people will have some degree of low back pain at
one time or another. Our body movements usually
do not cause problems, but it's not surprising
that symptoms develop from everyday wear and
tear, overuse, or an injury. Back problems and
injuries often occur during sports or
recreational activities, work injuries, or from
can cause problems anywhere from the neck to the
tailbone (coccyx) and into the hip, leg and
arms. The back includes:
and joints of the spine
that separate the vertebrae and absorb shock as
muscles and ligaments that hold the spine
injuries are the most common cause of back pain.
Injuries frequently occur when you use your back
muscles for activities that you do not do very
often, such as lifting a heavy object or doing
yard work. Injuries also may occur from
tripping, falling a short distance, or excessive
twisting of the spine. Severe back injuries may
result from car accidents, falls from
significant heights, direct blows to the back or
the top of the head, a high-energy fall onto the
buttocks, or a penetrating injury such as a stab
low back pain is often caused by an injury to
one or more of the structures of the back, it
may have another cause. Some people are more
likely to develop back pain than others. Factors
that increase your risk for back pain and injury
include getting older, having a family history
of back pain, sitting for long periods, lifting
or pulling heavy objects, or having a
degenerative disease such as osteoporosis,
arthritis, or degenerative disc disease.
pain may occur in children and teenagers, but
children and teens are less likely to see a
doctor for low back pain. Although most back
problems occur in adults who are between the
ages of 20 and 50, back problems in children who
are younger than 20 and adults who are older
than 50 are more likely to have a serious cause.
an injury may be sudden and severe. Bruising and
swelling may develop soon after the injury.
Acute injuries include:
to the ligaments or muscles in the back, such as
a sprain or a strain.
fracture or dislocation of the spine. This can
cause a spinal cord injury that may lead to
permanent paralysis. It is important to
immobilize and transport the injured person
correctly to reduce the risk of permanent
bulge or torn or ruptured disc. If the tear is
large enough, the jellylike material inside the
disc may leak out (herniate) and press against a
You may not
remember a specific injury, especially if your
symptoms began gradually or during everyday
activities. These injuries occur most often from
improper movement or posture while lifting,
standing, walking, or sitting, or even while
sleeping. Symptoms can include pain, muscle
spasms, and stiffness.
Conditions that may cause back problems
leg pain may not be related to an injury.
Conditions that weaken the spine, such as
osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, spinal stenosis,
or Paget's disease, can cause back pain. These
conditions are most common in older adults. In
rare cases, tumors or infections can develop in
or around the spine.
medical conditions can cause pain to spread to
the back from other parts of the body (referred
pain). Many health problems that can cause back
pain have nothing to do with the bones, joints,
muscles, or ligaments of the back.
deformities such as scoliosis, kyphosis (Scheuermann's
disease), and spondylolisthesis can cause back
pain syndrome caused by a previous injury,
degenerative disc disease, herniated disc or a
degenerative arthritis can cause back and at
times leg pain.
time you spend sitting at a desk, in a car, or
in front of the television or a computer, the
more you must do to prevent back pain. Good
posture, proper body mechanics, and exercise
will help you prevent back pain.
tips to prevent back problems
an ideal body weight. This reduces the load on
your lower back. Lose weight if you need to.
good posture and body mechanics. .
or resting positions that protect your back. 1)
Lie on your back with your knees bent and
supported by large pillows, or lie on the floor
with your legs on the seat of a sofa or chair.
2) Lie on your side with your knees and hips
bent and a pillow between your legs.
your car seat so that your leg is not reaching
for the pedal when you drive. Your arms should
be in a slightly flexed, comfortable position.
wear your seat belt while you are in a motor
moderate aerobic exercise. Start a walking
program on level surfaces help keep your muscles
strong. Initially avoid hills and stairs. Walk
only distances that you can manage without pain.
Start with 5-10 minutes and add 5 minutes every
third day of your program.
comfort and design
problems that occur in the workplace are caused
by physical stress, such as being in an awkward
position for a long time, making the same
motions over and over, and simply using your
back too much. These injuries can cause stress
and strain on muscles, nerves, tendons, joints,
blood vessels, or spinal discs.
your work to help prevent work-related injuries.
It is important to position yourself so that you
can sit comfortably and minimize stress on any
one area of your body. Change your positions and
tasks as often as possible, and match tools to
your size and preferences. If you are doing a
job or task that requires you to sit for long
periods, get up and stretch and move around at
least once an hour.
back pain will get better and go away in 1 to 4
weeks. However, as the number of back pain
episodes increases, the likely hood that the
pain will go away on its own decreases. Home
treatment, such as the use of heat or ice, will
often help relieve back pain that is caused by
minor injuries. It is usually a good idea to
continue your regular activities while your back
is healing. However, you shoulder avoid heavy
lifting and activities that seem to make your
back problems worse.
treatments for back conditions or injury may
include exercises for low back pain, first aid
measures (heat or ice), physical therapy,
manipulative therapy (such as osteopathic
therapy), medicine, and in some cases, surgery.
Treatment depends on the cause of the low back
pain, the location, type, and severity of the
injury. A persons age, health condition, and
activities (such as work, sports, or hobbies)
may also dictate treatment options
therapy treatments, at Advanced Physical Therapy
Center, focus on the causes that lead to back
pain. Theses causes include poor posture, weak
abdominal muscles, tight hip and back muscles,
and decreased trunk motion (range of motion).
These problems can lead to pain from disc bulges
or herniation, pinched nerves, and arthritis.
Treatments may include trunk strengthening,
range of motion/ stretching exercise, initiation
of aerobic exercise program, posture and spinal
mechanics instruction, soft tissue mobilization,
myofascial release, joint mobilization, and
modalities for pain control such as heat, ice,
ultrasound, and/or electrical stimulation.