The lower back or “lumbar” spine is made up of the last five (5) vertebrae of the spine along with the soft tissues that connect and control these vertebrae. In between each vertebrae sits the intervertebral disc, and exiting the spinal cord at each level of the lumbar vertebrae are the lumbar nerve roots that supply the lower limbs.
What are the signs and symptoms of Lower Back Pain?
Lower back pain is a term that is generally used to describe pain originating in the lumbar spine which may radiate pain to any region of the lumbar; lower abdominal; hip; groin or lower limb regions. It may be range in intensity from mild to severe and can also cause symptoms such as pins and needles; tingling or numbness in any of these areas.
Common Causes of Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain is a complex condition that can range from a mild acute strain to debilitating, chronic pain. The causes of lower back pain are often multi-factorial and require expert assessment by a Physiotherapist to determine the possible issues causing and contributing to the symptoms.
Postural stresses on the lumbar spine caused by occupational tasks such as repetitive bending and lifting postures are often found to contribute to lower back conditions. Sedentary postures such as computer work and study can also contribute to this condition.
Muscle imbalance and poor muscular coordination in the lower back and pelvic regions are deficits that may be corrected through appropriate exercise prescription and may help to alleviate lower back pain. A Physiotherapist can provide a thorough musculoskeletal assessment to detect, and then prescribe a customized programme to help address such deficits.
Acute or chronic disc prolapse or degeneration is often caused by overload of the disc structure due to repetitive lifting or bending activities
Early intervention and advice from your Physiotherapist will assist in minimising the impact of an acute disc bulge or prolapse – the dreaded “slipped disc”.
Degenerative joint disease
Osteoarthritis and other degenerative joint processes may cause pain along with a loss of mobility and function which very often responds positively to individualised exercises prescribed by your Physiotherapist.