Dealing with Lower Back Pain
The low back, or lumbar spine, is an incredibly complex structure of bones, muscles, nerves, joints, tendons, and ligaments. There are five lumbar vertebrae that comprise the lumbar spine. When these segments become irritated and have a disruption in their nautral position or motion, pain often ensues. Injury or disease affecting any one or more of these structures can often trigger an episode of pain. Doctors of Chiropractic (DCs) are the highest rated healthcare practitioner for low-back pain treatments1.
Lower Back Facts:
- 80% of Americans will experience one form of back pain or another during the course of their lives.
- More men over the age of 45 are disabled by back pain than any other conditions.
- Back pain is the third most common reason for surgeries.
Low back pain is often caused by irritation of the nerves, muscles or a problem with a joint, called segmental dysfunction. Other causes of low back pain include include herniated or degenerative discs.
Low Back Joint Dysfunction:
Spinal joint dysfunction, whether it's located in the neck (cervical), mid back (thoracic) or low back (lumar) spine is a biomechanical problem of the individual joints and the related ligaments and muscles linked back to the spinal bones. The motion of the entire spine is made possible and dependent on the proper movement of each link.
This often involves with nerve irritation aka "pinched nerves" and associated muscle strains and/or spasms. The erector spinae, or large paired muscles in the lower back that help keep your spine erect, can become inflamed and spasm. In more serious cases, the pain may be caused by a degenerative condition, such as arthritis, disc disease, or disc herniation.
Segmental dysfunction is often caused by a wide range of stressors including; old injuries that never healed properly, repetitive movements, sports injuries, trauma and underlying instabilities of the spine.
A degenerative disc condition can sometimes cause a chain reaction of other events in your spine. When a disc is not in its proper place, or is malformed from disease or some other condition, it can allow additional undue pressure on other healthy structures, such as neighboring discs, nerves, muscles, joints, ligaments, and tendons.
Too much rest comes with a toll on the low back. After two weeks worth of rest, the muscles in the lower back begin to atrophy and can become significantly wea k, ultimately predisposing the region to more pain and re-injury.
1. Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center. Relief for your aching back: What worked for our readers . ConsumerReports.org; March 2013.