Low back pain is extremely prevalent. It can be caused by tension (injury) to the back muscles or tendons. Arthritis, structural issues, and disc injuries are additional causes. Typically, pain improves with medication, rest, and physical therapy. You can reduce your risk of back pain by maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle.
What exactly is lower back pain?
Lower back pain is typically caused by various injuries, conditions, and diseases. However, the most common cause is an injury to the tendons or back muscles.
Pain can range from faint to severe in intensity. In certain instances, pain can make walking, sleeping, working, or engaging in other daily activities difficult or impossible.
Lower back pain typically improves with rest, medication, and physical therapy. Cortisone injections and manual therapies (such as osteopathic or chiropractic manipulation) can alleviate discomfort and promote healing. Certain back injuries and conditions necessitate surgical treatment.
How prevalent is lower back pain?
Four out of five individuals experience lower back discomfort at some stage in their lives. It is one of the most common reasons individuals seek medical treatment.
Some individuals are more likely than others to experience lower back discomfort. Among the risk factors for lower back discomfort are:
- Overall health
- Occupation and way of existence
- Spine-related issues
- Infectious disease
- Mental health
What symptoms are associated with lower back pain?
Lower back pain symptoms can develop suddenly or progressively. Occasionally, discomfort follows a specific action, such as bending to gather something. Occasionally, you may be unaware of the source of the discomfort.
Pain may be acute or mild and achy, radiating to the buttocks or the back of the legs. If you strain your back while performing an activity, you might hear a “pop” when the strain occurs. Certain positions (such as stooping over) often exacerbate pain, whereas lying down alleviates it.
Other lower back pain symptoms include:
- Postural issues
- Muscle cramps
What causes low back discomfort?
Many injuries, conditions, and disorders can cause lower back pain. They consist of:
- Bruises and strains
- Disc trouble
- Spinal issues
What treatments are available for lower back pain?
Typically, lower back discomfort improves with rest, cold, and over-the-counter pain relievers. After a few days of recovery, you can gradually resume your regular activities. Staying active improves healing by increasing blood flow to the injured area.
Other treatments for lower back pain vary based on the underlying cause. They consist of:
- Medical treatments: Your doctor may recommend nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or prescription medications to alleviate pain. Other drugs reduce muscle tension and prevent back spasms.
- Physical therapy (PT): This can strengthen your muscles, allowing them to support your vertebrae. Physical therapy also increases flexibility and prevents future injuries.
- Multiple “hands-on” treatments can relax tense muscles, alleviate discomfort, and enhance posture and alignment. Depending on the source of your discomfort, you may require osteopathy or chiropractic adjustments. Massage therapy can also aid in relieving back discomfort and restoring function.
- Injection: Your healthcare provider will inject medication into the painful area using a catheter. Injections of steroids reduce pain and inflammation.
- Surgery: Some injuries and conditions require surgical treatment. There are numerous surgical procedures for low back pain, including numerous minimally invasive procedures.