The lumbar spine, or low back, is a remarkably well-engineered structure of interconnecting bones, joints, nerves, ligaments, and muscles all working together to provide support, strength, and flexibility. However, this complex structure also leaves the low back susceptible to injury and pain.
Signs and Symptoms
Other signs and symptoms of back pain can include:
- Muscle aches
- Pain down your leg
- Stabbing or shooting pain
- Restricted flexibility and range of motion
- Pain in the back, buttocks or legs
- Inability to stand upright
What are the most common causes of Back Pain?
- Ruptured disks
The ruptured soft material inside the disc can press the nerve which can be found in X-rays.
The lower back can be affected by osteoarthritis and in some cases can cause spinal stenosis.
When the bones become porous and brittle, they can cause painful fractures in the spine.
- Muscle strain
Sudden movements can strain your muscles and ligaments and can cause painful muscle spasms and stiff back.
In most cases, imaging is not necessary, but in some instances, it may be required to rule out specific causes of pain in the lower, middle or upper back, including spinal stenosis and tumors. Some of these medical tests may include:
- Physical examination
- Blood tests
- Neurological examination
- Computerized tomography (CT)
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Electromyography (EMG)
- Nerve Conduction Velocity (NCV)
Treatment and prevention
- Activity: Individuals should remain active, do light stretching exercises, and resume daily activities while avoiding movements that strain the back.
- Physical therapy: programs help to strengthen core muscles that support your back, promote proper posture and positioning, and enhance mobility and flexibility.
- Medications: A wide range of drugs such as painkillers, antidepressants, narcotics, and muscle relaxants are available for treating both acute and chronic pain
- Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS): TENS involves placing a device that emits electrical impulses on the sensitive parts.
- Acupuncture involves the insertion of sterilized needles at specific points on the body through the skin. Individuals with low back pain claim that acupuncture provides pain relief.
At Amrita Medical Center, our staff is happy to answer any of your questions and help you decide if the right fit for you. We even offer same day appointments for your convenience. Contact us here!