Your lower back is an important part of your anatomy as it has multiple functions. It helps bear the weight of the complete upper body as well as helps in movements such as walking, bending and also helps in protecting the delicate organs in the lower abdomen. Therefore, low back pain can be a sign of a problem either through lumbar disc protrusion (the disks in your lower back being torn apart) or in the organs in the lower abdomen.
Lumbar strain, lumbar radiculopathy, and bony encroachment are among the major causes of the pain in the lower back. Lumbar strain being one of the most common causes is a stretch injury caused to the muscles and ligaments of the lower back. This could be because of over-exertion, lifting heavy objects, too much of strenuous exercise or because of improper use of the muscles and ligaments in the lower back. Improper or over use of these muscles causes minute tears in these muscles leading to pain and discomfort.
To relieve the pain because of lumbar strain, one should take adequate rest to avoid further injury and get a massage from a specialist. Pain killers should be taken only in case the pain becomes unbearable. Moreover, a massage done incorrectly can cause further damage, therefore, should only be done by a specialist. Application of heat packs also helps in fastening the healing process.
Another cause of the low back pain is lumbar radiculopathy, which is irritation of the nerves in the lumbar or the lower back region. This is caused by damage to the disc which lie between the vertebrae of the spine. The damage to the disc causes pain that is commonly recognized as “sciatica” pain, which shoots down the legs. In extreme cases, sciatica can also cause incontinence of the bladder and/or bowels.
MRI and CAT scans can be used to test the damage in the disc. The tests on the nerves of the lumbar region also help in diagnosing lumbar radiculopathy. Cures of this condition range from medical management to surgery in extreme cases.
Bony enrichments can lead to thinning of the tube like structure that encases the the spinal cord. These further leads to spinal stenosis and cause pain in the low back as well as in the lower extremities, especially during walking. In extreme cases, it may require surgery to remove the bone so that it does not compress the nerve tissues.
Other causes of low back pain are pregnancy and kidney problems. Pregnancy causes pain in the lower back specially because there is extra pressure on the lumbar spine. It is also caused because of the hormonal changes in the body during pregnancy. Kidney problems are also a cause for lower back pain, since the kidneys are encased in the pelvic region. Kidney stones also lead to radiating pains in the lower back. Kidney trouble can be diagnosed through urine analysis and ultra-sound testing. One should take adequate rest and increase the intake of water in case of kidney trouble.
Written By: Updated: June 29,2011