Where does low back pain come from?
Low back pain is a common condition with more than 3 million cases per year. Low back pain can result from herniated discs, strained muscles, arthritis or degenerative disc disease. Herniated discs can result from wear and tear, often termed disc degeneration. Discs can form tears or cracks, causing the thick gel inside the disc to be forced through the cracks causing the disc to bulge or break open. Muscle strains occur when you stretch them too far, which cause small tears in the muscle tissue. Muscle strains result from extreme physical exertion, falling, bending repeatedly, or lifting heavy objects. Arthritis of the spine, or degenerative disc disease can cause pinching around the spinal cord or nerves subsequently causing low back pain. Additional conditions which may cause low back pain include: scoliosis, spondylolisthesis, spinal stenosis, pregnancy, kidney stones, fibromyalgia, endometriosis, and infections.
What are symptoms of low back pain?
Low back pain may involve radiating symptoms down the leg: including numbness, tingling, and weakness. This is commonly known as sciatica. Sciatica may cause muscle aching, shooting or stabbing pain which radiates down the leg. Low back pain can cause muscle tightness or muscle spasms near the spine. Low back pain may also result in limited flexibility or range of motion of the back.
How does physical therapy help?
Physical therapy can help decrease back pain, increase function, and teach the patient a maintenance program to prevent future back problems. Most types of low back pain are referred for physical therapy for four weeks as a conservative treatment option. Physical therapy can decrease low back pain symptoms through strengthening, stretching, and aerobic conditioning. Low back pain can sometimes last for days, weeks, or months if left untreated. Low back pain left untreated can put you at risk for chronic pain. The Doctor’s of Physical Therapy at Moore Physical Therapy are experts in the evaluation and treatment of low back pain.