Lower Back Pain – Causes and Treatments

lower back painLower back pain is one of the most common ailments today. Many people at some point in their lives will face this issue, and either deal with it on their own, or head off to the doctor to find a cure.

It can result from several things including work related stress, sport injuries, poor posture, and what most of us do today which is sitting in front of a computer for long periods of time.

All of these situations may contribute to you experiencing pain in your lower back. Keep in mind that there are many causes in addition to the above, and in some cases, the causes can be unknown. Finding out what it is, and what you can do to feel better, can often leave people very frustrated.

Lower back pain can be typically triggered by the mechanical stresses on the lumbar spine structures. The trauma may be abrupt or be in continuous bursts of mechanical stress. Specifically, the problem may be caused by occupational and postural concerns.

How much pain a person experiences can be anywhere from mild to severe. It can often cause debilitating pain that may knock you off your feet for a few days or subside within a few minutes.

Sometimes it can last for a long time, and when that happens, your daily routine is severely affected. This leads a person to consider what kinds of treatments are available, and what would work best for their situation.

It is therefore important that the individual understands the lower back and how the spine operates, what causes the spine to become painful and how a treatment like acupuncture could be effective.

Your spine is the major support system in your body. This includes vertebrae that have nerves, muscles, ligaments and intervertebral disks. When you are walking, running, or performing ordinary tasks it serves as a shock absorber.

The lumbar spine which is the lower part of your back aids in bending down, picking things up, twisting and turning etc. When you start to experience pain, it is when your lumbar spine nerves feel this pressure. The pain can be mild where it lasts only for a few days, or much more intense pain that can last for a longer time.

Types of Lower Back Pain

There are four main types of lower back pain. These are typically classified according to the source or the cause of the affectation.

  • Structural lower back pain directly affects the joints, bony structures, and other underlying structures in the area where the trauma or the accumulated pressure is present. There are three main types classified according to the areas that are affected: (1) acute and chronic mechanical strains on the low back muscles; (2) lumbar intervertebral discs, including disc herniation and degenerative disease; and (3) bony structure, including spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, and congenital anomalies.
  • Traumatic, neoplastic, and infectious origins account for another low back pain type.
  • Sacroiliac joint disorder type arises if the hip joints are involved and causes pain that extends to the low back area.
  • Apart from this, the visceral type may also account for back pain if the lower-quadrant organs in the trunk are affected.

Signs and Symptoms

There are numerous signs and symptoms that may arise as a result of the condition of lower back pain and the following are just some of these:

  • The most common complaint of people with the condition is pain that is commonly aggravated by increased movement for the back region. Patients with this condition typically describe the condition as sharp and catching. This pain may radiate from the lower back to the posterior thighs. In some cases, it may even radiate to the knees. The radiating pain is commonly described as somatic, deep, and aching. The back pain may also be elicited through the straight leg raising test. If the examiner raises the affected lower extremity beyond 60 degrees, this can worsen the pain.
  • Typically, you can experience pain relief with rest. However, you may find it hard to find the position that can decrease the pain levels in your low back area.
  • You can experience spasm and tautness for the paravertebral muscles. The examiner can evidently palpate this on the affected area.
  • As a compensation for pain and muscle spasm, the low back muscles and the pelvis assume a flat back posture. Consequently, this decreases the lumbar lordosis. In turn, this postural deviation can alter the length of the hamstrings, quadriceps, abdominal, and lower back muscles.
  • If you have this condition, you will most likely walk with a cautious gait. This somehow aids in exacerbating or triggering the pain in the area. Compared to other gait deviations, the person who uses a cautious gait has no limp.
  • Tenderness may also be present on the paravertebral and the lumbosacral muscles.

Remember, there is hope, and by following the simple steps listed below, your lower back pain can be a thing of the past!

The more pain you experience and the duration of that pain usually determines the types of treatment that you should seek.

  • Acupuncture: – Many people choose acupuncture to treat their back pain before thinking about surgical options. This type of alternative medicine treatment has become very popular due to the fantastic results it can achieve.This type of treatment can effectively reduce the pain a person feels when they have problems with their lumbar disc.
  • Electro-acupuncture: This stimulates the different acu points of the body by placing electrodes which connect to acupuncture needles that get stimulated through electrical impulses. This gets the blood flowing to the muscles in the lower part of the back and helps to stimulate the nerves and remove any blockages that may be causing pain. This type of acupuncture is great for anyone experiencing pain that has been difficult to cure.
  • Muscle Strength: – With lower back pain it is very important that you strengthen the muscles in your hamstrings. Keeping yourself in shape while performing regular stretching exercises is very important to maintain your flexibility. Often times a weakness in one area of your body can lead to lower back pain. Keeping in shape with a regular exercise program helps get the blood flowing in your body and stimulates the nerves. Make sure that you are stretching every day, otherwise you risk injury and that could harm your back.
  • Eat Healthily: – It is also important that you eat healthily, since having greater weight and a bigger stomach can put pressure on your back. All of these things that you would not normally think of can contribute to back pain.

Whatever treatment you decide to do, it is important that you consult with your doctor first. Dealing with lower back pain can be very stressful, but with proper exercise, stretching and treatment, there is no reason why you can't rid yourself of terrible back pain.

Inversion Tables for Back Pain

inversion therapiesAnother option for lower back pain is the use of an inversion table which is popular with some people who suffer from lower back pain.

However, you should always check with a suitably qualified doctor before using an inversion table.

There are many different makes and models to choose from and it can be quite a daunting task going through them all trying to decide which one is best for your needs.

To make this process easier, why not check out our reviews of some of the best inversion tables on the market today by visiting Best Inversion Tables.