Lower Back Pain-Treatment and Causes
Lower back pain (otherwise referred to as Lumbago) is pain that occurs in the lower region of the back (called the lumbar region). The pain starts below the ribcage and can radiate to the legs and feet.
Lower back pain is one of the most common complaints we see at Broadway AT Yew Chiropractic & Massage. In fact, almost everyone will suffer from lower back pain at some point in their lives.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE COMMON CAUSES OF lower back pain?
There are many structures in the lower back that can cause or contribute to lower back pain. Soft tissues, muscles, ligaments, tendons and bones can all be at the root of the problem. Additionally, facet joints, discs and nerves can be involved. All of these structures are connected or interwoven, so it’s very easy to experience lower back pain.
Lower back pain has many causes and some of them tend to be based on age. Younger patients most likely experience this condition due to muscle strain or soft tissue injury, whereas, older adults are likely to suffer from conditions such as osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis, and compression fractures. That said, here are some of the most common reasons we see patients with lower back pain at Broadway AT Yew Chiropractic & Massage:
Muscle or ligament strains
Commonly seen in people who work in labor-intensive jobs. These people tend to twist and turn a lot and bend over to pick up items that have some weight to them or they find themselves in awkward positions at work (such as mechanics or construction workers) reaching or stretching in unnatural positions.
Trauma Or Injuries
Lower back pain can be a result of a car accident, a work-related injury or any other type of accident. Lower back pain caused by an accident can be very serious or relatively minor.
Weight gain and changes in the pelvic cavity and back from being pregnant can be a cause of lower back pain. Check out our section on pre and post natal care.
Many of us sit for extended periods of time at a desk, this could lead to a variety of different issues, including lower back pain. It’s important to apply proper ergonomics when sitting for extended periods.
Other Causes Of Lower Back Pain
Other causes of Lower back pain could include:
• Osteoporosis – bone loss
• Osteoarthritis – degeneration of bone and cartilage
• Fibromyalgia – widespread musculoskeletal pain and tenderness
• Ankylosing spondylitis – a form of spinal arthritis
• Spinal stenosis – a narrowing of the open spaces within the spine
• Nerve-related problems – other nerve problems such as sciatica can cause lower back pain
There are many other causes of lower back pain, however these are the most common types we treat at Broadway AT Yew Chiropractic & Massage.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF LOWER BACK PAIN?
Lower back pain can present in a variety of ways. It may start out as a dull ache that changes with movement. Or it can come on a sudden sharp searing burning pain. Additionally, depending on the actual reason for the pain, you may experience pain, burning and/or weakness in your hips, legs or feet.
WHAT ARE THE TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR LOWER BACK PAIN?
There are many treatment options available for lower back pain. One of the safest and most natural methods of treating your back pain is to have Chiropractic therapy. At Broadway AT Yew Chiropractic & Massage, we offer our patients safe and effect treatment plans with high rates of success. Let’s take a look at some of the treatments we offer:
Chiropractic Adjustments of the Lumbar Spine
A Chiropractic Adjustment/Manipulation is a technique where a high velocity thrust is applied to the abnormal vertebra in your lower back. The goal is to improve the function of these vertebrae, which in turn will take pressure off the nerves, muscles and ligaments.
This technique involves a low velocity manipulation combined with stretching of the muscles and joints. This works to increase range of motion to the muscles and joints of the lower back.
If you work in a position where you are sitting a lot, you may not even be aware of negative changes in your posture. Try to pay attention to your posture especially when your lower back pain is occurring. You’ll probably realize that you are slouching or slumping. Sitting and standing up straight will help to reduce back pain as the muscles return to their normal positions.
Exercise and Stretching
In combination with Chiropractic adjustments and mobilizations, at Broadway AT Yew Chiropractic & Massage, we believe that regular exercise and stretching can help to maintain the benefits of the other treatments we offer. Exercises can be performed at home and include the following:
• Core strengthening exercises to improve the abdominal and lower back muscles
• Stabilization exercises to strengthen the secondary muscles of the spine, and improve range of motion
• Gluteus Maximus muscles exercises to help strengthen the lower back muscles
• Low impact aerobic exercise to help increase oxygen to the soft tissues of the lower back – walking and swimming are excellent ways to get this type of exercise.
Depending on the underlying reason for your back pain, and the severity of the pain, working with a physical therapist may also be necessary in tandem with your Chiropractic treatments.
Other Types of Treatment-At Home
There are several things besides exercises and stretching that you can do yourself at home to help improve your symptoms of lower back pain:
Ice and Heat
Icing and heating your lower back can provide some relief. Ice works to reduce inflammation, and heat works to loosen tight muscles
Getting enough sleep, and giving your back time to rest is vitally important to your recovery from lower back pain. By laying down, you’re also taking the weight of your lower back.
Over The Counter Medication
Although this would be a last resort as we prefer to take the natural approach to healing any sort of pain your body may have, in combination with hot and cold therapy, over the counter medications such as acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories may be helpful.
While in most cases, lower back pain can be resolved through a combination of lifestyle changes, postural changes, OT medications, and natural therapies such as Chiropractic, there are time when a medical intervention is necessary.
Your doctor will want to perform some diagnostic tests such as X-rays and MRIs to determine what is causing your lower back pain. Once the cause is determined, you may require one or more of the following types of treatment:
• Steroid injections
• Prescription pain killers and/or non-steroidal anti-inflammatories
• Back braces
As with any medical procedure, these types of treatments carry certain risks. Consult with your primary care physician to discuss the risks vs. benefits.
Get Plenty Of Rest!
Work on Strengthening Your Back!
lower back pain SUMMARY
Lower back pain is one of the most common conditions we treat at Broadway AT Yew Chiropractic & Massage. Our Vancouver chiropractors offer safe, natural treatments, along with recommendations for steps you can take at home to help maintain the results of our Chiropractic treatments, and help minimize your symptoms of lower back pain.