For everyday motions such as bending and twisting, the low back supports the weight of the upper body and provides mobility. For flexing and rotating the hips while walking, muscles in the low back are responsible as well as supporting the spinal column. In the low back, nerves supply sensation and power the muscles in the legs, pelvis, and feet.
To many of the discs, muscles, ligaments, and other spinal structures there is a significant overlap of nerve supply. To accurately sense which is the cause of the pain, can be difficult for the brain.
What are the types of low back pain?
The two most common types of back pain include:
- Mechanical pain- Mechanical pain is the most common cause of low back pain. This pain is primarily from the muscles, ligaments, joints, or bones in and around the spine. By stacking the spine, it is normally impacted and may feel diverse depending on movement, action, sitting, standing, or resting.
- Radicular pain- If a spinal nerve root becomes impinged or inflamed this type of pain can occur. This back pain may follow a nerve root pattern or dermatome down into the leg and buttock. Its specific sensation can be associated with numbness or weakness and it is sharp electric burning-type pain. You can feel it only on one side of the body.
What are the causes of low back pain?
Once it lasts for more than three months, pain is considered chronic and exceeds the body’s natural healing process. In the lower back, chronic pain often involves a joint problem, disc problem, or an irritated nerve root. Some common causes of low back pain include:
- Lumbar herniated disc
- Degenerative disc disease
- Facet joint dysfunction
- Sacroiliac joint dysfunction
What are the symptoms of low back pain?
Portraying and recognizing symptoms can help lead to a more precise analysis and viable low back treatment plan. By a combination of the following symptoms, low back pain is typically characterized:
- Aching, dull pain
- Pain that travels to the legs, buttocks, and feets
- Pain that gets worse after prolonged sitting
- Pain that feels better when changing positions
- Pain that is worse after waking up and feels good after moving around
What are the symptoms that require immediate attention?
Low back pain can signal sometimes a serious underlying medical condition. People who seek any of these following symptoms are advised to seek immediate low back pain treatment:
- Bowel control and loss of bladder
- Recent weight loss without dieting and exercising
- Chills and fever
- Unrelenting, severe pain in the abdomen
What are the non-surgical treatments for low back pain?
The main goal of treatment is to reduce pain. But the problem is that these treatments do not change the underlying source of pain. Alongside a physical therapy program or another regimen, a back pain doctor will typically prescribe medical treatments. Some common medical treatments include:
Muscle relaxants- Relieving pain from muscle tightness or spasms, this medication acts as a depressant of the central nervous system and increases the mobility of tense muscles.
Narcotic pain medications- Painkillers or opioids are also called narcotic medications. By weakening signals sent to the brain, alter one’s perception of pain.
Back braces- To provide comfort and possibly reduce pain, some patients find that a back brace can be used by a back pain specialist for treatment.
Epidural steroid injections- A steroid administered directly into the outer part of the dural sac, that surrounds the spinal cord is involved in this injection.