If you suffer from Lower Back Pain, you are not alone- in fact 4 out of 5 Australians will suffer from back pain at one point in their life. The Medical Journal of Australia revealed that of all diseases in Australia, lower back pain is among the top 20 burden-imposing diseases in terms of disability-adjusted life for many years. Lifetime prevalence of lower back pain is 79.2% in Australian adults and 84% in adolescents. National Health Survey reports that back pain disorders were identified as the most significant work-related problems and were reported as long-term health condition more frequently than asthma, hypertension, and osteoarthritis. Furthermore, Authoritative Information and Statistics to Promote Better Health and Wellbeing point out that 70% – 90% of people in Australia will suffer from lower back pain at some point of their lives.
To understand this complex matter, lets dive into the anatomy of the area:
The Lumbar spine or the lower back has more motion than upper back and carries more weight which makes it the most usually injured area of the spine. Lower back area starts about 5 or 6 inches below the shoulder blades and connects with thoracic spine or mid and upper back. Characteristics of lumbar spine are:
- The lower the vertebra is in the spinal column, the more weight it has to bear
- Five vertebrae of the lumbar spine (L1 – L5) are the biggest unfused vertebrae in the entire spinal column thus enabling the lower back to support person’s weight
- Lowest segments of lumbar spine bear the greatest amount of weight which is why they are more prone to degeneration and injury.
Lower back pain symptoms and causes
As mentioned above, lower back pain is quite common. Although each person experiences lower back pain in different intensity, the most common signs and symptoms include:
- Local soreness upon touch
- Difficulty moving that makes it difficult to walk or stand
- Pain moves to the groin, buttock or upper thigh (sciatica)
- Achy and dull pain
- Muscle spasms
Causes of lower back pain include:
- Strained lower back muscles (quadratus lumborum, erector spinae)
- Damaged bones, joints, and ligaments
- Overtraining at the gym
- Car accidents
- Poor Posture
- Bone misalignment
- Weak Core
Chiropractic care and lower back pain
In the next article, I am going to teach you three different stretches you can do at home when you have an episode of lower back pain. Watch out for it!