Lower Back

What is a lower back injury?

The lumbar region (lower back) is the area of the back beginning below the ribcage and ending at the upper part of the buttock.  In this region, your spine has a natural inward curve, which helps to balance the weight of your head, evenly distribute weight from the upper body and reduce concentration of stress in the lower spine.

When strained, this curve may increase or decrease, causing pain due to uneven distribution of weight and increased concentration of stress in the lower spine.  Two common types of low back pain include: mechanical pain, which stems from muscles, ligaments, joints and bones in and around the spine and radicular pain, stemming from a spinal nerve root becoming impinged or inflamed.  Both types of pain may travel down into the buttock or leg, but radicular pain is more of a sharp, electric or burning-type pain.

Common Symptoms

Lower back pain has a range of symptoms including, but not limited to:

  • Dull and achy pain, contained to the lower back
  • Stinging, burning pain moving to the backs of the thighs, sometimes into the lower legs or feet; can include numbness or tingling (sciatica)
  • Muscle spasms and tightness in the low back, pelvis and hips
  • Pain that worsens after prolonged sitting or standing
  • Difficulty standing up straight, walking or going from standing to sitting

Causes

There are many causes of low back pain, the most common are:

  • Injury (strain or sprain due to sudden movement or poor body mechanics while lifting)
  • Arthritis
  • Kidney infection
  • Ruptured or herniated disc
  • Infection of the spine

Treatment

When faced with lower back pain, a chiropractor will provide spinal adjustments in order to restore proper movement to the spinal joints.  Because most lower back pain is chronic, your chiropractor will also provide you with take-home exercises in order to strengthen the muscles surrounding the injured area.

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