Living with lower back pain is, well, a pain. Aside from discomfort, it can severely restrict your quality of life. Before you can beat it, though, you must first understand why you experience this type of physical pain. Here’s all you need to know.
Lower back pain: types and symptoms
Low back pain is an umbrella term that covers any form of discomfort in the lower back area. Usually an injury to a disc, joint, muscle, tendon or ligament. You may experience acute pain due to injury or chronic pain from an injury that doesn’t heal fully. Neuropathic pain is also commonly reported in the lower back area and down a leg and can be acute or chronic.
Some of the more common symptoms include;
- Dull aches at the bottom of your back,
- Pains that worsen when you stay seated for a long time.
- Lower back pain linked to sciatica or other conditions,
- Shooting pains that occur when bending,
- Shooting pains that extend to the buttocks or legs.
Whatever type of back pain you experience, understanding the root cause is key to overcoming it.
4 common causes of lower back pain
Low back pain can be caused by many different issues, but some are more common than others. Here are four that are likely to have contributed to yours.
Lack of exercise
The human body is meant to be active, especially when thinking about the spine. In short, de-conditioned or weak muscles in your back and abdomen may contribute to back pain.
A little light exercise can be a great way to strengthen the back, with swimming and regular walking, standing out as two great options. Segmental stabilisers and prime movers can be conditioned with with specific exercise prescription with guidance from your chiropractor or pilates instructor or a gym program.
Obesity is one of the fastest-growing problems in modern society, and it affects your health in many ways. Excess body weight puts extra stress on your back, which naturally leads to injury and low back pain. Strengthening the back muscles can aid the cause but the only way to truly overcome the issue is to lose weight over time.
Weight loss can be achieved in many ways. Calorie counting and portion control are often far more effective than crash diets because the key is to see sustained results. Over time, as you lose weight, chronic conditions and relapsing back pain flare-ups should become far less frequent. Seeing your chiropractor periodically as you lose weight is a great way to stay on track with your spinal condition.
Back pains, especially acute back pain, is often attributed to improper lifting. The most obvious example comes from lifting weights in the gym but often it is caused from innocuous moments at home or in the office. Lifting too much, keeping the wrong form, or not planning the lift can all come back to cause injuries. Acknowledging your limits is key.
Common causes for low back injury, such has disc herniation, facet joint sprains can cause sharp or dull back pains. It can also lead to chronic conditions. Bending at the knees or using the appropriate lifting technique can help prevent or reduce risk from this type of issue. Ask one of our chiropractors for help with lifting techniques or strengthening the spinal muscles.
Not waiting for the appropriate healing time from previous disc injuries
Finally, repeated injuries are often caused by a failure to complete the right rehabilitation programme. While physiotherapy and chiropractic work are key components, it’s equally important to let your body recuperate. Rushing back into exercise or strenuous activities without a thorough and thought out process may lead to re-injury.
If you do sustain a re-injury, please touch base with us and use cold therapies initially. Return to gym may mean slowly working your way back to physical activity with stretches and low resistance activities. An extra week or two of patience, sub maximal training or targeted rehabilitation could save you from a repeat injury.
How do I know if my lower back pain is serious?
Like any other body part, the lower back can experience pain from time to time due to overworking the muscles in this area. In this case, inflammation can be uncomfortable as the back is used for almost every moment. Not all back pains are serious…
However, the following signs suggest that the low back pain may be more serious or require a diagnosis.
- You experience weakness in a limb,
- The pains have lasted for over 10 days,
- The pains have been caused by a serious road or work accident,
- You have a fever and/or unrelenting night pain
- You’ve experienced unexplained weight loss.
When to seek chiropractic help for back pain?
If you have suffered acute back pain due to sporting injuries, for example, there’s a strong chance that a few days of rest will help you recover although you may still find that chiropractic treatment is useful for relieving pain. When your problems persist or have seemingly surfaced from nowhere, though, our services can diagnose and manage a wide range of problems to help you start living life to the full once more.
To find out more, get in touch or book an appointment today.