Determining the exact cause of lower back pain can be difficult, but not impossible. There are many sources of pain in the back, and understanding the structure of the spine, muscle and ligament system is the first step. The next step, of course, is determining a course of therapy that will relieve the pain. It can take many weeks to improve the back condition, but it’s worth the effort. As any knows who has had back pain, it can be a debilitating problem if left unchecked.
Lower back pain can be the result of one problem or many problems. The spine is divided into 3 main sections.
- Cervical curve at the neck
- Thoracic curve in the upper and middle back
- Lumbosacral curve in the lower back
The lower back lumbosacral curve is composed of five vertebrae, and these five vertebrae do a lot of the heavy spine work. These vertebrae, or bones, carry the most weight and are expected to support many activities such as lifting. That’s why you always hear people admonishing to lift with your legs and not your back.
For the spine to work properly, the muscles in the back must be strong and healthy. The entire back has a series of muscles attached, but the erector spinae muscles run along the lower back vertebrae. These muscles are often the source of lower back pain and lower back muscle spasms. Other muscles connect vertebrae and connect the front of the body to the back. The intricate design of the body never ceases to be amazing.
Low back pain can result from many different problems related to the spinal bones and muscles. The pain can originate in just the vertebrae or just the muscles, but it can also result from a combination of problems in both. This gives an idea of how difficult it can be to diagnosis the exact source of the pain. On the other hand, the lower back is part of a system of bone, muscle and ligaments. So pain therapies frequently address the back as a whole to develop a strong back resistant to deterioration.
Lower back pain is most cases is the result of muscle or ligament injury or strain. You often hear people claim their lower back hurts because they “twisted wrong” or lifted something they shouldn’t have lifted. Many cases of lower back pain are due to a combination of both muscle or ligament problems, and a disc problem. It’s like the chicken and egg question. Sometimes the muscles are strained because of compensating for disc problems. Some doctors believe the entire spine can get out of balance due to accommodating back problems. If you’ve ever had a painful leg and ended up with a more painful hip from walking incorrectly, you’ll understand how this happens.
The cause of lower back pain include muscle strain, herniated discs, ligament tears or sprains, inflammation of the spinal joints and slipping vertebrae to name a few.