It is important to understand the causes of lower back pain so as to administer optimal treatment for the management of this pain. The lower back consists of the lumbar region of the spine. This region is made up of vertebrae (the bones that make up the spine), tendons, ligaments and the muscles that support these structures. This area plays various important roles in our day to day activities. These include offering structural support to our bodies, protection of internal organs and certain body tissues as well as facilitating movement. Activities such as standing, bending, twisting or extending the waist are all dependent on the lumbar region. Therefore injury to the lower back would result in limitations to many of our daily activities.
Back pain may be caused by the stretching of the ligaments, tendons or muscles in the lumbar region. This is commonly known as a lumbar strain. This stretching results in microscopic tears of varying degrees in these tissues. This is the cause of the pain. The stretching may result from trauma, overuse or improper use of the lower back.
Acute back pain resulting from a lumbar strain normally lasts a few days to a few weeks and normally results from tissue injury. If the pain lasts for a longer period, it is then classified as chronic pain. Although this type of injury is more common among people over the age of 40, it may occur in younger people. It is characterized by painful sensations in the lower back region that usually occur after a stressful physical activity. The injury is diagnosed through the patient's history, history of the injury and x-ray testing. Treatments for lower back pain caused by lumbar strain include medication, rest and reconditioning exercises to encourage healing and strengthen the back muscles.
Nerve irritation is also a cause of lower back pain. This results from mechanical pressure caused by the bones or tissues of this lower region. The pressure may also be caused by the development of a disease such as a viral infection along the path of the nerve roots within the lower back region. Treatments for lower back pain caused by nerve irritation will depend on the cause of the irritation. Mechanical pressure may be corrected through rest, physical therapy or surgical correction. Diseases affecting the nerves may be dealt with through medication.
There are several bone and joint conditions within this region that may result in back pain. These include congenital bone conditions. These are bone conditions that are present from birth. They may result in the unusual growth and development of the bones in that region. Unusual development may be exhibited as shorter bones in the lower extremities or development of larger bones. These may result in pressure on the spinal cord causing a great deal of pain.
Other conditions that may result in lower back pain include degenerative bone and joint conditions. These degenerative conditions are a result of the wear and tear of the bones and joints in the back, arthritis and injuries to this part of the body.
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