Your lower back, the lumbar spine, features the complex skeletal structure of muscles, nerves, ligaments, joints, and interconnected bones that function cohesively to provide your body with support, flexibility, and strength. While this complicated system of bones, tissues, and nerves is strong, it is also vulnerable to injury and pain.
This article is intended to present easy to understand information regarding this complex increase understanding about the symptoms, imaging, physical data, and injection techniques related to diagnosing lumbar pain and injury.
Only after a correct diagnosis for the cause of low back pain is found can treatment be started.
What Can Go Awry with the Lumbar Spine?
The low back region does more than you might think.
It supports the full weight of your upper body and offers mobility for everyday movements such as twisting and bending. The lumbar muscles play a main role in hip rotation and flexing for walking and supporting the spine. Your lumbar nerves provide the low back with a supply of power and sensation in the feet, legs, and pelvis.
Acute lumbar spinal pain is often caused by injuries to the discs, joints, muscles, or ligaments. The human body reacts by implementing an inflammatory response for healing.
The Wide Scope of Lumbar Pain Symptoms
Low back pain is associated with a broad range of symptoms that range from mild and uncomfortable to excruciating and incapacitating. It can come on suddenly or start with a dull ache and develop into a gradual increase of pain over time.
These sets of symptoms are experienced in different ways, depending on the underlying cause of the pain.
- Dull, achy pain confined to the lower back
- Burning, stinging pain that transfers from the low back to the backs of your thighs and may radiate into the legs and feet (pain, numbness, or tingling – sciatica)
- Standing up, walking, or transitioning between standing to sitting difficulties
- Tightness and muscle spasms in the hips, low back, and pelvis
- Pain that is aggravated by prolonged standing or sitting
Symptoms of low back pan are often categorized by how it starts and how long it lasts.
- Acute pain: The onset of acute pain is sudden lasts only a few days or weeks. This category fits the normal bodily response to tissue damage or injury. Self-care and common sense should be implemented for treatment.
- Subacute pain: This low back pain lasts between six weeks and three months and is often mechanical, but prolonged. This pain often affects your daily activities, sleep pattern, and job. Medical treatment should be sought.
- Chronic pain: When lower back pain is prolonged past three months, it is categorized as chronic pain. It’s usually severe and is resistant to basic treatments. Exams and testing are required in these cases to find the source of the pain before it is treated.
The Types of Lumbar Pain
There are two primary categories of pain types:
Mechanical Pain is the most typical cause of lumbar back pain. It primarily comes from the bones, joints, ligaments, or muscles that surround the spine. It’s localized to the low back, top of the legs, and buttocks. It occurs from motions like twisting or moving forward or backwards. It can happen when standing, sitting, or resting.
Radicular Pain occurs when spinal nerves are inflamed or pinched. It often follows the nerve root into the buttock and leg (sciatica). Radicular pain is sharp, burning, electric, and is associated with weakness or numbness. Typically, it occurs on only one side of the body. Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve is affected.
This only covers the basics of lower back pain and its particulars. Other sources may include stenosis, neuropathic, tumours, infections, inflammatory response related to arthritis, and other pains.
Low back pain can occur with no particular cause therefore, the symptoms are treated to reduce pain and improve the patient’s quality of life.
Diagnosis of low back pain is crucial to finding the proper treatment and methods of future injury and recurrent back pain prevention.