Lower back pain: how to find relief
Finding relief for low back pain
Back pain is inevitable -- nearly everyone experiences it at some point in their lives. Lower back pain plagues millions of people each year, disrupting peoples’ lives and daily activities. Studies have shown that it is one of the top reasons for missed work. Finding relief can be difficult in some situations and treatments range from ergonomics, temperature therapy, steroid injection, chiropractic care, exercise, acupuncture, medication, physical therapy, and many other options.
Who is at risk? Common causes of low back pain
Low back pain can be caused by many factors and can start as early as your twenties. Some common causes of low back pain are:
- Highly physical jobs
- Bad posture
- Bad form when exercising
- Excessive reaching
- Incorrect twisting of your body
- Prolonged sitting
- Sedentary jobs
- Heavy lifting
- Bad sleeping position
- Muscle or ligament strain
- Herniated disc
- Degenerative disc disease
- Facet or sacroiliac joint dysfunction
Anatomy of the lower back
The lower back is the area just behind the belly, from the bottom of the rib cage down to the pelvis. This region is known as the lumbar spine and it is made up of five vertebrae and other supporting structures. Altogether, the low back is responsible for supporting the weight of the upper body and provides mobility for motions such as bending and twisting. The associated muscles play a key role in walking, responsible for flexing and rotating the hips and supporting the spinal column. Nerves in the low back supply sensation and power the muscles in the pelvis, legs, and feet.
Does your back hurt? Low back pain symptoms
Low back pain symptoms can range from a dull ache to sharp and stabbing pains. The pains can be continuous or sometimes they can be intermittent or positional. Pain can also be classified as acute or chronic. Acute low back pain can appear suddenly, usually after an injury. Chronic back pain is defined as pain lasting more than three months. If you have prolonged back pain longer than 72 hours, contact our highly-trained pain management providers and learn how we can help.
How is low back pain diagnosed?
The best treatment outcomes stem from proper diagnosis. Our expert providers can provide accurate diagnosis and build a treatment plan tailored just to you and your individual needs. Diagnosing low back pain involves a complete medical history and physical exam to help understand your unique situation and to identify any serious conditions that may be causing your lower back pain. You can expect the following:
- Questions about your health history
- Questions about your exercise and activity level
- Review of your posture and sleep habits
- Questions about any injuries or previous medical conditions\
Your provider will conduct a physical examination to evaluate your posture, range of motion, and overall physical condition. You can expect your provider to carefully evaluate your spine health, vertebrae alignment, and back muscles. Your provider may also order labs to help in the assessment, which may include:
- Blood tests
- CT scans
- MRI scans
- Electromyography (muscles)
- lumbar puncture (spinal tap)
- Injection studies
I want relief for my lower back pain. What are my options?
At HPM, we focus on non-surgical pain management treatments. We offer a variety of minimally invasive procedures including: