The lumbar spine, or low back, is a complex structure of interconnecting bones, joints, nerves, ligaments, and muscles that supports the weight of the upper body and provides mobility for everyday motions. As well-engineered as this complex system is, the lower back is also highly susceptible to injury.
The single most common cause of lower back pain is a torn or pulled muscle and/or ligament. A low back sprain or strain can happen suddenly, or can develop slowly over time from repetitive movements. Strains occur when a muscle is stretched too far and tears, damaging the muscle itself.
Common causes of sprains and strains include:
- Lifting a heavy object, or twisting the spine while lifting
- Sudden movements that place too much stress on the low back, such as a fall
- Lack of proper posture
- Sports-related injuries
While sprains and strains do not sound serious and don’t typically cause long term issues, they can be quite painful and severely interfere with daily activities, sleep, and exercise.
Pain is considered chronic once it lasts for more than three months and exceeds the body’s natural healing process. This is often the result of a disc problem (herniated disc), a joint problem, unresolved injury from past trauma, and/or irritated spinal nerve roots.
Injury to the lower back can present with a wide variety of symptoms. Pain can be mild and merely annoying or it can be severe and debilitating. It may start suddenly, or it could start slowly—possibly coming and going—and gradually get worse over time.
Depending on the underlying cause of the pain, symptoms can be experienced in a variety of ways.
- Pain ranging from dull or achy to stinging and burning
- May be contained to the low back, or move from the low back down the legs
- Numbness or tingling related to sciatica
- Muscle spasms and tightness in the low back, pelvis, and hips
- Discomfort that worsens after prolonged sitting or standing
- Difficulty standing up straight, walking, or going from standing to sitting
Depending on the type and severity of the pain, traditional treatment options for low back pain typically include rest and activity modification, over-the-counter or prescription pharmaceuticals, back braces, steroid injections, or even surgery. The goal of medical treatments is to reduce pain, but these treatments do not change the underlying source of pain.
To treat and effectively resolve lower back pain, a thorough diagnosis is essential. Proper lower back pain treatment reduces the likelihood of recurrent back pain flare-ups and helps prevent the development of chronic lower back pain.
To treat and effectively resolve lower back and lumbar spine pain, a thorough diagnosis is essential. Proper treatment reduces the likelihood of recurrent flare-ups and helps prevent the development of a chronic condition.
This is one of the most common conditions we treat at Airrosti. Our approach leads to complete and rapid injury resolution in 89% of cases, eliminating the need for expensive imaging tests, long-term pain management programs, invasive procedures and pharmaceuticals.
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