Lower Back pain

Lower back pain is the most common cause for a work-related disability and one of the main reasons for people staying home from work. The lower back is one of the most important parts of the body as it holds most of our body weight when we stand and is involved in movement when we bend or twist at the waist. Because of its pivotal role and frequent use, the lower back is susceptible to injury and chronic pain. Lower back pain is especially common in older adults who may have decreased bone strength and muscle elasticity. The spongy cartilage pads, called intervertebral discs, that allow for flexibility may wear away and weaken in an elderly person.

Causes of Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain can be a result of many different reasons including the following:

  • Muscle sprain, strain or spasm
  • Irritated nerve
  • Bacterial or viral infection
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Poor posture
  • Sleep position

Pain may radiate down the legs as well.

Conditions Associated with Lower Back Pain

Some conditions cause lower back pain. They include:

  • Bulging disc
  • Sciatica
  • Degeneration of the spine
  • Spinal Stenosis
  • Osteosporosis
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Spinal irregularity
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Neuropathy
  • Spinal fracture
  • Deformity of the spine
  • Tumor

Activities That Can Cause Lower Back Pain

While back pain can be a result of an underlying health condition, genetics, or a sign of aging, many people may not realize that repeated activities may also be the root cause of their lower back pain. Certain activities may lead people to experience lower back pain, which can later develop into chronic back pain. These activities can include:

  • Constantly cleaning the house (mopping floors, loading the dishwasher, etc.)
  • Not getting enough exercise or movement in the body
  • Sitting or lying down for prolonged periods of time
  • Working at a desk for the majority of the day with improper posture
  • Leaning over a sink repeatedly
  • Wearing the wrong shoes
  • Improper lifting technique when lifting weights
  • Carrying heavy bags
  • Sleeping on an unsupportive mattress or flat pillows

Symptoms of Lower Back Pain

Recognizing the symptoms of lower back pain can help to determine when you need to seek treatment for your pain. If you notice these symptoms have worsened within a short period of time, it may be time for you to seek treatment. Symptoms of lower back pain include:

  • Stiffness in the neck
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Loss of balance
  • Muscle weakness
  • Tightness in the lower back area
  • Numbness on both sides of the body
  • Chest pains
  • Swelling

Diagnosis of Lower Back Pain

While lower back pain is a common condition, it may also be an indication of another condition which may be far more serious. After obtaining a medical history, the physician may conduct the following tests to confirm diagnosis and determine treatment:

  • X-ray imaging
  • Discography
  • CT scan
  • MRI
  • EMG
  • Bone scan
  • Ultrasound

Treatment of Lower Back Pain

While lower back pain is not usually a serious condition, it can be very painful and debilitating. Treatment for this pain is usually simple and can include:

  • Medication
  • Ice
  • Heat
  • Rest
  • Exercise
  • Chiropractic spinal adjustment
  • Acupuncture
  • Biofeedback
  • Interventional therapy
  • Traction
  • Ultrasound
  • TENS
  • Surgery

For those people who suffer from lower back pain as a result of either improper body mechanics or a non-traumatic event, there are some ways to prevent lower back pain. Some of them include:

  • Stretching before exercising
  • Ensuring posture is correct
  • Good lumbar support when in a seated position
  • Wearing heels that are low and comfortable
  • Sleeping on your side to prevent a curvature of the spine
  • Not lifting objects that are too heavy
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Maintaining a healthy lifestyle
  • Quitting smoking

Can Children Suffer from Lower Back Pain?

While it is not common for young children to suffer from lower back pain symptoms, some children might. If your child is constantly active, plays sports, carries a heavy backpack to and from school, or is at a higher body weight than is average for their age, they may be at an increased risk of developing lower back pain early and into their teenage years.

Activities That Can Help Alleviate Lower Back Pain Symptoms

Besides recommended treatments for lower back pain, there are ways to alleviate lower back pain symptoms that can be fun and easy to do. From low-impact exercises such as walking or swimming to picking up a gentle habit such as yoga that allows for constant stretching and promotes healing, the following activities can also help relieve back pain:

  • Walking
  • Swimming
  • Yoga
  • Stretching
  • Bicycling

Schedule a Consultation for Lower Back Pain Treatments in Indiana

If you are ready to put an end to the discomfort you are experiencing from lower back pain, it’s time to schedule your first consultation at Bone & Joint Specialists. With a team of highly-trained doctors who are ready to help you heal, you can expect high-quality care and treatment for your lower back pain. To schedule your consultation, click here or call 219.795.3360 to reach a member of our team at one of our office locations in Indiana.

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