.

3) Eating a low fat diet can also help to reduce your chances of getting back pain.

4) If you have to lift something heavy, then bend your legs and keep your back straight.

Avoid twisting or bending at the waist when lifting.

5) Exercises such as yoga can help to strengthen the muscles in your lower back and abdomen.

6) Avoid sitting or standing in the same position for long periods of time.

Sit on a rolled up towel when sitting on hard surfaces to help maintain proper alignment of your spine.

7) If you have to stand for long periods of time, then try to change your position and move around every so often.

8) Avoid carrying heavy objects at your sides.

Lift them closer to your chest instead.

9) Your sleeping surface can impact your back health.

Use a mattress that is comfortable and of good quality. Also, use an extra pillow to help maintain the natural curve of your spine.

10) Keep your house clear of clutter to avoid tripping or running into sharp edges of tables and counters.

11) While driving, try to park your car in such a way that you don’t have to strain to open the door against the pressure of the seat belt.

12) Reclining airplane seats can put your body into an awkward position. Try to sit up straight in your seat and bend your knees to take pressure off of your back.

13) When you stand up, slowly slide forward in your seat before standing up. This will take pressure off of your lower back.

14) If a family member or friend makes fun of you for being careful, remind them that your back is more important than their hurt feelings.

15) When getting out of bed or out of a chair, contract your stomach muscles before moving. This will help to keep your back straight and prevent you from using your lower back muscles.

16) Whenever possible, avoid bending at the waist. Instead, try to move so that you are bending at the knees.

17) If you’re pulling something heavy, only pull as far as your legs are able. This will help to keep your back straight while keeping the weight close to the ground.

18) When moving an awkward object such as a piece of furniture, roll it instead of lifting or dragging it.

19) If you have to carry a heavy object, make sure to keep it close to your chest and lift with your legs.

20) If you need to stand for long periods of time at work or elsewhere, try to shift your weight from one foot to the other every so often.

21) Before reaching overhead, bend at the knees. In this way, you will be less likely to hurt your back.

22) When turning over in bed, turn from your side first before rolling over. It is much easier on your back than trying to twist your body by turning over from your back.

23) Avoid exercise machines that force you into an unnatural position. Instead, try doing more natural exercises such as walking, running, and swimming.

24) If you have to carry something heavy up a flight of stairs, try to keep the object close to you. This will help to keep you from using your back muscles as much.

25) When holding a heavy object, make sure to keep it close to your body. This will help prevent you from straining your back.

26) If you’re sitting down and need to reach for something, try to keep your feet firmly on the floor and your knees bent. This will allow you to twist your upper body without putting any strain on your back.

27) Whenever possible, bend your knees and keep your back straight when you pick something up off of the ground.

28) When you’re lifting weights, try not to twist your body or swing your arms. This will help to prevent injury.

29) Unless you’re cutting wood, avoid using a saw. Instead, use a handsaw.

30) Before you lift a heavy object, take a deep breath and tighten your stomach muscles. This will help to stabilize your spine.

31) When you are at the grocery store, try to keep your grocery cart between your legs as you push it. This will keep your back straight and prevent you from using your lower back muscles.

32) Whenever possible, take the elevator instead of the escalator.

33) When getting in and out of your car, always slide your butt over the seat instead of bending over it. This will help to prevent back strain.

34) Avoid sitting cross-legged (Indian-style). Instead, sit with your knees pointing in the same direction as your feet. This position is much better for your back.

35) Whenever possible, get a seat that faces towards the aisle of the plane. This will allow you to get in and out of your seat without twisting or straining your back.

36) If you find yourself getting stiff in your old age, try soaking in a warm bathtub a few times a week. This will help to relieve the tension in your muscles.

37) Whenever possible, pick up objects off of the floor by bending at the knees instead of bending over.

38) When exercising, try not to strain yourself. If you begin to feel sharp pains at any time, stop what you are doing and try again another day.

39) Whenever possible, try to alternate the kind of exercise you do. For example, if you’re walking on the treadmill one day, go for a run outside the next day.

40) If possible, try to exercise with a partner. This will allow you to monitor your form and prevent you from over-exerting yourself.

41) Don’t stand up too quickly. Get up gradually, or you could strain something.

42) To protect your back, don’t stand up straight right after you get out of bed in the morning. Instead, slowly bend your knees while keeping your back straight until you are vertical. Then take a deep breath.

Sources & references used in this article:

A 69-year-old man with chronic dizziness by DA Drachman – Jama, 1998 – jamanetwork.com

‘I’m Not a Doctor’ Deconstructing Accounts of Coping, Causes and Control of Dizziness by L Yardley, S Beech – Journal of Health Psychology, 1998 – journals.sagepub.com

Epidemiology of dizzy patient population in a neurotology clinic and predictors of peripheral etiology by T Muelleman, M Shew, R Subbarayan… – Otology & …, 2017 – cdn.journals.lww.com