Suffering from severe aching or pain in the lower back region? About 31 million Americans are struggling with these exact symptoms. Back-related problems, for example, can occur due to the type of mattress you sleep on or the daily activities you do. Although there is not one main reason lower back pain occurs, the symptoms are usually the same from patient to patient, making diagnosis difficult to determine.
If you are having problems with your lower back it is recommended you visit a physical therapist. A specialist will ask a few evaluation questions and will come up with a plan on how to treat your pain. You should make sure to provide information such as previous health issues, symptoms, and activity history in order to help speed up the process and reach your health goals.
Causes of acute lower back pain usually deal with the strain on muscles and ligaments in the surrounding area. Sudden movements can cause muscles or ligaments to stretch or develop tears. In cases where chronic lower back pain persists most reasons are due to disk tear, spondylolisthesis (daily wear and tear that comes with age and causes the spinal disks to form on top of one another leading to spinal nerves to be crushed), vertebral fractures caused by osteoporosis and scoliosis.
Acute lower back pain is usually caused by strains on the muscles and ligaments in the surrounding area. Sudden movements can cause muscles or ligaments to stretch or develop tears. The most common causes of chronic lower back pain are because of a disk tear, spondylolisthesis (daily wear and tear that comes with age and causes the spinal disks to form on top of one another leading to spinal nerves to be crushed), vertebral fractures caused by osteoporosis, and scoliosis.
Symptoms and treatment of lower back problems depend on the severity of the pain. The most common symptoms are difficulty moving, pain that tends to be achy or dull, muscle spasms, and local soreness upon touch. Resting is recommended for a few days as this allows injured tissue or nerve roots time to heal. Although some rest is beneficial, too much rest can cause muscles to weaken and causing them to struggle in supporting the spine.
The use of heat and ice therapy is another common treatment practice. These polar opposites sensations help reduce pain by eliminating inflammation around the muscle tissue. A physical therapist will be able to decide which approach is best for you. Although some patients have seen success in decreasing lower back pain and reducing muscle spasms through the use of medication, it is not a cure-all solution as the medication wears off and the pain still remains.
If back pain continues for more than two to six weeks, or if pain reoccurs in a frequent manner. it is advised to make an appointment with a physical therapist. The goal of a physical therapist is to decrease pain and prevent the injury from worsening. A physical therapy program for back pain likely includes passive physical therapy to help reduce pain to a more tolerable level. Physical therapy programs also provide active exercises as this allows proper blood flow and helps keep the spine healthy by distributing nutrients into disk space and soft spinal tissues. If you are suffering from lower back pain, please feel free to give us a call at Island Sports Physical Therapy today!