Picking up children. Moving a heavy box. Reaching for the cereal on the top shelf. We’ve heard a lot of different stories about the moment people have suffered low back pain, and none of them tend to end happily ever after! Many times the story concludes with the person lying on the floor unable to move, or experiencing pain so severe that they can’t go about their daily life without cringing. Spine pain can be a result of numerous causes, but you don’t have to suffer. Cherry Creek Physical Therapy and Castle Pines Physical Therapy can help you rewrite the plot.
The Back Story
Your lower back is made up of many intricate, overlapping, and interconnecting parts, including joints, tendons, muscles, nerves, and spinal discs. A problem with any one of these can result in pain. It can also affect your body’s structural support, movement, and function. From mild muscle strains, to severe spasms, to degenerative damage of discs, symptoms and severity of pain varies. In order to find relief, you first need to identify the underlying cause of the problem so that it can be appropriately treated.
Common Cast of Characters
Your bony lumbar spine is made up of stacked vertebrae with discs acting as cushions between them. There are ligaments surrounding these and together they protect the nerve tissue of the spinal cord. A number of issues can go wrong in this complex area. Here are some common culprits of spine pain:
Lumbar Disc Herniation—When a disc breaks down and its gelatinous inner core leaks through the outer portion. This can put pressure on the nerve and cause leg, buttock, and low back pain. It can also cause numbness and tingling.
Degenerative Disc Disease—A broken down disc becomes inflamed, causing instability, spasms, and radiating pain
Osteoarthritis—This type of degenerative arthritis can affect the spine, making movement painful
Muscle or Ligament Strain—One of the most common causes, this occurs when muscles or ligaments are stretched beyond their limits and develop tiny tears
Isthmic Spondylolisthesis—When a vertebra slips forward onto the disc area, resulting in instability and compression of the nerve root.
Bony Encroachment—A condition causing vertebrae of the lumbar spine to grow or move and limit the space for the spinal cord and nerves.
A Pain-free Plot
Although there are a variety of reasons for low back pain, the vast majority of cases improve within six weeks, and physical therapy exercises are a major part of the reason why. Along with rest, ice and heat treatments, and medications, exercises will help restore your mobility and function. A typical routine includes three components: aerobic conditioning, strengthening, and stretching.
The moral of the story
If you are suffering from low back pain that is taking away from your quality of life, come see us at Cherry Creek Physical Therapy or Castle Pines Physical Therapy. We can provide an individualized program to ease your discomfort. Dr. Jennifer Molner is an expert at getting you back to doing the things you love. Call (303) 805-5156 to make an appointment, or stop by our Cherry Creek or Castle Pines, CO office locations.
Photo Credit: Stock Images via FreeDigitalPhotos.net