We treat a lot of patients with lower back pain at Spine Consult NJ. We’re in the spine treatment sector and that’s where a lot of the problems happen – in the lower back.
The frustrating thing about the lower back is that sometimes, there’s no presenting cause. There can be multiple factors at work which are not structural. These can be stress, old injuries rearing their heads, not sleeping well (or on the wrong mattress) or not exercising enough. Lower back pain can be caused by a combination of these realities, or by only one of them.
So, what is your lower back pain telling you? Sometimes it’s not that easy to discern, so we’ve put together this brief overview. We can say with confidence, though, that seeing a spine specialist to resolve your lower back pain is probably your best course of action.
Acute vs. Chronic
Something to understand about your lower back pain is that if it’s been around for more than 3 months, it’s chronic. If you’ve hurt yourself (sprain or strain), then the pain is transient and will most likely resolve in only a few days.
And if your lower back pain is chronic there could be multiple factors at work, as detailed above.
Common Causes of Low Back Pain
The spine is a complicated thing. Because it’s complex, we can hurt ourselves in this area in so many ways, implicating muscles and ligaments.
Sprains and strains are the most common types of injuries and pain in the lower back. Sprains happen when ligaments are stretched beyond their limit, pulling them from supporting structures. Strains are a rip or tear on a muscle.
But you needn’t be lifting heavy objects to provoke a sprain or strain. These injuries can happen because of long-term poor posture.
Other common causes include depression. Because depression is so often accompanied by intense anxiety, it can sometimes manifest as low back pain. But fibromyalgia (an inflammation of soft tissue) is another issue which can cause pain in this area.
Some causes of low back pain certainly demand the support of a medical professional. Others require professional advice about lifestyle changes that can mitigate and eventually, eliminate the pain. Poor posture is one of them. But a lack of exercise, smoking cigarettes and excess weight can also be hurting your lower back, so committing to changing your lifestyle is usually all that’s required.
Surgery is always a last resort, no matter what you’re talking about. So, for low back pain most patients benefit from conservative, non-invasive treatments like chiropractic, physical therapy and even acupuncture.
If your lower back is trying to get your attention, don’t ignore it. Pain isn’t always a pretext for surgery. But it is telling you that you need to act to resolve the pain and get back to the quality of life you had before it cramped your style.
At Spine Care NJ, we treat all conditions of the spine with a comprehensive range of therapies. Contact us. End the pain.