Back Pain Lumbar Spine (Low)

Low Back Pain


What is low back pain?

Back pain lumbar spine refers to pain arising from any number of structures in the low back. This can include muscle, ligament, disc, nerve, joint structures or bone.

What causes low back pain?

The most common causes of low back pain include non-osseous injury (disc and joint), sacroiliac joint inflammation, stress fracture of a vertebrae, spinal and gluteal muscle trigger point and hip pathology. Most low back pain has a gradual onset and not related to any particular acute episode. This is commonly due to postural or activity overloading the above mentioned structures. Acute trauma commonly occurs with twisting or bending movements.



How does low back pain feel?

Back pain lumbar spine is often a dull ache but can be sharp in its acute phase. Quite often, it is made worse by movement. This is known as mechanical pain. The pain may be central, to one side or on both sides of the spine. It may also radiate down into the buttocks, back of the thigh or lower leg. If pain is radiating down the leg or to the foot, there may be an acute nerve root compression(see injury notes).

Management of low back pain and how to fix it

Recovery usually takes place in a number of days to weeks. The main ongoing problem associated with low back pain is its tendency to re-occur if poorly managed. Low back pain should be carefully assessed and treated by an expert such as a physiotherapist or sports physician. A thorough examination and history can determine the source of pain and the causing factors. There may be a need for investigations such as x-ray or MRI. Nowadays, there is extensive scientific evidence to suggest that active treatment is most effective in the short term and in prevention of re-occurence in the long term. The principle of spinal stability is well founded. Essentially, deep spinal(local) and global(dynamic) pelvic stabilising muscles need to be re-educated to return normal control mechanisms to the affected region. This is the basis of core stability.