Lower Back Pain (Part I)

Don’t panic!

Lower back pain affects people of all ages, and the majority of us have experienced it at some point. Sudden and severe back pain can be disconcerting, however, most of the time pain intensity is a poor indicator of the severity of the situation. Luckily, the majority of lower back pain can be treated without surgery. 

Why do I have lower back pain?

Lower back pain can present itself in many ways for various reasons which ‘may stretch beyond just alignment, it could be due to neurology, systemic conditions, referred pain etc.. Along with the physical, the cognitive, emotional and environmental factors can also influence back pain’ (https://www.lifeinmomentum.com/blog/2019/4/25/no-your-spine-is-not-out-of-place). 

Oftentimes, we see lower back pain as a result of cumulative daily stressors. The postural muscles in your back work for long periods of time and they can be excessively fatigued when they work these hours in compromised positions. But they may not react until they are just ‘pushed over the edge’, at times all it takes for that to occur is reaching down to tie your shoelaces! 

Acute LBP course.png

What’s causing the pain?

One of the body’s way of protecting an area is muscle spasms which prevent further irritation of the injured structure. For most of us, a muscle spasm can feel as though we’ve ‘popped our back out’. But in reality, it’s generally more a concern to our comfort than it is to our joints, ligaments, tendons and spinal discs.

Who should I see for help?

In most cases, it is not necessary to see a doctor for lower back pain. Your physiotherapist can provide support from start to end. At Momentum, we use the relieve, restore and elevate model. In the acute phase, we work on pain relief and further down the line, return to your activity. 

However, a few signs/symptoms don’t relate to muscle strain or injury and require further medical investigation:

  • Unexplained weight loss

  • History of cancer/immune suppression/recent infection

  • Shortness of breath or chest pain on exertion 

  • Fever/loss of appetite

  • Chills/night sweats

  • Fatigue and general malaise

  • Loss of balance or co-ordination 

  • Bladder or bowel disturbance

  • Saddle anaesthesia/bilateral parenthesis

  • Sexual dysfunction

  • Pain progressively worsening

What do I do now?

Consider the following: 

Timeline acute LBP.png

The end story is…

There are many possible reasons for lower back pain and management needs to be tailored to the individual, for this reason I recommend seeking out a health professional who can further support and guide you through recovery.

Your body is a resilient piece of architecture and with the right support and approach you can find yourself enjoying your every day activities again, pain free!