Understand the causes and options for lumbar pain treatment. Find relief and recover mobility with advice and suggestions of experts.

Know the causes and options for lumbar pain treatment. Find relief and recover mobility with advice and suggestions of experts.

Experimenting pain in the lower part of the spine can interfere greatly in the daily life and the general wel l-being of a person. The lower part of the spine, also known as lumbar column, consists of five vertebrae (L1-L5) located between the thoracic column and the sacrum. It plays a crucial role when it comes to supporting the weight of the body and facilitating movement. When pain appears in this region, several underlying factors may be responsible, such as injuries, muscle distersions or degenerative conditions.

Understand the causes:

  • Discal hernia: When the internal soft nucleus of a disc stands out through the outer layer, it can exert pressure on the nearby nerves, causing lumbar pain.
  • Spinal stenosis: This condition refers to a narrowing of the spaces within the spinal channel, causing compression in the nerves of the bottom of the spine.
  • Spondylolistesis: When a vertebra slides forward on another, spondylolistesis can cause low back pain and nerve compression.

One of the most common causes of lumbar pain is the distension or muscular sprain. The practice of physical activities that overload muscles or sudden movements, such as lifting heavy objects incorrectly, can cause such distension. In addition, a bad posture over time can also contribute to the appearance of pain in the lower back. When it comes to treating low back pain, it is usually necessary an integral approach that combines medical interventions, lifestyle modifications and sel f-care strategies.

Understanding Pain at the Lower Spine

One of the main causes of pain at the bottom of the column is the distension or muscle injury. This may be due to sudden movements, heavy objects or bad postures. When the muscles of the lumbar zone are disturbed or damaged, localized pain and discomfort can occur. Other frequent causes are discs, spinal stenosis, arthritis and degenerative disc disease. These conditions can cause nervous compression, inflammation and structural anomalies, all of which can contribute to low back pain.

Key factors that contribute to low back pain:

  1. Distension or muscle injury
  2. Herniated discs
  3. Spinal stenosis
  4. Arthritis
  5. Degenerative Discal Disease

It is important to keep in mind that low back pain can vary in gravity and duration. It can be acute and last a few days or weeks, or it can become chronic and persist for months or even years. This can greatly affect the ability of a person to perform daily activities and can cause a decrease in mobility and function in general.

To diagnose and treat pain in the lower part of the spine, an exhaustive evaluation is necessary. This may include a physical exam, review of medical history and diagnostic tests such as radiographs, magnetic resonances or computerized tomographies. The treatment options can range from conservative measures such as rest, physiotherapy and analgesics, to more invasive interventions such as injections or surgical procedures.

Summary of important information
Causes of pain at the bottom of the spine Treatment options
  • Distension or muscle injury
  • Herniated discs
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Arthritis
  • Degenerative Discal Disease
  • Repose
  • Physiotherapy
  • Analgesics
  • Injections
  • Surgical procedures

Anatomy of the Lower Spine: A Brief Overview

Vertebrae: The five vertebrae that make up the lower part of the spine are the largest among the mobile vertebrae of the spine. Each vertebra consists of a cylindrical body with a vertebral channel through which the spinal cord passes. Among the bodies of the vertebrae are the intervertebral discs, which act as shock absorbers and allow flexibility and movement.

“The lower part of the spine, or lumbar column, is formed by five vertebrae (L1 to L5) located between the thoracic column and the sacrum. This region is responsible for withstanding the weight of the upper part of the body and providing flexibilityTo perform various movements. “

  • Intervertebral discs: These discs are located between the adjacent vertebral bodies and are composed of an outer ring called fibrous ring and a gelatinous center called the pulposo nucleus. Its main function is to absorb the blows and facilitate movement, while preventing vertebral bones from rubbing with each other.
  1. Ligaments: The lower part of the spine is supported by several ligaments that help stabilize it. Among them are the anterior and posterior longitudinal ligaments, which run through the anterior and posterior part of the vertebral bodies, respectively, and the flavum ligamentum, which joins the sheets of the adjacent vertebrae.
  2. The muscles: the muscles surrounding the lower part of the spine provide support and allow movements such as flexion, extension and rotation. These muscles include the Erector Spinae group, which runs along the back of the spine, and abdominal muscles, which help maintain the stability of the nucleus.
Vertebra Function
L1 Supports the weight of the upper body and protects the spinal cord.
L2 It facilitates movements such as flexion forward and backward.
L3 Help in the trunk rotation movements.
L4 Transfer the weight between the upper body and the pelvis.
L5 It supports the entire weight of the trunk and acts as a shock absorber.

Common Causes of Lower Spine Pain

1. Muscle tension: One of the most common reasons of lumbar pain is muscle distension. This occurs when the muscles, tendons or ligaments of the lumbar zone stretch or tear due to an incorrect lifting, sudden movements or overexertion. Muscle distension symptoms can include localized pain, stiffness and difficulty moving the back.

Tip: To prevent muscle distensions, it is essential to use adequate lifting techniques, maintain a good posture and incorporate regular stretching and strengthening exercises into its routine.

2. Disc hernia: Another frequent cause of lumbar pain is the disco disc. This occurs when the soft and gelatinous center of an intervertebral disc stands out by a weak point of the outer layer. Hernia Disc can press nearby nerves, causing pain, tingling sensation and even leg weakness or feet.

Tip: Control the weight, practice a good posture and avoid activities that imply repetitive flexions or torsions of the column can help prevent discos.

3. Spinal stenosis: spinal stenosis refers to the narrowing of the spinal channel, which can exert pressure on the spinal cord and nerves. This condition is usually caused by degenerative changes in the spine, such as osteoarthritis or the growth of bone spur. Spinal stenosis symptoms may include lumbar pain, numbness or weakness in the legs and difficulty walking or standing for prolonged periods.

Tip: regular exercise, maintenance of healthy weight and the practice of good posture can help control symptoms and prevent greater progression of spinal stenosis.

Other possible causes of lumbar pain
Cause Description
Sciatica Disease that occurs when the sciatic nerve, which goes from the lower back to the legs, is compressed or irritated, causing pain, numbness and tingling in the lower back, buttocks and legs.
Degenerative Discal Disease Disease characterized by the gradual deterioration of the intervertebral discs, which causes chronic pain, stiffness and less flexibility in the lumbar area.
Sacroiliac joint dysfunction Condition that occurs when the sacroiliac joints, which connect the sacrum to the pelvis, become inflamed or misaligned, causing pain and discomfort in the lower back and buttocks.

Diagnosing Lower Spine Pain: What to Expect

The initial consultation: When you go to a healthcare professional for low back pain, the first step is usually a thorough consultation. During this initial meeting, the healthcare professional will ask a series of questions to gather relevant information about the patient’s medical history, lifestyle, and symptoms. It is important for patients to be honest and thorough in their responses, as this information will guide subsequent diagnostic tests and examinations.

  • Medical history: The health care professional will ask about any previous injuries or medical conditions that could be contributing to the low back pain. It is essential to provide detailed information about any previous surgery, accident or chronic illness.
  • Lifestyle factors: Factors such as occupation, physical activity, and hobbies can influence low back pain. Patients may be asked about their work responsibilities, exercise routines, and any activities that may place stress on the lower back.
  • Specific symptoms: The healthcare professional will ask about the characteristics of the pain, including its location, intensity, duration, and any factors that relieve or aggravate the symptoms. This information helps narrow down the possible causes of pain.

Important note: Providing accurate and detailed information during the initial consultation is crucial for an accurate diagnosis. Healthcare professionals rely on the patient’s history and symptoms to determine appropriate diagnostic tests and treatments.

