Low back pain? Don’t ignore these 3 signs
If you are suffering with low back pain then this blog is going through three things that may indicate that the cause of the pain is not purely muscular. Low back pain can be due to many factors and it can be confusing to sufferers when working out if they should get some professional help. We go through 3 signs not to ignore for low back pain sufferers.
3 Factors not to ignore
1. Duration of Pain
When low back pain has been present for more than a few days, factors other than a muscle strain should be considered. Pain that is present for weeks, months or years needs to be investigated. This is a list of some more common reasons for the pain:
- Disc disease
- Disc prolapse
- Joint dysfunction or low back or pelvis
- Core weakness
- Structural imbalance, such as a short leg or scoliosis
- Spinal decay/degeneration/osteoarthritis
2. Referred Pain
When low back pain is prolonged and accompanied by referred pain down the leg then it is advised that you get assessed. This in one if the 3 signs not to ignore.The referred pain can be coming from:
- Nerves can become inflamed when disc protrusions, prolapses or bony spurs hit the nerve, which can then refer down the thigh, leg or foot. This referred pain can be accompanied by other symptoms such as burning, numbness or tingling. Weakness in muscles of the leg can occur when pressure is sustained on the nerves.
- When joints are not moving well and are stuck, then this can also cause nerve irritation and result in pain travelling down the thigh, leg and foot.
3. Recurring Pain
One factor we often see in our office is that they have had several episodes of back pain and generally the episodes get longer and they occur more often. The triggers for the low back pain episodes can be obscure.
The triggers can be;
- Bending or picking up things
- Long trips etc.
These activities should not cause a low back episode.
Finding out if there are any underlying factors such as joint dysfunction, disc issues, structural imbalance or core weakness is important.
When is it just muscle tension alone?
With low back pain you can feel tension and soreness in the muscles, so people often put the pain down to a muscle strain. A warm bath, muscle relaxants or rest can help. Sleeping or sitting incorrectly or exercising differently can cause some muscle tension and this pain should ease in a few days (as long as there are no muscle tears).
Muscles tension as protection
This pain generally lasts for a few days before it resolves. If ‘muscle’ pain stays for several days or weeks then there is usually another reason for the pain. With conditions such as stiff joints, disc disease or arthritis, what we find is that the muscles will tense up to try and limit the movement and protect the area.
Don’t just treat symptoms
We find that investigating each person’s low back and treating the underlying cause of the back pain, not only helps with relieving the pain, but also with minimising the episodes. A healthy spine that is aligned and moving well is less likely to get aggravated by everyday activities.
If you need a spinal assessment, call your local chiropractor/osteopath/physiotherapist. Click here to find out more about how low back curve can be changed. For more information on disc problems click here.