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Low Back Pain
Low back pain (LBP), is a very common medical condition characterized by discomfort or pain in the lower part of the spine, specifically in the area between the ribcage and the pelvis. It is one of the most prevalent musculoskeletal disorders globally and can affect people of all ages. Low back pain can range from mild and occasional discomfort to severe and debilitating pain, which may significantly impact a person's quality of life and daily activities.
Causes of Low Back Pain
Muscle Strain
One of the most frequent causes of low back pain is muscle strain or overuse. Activities that involve lifting heavy objects, sudden movements, or poor posture can lead to strained muscles or ligaments in the lower back.
Herniated or Bulging Discs
The spine is made up of intervertebral discs that act as cushions between the vertebrae. Over time, these discs can degenerate or herniate, causing pressure on the nearby nerves and resulting in pain.
Spinal Stenosis
Spinal stenosis is a condition where the spinal canal narrows, putting pressure on the spinal cord and nerves. This can lead to low back pain, as well as leg pain (sciatica).
Wear and tear of the spinal joints leads to chronic pain in the lower back. This condition is also commonly known as Lumbar Spondylosis.
Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine, which can lead to low back pain, especially in more severe cases.
Traumatic incidents like car accidents, falls, or sports injuries can cause damage to the lower back, resulting in pain and discomfort.
Infections and Inflammation
Infections of the spine, such as vertebral osteomyelitis, or inflammatory conditions like ankylosing spondylitis, can lead to low back pain.
Lifestyle Factors/ Postural LBP
Sedentary lifestyles, obesity, and poor physical fitness can contribute to low back pain. Lack of exercise weakens the muscles that support the spine and can lead to pain.
Psychosocial Factors
Stress, anxiety, and depression can exacerbate or contribute to the perception of low back pain. These psychological factors can increase muscle tension and make the pain feel more severe.
Other Causes
There are numerous other potential causes of low back pain, including kidney stones, endometriosis (in women), and certain cancers that can metastasize to the spine.
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Sciatica is a common term used to describe any pain which is radiating from lower back to the legs. This is the pain which runs along the course of the sciatic nerve from back to the legs, compression of this nerve leads to the radiating pain. There can be many contributing factors leading to compression of the nerve and it can keep getting worsened if we do not treat the root cause.
Postural Low Back Pain
Low back pain (LBP) is a common experience in people of all age groups. There are many types of LBP , one of the most common nowadays is Postural LBP. Posture is the body’s attitude or positioning of the limbs while sitting or standing. Postural LBP is usually caused due to abnormal loading on the muscles, ligaments and joints. These abnormal loading if persists for a very long duration further causes alteration in our normal posture which can lead to pain and discomfort.
Lumbar Spondylosis
Spondylosis, also known as spinal osteoarthritis, is a term used to describe degenerative changes in the spine that occur as a result of aging and wear and tear of the joints. It is a common condition, especially in older adults, and it can affect various parts of the spine, including the vertebrae, intervertebral discs, and facet joints.
How to manage
It's essential to note that low back pain can have various causes, and a thorough medical evaluation by a healthcare professional is often necessary to determine the underlying cause and develop an appropriate treatment plan. Treatment may involve a combination of therapies, including physical therapy, medications, lifestyle changes, and in some cases, surgical intervention.
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