Lower back pain refers to any pain or discomfort felt in the lower spine, known as the lumbar spine. This region supports most of the upper body weight. In addition, this type of back pain is extremely prevalent, affecting approximately 80% of adults and ranking as the leading cause of disability related to work. Fortunately, there are many effective treatments to relieve or eliminate pain in the lower back.
Symptoms of Lower Back Pain
A complex system of the muscles of the spine, bone, disc and tendon in and near the lumbar spine can be damaged by a number of factors. The first step towards recognising the source of your pain is to pay attention to your unique symptoms. Common complications associated with back pain include:
- Achy, dull pain
- Muscle spasms
- Local pain at the point of touch
- Pain that comes down from the leg or groin, buttocks or thighs
- Stiffness and difficulty in moving
- Sleep disorders
- Tingling or 'pins-and-needles' sensations
- Numbness or weakness
Causes of Lower Back Pain
If you have any of the above symptoms, it's time to take control of pain in the lower back. Start preserving the pain journal and documenting the activities or situations that encourage your irritation, as well as the steps you take to free it. This information will also help your doctor determine the cause and severity of pain in the lower back. The most common factors that contribute to low back pain are:
Tense ligaments or muscle tissue
When lifting heavy objects, twisting of the back or excessive stretching, you can damage the ligaments and muscle tissue. While these may seem like minor injuries, they can be surprisingly durable and weakened if not worried about properly.
Spinal stenosis occur when the spinal cord narrows, pulling pressure on the spinal cord and nerves. This problem can lead to pain, numbness, leg weakness and loss of sensation, and can become a very serious illness if not treated.
Irregularities in the skeleton
Congenital abnormalities of the spine can cause lower back pain as they disturb the distribution of weight and straining of tissue, ligaments, and nerves. Scoliosis, spinal curvature, and lordosis, an abnormally pointed arch in the lower back, are two common examples of skeletal irregularities that can cause discomfort in the lower part of the back.
Herniated or Ruptured Discs
When the disk in the lower region becomes a hernia, its inner layer, liquid-like layer seeps through its hard casing by way of an infirmity or break. As this additional matter leaks into the affected area, the nerves are tightened and the pain arises. In addition, when the disc is broken, it is no longer able to properly absorb and stabilise the spine, causing pain when the muscles and ligaments are overcompensated.
Degeneration of the disk
Although some disks in the spine naturally worsen over the years, this process can occur abnormally rapidly in some patients. Disk degeneration increases your vulnerability to countless problems in the spine and can lead to painful lower back pain.
Lower back pain can occur when the infection affects the spine, intervertebral discs or sacral joints. Bacteria, fungi or other germs can spread to infected skin, muscles and also to muscles and tendons.
Accidents on the car, falls and other dramatic events can cause fractures of the vertebrae, herniated discs and nerve damage. Even after healing most of the injuries, lower back pain may still continue.
Radiculopathy describes the pain that results when the nerve roots near the spine are tense, injured or as a result of inflammation. Numbness and radiating tingling may also occur.
One form of radiculopathy, sciatica, causes pain in the lower part of the back accompanied by pain through the buttocks and lower legs - sometimes even reach the foot. These symptoms appear because the nerve is compressed and the nerve signalling is interrupted. Vertebral fractures, herniated discs, tumours and cysts may all incite sciatica.
Health related Issues, Such as Tumours
Tumours and other health issues can affect the spine and surrounding tissues, ligaments and nerves by pressing against components of the lower back and obstructing ideal functioning.
This condition occurs as a result of fragile and weak bones that are sensitive to painful fractures and ineffective weight distribution.
Inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and spondylitis, vertebrate irritation, can cause permanent lower back pain.
This chronic pain syndrome includes general muscular pain and fatigue, which can result in discomfort in the lower back.
If you experience acute pain in the lower back, especially on a particular side, you may have kidney stones. This is also known as a renal calculus, kidney stones are a solid piece of material formed in kidney by minerals.
Abdominal aortic aneurysms
When large blood vessels supplying abdominal blood, the pelvis and legs become abnormally enlarged, pain occurs and aneurysm can be inevitable.
A sedentary lifestyle, obesity, pregnancy, and smoking can also increase the likelihood of developing lower back pain. Although this list of pain relievers in the lower back may look long, it is by no means complete. Many circumstances may cause discomfort in the lower back and worry about your condition, you must first discover its causes or causes.
Treatment for Lower Back Pain
Treatment depends largely on the precise cause of back pain. In addition, each patient must be assessed and administered individually in the context of the underlying health status and activity level.
As highlighted by the research presented at the American College of Rheumatology, a very important aspect of individual assessment is the patient's own understanding and perception of her particular situation. British researchers have found that those who believe that their symptoms have serious consequences on their lives and that they have had, or that the treatments had little control over their symptoms, were more likely to have a bad result. This study highlights the importance of physicians who respond to patient concerns and perceptions of their condition during initial assessments.
Home remedies for Lower Back Pain
Home medications include cold pack and heat applications, local analgesic balms, avoiding re-injury, removing heavy lifting, and taking over the counters pain relievers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), naproxen (Aleve) and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin).
Lower Back Pain Minimal invasive treatment options
However, some spinal problems require more intervention. Herniated discs, fractured vertebrae and other serious complications can often be alleviated or completely removed by minimal invasive operation.
Since the minimally invasive operation requires only minor cuts, it has many advantages. Minimally invasive surgery reduces the risk of scarring and trauma to surrounding tissue. It also greatly shortens recovery time.
If you suffer from lower back pain, it is advisable for you to undergo:
Discectomy or Microendoscopic discectomy
During the discectomy, your surgeon will remove the broken parts of the disc by guarding the unaffected areas. Then the wall of the disc is treated to prevent the soft nucleus from escaping again and causing additional pain. In microendoscopic discectomies, the endoscope (small camera) allows surgeons to carefully monitor the procedure through a larger monitor.
Fusion-based operation involves removing fragments of slipped discs or broken/ damaged vertebrae and inserting bone-bridges and spacers, which encourage vertebrae to fuse together. This minimally invasive method stabilises the spine and neutralises the effects of degeneration.
Further information on Lower Back Pain - Contact Simon Evans Physiotherapy based in Solihull