According to the American Chiropractic Association, more than 31 million Americans suffer from lower back pain. It’s a common reason people miss work and it truly impacts people’s lives. Men and women suffer from lower back pain equally and about 80 percent of adults will have lower back pain sometime in their life.
Many things can cause lower back pain, including the following:
Muscle or Ligament Strain or Sprain
Overuse or an injury to the back can cause pain. Turning wrong, picking something up incorrectly, and many other injuries can hurt the spine. The pain can come on suddenly or get worse over time.
Strains happen when a muscle stretches too far and tears. Sprains are when the tearing impacts ligaments which connect the bones.
The symptoms are the same for both and can include a dull ache or increased pain when moving. Pain that is hot or tingling is often a nerve, not a muscle. If the pain is reduced when resting and is worse when moving again, it could be a muscle or ligament sprain or strain.
Injury to Discs
The weight of your upper body puts strain on your lower back. That pressure can cause pain. Small bones called vertebrae have cushions of cartilage between them called discs. Sometimes these discs can suffer an injury or they just wear away over time. This is called a herniated, slipped, or ruptured disc.
Once the cartilage goes away, there can be pain. If the herniated disc puts pressure on the nerve that is near the spinal column, it’s called sciatica and it causes pain to radiate down the buttocks and the leg. Many people say it feels like burning pins or needles.
Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the space around the spinal cord. It puts pressure on the nerves, causing pain. As the discs between the vertebrae degenerate, they compress the nerve roots or the spinal cord itself. Bony spurs can cause the spinal column to narrow causing numbness, cramping, and weakness.
Degenerative disc disease, osteoarthritis, and other spinal issues can also cause lower back pain. Sometimes, skeletal irregularities like scoliosis do not cause pain until a patient gets older.
Treating Lower Back Pain
Most pain in the lower back is acute, meaning it will go away after a short period of time. Sometimes, it resolves itself on its own with rest, over-the-counter medications, and other types of self-care. Since it is often mechanical, once the damage is fixed, the pain goes away.
Chronic back pain can last several months even after treating the initial cause of the pain. There are many non-surgical options for treating chronic lower back pain including chiropractic care. The medical professionals at B3 Medical can help. Contact us today for a consultation and let us help you relieve your pain without surgery.