Do you feel those aches and pains in your lower back from time to time? Do you feel stiff in your back getting out of a chair after sitting for awhile? Four out of every five Americans will suffer from back pain at some time in their lives. The actual cause of low back pain can vary, as there are many structures in this region of the body that may cause symptoms. Some of the possible causes include:
1. Lumbar or sacral radiculopathy: The result of pressure on a nerve coming from the spine, often caused by a bulging or herniated disc. This is often mistakenly called sciatica which comes from compression of the sciatic nerve by the piriformis muscle deep in the buttock.
2. Spinal stenosis: This is a narrowing of the bony spinal canal which causes the nerves to be “squeezed.”
3. Facet arthropathy: This is usually due to aging or “arthritis” of the joints in the spine.
4. Lumbar sprain/strain: This is a common cause of low back pain that may be due to injury to multiple structures, such as muscles and tendons. The parallel rows of muscles that run up and down either side of the spinal column are the major muscle group usually involved in lower back injury.
5. Bony fractures: These may be due to trauma, or sometimes occur without any injury in people with osteoporosis.
6. Spinal cord compression: This is unusual, but very worrisome and may be associated with weakness and loss of bowel/bladder control.
More often than not, what seems to be an unfortunately familiar back pain goes unreported and ignored, taking a back seat to other stressors of everyday life. But, because such pain can be a sign of more serious issues, as described above, never ignore what your body is trying to tell you! Monitor your pain, and seek assistance as needed before the undiscovered injury gets worse.
Source: www.valpolife.com; January 25, 2013.