Physical Therapist

Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain often occurs in the lumbar region. There are various treatments for back pain, including prevention techniques that help alleviate the severity of symptoms.

The lower back, also called the lumbar region, is the area of the back that begins beneath the thoracic spine or mid-back. Almost everyone has had back pain at some point in their lives, and it is one of the leading causes of disability in the US.

 

The sudden pain is acute and can range from dull pain to the feeling of being stabbed or shot. The pain can make it difficult to move or stand up, or it can cause dizziness, loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting.

 

If the pain does not improve within 72 hours, go to your doctor immediately, and if it persists for more than three weeks, it is considered chronic. It can happen during exercise and heavy lifting, but it can also cause pain in other parts of the body, such as the neck and shoulders.

 

Causes

Lower back pain is most likely to occur in people aged 30 to 50. Acute back pain can last for days or weeks, while chronic back pain is pain that lasts for more than three weeks. But, most back pain is a muscle sprain caused by sudden movements or poor body mechanics, such as lifting heavy objects.

 

Changes occur in the body as we get old. This means that the risk of back pain increases with age due to changes in body composition. We also lose muscle tension, which makes our back more prone to injury, increasing the risks of back pain. The intervertebral discs in the back are prone to injury, and muscles and ligaments in the back can be stretched and torn when there is excessive activity.

 

Symptoms

Symptoms include other areas of pain: mid-back pain, joint pain, and back stiffness. The outer segment of the intervertebral disc can tear, and the cushion that sits between the vertebrae can extend beyond its normal position. 

 

Herniated discs also occur when the cartilage surrounding the disc breaks down due to an injury. This can cause pain in the lower back as well as other parts of the body, such as the legs and arms.

 

Disc injuries usually occur suddenly after lifting or twisting the back, and unlike back strains, disc injuries typically last more than 72 hours.

 

Sciatica occurs when a herniated disc is present or pressed against the sciatic nerve, and the pain usually feels like pinhead burning. The sciatic nerve connects the spine with the legs and can cause pain in both the lower and upper thigh/leg.

 

Spinal stenosis is most commonly caused by degeneration of the intervertebral discs in the vertebrae. This damages the spinal cord, spinal nerves, lower back muscles, and ligaments. In spinal stenosis, the spine narrows and puts a strain on the spinal cord. This can be a congenital issue that is usually diagnosed in childhood or adolescence, but symptoms can be felt anywhere in the body. Many people with spinal stenosis have lower back pain, and their symptoms get worse when they walk.

 

Spondylitis is inflammation of the joints in the spine and bones, and arthritis is inflammation of the joints. Spondylosis can also cause pain and stiffness in the lower back, whether due to spinal stenosis, spinal cord injury, or a combination of all three.

 

Although aging is the common denominator of these diseases, the cause and rate of degeneration are individual, and the condition can cause pain and stiffness in the lower back.

Diagnosis

Your doctor may start by requesting a full medical history and performing a thorough physical examination to determine where you feel the pain. The doctor can also check reflexes or reactions to certain sensations, and a physical examination can also determine the range of motion affected by pain, as well as the degree of stiffness in the lower back.

 

If you have worrying or debilitating symptoms or neurological loss, your doctor can monitor your condition by sending you for additional testing. For the determination of nerves affected by back pain, a physical examination of the lower and upper back will be carried out to determine the extent of pain and the degree of stiffness of the affected nerves.