Lower Back Pain
What is Lower Back Pain?
Lower back pain is a very common condition that affects lumbar region of the spine and adjacent anatomical structures. The pain may be experienced as generalized aching localized to the spine or a burning, stabbing, or shooting sensation that may radiate to the lower extremities.
Causes of Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain may be caused by repeated activity, heavy lifting, direct blow to the lower back or sudden awkward movements resulting in muscle or ligament injury in the lower back, herniated or ruptured spinal discs, or arthritis of the spine due to narrowing of the lumbar canal.
Risk Factors for Lower Back Pain
Almost everyone has experienced lower back pain at least once in their lives. Factors that increase the risk of developing lower back pain include old age, lack of exercise,poor ergonomic workplace and improper posture when lifting objects.
When should you see a doctor for Lower Back Pain
You should see a doctor for your lower back pain if your pain lasts longer than a few weeks, radiates down your legs and is accompanied by other signs and symptoms such as weakness, loss of sensation, and weight loss.
Identifying the underlying cause for Lower Back Pain
Dr. Laxman will discuss your symptoms and past medical history. A physical exam will be conducted and imaging studies may be ordered, which include x-rays to look for bone and joint abnormalities, bone scan to look for compression fractures or tumours, MRI or CT scans to look for soft tissue abnormalities, and nerve conduction studies to look for nerve injury.
Treatment Options for Lower Back Pain
Quite often lower back pain will resolve with rest and avoiding activities that worsen the pain. If the pain continues, you may be given pain medications to relieve acute symptoms and recommended physical therapy to strengthen the lower back muscles. Other options include spinal injections for very severe pain or spinal surgery when the diagnosis is spinal stenosis, herniated disc, or other structural abnormalities that do not respond to non-surgical treatment.
Prevention of Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain may be prevented with regular exercise, maintaining correct posture when walking, sitting, or lying down, and using proper technique when lifting heavy objects.