Although a stress-induced increase in cortisol secretion is beneficial in the short-term, excessive or prolonged cortisol secretion may lead to high cortisol symptoms. Cortisol is a vital hormone produced and secreted by the adrenal glands. Cortisone is released in a rhythmic fashion, with levels peaking in the morning (to help … Read More
Back problems are another source of chronic pain. Sciatica affects the lower back and legs. It starts in the sciatic nerve, which runs down the lower back, hips, buttocks, and legs. A herniated disk that puts pressure on the sciatic nerve often triggers sciatica. Spinal stenosis; a narrowing of the spine, can also put pressure on the sciatic nerve. Sciatica can be very painful, but medicines, physical therapy, and other treatments usually improve the pain within a few weeks.
Sometimes back pain can be traced to the kidneys, which are located on the back side of the body. Many people mistake kidney pain for back muscle strains. The most common causes of kidney pain are infection, kidney stones, polycystic kidney disease (in which growths called cysts form in the kidneys), bleeding, and kidney cancer. Because kidney pain can signal a more serious condition, it’s important to call the doctor for any constant, dull pain on one side of the back.
Like the upper back, the mid-back region is very stable, and this stability gives it some protection from injury. But the same underlying conditions and circumstances that can result in upper back pain also can result in middle back pain. These include: Poor posture: This is a major risk factor … Read More
If you often experience tired legs when the rest of you is wide awake, it could be time to have your cardiovascular health checked and to evaluate your muscular fitness. Tired legs can actually be a symptom of several conditions, but typically the feeling is caused by decreased blood flow … Read More
You’ll know it when it happens. You might be doing something physically challenging, like playing a sport or lifting a heavy object. Or you might be doing something completely routine, like bending over to tie a shoe. In either case, it’s a sharp, sudden pain triggered by an involuntary muscle … Read More
Sometimes, in chronic pain, the pain-signaling neurons become hyperexcited and continue to fire despite the absence of the cause of injury. For example, with the herpes-zoster infection (shingles), the rash disappears, leaving no evidence of the virus in the bloodstream, but the damaged nerves continue to fire, causing continuous debilitating … Read More
Osteoporosis is a condition of very low bone density that is commonly seen in women over the age of 50. It also can occur in men, typically after age 65. When bones lose density, either from having low bone mass or excessive bone loss, they become fragile and more likely … Read More
If you have a family member with osteoporosis symptoms, you’ve probably noticed what I’ve seen in my own family—a gradual decline of posture, or developing a hunchback spine with age. After spending some time with my 80-year-old mom recently, I went to give her a hug and a kiss goodbye … Read More
Maintaining or improving strength just to get stronger is a worthy goal in itself, but strength has added value. Strong muscles and muscle groups affect almost every system of the body, every physical activity of daily living, and help combat many common health conditions. Here are three additional benefits. Arthritis … Read More
Herbs, relaxation techniques, and unique therapies can serve as effective natural pain killers to help you find relief from a variety of painful conditions. Learn about 8 of the best natural pain relievers below. Herbs for Natural Pain Relief There are a variety of plants that offer natural pain killers … Read More
Back pain has a wide range of presentations and causes. Pain differs widely from person to person for reasons that are puzzling. This makes back pain one of the most challenging conditions for both the patient and healthcare provider. Some individuals feel a constant ache across their lower back when … Read More