Diagnostic tests: After the initial consultation, healthcare professionals may order various diagnostic tests to further investigate the cause of low back pain. These tests can provide valuable information about the structure and function of the spine, helping to identify any underlying problems. Common diagnostic tests for low back pain include:

  1. X-ray: This imaging test uses low levels of radiation to capture images of the bones of the spine. X-rays may reveal fractures, tumors, or other abnormalities that may be causing the pain.
  2. Magnetic resonance (RM): An RM uses magnetic fields and radio waves to generate detailed images of the spine and surrounding tissues. This test is especially useful for detecting discs, spinal stenosis or nerve pinching.
  3. Computed tomography (TC): The TAC combines X-ray images from different angles to create a cross view of the spine. This test is beneficial in the evaluation of the complex conditions of the spine, such as medulla infections or tumors.

By undergoing a thorough initial consultation and adequate diagnostic tests, patients with lumbar pain can better understand their ailment and follow the most appropriate treatment plan. It is important to consult a health professional to accurately diagnose the underlying cause of pain and develop an effective approach to relieve discomfort and improve the quality of life.

Preventive Measures for Lower Spine Pain

1. Maintaining a good posture: bad postures are a frequent cause of lumbar pain. Unnecessarily overload the muscles and ligaments of the back, which causes discomfort and possible injuries. To avoid this, it is essential to maintain a good posture throughout the day. This includes sitting straight, relying on the natural curves of the column, and avoiding beating or hunched over for a long time. Using ergonomic chairs and adjusting the height of the desks can also help maintain an adequate alignment.

Preventive Measures for Lower Spine Pain:

  • Stay active: regular physical activity is crucial to maintain a healthy back. Perform exercises that strengthen the central muscles, such as abdominals and backs, can provide stability and support to the bottom of the spine. Activities such as swimming, walks and yoga can also help improve flexibility and relieve back tension.
  • Raise weight correctly: inappropriate lifting techniques can overload the lower part of the spine and cause pain and injuries. When lifting heavy objects, it is important to fold the knees and use the leg muscles instead of trusting only on the back. In addition, keeping the object near the body and avoiding torsion movements can help prevent unnecessary tensions in the spine.
  1. Maintain a healthy weight: excess weight can contribute to low back pain exerting additional pressure on joints and vertebral discs. Maintaining a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise can help reduce the risk of developing back pain.
  2. Practice stress control techniques: chronic stress can exacerbate lower back and contribute to muscle tension. Practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises, meditation or participating in hobbies and activities that provide joy can help reduce stress levels and promote general wel l-being.

Remember that low back prevention requires a combination of conscious efforts, such as maintaining a good posture, staying active, raising weight properly, maintaining healthy weight and controlling stress. By incorporating these preventive measures into your daily routine, you can minimize the risk of experiencing pain in the lower part of the spine and enjoying a healthier and painless back.

Treatment Options for Lower Spine Pain

1. No n-surgical treatments:

  • Physiotherapy: Physiotherapy plays a crucial role in the treatment of low back pain. It consists of exercises and stretching destined to strengthen the muscles that support the spine, improve flexibility and relieve pain. A qualified physiotherapist can adapt a specific program to the needs of each person and supervise their progress.
  • Medications: Free sales analgesics, such as no n-steroidal ant i-inflammatories (NSAIDs), can help reduce inflammation and relieve pain. In some cases, it may be necessary to prescribe medications to treat intense or chronic pain.
  • Heat and cold therapy: Apply heat or cold in the affected area can temporarily relieve pain. Heat therapy increases blood flow, relaxes muscles and favors healing, while cold therapy reduces inflammation and numbs the area.

It is important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any medication or treatment plan to guarantee your safety and efficiency.

2. Invasive procedures:

  1. Epidural steroid injections (IEE): ESI imply the injection of a corticosteroid medication in the epidural space surrounding the spinal cord. This can help reduce inflammation and relieve pain. For greater precision, the ESI are usually applied under fluoroscopic control.
  2. Minimally invasive surgery of the spine: In cases where conservative treatments have failed, minimally invasive surgical procedures can be considered. These procedures are aimed at addressing specific problems, such as discals or spinal stenosis, while minimizing tissue damage and promoting faster recovery.

