The Truth About Lower Back Pain Pain in the lower back is extraordinarily common, affecting people of all ages and background, from workers to students to sports people alike. Treating lower back pain is best done early in order to increase your chances of successful recovery, particularly before the symptoms become too constant, severe and difficult to manage. There are many different causes of this pain, which range from poor posture to poor sporting technique. There is one cause however that perhaps forms the basis of low back pain, read on to find out the truth about lower back pain.
The lumbar spine, which refers to the lower part of the back, is a complex structure and is affected by a number of surrounding structures including the pelvis, hips and thoracic spine, all of which can contribute to lower back pain. In the past the following causes have been cited for contributing to lower back pain:
Poor sitting posture at work or while studying at your desk Heavy lifting or poor lifting technique Poor 'core stability', which refers to the deep muscles in your abdomen that work to support your spine Muscle or joint tightness in your back Poor sporting technique, for example, tennis serve.
However, when it comes to core stability, researchers have discovered that low back pain is actually caused by poor muscle control in and around the spine. This can lead to movement between vertebrae, causing instability and thus resulting in sharp pain or discomfort.
If you are experiencing lower back pain, it is vital that you book in to see a physiotherapist who can determine whether you have poor muscle control in the important stabilising muscles around the spine.
Physiotherapists have now developed exercises, which are exercise specific to target the muscles that stabilise the spine and help, relieve lower back pain. After patients have completed a few sessions of these specific exercises, the physiotherapist can re-test the control of the muscles in and around the spine to ensure improvements have been made. Improved function and reduced pain are signs that the treatment is and will be effective for lower back pain.
Once a patient has learnt how to activate these stabilising (core stability) muscles during simple exercises the physiotherapist has demonstrated, the patient can then use these techniques during more complex activity, such as work and sport, which can help keep improving the stabilising back muscles and reduce the discomfort.
In addition, managing this pain can consist of the following key things:
At the onset of low back pain, rest from aggravating activities and commence gentle stretching
If the pain persists longer than a few days it is wise to see a physiotherapist for a thorough assessment. Your physiotherapist will establish the reason for your pain and identify the exact structures involved and manage them accordingly
Undergo treatment, if and when necessary that involves mobilizing the spine to increase flexibility and relieve tension, tissue massage to relieve any muscle spasm, stretching of tight muscle and/or joints and / or electrotherapy, such as ultrasound or interferential therapy to reduce inflammation, promote healing and reduce pain and muscle spasm.
In addition, posture education and sporting technique correction, in consultation with your coach or physiotherapist is essential for recovery. Incorporating a home exercise program for core stability training and general fitness is also highly recommended