It is a known fact that lower back pain has been one of the reasons why people consult their doctors. Based on statistics, low back pain is considered one of the common neurological issues at the present. Most cases of low back pain can be caused by an injury such as strains or muscle sprains due to abrupt movements or poor body mechanics when lifting objects. It can also be caused by diseases such as herniated disc, arthritis, sciatica, infections of the spine and kidney infections.
An acute back pain can last for a few days up to weeks. As for chronic back pain, it lasts longer than three months.
Always bear in mind that low back pain is likely to occur among individuals between the age of 30-50 years old due to the changes the occur during the normal aging process. As an individual gets older, the fluid present between the vertebrae in the spine gradually diminishes, thus the discs in the spine are prone to irritation. There is a certain degree of muscle tone loss which makes the back susceptible to injuries.
What are the causes of low back pain?
The muscles and ligaments in the back can either be torn or stretched due to overuse. The typical symptoms include stiffness and pain in the lower back and also muscle spasms. These symptoms can be relieved with adequate rest and physical therapy.
If a herniated disc presses on the sciatic nerve, sciatica can manifest. This can cause pain in the feet and legs that can be felt as burning or pins-and-needles sensation.
Discs in the back are susceptible to injury and it increases with age. A herniated disc occurs once the cartilage surrounding the disc pushes against the spinal cord or the nerve roots. Injury to the discs can occur after lifting objects or twisting the spine.
Abnormalities with the curvature of the spine
Lordosis, scoliosis and kyphosis cause an abnormal curvature in the spine. The abnormal curvature puts pressure on the tendons, muscles, ligaments and vertebrae, resulting to poor posture and pain.
Treatment for low back pain
Measures for low back pain must be performed for the initial 72 hours after the pain started. In case the pain persists after 72 hours of treatment, it is best to consult a doctor.
The RICE method is recommended which includes rest, ice application, compression and elevation for the initial 48 hours. You can learn more about this treatment method for injuries by joining a first aid class. Provide over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen to relieve the pain and inflammation.
The individual can rest by lying on his/her side with the knees bent and a pillow is placed between the legs. If the individual is lying on his/her back comfortably, you can place a pillow beneath the legs to elevate the feet to minimize the pressure on the lower back.