3. 3. Complementary and alternative therapies:

  • Acupuncture: This traditional Chinese therapy consists of the insertion of fine needles into specific points of the body to relieve pain and promote general wel l-being. Acupuncture has demonstrated promising results in lumbar pain relief.
  • Quiropractic: chiropractic treatments focus on the handling of the spine to improve alignment and reduce pain. This no n-invasive therapy can be beneficial for certain people with lumbar pain.
  • Masotherapy: massage techniques can help relax the muscles, improve circulation and reduce pain and tension in the lower back. It can be used as complementary therapy to other therapeutic approaches.

It is essential to consult with a qualified healthcare professional to determine the most appropriate treatment options based on the specific condition and medical history of each person.

Exercises and Stretches to Relieve Lower Spine Pain

1. Pelvic inclinations: This exercise acts on the muscles of the lumbar area and the abdomen, helping to improve stability and relieve pain. Start lying down with the knees flexed and feet resting on the ground. Slowly tilt the pelvis up, pressing the lower back against the ground. Keep the posture for a few seconds, put it and repeat the exercise 10 to 15 times.

  1. Ischiotibial stretching: tense hamstrings can contribute to low back pain. To stretch these muscles, sit at the edge of a chair and stretch a leg forward, keeping the heel on the ground. Lean slightly forward while keeping your back straight, feeling a soft stretch on the back of the leg. Keep the position for 30 seconds, then change your leg and repeat.
  2. Tables: This exercise helps strengthen the trunk and stabilize the bottom of the column. Start with four legs, with hands directly under the shoulders and knees under the hips. Slowly extend your right arm forward and left leg back, keeping them parallel to the ground. Hold on a few seconds and change side. Repeat 10-15 repetitions on each side.

Important advice: It is essential to perform these exercises and stretching correctly to avoid lesions or larger disters. If you experience serious pain or discomfort during any of the movements, it is recommended to consult a healthcare professional before continuing.

Incorporating regularly exercises and stretching to relieve low back pain can provide lon g-term relief and strengthen the surrounding muscles. Remember to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity and duration of exercises over time. The proper constancy and form are fundamental to obtain the best results and improve the general health of the spine.

When to Seek Professional Help for Lower Spine Pain

Here are some indicators that suggest that the time has come to seek professional help for low back pain:

  1. If the pain is intense and does not improve with rest or free sale analgesics, it is recommended to consult a health professional. Intense pain can be a sign of an underlying disease that requires specific treatment.
  2. If the pain radiates to the leg or is accompanied by numbness, tingling or weakness in the lower extremities, it can indicate that there is a pinched nerve in the spine. This condition, known as sciatica, usually requires medical evaluation and specialized care.
  3. When lumbar pain is a consequence of recent injury or trauma, it is essential to go to the doctor. This is especially important if the pain has been caused by a fall, a car accident or any other incident of great impact, since it could indicate damage to the spine or other structures.
Alarm signals that justify immediate medical attention: Yellow flags that suggest the need for an evaluation by a healthcare professional:
  • Inexplicable weight loss
  • Fever
  • Incontinence or difficulty controlling the movements of the bladder/the intestine
  • Loss of sensitivity or functionality at the bottom of the body
  • Persistent pain for more than four weeks
  • Pain interferes with everyday activities
  • Background of cancer
  • Presence of osteoporosis or prolonged use of corticosteroids

If you are not sure of gravity or the cause of lumbar pain, it is always recommended to consult a healthcare professional. They can evaluate their symptoms, perform the necessary tests and exams and offer the appropriate treatment options to relieve pain and treat any underlying condition.

Author of the article
Dr.Greenblatt M.
Dr.Greenblatt M.
Medical oncologist at the Robert Larner College of Medicine, MD, at the University of Vermont

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