What is lower back pain?
There are numerous reasons for lower back pain. Some of the more common triggers include; arthritis, pulled back muscles, disc problems such as herniated disks and joint dysfunctions. Lower back pain may manifest in many forms and people have been known to describe it differently to physicians. A few descriptions include; left side back pain, right side back pain, lower back pain right side, lower left side back pain, middle back pain, right middle back pain and thoracic back pain.
In situations where a certain diagnosis has not been made, the logical question should be how long the back pain has persisted. Pain falls broadly into two categories; acute back pain and chronic back pain. The former exists when the problem is fairly recent in nature while the latter is long lasting, signaling that the trigger took place sometime ago.
What Causes Lower Back Pain?
There are two main reasons for lower back pain. The first reason is trauma which is fairly simple and straight forward to diagnose. For example, you may experience a bad fall and immediately begin to experience lower back pain. The second cause of lower back pain, muscle imbalances, is more problematic to understand and diagnose. When your muscles are imbalanced your posture is affected. A poor posture leads to what is medically referred to as “postural dysfunctions”. Examples of these dysfunctions include an abnormal spinal column curvature and misalignment of the pelvis.
The ultimate result is that your body ends up putting more strain in certain muscle groups, ligaments, discs and joints. Muscle imbalances are usually triggered by something you do as a habit, for example, sitting at your computer for long hours or driving for long hours. Lower back pain that is caused by muscle imbalances develops slowly over a period of time before it suddenly strikes and can be extremely severe. Major muscles that trigger lower back pain are known as erector spinae, quadratus lumborum and Psoas.
What are the Symptoms of Lower Back Pain?
The large majority of patients complain of localized pain and/or pain that radiates into the arms or legs, hips and sacrum. It usually depends on where the exact area affected is located. Where bladder control has been lost, the condition is considered serious and a physician should be consulted immediately.
What are the Most Common Lower Back Pain Treatments?
The common treatments for lower back pain are painkillers, specifically non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, abbreviated NSAIDs. A muscle relaxant may also be prescribed. Physical therapists, chiropractors and neuromuscular therapists also offer a variety of treatments that include; neuromuscular therapy, therapeutic massage, spinal mobilization and exercises.
Many of the treatments listed above are designed to identify and release the trigger points that lead to lower back pain. In some cases, the condition may be extremely severe and warrant surgery. However, surgery should always be the last option and it is advisable to seek a second medical opinion when surgery is proposed.
Why Do Traditional Lower Back Pain Treatments Fail?
Conventional treatment fails because it does not address the real cause of back pain and only addresses the symptoms. Painkillers and muscle relaxants only mask the problem. Lower back pain is a physical problem and effective treatment must address muscle imbalances, proper posture, and trigger points.
It is only through restoring postural balance that you will experience true and permanent relief. Posture alignment exercises are great back pain exercises and low back pain stretches to increase muscle balance and stability in your pelvis and lower back.
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