The lumbar spine, or low back, consists of interconnecting bones, joints, nerves, ligaments, and muscles that work together to provide support, strength, and flexibility. Due to its complex structure, the low back is susceptible to injury. The lower back has a lot to support, such as the weight of the entire upper body and biomechanical stresses that occur with movement.
Symptoms of Lower Back Pain
Common symptoms of low back pain include:
- Dull ache
- Pain and stiffness in the low back
- Muscle spasms
- Stabbing or shooting sensation
- Difficulty moving or standing up straight
- Back pain that comes on suddenly
Causes of Lower Back Pain
Low back pain can occur due to a variety of reasons, including:
The muscles that support the weight of the upper body can be injured and irritated from overuse and postural problems. Common activities and behaviors that can cause this include:
- Poor posture
- Sleeping in an awkward position
- Sitting at a desk for too long without changing position
Spinal discs are rubbery pads between the vertebrae that act as shock absorbers in the spine. The spinal discs are also prone to injury, and the risk increases with age. A herniated disc is the most common type of disc injury that occurs when the cartilage surrounding the disc pushes against the spinal cord. Degeneration and injury are the two most common causes of a herniated disc.
As one ages, the normal structure and function of the spine degenerates. Common degenerative problems include intervertebral disc degeneration, spondylosis, and arthritis or other inflammatory diseases in the spine.
Treatment for Lower Back Pain
A combination of self-care and physical therapy can relieve most low back pain. Physical therapy will restore muscle strength and function through exercise, which will alleviate tension and pressure in the low back. Massage therapy, as well as joint manipulation, are also proven methods in treating lower back pain. Other treatment options may include:
More information about chiropractic care for low back pain.
At Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation of NY & CT, we offer a variety of personalized treatments to help you find relief. To learn more about which treatment is right for you, schedule an appointment today!