Low Back Pain - Treatment Options To Relieve Low
the Christmas holidays I spent many hours on several planes, and
less time in the gym then I would have liked. Sure, I had two great
workouts at the local Gold's but something, possibly inactivity
was affecting my lower back.
Yesterday, for 36 hours I felt pressure in my lower back area.
The feeling was like a consistent dull ach, which even disturbed
my sleep. This was my first time feeling something like this. I
am now 30 years old experiencing constant pain in my lower back.
"You will feel better when you get to the gym and workout"
a friend suggested. No way, I think I need see a chiropractor since
my last apt was months ago, I thought to myself.
We were on the way to the gym, and I said "if I don't feel
better after this workout I am going to call a chiropractor."
Walking to the gym doors from the car I tried to really tune in
with what was going on inside my body. The act of walking started
to alleviate the consistent feeling of pressure in my lower back.
We started with a slow walk on the treadmill and like magic my
lower back was starting to feel better. I honestly thought something
was very wrong with my lower back and that visiting a chiropractor
was the remedy. In the past I have gone days without training and
endured longer plane flights so what was different about this time?
Maybe it's a fact of my age, moving into the 30's. Or that it's
my winter off season and I have not been doing much more then a
five to 10 minutes warm-up on the treadmill before my weights each
day. I want to prevent myself from experiencing any sort of low
back pain again and provide you with information to help you distance
yourself from this common grievance. In my research found that there
are many different causes and treatments.
What Kinds of Problems Might Cause Low Back Pain?
The American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (AAPM&R)
provided me with the following, and I can see now that I was experiencing
Myofascial Pain. Treatment for any back condition is recommended
as soon as possible to minimize the danger of further aggravation.
The following is a list of only some of the conditions that may
cause low back pain and is not a substitute for a visit to your
- Radiculopathy - A pinched nerve, also called sciatica,
usually from a herniated, or slipped, disk. This can cause a shooting
pain down the leg that's often described as an electrical feeling.
- Myofascial Pain - Generally an aching pain in muscles
that tends to come from poor posture, sitting at a computer, or
other job-related tasks. With myofascial back pain, the patient
can become sore in different parts of the body like the back and
legs. Often patients report that they have difficulty sleeping
or feeling restored from sleep.
- Spinal Stenosis - A narrowing of the nerve openings either
around the spinal cord or nerve roots that can cause symptoms
similar to a pinched nerve. It can cause leg pain in anyone, but
most often does so in older people. Patients with spinal stenosis
can have trouble walking, and the difficulty is usually relieved
by sitting down or bending forward. It can cause aching or heaviness
in the back and legs.
- Tendon, Ligament and Soft Tissue Pain - Localized pain
when an area is stretched or its muscles are overused. This results
- Non-Spinal Causes of Low Back - Pain imitating a back
injury, but from another cause. Appendicitis, kidney disease,
uterine disorders and urinary tract infections are a few examples
of problems that can refer pain to the back.
The rehabilitation of low back problems occurs in three phases.
During the first phase, called the acute phase, physiatrists treat
pain and inflammation. After they make a specific diagnosis and
develop a treatment plan, physiatrists may offer treatment options
like ultrasound, electrical stimulation, mobilization, medication,
ice and even specialized injections.
In the second, or recovery, phase of treatment, flexibility and
strength are developed to get the body parts into their proper positions.
The goal of this phase is to get you back to your usual work, sports
and leisure activities. This goal is achieved through specially
designed exercises that rebuild the body.
The main goal of the third phase of treatment, the maintenance
phase, is to minimize recurrence of the problem and to prevent further
injury. This often consists of a total body fitness program, designed
to maintain body mechanics and increase endurance after the original
symptoms have resolved. These are very broad and general approaches
to the treatment of low back pain. The physiatrist that you choose
will develop an individual treatment plan for you.
As I type this, sitting in my chair I can feel the pain wanting
to reoccur. You can bet that I will be scheduling in my workouts
like clock work, and including a minimum of 20 minutes cardio daily.
If you or someone you know is experiencing back pain, contact a
board-certified physiatrist in your area.