The causes of low back pain are many.
Finding the actual cause is very important. Typically, people do things that simply “numb” the problem. Numbing the problem however, with various medications only allows the problem to continue, ultimately causing more pain, disability and degeneration. A thorough history and examination with the appropriate diagnostic workup is necessary to find the actual cause of low back pain.
Below are several causes of low back pain:
• Poor Posture – Causes an improper loading of the spine. Improper spinal loading, forces weight to be placed on structures that were not designed to carry weight. This type of compensation ultimately causes pain. In the majority of cases, poor posture is a symptom of years of inadequate exercise and improper sitting postures both at home and at work. Watch your posture. Watch your children’s posture. I tell patients all the time that proper posture in children is critical. I have a saying I use all the time… As the twig is bent the tree shall grow.
• Disc problems – See Disc Problems
• Facet Syndrome – See Facet Syndrome
• Lumbar Subluxations – Misalignments or subluxations are the true enemy of the disc and spinal joints. When your spine becomes subluxated the disc’s normal pumping motion is reduced or in severe cases, completely eliminated due to loss of motion. This pumping motion is needed to pull in nutrients and eliminate waste in both the joints and the discs.
• Osteoarthritis – If the subluxation is not corrected, degenerative processes begin leading to osteoarthritis. This is a degeneration of both the disc and the spinal joints at that same level. Once this happens, the areas above and below the affected area have to compensate for the osteoarthritic area. Over time these areas will begin to become problematic also.
• Pelvic Problems – The pelvis is actually made up of three separate bones. Two side bones or iliums and a center bone called the sacrum. These bones come together and form joints. There are actually three joints in the pelvis. There is a single joint in the front of the pelvis and two in the rear. These joints allow motion to occur when we move and walk. On occasion these joints become misaligned or subluxated. When this happens the lower back can respond by tightening muscles, shifting vertebrae which in turn can cause a stretching of spinal joints. All produce pain.
Eight out of ten people in the Cincinnati area will experience back pain during their lifetime. There are really only two choices of treatment when it comes to back pain. 1) If you choose to treat the symptom you are allowing the problem to get worse. Remember… Eliminating the pain with drugs does not eliminate the problem. 2) If you choose to treat the cause you will be working on eliminating the problem for good. A large percentage of my practice is made up of people that have had low back pain.