Lower Back Pain – Diagnosis and Treatment
Low back pain is one of the most common ailments afflicting society today. In the United States alone, back pain accounts for more than 7,000,000 new cases and 250,000 surgeries each year. In fact, nearly all of us will experience some degree of back pain at least once in our lifetime. Our lower back is especially vulnerable to this malady, mostly due to increased weight bearing, mechanical stress, and the lack of rib support to this region.
There are many causes of lower back pain but the most common cause is mechanical stress. Mechanical stress can be considered the action of movement under the presence of weight. For instance, when you bend forward with the knees straight, pick up an object, and twist while lifting that object, you apply a great deal of mechanical stress to the lower back. This is especially true if you lift the object with your arms away from your body.
The lower back is especially susceptible to this malady. This is because the lower back receives more weight and has less support from the mid back region, due to the lack of ribs. To make matters worse, the lowest part of the lower back usually houses the largest nerve with the smallest space for that nerve to exit the spine. This nerve is called the L5/S1 or Sciatic Nerve. It can be the source of lower back and/or leg pain (commonly called Sciatica) when the lower back is out of alignment, becomes diseased, or the muscles and tissues surrounding the spine become inflamed.
These are the most common lower back pain conditions we treat: