Lower Back pain


Lower Back Pain - The Causes

Lower Back Pain - The Causes

There are many reasons why we may experience lower back pain. Some of the reasons that cause lower back pain are things like traumatic accidents, slip and falls, reaching for something, picking up an item without using the proper mechanics and poor posture. Injuries include herniated discs, fractures to the vertebrae, facet problems, spondylolesthesis, degenerate disc disease, arthritis and others. One of the most important things you can do is learn all that you can about your injury. Learn what muscles groups are involved, what positions make your pain worse, what stretches can help alleviate pain, whether ice or heat is better

Repetitive stress or strain is another major reason why people have lower back pain. A person may pick up something that weighs 1 ½ pounds 40 times a day with bad mechanics and one day his/her lower back "goes out" and they will experience lower back pain. It was not the weight that caused the person to have lower back pain, rather the poor mechanics the person was using to lift the light weight. It's like the old saying, the straw that broke the camel's back. That's why it is important to learn good body mechanics and avoid repetitive stress situations and injuries

Disc herniations are another major cause of lower back pain. A disc can herniate for a number of reasons including trauma, twisting and forward flexing type activities and poor body mechanics to name a few. When a disc herniates, the outer wall of the disc is compromised and the disc material begins leaking out. One of the worst positions for the spine, especially when you have a herniated disc is forward flexion and rotation which can cause the leak to increase even more

Once the disc material begins leaking out, it can put pressure on your sensory nerves which in turn will cause pain. If the material continues to leak out, it could also affect your motor nerves which mean that your muscle strength and coordination will be affected. A microdisectomy procedure will remove only the disc material that has already leaked out. A laminectomy procedure will remove part of the bone, lamina, to provide more room for the disc material to be without putting increased pressure on the sensory or motor nerves

Arthritis in the spine is more common as we age. An X-ray may reveal arthritis in the spine in our facet joints or areas around the vertebral bodies. Typically arthritis type of pain is dull and achy and tends to be there all the time. It has been described like a dull toothache. It may be possible to shave down some of the arthritis, but it is important to understand what movements to avoid and what muscles to strengthen

Learning the proper body mechanics, sitting mechanics and postural mechanics is really essential in living a life without lower back pain. Understanding what type of body mechanics you need in order to lift 5 pounds versus 40 pounds is key to avoiding lower back pain. Learning how to sit properly while at work, home or for recreation can help you avoid having lower back problems. Learning to strengthen your lower leg muscles, gluts, abdominals and back muscles can really help you avoid lower back pain in the future

Another important point is to learn how to stretch your muscles often to keep your body flexible and ready to perform the activities that you need it to. It is important for everyone to learn more about how their bodies function, how their muscles work and how to maintain good body and postural mechanics

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