Are you feeling bent out of shape from lower back pain? You’re not alone! Almost one-third of Canadians suffer from lower back pain. The back is responsible for supporting the trunk of the body and can suffer plenty of wear and tear, especially as we get older. This is because as we age we naturally lose muscle strength that helps support the spine and fluid from our joints that keeps our backs limber and flexible. Without a regular exercise practice that targets muscle strengthening in the back the risk for lower back irritation or injury increases.
What Causes Lower Back Pain?
If you’re suffering from lower back pain it’s important to take action by getting down to the causes and conditions right away. You may be injuring your lower back further without even knowing it, and simply living with gnawing aches and pains in the lower back is making a decision to let the problem get worse.
Causes of lower back pain may include:
Disc injury. The discs that cushion the vertebrae are easily injured. A ruptured or herniated disk happens when the jelly-like center migrates through the fibrous outer layers of the disc. It commonly occurs from lifting something heavy or twisting the back.
Spinal stenosis. When the spaces within your spine narrow due to osteoarthritis, excess pressure is put on the spinal nerves. This can hurt a lot, or not at all…until it does. Spinal stenosis can be a sleeper condition that for a time may only cause some stiffness or mild soreness. When the nerves become compressed enough, the pain will announce your spinal stenosis loud and clear.
Sciatica. This term refers to pain in the back of the leg. This can occur when a herniated disk presses on the sciatic nerve or the nerve is impinged because of stenosis. ,
Other conditions that can lead to lower back pain include:
Scoliosis – abnormal curvature of the spine.
Arthritis – joint inflammation.
Fibromyalgia – chronic pain in the muscles and joints of the lower back.
Preventing Lower Back Pain
Prevention is key to recovering from back pain before it worsens and turns into something more serious. Here are some useful tips you can start doing right now if you’re suffering from mild to moderate back pain.
Practice good posture. If you work at a desk, as many of us do, sit with your back firmly against the back of the chair and your feet planted on the ground. Slouching over your keyboard or tying your legs into a pretzel are some unconscious bad habits that can worsen lower back pain. The moment you become aware of your bad posture and correct it is the moment your recovery begins.
Exercise! Yoga and pilates stretch your back and strengthen the core muscles which help support your lower back and can help to herniated discs and wear and tear of your spine. Not to mention these are great ways to keep not only your lower back but your entire body in shape. Yoga and pilates can help prevent lower back pain and come with a host of beneficial side effects, such as improved mental clarity and an overall sense of well-being. Believe it or not, yoga and pilates are pretty fun once you get into the swing of things. Keeping in shape seems less daunting when you enjoy the workout!
Lead a healthy lifestyle. Smoking and obesity are also causes of lower back pain, so drop the smokes and watch what you eat. Smoking reduces the amount of oxygen to the disk, which causes it to break down more quickly and can lead to a herniated disk. Being overweight puts excess strain on the discs of the lower back, which can lead to sciatica.
Physiotherapy Treatment For Lower Back Pain
Perhaps the greatest benefit to those who suffer from back pain, aside from prevention, is a consultation with a physiotherapist who will diagnose and treat your lower back pain through various techniques. These may include manual therapy to get specific joints moving or to reduce compression of particular tissues, a guided exercise routine designed to stretch and strengthen your back, education on the specific risks to your back in your daily activities and modalities which help with recovery including LASER, and acupuncture (which increases blood flow and relieves pressure on the nerves), and. The longer you wait, the worse lower back pain becomes. Why sleep on it? The pros at Life Force Physiotherapy have your back. Call now!
* Please be aware that information on this website is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of a qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding an injury or medical condition.