Classification of Low Back Pain & Its Treatment
Lower back, also known as lumbar spine, is one of the most complicated parts of the human body. Made up of muscles, ligaments, bones, joints, and nerves, it helps in supporting the weight of the upper body and is responsible for a wide range of everyday functions.
People with unhealthy lumbar spine can’t perform daily activities like cleaning the house, washing clothes, preparing meals, and gardening, etc., with ease. The reason for this is their back can’t take the pressure of physical activities effectively, and hence it either starts paining or creates discomfort for them. In short, back pain prevents people from taking movements like bending and twisting.
Because of its complex structure and the kind of weight it supports, lumbar spine remains at the risk of injuries.
Causes of Low Back Pain
- Weak or injured muscles in the lower back
- Lumbar herniated disc and degenerative disc disease
- Facet joint dysfunction
- Sacroiliac joint dysfunction
- Injuries to ligaments, joints, and other crucial spinal structures
- Spinal infections like osteomyelitis that results due to surgical treatments
- A spinal tumor that occurs due to kidney and breast cancer
- An autoimmune disease like ankylosing spondylitis
Other common causes of low back pain include spondylolisthesis, osteoarthritis, and compression fracture, etc.
The first step towards recovery is to analyze the symptoms of low back pain to identify the underlying cause. Once your healthcare professional comes to know about the reason behind your pain, they will then offer the right treatment to you.
The symptoms of low back pain
- Pain in the lower back that stays for a couple of days
- Pain that worsens when you perform physical activity
- Pain in the lower back that makes it difficult for you to move from a sitting or lying position
- Pain that radiates from your lower back to hips, and then down to legs
- Tightness or burning sensation in the lower back, pelvis, and hips
- Pain that worsens in the absence of physical activities
Classification of Low Back Pain
Based on the kinds of symptoms you experience and the intensity of pain and discomfort, you can categorize low back pain into two types.
Acute Low Back Pain
The pain that lasts for a couple of weeks and occurs due to an injury is known as acute low back pain. When you injure any part of your body, pain remains its response, and it starts mitigating when you begin to recover.
Chronic Back Pain
If you are experiencing pain in your lower back for more than three months, it means you are suffering from chronic pain. It’s hard to treat chronic back pain unless you take the treatment that can address its symptoms effectively.
You can also divide low back pain into the mechanical pain and radicular pain. The first one, which is the mechanical pain, stems from problems linked to muscles, ligaments, bones, and joints. However, radicular pain, which is the inflammation of the spinal nerve root.
Treatment of Lower Back Pain
Nowadays, you will find several kinds of treatments for lower back pain; however, the one which is gaining high popularity among the people in physical therapy. It’s a drug and surgery free treatment for mitigating pain and accelerating the healing process.
The best part of consulting a well-trained physical therapist is that they find out the actual cause of the pain after examining your range of motion and then address your problem with the right treatment. They check your ability to function and your medical history to reach a reliable diagnosis.
Based on your the actual cause of your problem, they will use the most suitable treatment technique to relieve the pain and discomfort. For example, if the pain in your back is a result of joint dysfunction or muscle tension, then they might use manual therapy. It’s a technique wherein physical therapists use their hands to apply pressure on muscle tissues to promote healing. Some cases allow applying alternative pain management methods (like PEMF therapy devices developed by Sensonica) that have high effectiveness according to feedbacks and reviews.
Similarly, if you are having pain in your lower back due to a sports injury, your therapist might use a Kinesiotaping to heal it.
According to Bridle Trails Physical Therapy, “The pulling action achieved through kinesiology taping helps hold the problem joints and muscles in place as you move through your daily routines.“
Kinesiotaping one of the best ways to cure sprains and strains, shoulder injuries, knee pain, and other common sports injuries.
On the other hand, if you are struggling with a condition like arthritis, your therapist may also design a unique exercise programme for you to strengthen your back muscles and joints.
Regular exercise offers tremendous benefits apart from strengthening your muscles, bones, and joints; for example, they are good for losing weight, increasing energy levels, sharpening memory, and promoting good night’s sleep. Besides, exercise also minimize the risk of chronic disease, so you must perform them religiously.
In short, if you want to enjoy a pain-free life and live longer, you must perform exercise regularly.