Lower back pain can be described as a painful condition affecting the lower section of the spine. It affects people of different ages for different reasons.
Back pain usually involves the bony lumbar spine, intervertebral discs (flat disc plates between the vertebrae), ligaments, muscles, spinal cords, and nerves around the affected region.
Lower back aches can result from injury, strenuous activities, and certain medical conditions:
Strains are tears in a tendon, a fibrous tissue connecting a muscle to the bone. Strained muscles, tensions, damaged disks, and injuries such as fractures cause back pain.
Activities such as the improper lifting of objects, lifting heavy objects, and abrupt movements may lead to strains.
Are problems interfering with the day-to-day functioning of the structures on the back? These are; kidney pain, abnormal spine curvature, inflammation of joints (arthritis), rupturing and bulging of the vertebral discs exerting pressure to the surrounding nerves.
Activities affecting body posture such as prolonged driving sessions, over-stretching, extended seating periods, and sleeping on a mattress not firm enough to keep the spine straight.
Spine infections, pelvic infections, sleep problems, and other medical conditions may predispose and cause back pain in an individual.
The following factors make someone susceptible to lower back pain: excess body weight, smoking, advanced age, pregnancy, sedentary living, genetics, poor exercising regimen, and extreme physical exercises.
Common signs and symptoms
Pain on the lower back that may be radiating to other parts is the standard symptom. Accompanying it may be a dull ache, numbness, tingling sensation, muscle spasms, rashes, tenderness, and urine incontinence (inability to control urine passage).
Lower back pain is diagnosed by tests such as X-Rays, CT scans, and bone scans. Blood tests may also be done if infections are a suspect.
Lower back pain may be confused by Achilles tendon injuries, coccyx pain, osteoporosis (bones becoming weak and brittle), tumors of the spine, and lumbar degenerative disc disease.
Management of Lower Back Pain
There are a variety of ways to offer the best treatment like physiotherapy for lower back pain. This depends on the extent of the damage and the degree to which the pain is being perceived.
This is a form of therapy that uses techniques such as massage, heat, and exercises to remediate the health problem. You can also use electric massage machine in order to get back pain relief. Heat application and ice packs form the passive part of physiotherapy, while physical exercises make the active part.
Retraining one’s posture, aerobic exercises, core strengthening, and testing one’s limit for pain tolerance are integrated as part of the therapy.
Mindfulness and meditation
Lower back aches may be approached via the psychological angle. Cognitive exercises such as yoga, meditation may be employed to curb the psychological and emotional aspects of dealing with the pain.
Diet may directly have an impact on your back aches. Processed foods and refined sugars are highly inflammatory and may contribute to your back pains. Excess weight may also exert more pressure on your spine.
We listed a sedentary lifestyle as one of the predisposing factors to lower back pains. Exercise helps and is directly tied to gaining a healthy weight. Cessation of smoking is encouraged. Strenuous activities should be avoided or done with caution and moderation. Breaks and adequate rest should be observed when engaging in extreme physical activities.
Pharmaceutical agents and medical drugs may be used to treat lower back aches. Analgesics (pain relievers), anti-inflammatory drugs, and muscle relaxants are usually prescribed. Prolonged use of opioids is discouraged as they are most addictive and do not address the underlying cause of the pain.
In cases where the pain is idiopathic (the cause is unknown), nerve blocks and epidural steroid injections may be administered to relieve the pain. However, this is done as a short-term intervention.
Rarely deployed with few exceptions; for example, herniated intervertebral disc and nerve compression by a disc. Procedures under surgery include Discectomy (part of the disc removed), insertion of artificial discs, fusion (2 vertebras joined together), and partial removal of a vertebra.
They say caution is the parent of safety, and when it comes to lower back pains, the principle applies. Back pain treatment is not the only approach when it comes to management, and prevention is important too. The following preventive measures are useful:
- Regular exercising is encouraged. With exercising, you build your body strength and shed off the excess weight. Exercises should be done with moderation and straining avoided.
- Dietary changes can also be used as a preventive measure. Bone health is influenced by Calcium and Vitamin D. These two should be adequate in your diet.
- Maintain a neutral pelvic position: head in line with the spine and facing forward, back is straight and the bodyweight evenly distributed on the feet when standing upright. When seating, have back support on your seat, knees, and hips on the same level, and feet flat on the ground.
- Flat shoes are encouraged; a firm mattress to keep your spine straight is necessary. It is also advisable to push things on the ground by using your leg rather than pulling.
Are you suspecting having back aches? Do you experience some of the signs and symptoms discussed above? Visit our physiotherapy clinic in Singapore for the best treatment for lower back pain. We have an experienced and highly qualified team of health personnel, making us a leading physiotherapy clinic in Singapore. When it comes to the best treatment for lower back pain, we have your back!