Lower back pain is the most common cause for a work-related disability and one of the main reasons for people staying home from work. The lower back is one of the most important parts of the body as it holds most of our body weight when we stand and is
involved in movement when we bend or twist at the waist. Because of its pivotal role and frequent use, the lower back is susceptible to injury and chronic pain. Lower back pain is especially common in older adults who may have decreased bone strength and muscle elasticity. The spongy cartilage pads, called intervertebral discs, that allow for flexibility may wear away and weaken in an elderly person. At Comprehensive Neurosurgery, we treat patients suffering from lower back pain in Lewisville, TX and the surrounding area. Contact us today to learn about your treatment options.
Causes Of Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain can be a result of many different reasons including the following:
- Muscle sprain, strain or spasm
- Irritated nerve
- Bacterial or viral infection
- Poor posture
- Sleep position
Pain may radiate down the legs as well.
Conditions Associated With Lower Back Pain
There are some conditions that cause lower back pain. They include:
- Bulging disc
- Degeneration of the spine
- Spinal Stenosis
- Spinal irregularity
- Spinal fracture
- Deformity of the spine
Diagnosis Of Lower Back Pain
While lower back pain is a common condition, it may also be an indication of another condition which may be far more serious. After obtaining a medical history, the physician may conduct the following tests to confirm diagnosis and determine treatment:
- X-ray imaging
- CT scan
- Bone scan
Treatment Of Lower Back Pain
While lower back pain is not usually a serious condition, it can be very painful and debilitating. Treatment for this pain is usually simple and can include:
- Chiropractic spinal adjustment
- Interventional therapy
For those people who suffer from lower back pain as a result of either improper body mechanics or a non-traumatic event, there are some ways to prevent lower back pain. Some of them include:
- Stretching before exercising
- Ensuring posture is correct
- Good lumbar support when in a seated position
- Wearing heels that are low and comfortable
- Sleeping on your side to prevent a curvature of the spine
- Not lifting objects that are too heavy
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Maintaining a healthy lifestyle
- Quitting smoking
Back Pain Prevention
At some point in their lives, the great majority of adults will suffer from significant low back pain, usually from an injury at work, at home or at play. Orthopedists, chiropractors, physical therapists, coaches and trainers all have helpful advice regarding back
pain prevention. By following their directives, people can minimize the possibility of back injury, and keep themselves healthier in the process.
Lifestyle Changes For Back Pain Prevention
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can go a long way in preventing acute injuries or chronic back pain. Taking the following steps can help maintain strength, balance and flexibility, and promote rapid healing if an injury occurs:
- Exercise regularly for strength and conditioning
- Eat a nutritious diet
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Do not smoke
- Do not drink alcohol to excess
- Do not abuse drugs
Following these directives helps to keep muscles well-toned and bones at optimal density. It also prevents excess weight from putting undue strain on muscles and spinal discs.
It is essential to also pay attention to emotional health; depression, anxiety and psychic stress can make people prone to injury, slow to recover and overly sensitive to pain.
Posture And Ergonomics For Back Pain Prevention
Learning proper posture and using ergonomic furniture/equipment are also important in preventing back pain. It is beneficial to learn appropriate ways to stand, sit, bend, lift and turn, so as not to compromise spinal health. Using assistive devices when necessary for reaching or lifting is recommended, preventing physical stress that can result in injury or long-term damage.
Becoming aware of the initial signs of pain can help trace its origins. Noticing that pain occurs after sitting in a particular chair, wearing particular shoes, performing a particular task, or reaching for something in a certain way, can be of diagnostic significance. It should also be a warning that a pattern of movement or behavior should be changed.
In some cases, replacing furniture or equipment with more ergonomically designed pieces may be necessary. It may also be possible to find a more convenient, less expensive solution to a problem by supplementing a chair or car seat with a supportive back cushion, or getting orthotics for one's shoes.
Although being proactive will not prevent all back injuries, it can lessen their frequency and severity, and reduce the need for medication or medical consultations.