Lumbar Pain

What is Lumbar Pain?

Back pain is a common condition and usually acute (causing problems for a short period of time). Many individuals can take steps to ease symptoms and prevent future problems. The most common area of back pain is the lower back (Lumbar Spine) as this area tends to bear most of the stress of your an individual's weight throughout the day.

Most individuals experience lower back pain at some point in their lives but few develop chronic lower back pain related medical issues. Most get better within two to six weeks. Lower back pain can be separated into 2 categories:

Mechanical Pain which is caused by wear and tear (degeneration) in parts of the Lumbar Spine

Neurogenic Pain which occurs when spinal nerves are inflamed, squeezed or pinched

Causes

The causes of back pain are of a wide variety, but fortunately, can be classified according to the source of pain, making the diagnosis quite straightforward. Common causes include:

- Arthritis

- Bone tumour

- Fracture

- Irritation of a nerve root

- Ligament injury

- Muscle strain or injury

- Other non-spinal causes such as viral infections, kidney stones or gynaecological problems in women

- Poor posture

- Slipped disc

- Spinal Stenosis (narrowing of the Spinal Canal)

- Spine curvatures (scoliosis or kyphosis)

- Trauma

Treatment

Most patients get better with little to no treatment. The best course of action if possible is to stay active and get back to normal daily activities as soon as possible. The main goal of treatment is to control the pain and some of the following treatments may be used:

- Back brace, usually for two to four days, to support a problematic disc

- Bed rest, usually for no more than two days, to take the pressure off sore discs and nerves

- Medication to help you to sleep and to control pain, inflammation and muscle spasm

- Physiotherapy to relieve pain, improve back movement and maintain a healthy posture

- Spinal injection to relieve pain

- Surgery is usually only done if severe pain does not improve. Types of surgery include:

- Laminectomy to relieve pressure on the spinal nerves

- Discectomy to remove a portion of the disc that is pressing on the nerve root

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