Lower Back Pain Causes and Treatment
LOWER BACK PAIN CAUSES THAT WE FREQUENTLY SEE AND TREAT AT PREMIER PHYSIOTHERAPY!
Sometimes, you know exactly why your back is hurting. You lifted something awkwardly and felt the pain right away or maybe you’ve had warning signs for years, like stiffness or irritability that you put down to your bad posture or getting older.
But often the source of our back pain can feel like a mystery.
We need to remember that our lumbar spine (lower back), plays a crucial role in supporting the weight of our upper body. It’s responsible for everyday movements, such as bending, twisting and coordinates with our hips, pelvis, legs, feet, upper trunk and arms. Due to our everyday use, sometimes the bones, muscles, ligaments, discs, or our nerves can get overloaded causing pain in the lower back.
Lower back pain symptoms include:
- Dull ache in your hips and/or pelvis
- Muscle spasms or tightness
- Sharp, tingling pain that starts in your lower back and travels down one leg (also known as sciatica)
- Pain that worsens with positions or activity and can improve with changes to positions and/or activity
Most patients experience a combination of these symptoms, which can develop suddenly or over time. Typically, we hear the story of back pain episodes that are getting progressively worse over time.
The most common causes of lower back pain are a strain or sprain
Whether you notice it or not, our lumbar spines work throughout the entire day.
Amid all this work and motion, a lower back sprain or strain can result from an acute injury, such as one experienced while falling, lifting something too heavy or playing sports. A sprain or strain can also develop over time due to repetitive movements or poor function.
Straining or spraining our back, while can be serious, will mostly respond well to treatment and aren’t long-lasting — taking anywhere from a few weeks to heal or, at most, a few months.
As physiotherapists we can help you determine the course of care that can help heal your lower back pain. Treatment for this type of low back pain can include pain medications, specific exercise, and avoiding strenuous activity until the pain settles. It is useful to engage with a course of strengthening to enhance your back once the pain symptoms have settled with the aim of reducing reoccurrences and building your capacity to perform more strenuous daily activities.
If your lower back pain persists despite treatment, it may be time to consider other causes of lower back pain.
Common causes of chronic lower back pain
Chronic low back pain is more likely to be caused by issues with the discs, nerves, joints, or vertebrae but is complex and has strong association with our genetics in combination with our weight, psychology, sleep, general-fitness and wellbeing.
As physiotherapists we identify the causes for chronic/persistent pain that might include:
- Herniated disc
- Facet joint injury
- Compression fracture
- Spinal stenosis
When to see one of our specialists for lower back pain:
If you’re experiencing lower back pain that’s not responding to rest and self-care, it’s time to consider seeing a physiotherapist.
One of our physiotherapists will perform a physical exam to diagnose the root cause of your lower back pain. Depending on your diagnosis, he or she will then design a treatment plan aimed at alleviating your pain and preventing it from disrupting the everyday activities you enjoy.
Roberto Pelosi is the founder and principal Physiotherapist at Premier Physiotherapy. He has over 25 years experience as a Physiotherapist, working in the United States, Australia, the UK and Ireland. He and the team at Premier Physiotherapy are committed to helping clients remain painfree, mobile, independent and doing the things they love to do.