Of all the medical ailments individuals experience, low back pain is one of the most common. However, there are many reasons for low back pain. To many peoples’ surprise, low back pain is not always the result of lifting something too heavy or some sort of trauma. Therefore, let’s take a look at some of the causes of low back pain.
1. Lumbar Muscle Strain
One of the biggest reasons for lower back pain is a straining of the muscles in the lumbar region. Many people don’t even remember what they did to cause the strain. Not picking up objects properly, sitting without moving for an prolonged time period, or even recreational sports can all strain the muscles of your lower back.
2. Nerve Impingement
Between each of your vertebrae, nerves branch off of your spinal cord and exit into your body. If one or more of your vertebra gets twisted and out of place (i.e. subluxated), this could “pinch” one of your spinal nerves. Pain could then result at the location of the nerve impingement or the pain could follow the path of the nerve and radiate into your body.
3. Arthritis Of The Lumbar Spine
Although arthritis is mostly associated with joints of the finger, knees and shoulders, the spine has many articulating joints that are also susceptible to arthritis. Arthritis can be the result of a prior trauma or injury, or it might be simply due to the natural process of getting older.
4. Bulging Or Ruptured Disc
Separating each of your vertebrae are discs. Within the center of each disc is a gel-like material that functions kind of like a shock absorber. As a result of injury or trauma to the spine, discs can become damaged. The gel-like substance can produce a herniation of the disc which resembles a bulge on a damaged inner tube of a tire. The bulging disc could then impinge upon the adjacent spinal nerve. In acute cases, a bulging disc can rupture.
Low Back Pain Diagnosis
The good news is that most low back pain resolves itself on it’s own. However, if your back pain remains or gets worse after several days, it’s recommended that you see a doctor.
A routine medical examination with basic orthopedic tests can help determine the root of the problem. X-rays are also part of the regular diagnosis protocol. Depending on the results of the initial exam and tests, an MRI might be required to confirm the diagnosis.
Treatment For Low Back Pain
Depending on the severity of the pain, medication, muscle relaxers or a local injection initially might be required to make the pain bearable. However, this pain relief is often only temporary and the pain will recur unless the underlying cause of the problem is treated.
A conservative treatment approach like physical therapy and/or chiropractic adjustments will usually correct most low back pain problems. In severe instances where the body does not respond and the pain continues, surgery may be necessary to repair the affected area.
When You Should Consult A Physician
As stated above, low back pain often resolves itself without any medical intervention. However, if your back pain persists for much more than a couple of days or keeps you up at night, it’s strongly recommended that you see a doctor for a in depth evaluation to pinpoint the problem, then get appropriate treatment to correct the problem.
About the author: Dr. Fabrizio Di Noto is a primary care doctor that practices in Michigan. If you are suffering from low back pain and need pain relief for back pain please call his office to schedule an appointment or visit his website at http://www.drfabriziodinoto.com.
Tags: Health and Fitness