Low back pain is a very common condition that affects most people at some point in their life. It can be caused by many different things, and the pain people experience can be something mild, so severe disabling pain that stops you from doing anything! Because lower back pain can be so different for everyone, getting your back properly looked at by a trained health professional is the best way to figure out what the best treatment is. Luckily, most low back pain settles over time and doing simple things like exercising, eating well, sleeping well, and knowing your body's limits can really help to settle any pain and stop it from coming back.
Low back pain can be classified as either acute or chronic. Acute back pain is a short-term condition that typically lasts for a few days to a few weeks. Chronic back pain, on the other hand, is a long-term condition that can last for months or even years. It is also common for people to experience an episode of acute low back pain, on top of an ongoing chronic low back pain.
Low back pain can be caused by many things, both physical and non-physical.
• Muscle or ligament strains: where the muscles and tendons can stretch or tear after straining excessively or trauma.
• Disc herniations: where the structure that cushions between the bones of the spine
• Arthritis: such as osteoarthritis where the joints of the spine become inflamed.
• Spinal stenosis: where the space within the bones of the spine become narrow, and put pressure on the nerves inside.
• Scoliosis: an abnormal curvature of the spine which can lead to increased strain on the joints and muscles of the back.
• Inflammatory conditions: such as ankylosing spondylitis,
• Infections: that can happen in the bones and discs to cause back pain
• Referred pain from other organs: where the kidney, bladder, ovaries, and uterus can send pain to the lower back.
Diagnosing the exact cause of low back pain is tricky, because there are so many things that could potentially cause the back pain. When you get assessed by a Physiotherapist, Chiropractor, or Exercise Physiologist from Asquith Health, you'll be asked a series of questions to better understand the things that could have caused the low back pain, and help rule out other diagnoses. A thorough physical examination and reviewing any scans you might have, helps us narrow down the most likely diagnosis that is causing your low back pain.
The exact cause of low back pain may never be pin-pointed, but luckily, many treatments for low back pain can help people recover regardless of what the initial cause was.
There are many treatments that can help people recover from low back pain which includes:
• Heat and Cold Packs:
• Medications: such as anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxants can help ease the pain. We recommend speaking to your GP or Pharmacist to
• Manual therapy: Your physiotherapist may use hands-on techniques such as massage or mobilization to reduce pain and stiffness in the lower back.
• Exercise: Your physiotherapist may recommend exercises to improve your range of motion, strength, and flexibility. Examples may include stretches, core strengthening exercises, and aerobic exercise.
• Modalities: Your physiotherapist may use modalities such as heat or electrical stimulation to help reduce pain and inflammation.
• Education: Your physiotherapist may provide education on proper posture and body mechanics to help prevent future injuries.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can also play an important role in preventing and managing lower back pain. This includes:
• Getting enough sleep
• Eating a balanced diet
• Staying active
• Avoiding tobacco and excessive alcohol consumption
Structured exercise programs can also be an effective way to reduce lower back pain and improve overall physical fitness. Examples of structured exercise programs may include:
• Aqua aerobics
• Walking or jogging
Overall, lower back pain can be a complex and challenging condition to diagnose and treat. However, with the right treatment approach and lifestyle modifications, most people are able to manage their pain and resume their normal activities. If you are experiencing lower back pain, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible to ensure an accurate diagnosis and timely treatment.