Low back pain:
Low back pain is mostly caused by muscle, ligaments, disc or joint injury. It might be due to chronic or acute injuries.
The function of low back
Lower back is the part present between the lowest rib and upper region of the buttocks. Lower back starts below the rib cage. Lower back is also known as lumbar spine. Lumbar spine consists of vertebrae, disc, and bony projections these structures connect the back muscles. Lower back plays its role in movement, balance, power, posture, and flexibility. Lumbar spine forms the upper body which carries about 70% of the body weight. L1 to L5 are the most weight-bearing vertebrae and the most common sites for injuries. Along with maintaining posture lumbar spine protects spinal cord.
Muscles of low back
Deep muscles of the back include rotators, multifidus, semispinalis longissimus, quadratus lumborum. These muscles are responsible for trunk and spine stability.
Causes of low back pain
The least common causes of low back pain include infections called osteomyelitis, spinal tumors, autoimmune diseases like ankylosing spondylitis. Chronic is most commonly caused due to disc problems including:
- Lumbar herniated disc
- Degenerative disc disease
- Facet Joint dysfunction
- Sacroiliac joint dysfunction
- Spinal stenosis
- Deformity or trauma
- Compression fracture
Symptoms of low back pain
Back pain ranges from mild to severe, might be stabbing, shooting, burning, or radiating. It may radiate down in the leg while bending or moving. You need to go for a check-up if
- Pain radiates down the leg
- Weight loss
- Lasting more than a week
- Numbness and weakness
- Bowel and bladder disturbance
Which gender has more back pain?
Low back pain is more common in fems as compared to males due to household activities, ligament strains, and hormonal problems.
Tests for low back pain
Tests include functional tests, squat tests, overpressure, testing dermatomes, myotomes, reflexes, and neurodynamic testing.
Treatment for low back pain
Treatment options involve taking rest, activity modification, heat or cold therapy, over-the-counter medications, NSAIDs, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, physiotherapy techniques, and exercise plans.
Exercises of pain
There are some exercises that can alleviate back pain by strengthening the muscles of the back region. Exercise increases blood flow to the particular region which helps to boost up the healing process. Let’s discuss some exercises which help to manage the problem.
Bridging is performed to strengthen the gluteus maximus. It is a large muscle of the buttock region. It is involved in moving hips and supporting the lower back. Perform 3 sets of 15 repetitions.
Knee to chest stretching
Knee to chest stretching helps in strengthening and elongation of lower back muscles and decreases tension and pain.
Cat stretch helps in strengthening and elongation of back muscles by relieving tension in the muscles. Perform 3-5 times, twice a day.
Over-the-counter medications, NSAIDs, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
Physiotherapy involves manual therapy, electrotherapy, traction, and workout plans which help in relieving back pain.
Manual therapy includes spinal manipulation, spinal mobilization, and massage. Thrust manipulation and non-thrust manipulation helps in treating back problems. Treatment through manipulation might include up to 9 sessions.
Electrotherapy modalities including TENS, ultrasound, laser, traction, massage, and interferential therapies are not preferred.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy includes patient counseling, goal setting, attention diversion, new habits, and postural training. Operant and behavioral therapy have a greater impact than short-term relief plans.
Back pain during pregnancy
Low back pain is most commonly seen during pregnancy. Because the muscles in the mother’s body become softer and muscles become stretch. This creates strain on low back muscles which causes pain in this region. It is mostly seen in the 5th and 7th months of pregnancy. Let’s have a look at some exercise patterns to overcome.