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Lower Back Pain

Pain in the lower back or Low back pain (LBP) is common with up to 80% of people over their lifetime. The majority of acute LBP disorders resolve within a 4 week period although recurrence is common. A small number of disorders (10-40%) become chronic and represent a major cost burden for society.

Causes & Symptoms :

Pain in the lower back or Low back pain (LBP) is common with up to 80% of people over their lifetime. The majority of acute LBP disorders resolve within a 4 week period although recurrence is common. A small number of disorders (10–40%) become chronic and represent a major cost burden for society. The majority of low back pain is mechanical in nature. In many cases, low back pain is associated with spondylosis, a term that refers to the general degeneration of the spine associated with normal wear and tear that occurs in the joints, discs, and bones of the spine as people get older.

Some examples of mechanical causes of low back pain and their representation are:

Sprains and strains are the most common cause of acute back pain. Sprains are caused by overstretching or tearing ligaments, and strains are tears in tendon or muscle. Both can occur from twisting or lifting something improperly, lifting something too heavy, or overstretching. Such movements may also trigger spasms in back muscles, which can also be painful.

Intervertebral disc degeneration is one of the most common mechanical causes of low back pain. In a healthy back, intervertebral discs provide height and allow bending, flexion, and torsion of the lower back. As the discs deteriorate, they lose their cushioning ability.

Herniated or ruptured discs can occur when the intervertebral discs become compressed and bulge outward (herniation) or rupture, causing low back pain.

Sciatica is a form of radiculopathy caused by compression of the sciatic nerve, the large nerve that travels through the buttocks and extends down the back of the leg. In the most extreme cases, when the nerve is pinched between the disc and the adjacent bone, the symptoms may involve not only pain but numbness and muscle weakness in the leg because of interrupted nerve signaling.

Spondylolisthesis is a condition in which a vertebra of the lower spine slips out of place, pinching the nerves exiting the spinal column.

Skeletal irregularities include scoliosis, a curvature of the spine that does not usually cause pain until middle age; lordosis, an abnormally accentuated arch in the lower back; and other congenital anomalies of the spine.

Treatment:

The Back-Care treatment program may consist of:

  • Core stabilization exercises
  • Correction of body mechanics
  • Joint mobilization/manipulation
  • Postural correction
  • Soft tissue mobilization
  • Stretching/flexibility exercises
  • Muscular strengthening and endurance exercises
  • Traction

When caused by overpronation of the foot, the pathology can be treated by custom foot orthotics.

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