One of the most common reasons for a visit to the doctor is because of low back pain. In fact, at some point as many as 80% of the population in North America will suffer from low back pain, costing $20 to $50 billion US dollars a year.
Lower Back Pain Causes
There are many lower back pain causes as a result of different types of injuries and diseases. The treatment of low back pain is dependent on what the cause is. Let’s look at lower back pain causes.
The most common of the lower back pain causes pertains to the work place, which is responsible for 44% of all back injuries.
Strains and Sprains
One of the most common lower back pain causes is a result of a sprained ligament or muscle tear. Muscles strains are usually a result of over exertion, moving wrong, lifting to much weight, lifting incorrectly, or a fall that results in a strain to the back.
Back pain can occur as a result of a ruptured disk. Within the spin are intervertebral discs. These disks are made of cartilage and create a cushion. When pressure is placed on a disc it can bulge and rupture, causing intense pain.
Sciatica is not a disease. It is a pain that travels along the sciatic nerve into the lower back. It can be triggered by muscle spasms in the buttocks, a slipped disc, or on occasion because of osteoarthritis.
When a woman is pregnant the extra body weight can affect the firmness of ligaments and muscles causing back pain. The baby’s head can also press against nerves in the spine causing pain.
Today the second most common lower back pain cause is from being overweight . Low back pain occurs because of poor posture and the extra strain on the disks and muscles of the back. Losing weight often results in the reduction or elimination of back pain.
As we age the vertebrae can compress in size, and even spontaneously fracture, affecting the bone. The condition most seen as we age is osteoporosis, causing back pain.
Finding Relief from Lower Back Pain
Now that we have looked at some of the main lower back pain causes let’s look at some ways to find relief. Treatments have changed over the years. Seldom are people put on complete bed rest or long term bed rest as they once were.
- Rest Combined with gentle activity – For basic muscle pain a couple of days of rest combined with light activity, gentle stretching.
- Lumbosacral Corset – This is a brace that goes around the pelvis and the waist. It is designed to stabilize chronic muscle strains in people that are overweight.
- Weight Loss – If you are overweight the most important treatment is weight loss.
- Surgery – Occasionally a treatment option for a slipped disc.
- Medication – There are over the counter and prescription medications for pain. There are also medications for rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
- Exercise, Physiotherapy – Exercise combined with medication can reduce or eliminate back pain. For more serious or chronic cases physiotherapy may be required.
While lower back pain causes are many, finding relief from lower back pain is limited to a few options. If you suffer from back pain there’s no reason for you to suffer. Get treatment.