Low Back Pain Management
Lower Back Pain Can Be Debilitating
For many people, low back pain isn’t just an inconvenience. The pain can become so severe that it is debilitating and life-changing. More than 80% of adults will have low back pain at some point in their life, and it’s the most common injury or disability that causes people to miss work. That means it’s not only a drain on your quality of life, it can be an economic drain, as well. A study performed in 1990 found low back pain was the sixth-most burdensome condition in the United States when it came to mortality or poor health. By 2010, it was only behind ischemic heart disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Low back pain can be dull and constant or a sharp pain that leaves you unable to function. It might start because of trauma to your back, perhaps in a sports-related injury or car accident, but it can also develop from the natural deterioration of your spine as you get older. If you lead a sedentary lifestyle, it can create issues in your lower back, especially if you are sedentary during the week and then strenuously working out on the weekends.
In many cases, the low back pain will resolve itself in a few days or even a few weeks and won’t require a doctor’s intervention. This is known as subacute low back pain. Most back pain won’t result in long-term loss of function, either. If you experience low back pain that lasts for twelve weeks or more, then it is considered to be chronic low back pain and may require the help of a doctor. Most back pain is due to disruption in the mechanics of your spine, meaning that the muscles, discs and nerves aren’t working together and fitting together as they are supposed to do.
The Anatomical Structure Of The Back
Low back pain often occurs in the five vertebrae (L1 to L5) that make up the lumbar, or lower, region of your back. This area supports the majority of the weight of your upper body. There are spaces between these vertebrae that are filled with round, jelly-like pads that are called intervertebral discs. These are like shock absorbers for your back. They provide cushioning for the bones in your spine, allowing you to move around. There is a junction between your vertebrae that is stabilized by the facet joint. There are also ligaments that hold the vertebrae in place and tendons that attach your back muscles to your spinal column. Finally, there are 31 pairs of nerves that start at the spinal cord and control your movement, sending signals to your brain to help you move and feel.
As you get older, your spine endures a lot of stress and strain. There are changes to the structure of your spine as well, especially in the discs, facet joints and ligaments around your vertebrae. Any changes to these structural elements of the spine can lead to lower back pain.
Prevention of Low Back Pain
As with all injuries, prevention can go a long way before treatment is required for low back pain. The flexibility in this region of the back is amazing, but it’s also what makes your low back more susceptible to injury from sudden movements or wear and tear. Being proactive and incorporating these steps into your daily life could prevent an injury before it occurs:
- Exercise regularly and strengthen your core muscles and those surrounding the low back.
- If your job requires lots of sitting, be sure to support the natural curvature of your spine and stand for a few minutes every hour.
- Be careful when lifting heavy objects.
- Maintain proper weight with nutritional foods and exercise to prevent excess stress on your low back.
- Correct your posture, as poor posture can place excessive pressure on your back.
Treatments Available for Low Back Pain in New Jersey
Almost everyone has experienced low back pain at some time or another. However, if you’re experiencing painful symptoms in your low back on a regular basis, it’s time to visit the knowledgeable team at Spine Institute of North America in New Jersey. Only a small percentage of those who struggle with low back pain ever visit a doctor. But these symptoms can be difficult to manage. They can also point to a more serious medical condition.
Don’t try to manage your low back pain on your own. We have convenient locations in East Windsor, Marlton and East Brunswick where our physicians can help pinpoint the cause. We will then provide you with non-operative treatment options to help you manage pain and live a fuller life. If, however, the pain continues even after you’ve utilized conservative measures, our skilled team is equipped to provide least invasive surgical procedures that successfully relieve pain and allow quicker recovery times.
If you’re experiencing low back pain, click on the link below to make an appointment with us today.