What Is Waist Pain?
Waist Pain or pain in the waist area is quite common, but annoying problems which most of the people face every now and then. It is estimated that approximately more than 50% of people in the United States alone suffer from Waist Pain at some point in their lives. This is by far one of the most common causes of not reporting to work or leaving work halfway in between. The area between the lower part of the rib cage and the upper part of the pelvic region is called as the waist of a person. Waist region is house to certain vital organs of the body like the kidneys, organs forming the urinary tract system of the body. Usually, the pain the waist region begins after overuse or a hard day at work lifting, pushing, pulling, or bending. Even sitting for prolonged periods of times sometimes causes pain in the waist region. This is basically due to poor sitting posture or having a chair which does not support the back appropriately. Waist Pain can also be caused due to any problem with any of the organs which reside in the waist region.
What Causes Waist Pain?
There are many causes which can cause Waist Pain. Some of the causes are as follows:
Pain in Waist Region Due To Injury or Overuse: If an individual gets injured in the low back or the waist area or if there is a muscle pull due to overstretching after a day’s work involving repeated bending, twisting, pushing, or pulling can cause Waist Pain. A direct trauma to the waist area can injure the organs in the region resulting in Waist Pain. Iliac crest contusion or hip pointer injury often is a common cause for pain in the wait region.
Disc Herniation: Another cause of Waist Pain can be herniation of disc. This is by far the most common cause of Waist Pain. The reason behind this is that because of herniation there is increased pressure on the spinal cord which pushes the cartilage to the sides which then gives rise to nerve compression resulting in pain in the waist area.
Stress: Excessive stress and anxiety disorder can also cause pain in the waist area.
Obesity: Being overweight can also put extra pressure in the lower extremities including the waist and the low back region causing pain in these regions.
Outfit: Tight fitting clothes, especially in the waist can compress the nerves and cause Waist Pain.
There are certain medical conditions which can be a cause for Waist Pain. Some of these medical conditions are:
Sciatica: This is a medical condition in which the sciatic nerve, which runs from the hip along the back to the foot is excessively pressurized it results in Waist Pain which may also radiate down the legs. The main reason for this undue pressure on the sciatic nerve is said to be due to disc displacement or the spinal discs moving out of their normal anatomical position.
Pregnancy: Pregnancy is another common cause of Waist Pain. This is because as the pregnancy progresses the uterus starts growing and thus there is increased pressure in the sciatic nerve which causes pain in the waist area.
Spasmodic Muscles: When the muscle undergoes involuntary contractions in the waist area due to any reason then this also causes pain in the waist area. The pain caused due to muscle spasms is basically short lived and may last just for a few minutes when compared to pain caused by other conditions.
Renal Dysfunction: As stated above, kidney is one of the important organs that are located around the waist area. If there is a problem with renal function due to renal stones and the like then it gives rise to Waist Pain.
How Is Waist Pain Treated?
The frontline treatment for Waist Pain which is caused due to overuse and excessive strain can be remedied by taking adequate rest and staying away from activities that may exacerbate the pain like repeated twisting, bending, stooping, lifting, pushing, or pulling. If possible, taking a few days off from work can also be helpful in treating Waist Pain. Apart from rest there are certain other methods for treating Waist Pain which will be prescribed by the treating physician depending on the cause of the pain. Some of the treatments prescribed by physicians to treat Waist Pain are as follows:
Medications: There are medications available to treat Waist Pain, which is caused due to muscle spasms in the form of muscle relaxants and medications like baclofen or valium. If the pain is caused due to herniated disc medications like tramadol or Cymbalta can be helpful. Apart from this antiinflammatory medications are also helpful for Waist Pain caused due to nerve injury or muscle spasms.
Application of Heat: Application of heat and ice also helps tremendously in treating Waist Pain. One can apply heat to the affected region alternating by ice for 15 to 20 minutes two to three times a day till the pain subsides.
Injections: If the above treatments are not effective in treating Waist Pain then the physician may prescribe steroid injections for pain relief and decrease inflammation of the nerve.
Massage: Massaging the affected area may also be very helpful for treating Waist Pain. This can be easily done at home and easily treats pain caused by overuse or sprain of the muscles in the waist area.
Physical Therapy for Waist Pain: This is prescribed for those patients who have a proven diagnosis of a herniated disc that is responsible for their Waist Pain. The patient is referred to a physical therapist, who formulates the best set of exercises which can relieve Waist Pain. Some of the exercises done for pain relief can be mechanical traction or muscle balance therapy. The mechanical traction is designed for stretching the back and has shown to be quite helpful in treating Waist Pain. To do this exercise, the patient has to lie on a table which has the traction device and use it as instructed. Muscle balancing therapy is also a set of back exercises which stretch the back and help relieve pressure on the nerves thus helping with Waist Pain.
Spinal Cord Stimulation: Some studies have suggested that utilizing a spinal cord stimulator device can help immensely with Waist Pain but the problem with this is to get it authorized by the insurance as it is only authorized after all available conservative treatments including physical therapy and traction have failed to produce the desired result.
Ultrasound: This is a novel technique for relieving pain in which sound waves are passed through the affected region for pain relief. These waves help in improving circulation and relieve pressure and tension in the muscles.
Acupuncture: This is an alternative way of treating Waist Pain. Recent studies have shown that this technique has been quite useful in reliving Waist Pain.
In case if a person is suffering from Waist Pain due to pregnancy then this in more cases than not resolves once the baby is born.
In cases of renal calculus causing Waist Pain then the physician will first treat the calculus before going to the pain but in most cases with removal of the stone there is complete resolution of the Waist Pain.