Low back pain is an extremely common complaint in our society today with up to 80% of the population suffering some form of lower back pain in their lifetime.
There are many causes of lower back pain. Just like we can tear or strain a thigh muscle we can also injure the soft tissue in our back.
This can occur through direct trauma but more commonly through placing too much stress on these structures.
Incorrect lifting, lifting beyond our physical capacities, repetitive activities causing overuse of joints and ligaments and poor postures greatly contribute to our levels of back pain.
Other problems that can lead to lower back pain are;
- Protrusion of the intervertebral disc material which impinges on nerve sensitive structures in the spinal column.
- Fractures such as those that occur from falls – more commonly seen in the elderly as their bones are often more brittle.
- Stress fractures from overuse – seen more commonly in sports involving repeated hyperextension such as gymnastics, fast bowling (cricket) throwing sports and tennis.
- Spinal canal stenosis (or narrowing) – more common in the elderly. Characterised by pain, aggravated by walking and relieved by rest.
Other causes include malignancy (cancer), arthritis and osteoporosis.
In the majority of cases of low back pain the principles of management depend on careful assessment to detect any abnormality then appropriate treatment to correct that abnormality.
Physiotherapy, hydrotherapy and back care education play a big role in managing these low back syndromes of today’s society.
For more information see your local Lifecare practitioner. Click here to find your closest Lifecare clinic.