If you suffer from chronic lower back pain, you’re not alone. According to the American Spinal Decompression Association, lower back pain affects at least 80% of us at some point in our lives.
Pain in the lumbar region, the lowest part of the spine, is the most common type of back pain. Unfortunately, in the majority of cases, no one specific cause can be found, even with the use of sophisticated diagnostic techniques. However, the following commonly play a role:
- overuse, strain, or injury
- mechanical issues, i.e., the inability of muscles, ligaments, and joints, to work as they should
- getting older, smoking, being overweight, poor physical fitness
If you suffer from chronic lower back pain, don’t wait to see a doctor or health care professional. Your pain could be due to an underlying condition that needs immediate treatment, so before you start popping pain pills, it could be important to rule certain things out.
The Role of Physical Therapy
Before undergoing any aggressive treatments like surgery, patients are usually referred to physical therapy. In some cases, physical therapy alone can help patients recover from back problems and prevent future episodes by teaching proper body mechanics (such as good posture and proper lifting) and creating a specific program to help improve strength and flexibility.
Top Tip: Stay Active!
If your back pain is non-specific, meaning, it’s hard to pin down the cause, don’t be afraid to stay active. Doctors and health care professionals say that in cases like these, bed rest can actually make it worse.