Lower Back Pain
Four out of five Australians will suffer from lower back pain at some point in their lives. It is the most common cause of job-related disability and a leading contributor to missed workdays. The good news is that a sore back is usually temporary and with the right chiropractic treatment one can see improvement within a few days or weeks.
Acute back pain vs. Chronic back pain
Acute back pain accounts for most lower back pain cases, and lasts a few days to a few weeks. The majority of acute low back pain is mechanical in nature, meaning that there is a disruption in the way the components of the back (the spine, muscle, intervertebral discs, and nerves) fit together and move.
Subacute lower back pain is defined as pain that lasts between 4 and 12 weeks.
Chronic back pain is the pain that persists for 12 weeks or longer, even after an initial injury or underlying cause of acute lower back pain has been treated. About 20 percent of people affected by acute lower back pain develop chronic lower back pain with persistent symptoms at one year.
Lower back pain Symptoms
Men and women are equally affected by lower back pain, which can range in intensity from a dull, constant ache to a sudden, sharp sensation that leaves the person incapacitated. The type of pain you have will depend on the underlying cause of your back pain. Lower back pain symptoms are summarised below:
- Sharp, stabbing, dull, achy, or cramp pain;
- Inconsistent pain, in most cases followed by an up and down course;
- The pain may extend from the back into the buttock or outer hip area, but rarely down the leg.
- Buttock and leg pain, as well as numbness, tingling or weakness, which goes into the foot are usually symptoms of sciatica, which frequently occurs with a herniated disc. It is also possible to have sciatica without back pain.
- It can be worsened with bending, lifting, sitting and walking.
Lower Back Pain Causes
Lower back pain can begin abruptly as a result of an accident or by lifting something heavy, or it can develop over time due to age-related changes of the spine. Sedentary lifestyles also can set the stage for lower back pain, especially when a weekday routine of getting too little exercise is punctuated by strenuous weekend workout.
Lower Back Conditions
The vast majority of lower back pain is mechanical in nature. In many cases, it is associated with spondylosis, a term that refers to the general degeneration of the spine associated with normal wear and tear that occurs in the joints, discs, and bones of the spine as people get older. Some examples of the most common conditions follow bellow, for more information please click on the link:
- Non-specific lower back pain including sprains and strains account for most acute back pain. Sprains are caused by overstretching or tearing ligaments, and strains are tears in tendon or muscle.
- Sciatica is caused by compression of the sciatic nerve, the large nerve that travels through the buttocks and extends down the back of the leg.
- Lumbar disc herniation or ruptured discs can occur when the intervertebral discs become compressed and bulge outward (disk herniation) or rupture, causing lower back pain.
- Lumbar spine arthritis or intervertebral disc degeneration occurs when the usually rubbery discs lose integrity as a normal process of aging. As the discs deteriorate, they lose their cushioning ability.
- Lumbar spine osteoporosisis a metabolic bone disease marked by a progressive decrease in bone density and strength, which can lead to painful fractures of the vertebrae.
Lower Back Pain Solutions
Lower back pain is a very common complaint chiropractors see and treat. Chiropractic treatment is not only effective for sciatica and disc herniation, but also for all the other lower back pain conditions. The doctors of chiropractic at Chiro & Sports Med go beyond the regular chiropractic practice by combining the most modern scientific based techniques to obtain the best results.
Chiropractic techniques for lower back pain generally depend on whether the pain is acute or chronic. The wide range of techniques applied at Chiro & Sports Med include: joint mobilisations and adjustments, soft tissue techniques, muscle stretches, acupuncture, heat therapy, interferential therapy, ultrasound therapy, rehabilitation treatment and exercise prescription. The earlier you are assessed and diagnosed with the tissue in lesion the better results you will have with treatment. In general, surgery is recommended only if there is evidence of worsening nerve damage and when diagnostic tests indicate structural changes.
Whilst it is always recommended that you first see a Chiropractor for lower back pain, there are some actions you can take to minimize it, even in acute back pain.
- Cold Treatment – put an ice pack on your lower lumbar surface over a thin kitchen towel for 20 min. Repeat 3-4 times daily;
- Choose many short trips over one long one;
- Be cautious of over moving as this may provoke pain;
- Drink more water than usual and avoid diuretics such as coffee, tea and alcohol;
- Increase protein intake in the diet and decrease sugar intake as protein repairs and sugar breaks down;
- Take painkillers if the pain is unbearable.