LOWER BACK PAIN


More than 80% of the population will experience low back pain in the course of their lives. The majority of low back pain cases can be attributed to a pre-existing condition, general weakness, within the internal structures of the spine.
The Low back or lumbar spine is an extraordinarily well-engineered arrangement of interconnecting bones, ligament, muscles, tendons and nerves all working synchronically, to ensure flexibility and support, while maintaining strength. However, this intricate structure leaves the lumber spine vulnerable to injury and pain.

Symptoms of Low Back Pain

Low back pain has a wide range of symptoms and due to the overlap of neural input to many of the muscles, ligament, disc and other spinal structures, it can be difficult to accurately differentiate what tissue is the cause of the pain. For example, affect sprain can feel like a torn lumbar disc.

  • Pain can be a dull localised ache
  • Tightness and muscle spasms in and around the pelvic girdle.
  • A burning, stinging sensation that originates in the lumbar spine and travels to buttocks and back of thighs. It can also be felt in the calf, feet and toes. (numbness and tingling can often be a symptom, known as sciatica)

Mechanical pain: The most common cause of low back pain and most frequently treated by chiropractors. This pain is from the joints (facet joints and sacroiliac joints), ligaments and muscles. It is usually localised to low back, buttocks and upper thigh. Usually exacerbated by movement and loading.

Radicular pain: When a spinal nerve root becomes inflamed or impinged, this type of pain occurs. Radicular pain follows a nerve pattern such as a dermatome. Usually down the buttocks, back of thigh of leg. It presents as a sharp, burning, electrical sensation and weakness or numbness cane associated with it. Usually occurs on one side of the body.

Causes of low back pain

Repetitive Strain injury: Stressful and repetitive movements such as tennis and golf swings, RSI at work, can cause muscles to tighten and joints to become inflamed. Longterm stress on these spinal structures become more painful as time goes by and can suddenly get severe if the already stressed muscle is then put under increased load.

Heavy lifting: A common cause of low back pain is strain from heavy lifting, Twisting the spine while under load and lifting from the ground to an overhead position.

Jarring and sudden impact: Impact from sudden jarring movements can place instant and forceful loading on the lumbar spine and supporting musculature. High impact sports, a sudden impact from motor vehicle accidents and falls are common causes for low back injury.
Weak and stiff muscles are more susceptible to this type of injury.

Poor posture and weak core muscles: When low back, abdominal and core muscles are weak, the lumbar spine is more prone to injury. Weak muscles lead to slouching which adds stress and loading on the spinal joints and musculature. Tight hamstrings increase the stress on the low back.

Beginning a new activity: Starting a new activity or sport can lead to sudden muscle and joint strain, As the muscles and joints are not conditioned to this loading. When starting a new physical activity it’s prudent to start slowly and with proper technique.