Low Back Pain
Low back pain (LBP) can affect people of all ages and is a worldwide health problem. It is the leading cause of activity limitation and work absence through much of the world. At any given time, 10-20% of individuals suffer from low back pain, and 70-80% of the population will suffer from this pain at some point in their lifetime.
LBP can result from muscle fatigue, deconditioning or with rapid movements of the body, causing damage to the ligaments, joints and muscles of the lumbar spine (low back region). Repetitive motions such as lifting, bending and twisting, can also cause excess pressure on the joints within the lumbar spine, resulting in low back pain.
Factors that predispose individuals to low back pain include previous low back injury or pain; repetitive lifting, bending or twisting; a history of osteoarthritis; adopting a sedentary lifestyle; core trunk muscle deconditioning; and postural issues.
The onset of low back pain can be immediate or result shortly after injury. Usually the pain is described as dull and achy, and may also be sharp with sudden movements. If there is associated sharp, shooting leg pain, there may be disc involvement and nerve compression. Movement will be limited. Prolonged standing and extension of the low back may aggravate the pain.
The first step in treating your low back pain is visiting a health care practitioner such as a chiropractor, physiotherapist or physician for a proper diagnosis. Conservative treatment may include: soft tissue techniques, joint mobilizations, traction of the lumbar spine, as well as stretches, and strengthening exercises of the back and abdominal muscles for improved core strength and endurance. You may also receive ergonomic advice tailored to your activities of daily living, job demands and athletic involvement.
Written by: Dr. Gianna Soncina, D.C