About 80 percent of adults experience low back pain at some point in their lifetimes. It is the most common cause of job-related disability and a leading contributor to missed work days. – National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Back pain that lasts three months or longer is considered chronic. It can ebb and flow, often bringing relief that is only temporary. Your body keeps hurting weeks, months or sometimes even years. It not only affects just your day-to-day life but also your everyday routine, your mental health, and lifestyle.
From medication, heat and cold therapy, yoga, exercise, mediation to lifestyle modification, your doctor may recommend you one or a combination of several treatments and therapies to subside the pain. Some might help you while some may not.
But, believe us; your back pain can get better, and soon. Most patients can get better because they haven’t received the correct treatment. Most forms of treatment are passive which means they rely on the practitioner for help. An active approach to exercise and fixing the cause of your back pain and not just your symptoms is the best resolution. Let us see how.
What Causes Lower Back Pain?
Reasons are multiple, but the vast majority of low back pain is mechanical in nature. In some cases, lower back pain is associated with spondylosis, normal wear in tear in the joints, discs, bones, and spine, either due to injury or aging effect. Some reasons are listed below:
- Sprains and strains – Account for most acute back pain, sprains are caused by overstretching or tearing ligaments. On the other hand, strains are caused by tears in tendons or muscles. Both can arise from twisting or lifting something improperly, lift heavy weight, overstretching, etc. Such movements may also activate spasms in back muscles which may be painful.
- Intervertebral disc generation – considered one of the most common mechanical causes of low back pain, this condition occurs when the soft discs lose their integrity, either due to the normal process of aging or some injury. In a healthy spine, vertebral discs allow bending, flexion and torsion of the lower back. When the discs deteriorate, they lose their cushioning ability.
- Herniated discs – The condition occurs when the intervertebral discs are compressed and bulge outward or rupture. It can irritate the surrounding nerves, giving rise to low back pain.
- Sciatica – It occurs due to compression of the sciatic nerve, the large nerve that runs through the buttocks and extends down the back of the leg. This compression shock-like pain or burning low pack along with pain in buttocks and down the leg.
- Traumatic injury – Severe injuries are one of the common reasons for low back pain. Injuries may arise from playing sports, car accidents, fall, which injure tendons, ligaments or muscles. Traumatic injury may also cause the spine to become overly compressed which may further rupture or herniated intervertebral discs.
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Treatment of Back Pain
Treatment of low back pain depends on many factors, like condition of the patient, type of pain (chronic or acute). Surgery is recommended only in limited cases, for example, if there is evidence of worsening nerve damage, diagnostic tests suggest structural changes which can be addressed only with corrective surgical procedures. In the majority of cases, the patient with chronic back pain can better with physiotherapy, strengthening exercises, yoga and lifestyle modifications.
Chronic pain often doesn’t get better as patients make rushed decisions or undergo extensive medical procedures. Your doctors may exhaust all diagnostic options, failed to find the origin of the pain and your situation couldn’t get better anymore. If the pain is getting worse, the best way is to find an alternative option for pain management with nonsurgical treatments.
How Physical Therapy Can Help
Exercise is the foundation of nonsurgical chronic back pain treatment. It should be the first treatments you should go for under the guidance of your neurosurgeon and spine physiotherapist. As the same exercise doesn’t suit everyone, it should be tailored to your specific conditions and symptoms. Maintaining an exercise routine is another must-follow step for the big part of success.
Physical therapy successfully subsides the pain in most of the cases, because:
- It retrains your posture
- Tests the limits of pain tolerance
- Aids stretching and flexibility of your body
- Works on core strengthening
- Gives you confidence that it is “OK” to move
- Repairs the injured tissue in your back
Are you struggling with back pain or sciatica over the past few weeks, months or years? If yes, you are at the right place. We, at Back In Motion help, activate people quickly recover from their injuries and prevent unnecessary surgeries, and get them free of painkillers. We help you get back to being as active as you used to be. If you want to know more about all the different ways, we’re able to help you call our office at 239-223-0484 or inquire about cost and appointment availability by clicking here.
About Author: Dr. Scott Gray
Dr. Scott Gray is an internationally recognized and expert physical therapist specializing in sport, athletic, and back and neck injuries. He is the inventor of a revolutionary form of treatment called the GRAY METHOD. This type of treatment unlike others, addresses the CAUSE rather than just your SYMPTOMS with a full body approach. For more information on how to ease or overcome your injury, go to www.backinmotionsspt.com.