Men and women alike complain of lower back pain at some point in their lives (1).
Often it registers as a form of discomfort or mild pain at the lumbar region but can be sharp or severe as well, depending on the cause and conditions around it (2).
Lower back pain is occasioned mainly by the very structure and function of the lumbar spine. This lower back is a complex network of interconnecting bones, nerves, joints, muscles, and ligaments all jointly working to provide support for the weight of the upper body and flexibility to ensure mobility for everyday movements such as twisting and bending.
This complex nature of the structure leaves the lower back susceptible to injury – often leading to lower left and lower right back pain.
Lower back pain causes
Pain at the lower back often involves a disc or joint problem, but more commonly an irritated nerve or ligament.
Muscle strain, torn lumbar disc or ligament sprain can create inflammation and painful spasms in the same area, registering in the brain as lower back pain in the affected area (3). Any of these can happen suddenly as a result of a forceful impact such as lifting a heavy object or develop gradually over time from strenuous repetitive movements.
Overstretching the lower back is a common cause of muscle strain and can sometimes lead to tearing or damaging of the muscles and ligaments that attach the bones together.
A sedentary lifestyle is another factor that often sets the stage for lower back pain. People who punctuate their weekends with strenuous workouts after a weekday routine characterized with little exercise are especially likely to experience lower back pain.
Degenerative disc disease. This is the wearing down and tearing of lumbar discs due to loss of hydration that occurs naturally as one grows older (4). In response, the body will mobilize an inflammatory healing response – which by itself can cause severe pain.
Trauma. A fall or motor vehicle accident can cause acute fractures or dislocations in the spine. These kinds of trauma will typically cause pain in the affected areas, primarily the lumbar region. Such pain resulting from trauma requires a quick diagnosis by a qualified physician.
Common symptoms of low back pain
When your lumbar spine is affected, you are likely to experience any number of symptoms depending on the underlying cause of the pain. These often include:
- Dull or achy pain around the lower back region.
- Muscle spasms and tautness in the pelvis, lower back, and hips
- Stinging, burning sensation that tends to move from the lower back to the rears of the thighs, and sometimes spreading down to the lower legs – with apparent tingling or numbness.
- Difficulty in going from standing to sitting, standing up straight or walking.
Treating lower back pain
Once a patient has given a detailed description of their medical history and symptoms of the condition, a doctor usually gets a general idea of what’s causing the pain.
Treatment may then begin with a diagnostic imaging test such as a CT scan or X-rays to provide a clear picture of the lumbar spinal bones.
Depending on the patient’s diagnosis, the doctor may recommend one or more treatments to eradicate the pain effectively.
Preliminary treatments will include a short rest period which often means briefly avoiding strenuous activity, activity modification to incorporate avoidance of positions and activities that aggravate the pain, heat or ice therapy to relax tense muscles and improve blood flow, and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines to relieve the pain.
Spend some time lying on your back and bring your aching lower back in contact with the acupressure mat’s surface and let your body rest on it. The mat’s creative design includes numerous need-like plastic structures on the surface that stimulates the acupressure points on your back and brings relief. The mat is also known to:
- Relax your body and mind
- Help you to sleep bett
- Provide natural pain relief
In extreme cases of lower back pain, such as caused by trauma from car accidents, surgical procedures may be administered.
While pain at the lower back can be discomforting or downright debilitating, much of it should generally go away by itself in a matter of days or weeks. However, if the pain persists or gets worse, it is recommended to call on an expert for diagnosis. No stress!