Fatigue is more of a symptom, rather than is not a disease itself. The best approach to treat this symptom is to obtain a diagnosis for its underlying causes.
Lower back pain is one of the most common musculoskeletal complaints that come along with fatigue, or vice versa. There may be many causes for this. However, it is worth knowing that the signs and symptoms of low back pain and fatigue emerge mostly due to overuse of musculature.
An acute muscle strain may happen due to a physical trauma when lifting heavy objects. Chronic overuse of the same muscles gradually appears over the period of time and is very difficult to diagnose.
Fatigue that comes along with back pain is much easier to address if the sufferer knows what the triggering point for this matter is, and then to take self-care and medical treatment mandatory to maintain their health.
Please note that the ‘fatigue’ discussed within this article refers to ‘physical tiredness’, rather than chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia pain. Although information may apply to CFS, or some fibromyalgia symptoms may overlap with the type of fatigue discussed, this article is meant for people who experience tiredness along with back pain.
Some of the most common causes of fatigue that occurs along with back pain include:
Muscle strain and muscle fatigue
Athletes or people who work in fields that require strenuous physical activity and have to use the same groups of muscles in a repetitive manner, can have their musculature, and therefore their body, become overexerted. Due to overexertion, the muscles’ fibres which are normally tightly bound, get released and separated.
If you overuse a certain group of muscles, for example, during leaning forward, while in a stressful posture for a long time, repeatedly throwing things or doing repetitive heavy weight lifting activities, this may cause the pulling and tearing of your lower back muscles.
During the development of the vertebral column, any abnormality of an intervertebral disc or bone may happen due to certain factors, and it leads to the stress and inflammation of muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
According to studies, acute back pain happens due to stress fractures related to osteoporosis and arthritis, as well as degenerative changes in the bones and spinal discs.
The misalignment of the vertebral column due to routinely happening minor dislocations are termed as subluxations and produce continuous aching and fatigue symptoms.
When the balance of the vertebral column is not maintained, the musculature on one side of the body becomes strained because they have to work harder. With the passage of time, chronic back pain and fatigue become apparent due to this muscle strain and become the main symptoms.
Avoidance of back exercises
It is an essential factor for the health of one’s back to engage in strengthening and stretching exercises on a consistent basis to reduce pain, stiffness, or even headaches if they occur. If you suffer from any back disorder or chronic pain, any exercising may need to be done under the observation of a professional physical therapist. If back pain persists, one must consult with a medical professional.
Improper lifting techniques
For people who work in a job that requires heavy weight lifting, back muscles injuries and fatigue can be quite common, especially due to improper lifting techniques.
Small tears in the muscles’ tissue are going to occur with the passage of time, resulting in permanent lower back pain. To avoid this, correct lifting techniques must be adopted, and one must avoid lifting something that is at least 25% heavier than his/her body weight.
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Poor dietary habits
If the foods you consume do not provide enough macro and micronutrients and do not fulfil your body’s demands, this may lead to nutritional deficiency, which in turn may result in you feeling fatigued and having back pain. Due to deficiency of calcium, for example, bones become weak and prone to fracture. Due to deficiency of iron, fatigue and overall tiredness and other common symptoms appear.
You may take supplements with the advice of your doctor if your nutritional requirements are not met by diet. To learn about good dietary habits that help with relieving back pain, visit this article.
Questions Asked by Your Doctor When You are Suffering From Fatigue Along With Back Pain
If both your back pain and fatigue persist despite trying various approaches to mitigate these issues, it may be helpful to visit your doctor, and obtain a diagnosis, followed by a treatment.
These are some common questions you may hear from your doctor when you visit the doctor for medical help. At the same time, you may use these questions to ask yourself in the first-hand whether your symptoms are caused by any of the factors mentioned below:
- What is your occupation? Do you work by sitting or standing continuously for extended periods of hours?
- Are you experiencing any symptoms of fatigue including tiredness, lack of energy, sleepiness?
- Which medications do you take routinely?
- What are your sleeping habits and sleeping postures?
- Do you suffer from any sleeping disorder?
- Is there a particular time when you are feeling tired?
- Do you have a lack of energy?
- What is your exercise routine?
- Did your symptoms of ache fatigue develop suddenly or gradually?
- Do you have any underlying medical condition like hypertension, diabetes or thyroid, etc?
- Do you have any history of recent infection?
- Have you undergone any surgical intervention related to back ever?
- Do you suffer from any spinal disorders such as spinal stenosis, issues with the spinal cord, sciatica, herniated disks, or any other health conditions that affect the spine?
The Prognosis for Fatigue Relevant to Back Pain
Fortunately, in most cases, the underlying cause of fatigue and back pain is diagnosed accurately and treated well. Treatment of fatigue depends upon the treatment of the underlying cause.
Although preventing back pain from occurring in the first place is the best approach, treating the problem is a close second.
Lifestyle modifications are the first intervention taken in this regard. Weight loss is one of the first issues that is addressed, as any extra weight exerts additional pressure to the vertebral column and the muscles become strained.
Additionally, foods rich in calcium and vitamin D play a key role in correcting backache and fatigue which happens due to age-related degenerative changes of the spine. If the patient is anaemic, iron-rich food is mandatory to normalize the haemoglobin. It is more particular for females because the incidence of iron deficiency anaemia is higher among females leading to chronic fatigue and pains.
Author: Spinal Backrack