Lower Back Pain

Lower Back Pain – Understanding the Causes and Symptoms and What You can do about it

lower back pain

The lumbar spine, or lower back, is an interconnecting system of bones, joints, muscles, ligaments and nerves that provide the rest of your body with support, strength and flexibility. Since this structure is so complex, the lower back region is highly susceptible to pain and injury. Almost everyone has experienced low back pain at some point in their lives and fortunately, this common condition is often one that gets better with little intervention. However, if low back pain is preventing you from living your life, there are effect treatment options available to help you feel better. At Jackson Neurosurgery Clinic, we offer non-operative as well as surgical treatments including disc replacement for the neck and back in our efforts to help patients preserve motion of their spines.

The Causes of Lower Back Pain

Low back pain occurs in the region between your ribs and above the legs and it can happen for many different reasons. Some of the most common causes of lower back pain may include:

  • Heavy lifting, pulling or twisting can contribute to lower back pain
  • A sedentary lifestyle and poor posture can also have the same effect on your lower back
  • Overdoing exercise or any physical activity can strain the muscles in your back
  • Chronic spinal disorders such as herniated discs, arthritis or stenosis can cause lower back pain
  • Aging or a hereditary spinal problem

The Symptoms of Lower Back Pain

Depending on the source of your lower back pain, symptoms can vary with pain ranging from dull to sharp. You may either feel pain in one specific spot or over a broader area that can also be accompanied by spontaneous muscle spasms. Here are some other common symptoms of lower back pain you may experience:

  • Dull and persistent pain in the lower back region
  • Stinging or burning sensation that radiates from the lower back to the legs
  • Pain, tingling and numbness in the leg that extends below the knee
  • Tightness in the lower back, hips, and pelvis
  • Pain that gets worse after an extended period of time sitting or standing
  • Difficulty going from a standing to sitting position

Treatment Options for Lower Back Pain

Most cases of lower back pain will improve with basic care but if your symptoms are persisting after a couple of weeks of self-care, it may be time to get in touch with your doctor. Some treatments will work for some but not for others, so it’s important to consider the following options and see what works best for you:

  • Rest or modify your activities
  • Take over-the-counter pain medications
  • Alternate between ice and heat therapies to relax muscles and reduce swelling
  • Stretch and strengthen back muscles with a series of gentle exercises as recommended by a physical therapist
  • Epidural steroid injections relieve pain by reducing swelling around the compressed nerve roots
  • Minimally invasive surgery to address conditions such as nerve compression or damaged discs

Spine surgery may be recommended if your if symptoms persist after trying non-surgical methods. Contact Dr. Lewis at Jackson Neurosurgery Clinic today for a comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan to keep you feeling your best.

Contact us today to learn more about lower back pain or to schedule a consultation with one of our specialists. We’ll find a solution that works for you! Call us at (601) 366-1011.