Foley Physical Medicine
Low Back Pain
Low back pain will be experienced by an estimated 80 percent of the population at some point during their life and is one of the most common reason people visit their primary care physician. With the risk of suffering from low back pain being so high you might be looking to find a way to avoid being part of that 80 percent.
Risk Factors of Low Back Pain
The first thing you can do is avoid or limit your exposure to common risk factors. With the large number of computer centered jobs in our society many of us find ourselves sitting for long periods of time allowing our low back muscles to tighten and become pain generators. Taking the time to stand, stretch, and walk for even a few seconds can be enough to counteract those long hours of sitting. On the opposite end of the spectrum is an overuse injury.
A sudden or extended period of use of the low back beyond normal workload can cause the muscles to spasm and cause you pain. Taking time to warm up the muscles before taking on a large job can reduce the chances of sustaining an injury. Taking breaks during extended periods of work may also reduce the stress on the low back giving the muscles a chance to recover and reducing the risk of injury. Muscle related low back pain is most commonly found in adults 30-50 years of age and it might surprise you to find out that males and females have equal rates of occurrence. As you age, your chances of having low back pain caused by non-muscular related issues such as arthritis or spinal stenosis increases.
Symptom of Low Back Pain
The symptom of low back pain is caused by many different underlying dysfunctions. It can be caused by facet syndrome, disc bulges, sacroiliac syndrome, arthritis, and many other conditions. Each of these underlying dysfunctions will present with many overlapping characteristics and just a couple of slight variations that allow a physician to pinpoint the true dysfunction that you present with.
Facet Syndrome and Low Back Pain
Facet syndrome will produce a very sharp low back pain that is worse with standing and worse with extension of the low back. Facet syndrome is most often caused by a sudden motion that irritates highly innervated tissue located in the joints between your vertebrae. The joints, when faced with pain, will cause muscular spasm to form a splint around the joint and cause the area to lock-up and swell. Allowing this area to remain in this locked state can lead to an extended and unnecessary period of pain.
Sacroiliac Joint Pain and Low Back Pain
Sacroiliac syndrome will produce low back pain that is achy and sharp at times. The pain will be worse on one side, and worse with walking. Sacroiliac pain is can easily be mistaken for hip pain. The sacroiliac joint causes pain when it is not able to properly move through the normal joint range of motion. It can become inflamed due to a fall, old footwear, or sitting with your legs crossed for long periods of time.
Bulged discs and Low Back Pain
A disc bulge can cause low back pain that presents as a deep and sharp pain that is worse with sitting, and sometimes associated with a radiating leg pain. A disc bulge will usually occur suddenly and often happen after twisting or leaning over to pick something up. The bulging disc will likely press on spinal nerves and cause pain to radiate down the leg.
Arthritis and Low Back Pain
Arthritis will cause a dull and ache type of pain that is worse in the morning or at the end of a long day. Arthritis will also flare up after prolonged periods of sitting or standing. It causes a feeling of stiffness because arthritis causes a change in the shape of the joint and decreases the range of motion of the joint.
Relief From Low Back Pain
What can you do if you already have low back pain? Chiropractic care is an effective way to relieve and prevent current and further low back pain. Contact your chiropractor to have your unique situation evaluated to determine the underlying cause of your low back pain. After the cause of your pain is determined, treatment to eliminate your back pain can begin. Chiropractic adjustments restore proper motion to the joints, relieve muscular spasms, and relieve pain. Early treatment can speed up your recovery time and can get you back to normal faster than if you just wait for the pain to go away. Also, untreated back pain will reoccur 80% of the time. By restoring proper function and strengthening the low back, chiropractic care can help prevent reoccurrences.
If you would like help determining the cause of your low back pain, call Dr. Foley at 815-717-8646 to schedule your appointment today.