Lower back pain is one of the most common reasons why a person might visit a chiropractor. Around 80 percent of adults will experience some degree of lower back pain throughout their lifetimes, and this condition is the most common cause of work-related disabilities. Lower back pain and discomfort is typified by anything from a dull, constant ache to an intense spike of pain that makes walking impossible.
Often low back pain is caused by overuse, strain, sprain or injury due to falls, heavy lifting, carrying, pulling and pushing activity. Other causes include degenerative changes, arthritis, compression fractures, tumors, infections, herniated discs, sciatica and spinal stenosis.
Symptoms of low back pain depend on the cause and can come on gradually or quickly. Symptoms can include muscle spasm, cramping, stiffness, pain in the back, buttock or legs. Other symptoms such as tingling, numbness and weakness in the lower extremities can often disturb functional activities, such as getting out of bed, the chair and car. Severe low back pain causes difficulty with walking, standing, sleeping, climbing stairs, sitting and bending activity.
Usually, lower back pain is diagnosed in the course of a normal physical exam. Physical therapists usually have the tools necessary to diagnose your lower back pain, but specialized techniques like computerized tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imagery (MRI) may also be used to confirm that the pain you’re experiencing is due to general lower back pain and not some other type of condition.
Some lower back pain treatments, such as applying hot or cold packs, can be used from home, but others require the care of a licensed physical therapist. In particular, spinal mobilization, massage, manual therapy, stretching, postural correction and core strengthening exercises have been shown to be effective treatments for lower back pain and discomfort. Our therapists’ main goal is to relieve pain, promote healing and restore function and movement.