Chronic Lower Back Pain: Cause with Possible Treatments?
Chronic lower back pain affects millions of people worldwide and can have a severely negative impact on their quality of life. The causes of this type of pain can be varied and often result from a combination of factors such as age, lifestyle, and previous injuries.
There are several types of treatment that can be effective for chronic lower back pain, including physical therapy, medications, and in some cases, surgery.
While there is no one-size-fits-all solution to managing chronic lower back pain, understanding the possible causes and available treatments can be an important step in achieving relief and improving daily functioning.
If you are looking for physical therapy for chronic lower back pain in Upper Marlboro, then this article is for you.
8 Common Causes of Chronic Lower Back Pain
Chronic pain can hinder your day-to-day activities and can have a negative impact on your overall health. Here are the 8 common causes of chronic lower back pain.
One of the main causes of chronic lower back pain is a herniated disc. It occurs when the soft tissue between the lumbar vertebrae ruptures and puts pressure on the nerves in your lower back. This pressure can cause extreme pain and discomfort.
The pain caused by a herniated disc can be relieved by physical therapy, medication, and surgery in severe cases.
Spinal stenosis is a condition that results from the narrowing of the spinal canal, which compresses the nerves in the lower back.
This can lead to consistent pain and discomfort in the affected area. Treatment for spinal stenosis includes physical therapy and medication, and in severe cases, surgery.
Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis caused by wear and tear of the joints. It affects the joints in the lower back, which can result in chronic pain. Treatment for osteoarthritis typically involves physical therapy, medication, and lifestyle modifications.
Degenerative Disc Disease
Degenerative disc disease occurs when the body's natural aging process causes the discs in the spine to deteriorate. This can lead to chronic lower back pain, which can be treated with physical therapy, medication, and in some cases, surgery.
Scoliosis is a condition where the spine develops a sideways curve. This can lead to chronic lower back pain, particularly in the affected area. Treatment for scoliosis includes physical therapy, bracing, and in severe cases, surgery.
Muscle strain is one of the most common causes of chronic lower back pain. It occurs when the muscles in your lower back get stretched or torn, typically from heavy lifting or sudden movements. Physical therapy and pain medication can help alleviate pain caused by muscle strain.
Fibromyalgia is a condition that causes widespread pain throughout the body, including the lower back. Physical therapy, medication, and lifestyle modifications can help manage pain caused by fibromyalgia.
Sciatica is a condition that occurs when the sciatic nerve located in the lower back is compressed or irritated. This can lead to chronic pain in the lower back area. Treatment for sciatica includes physical therapy, medication, and in some cases, surgery.
Symptoms of Chronic Lower Back Pain
Symptoms of chronic lower back pain can range from mild to severe and may vary from person to person.
Persistent pain is the most common symptom of chronic lower back pain. The pain may be dull or sharp, and it can vary in intensity. The pain may be located in the lower back, buttocks, hips, or thighs. The pain may be constant, or it may come and go.
The pain may be worse when sitting, standing, or walking. The pain may also be worse during certain activities, such as lifting heavy objects or bending.
Stiffness is another symptom of chronic lower back pain. Stiffness can make it difficult to move the lower back. The stiffness may be worse in the morning or after sitting for a long time. Sudden movements may cause sharp pain.
Weakness is another symptom of chronic lower back pain. Weakness can make it difficult to move the lower back.
The weakness may be worse when standing, walking, or climbing stairs. The weakness may also be worse after certain activities, such as lifting heavy objects or bending.
Numbness and Tingling
Numbness and tingling are other symptoms of chronic lower back pain. Numbness and tingling can be felt in the lower back, buttocks, hips, or thighs.
Numbness and tingling can make it difficult to move the lower back. Numbness and tingling can also be felt in the legs and feet.
Loss of Bladder or Bowel Control
Loss of bladder or bowel control is a severe symptom of chronic lower back pain. It is a medical emergency and requires immediate medical attention.
Loss of bladder or bowel control can indicate a serious condition, such as cauda equina syndrome, which is a rare but serious condition that affects the nerves in the lower spinal cord.
Fatigue is another symptom of chronic lower back pain. Fatigue can be caused by the pain, stiffness, and weakness associated with chronic lower back pain. Fatigue can make it difficult to perform daily activities.
Depression and Anxiety
Depression and anxiety are other symptoms of chronic lower back pain. Chronic lower back pain can cause emotional distress, which can impact a person's mental health.
Depression and anxiety can make it difficult to cope with the pain and perform daily activities.
Difficulty sleeping is another symptom of chronic lower back pain. The pain, stiffness, and weakness associated with chronic lower back pain can make it difficult to get comfortable at night. Difficulty sleeping can make the pain and other symptoms worse.
Treatment Options for Chronic Lower Back Pain
There are several treatment options available for individuals with chronic lower back pain, including non-invasive and invasive treatments.
It's important to get a proper diagnosis from a medical professional to determine the best course of treatment. You can also contact Physical & Sports Rehab in Upper Marlboro for further assistance.
Here are some of the most common treatment options:
Non-Invasive TreatmentsPhysical Therapy
Physical therapy is often the first-line treatment for individuals with chronic lower back pain. A physical therapist can develop an exercise and stretching plan tailored to the individual's specific needs.
The focus is on strengthening the back muscles and improving flexibility, which can help reduce pain and prevent future injuries. Physical therapy exercises for chronic low back pain are also effective.
Heat and Cold Therapy
Heat and cold therapy can be helpful in reducing inflammation and easing pain. Applying ice packs to the affected area can help reduce swelling and numb the pain, while using a heating pad can help relax muscles and improve blood flow.
Massage therapy can also be effective in reducing pain and stiffness in the lower back. Massage therapists can use a range of techniques to relieve tension in the muscles, improve circulation and reduce inflammation.
Acupuncture involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the skin to stimulate the body's natural healing process. Acupuncture can be effective in reducing pain and improving function in individuals with chronic lower back pain.
Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
NSAIDs are commonly used medications for reducing pain and inflammation. They work by blocking the production of certain chemicals that cause pain and swelling.
Over-the-counter NSAIDs such as ibuprofen and aspirin can be effective in reducing mild-to-moderate pain. Prescription-strength NSAIDs may be necessary for more severe pain.
Muscle relaxants can be useful for individuals with chronic lower back pain who have muscle spasms. These medications work by blocking the signals between the nerves and muscles, which can help reduce spasms and ease pain.
Opioids are prescription pain medications that can be effective for severe pain that is not relieved by other treatments. However, these medications can be highly addictive and have a range of side effects, so they should be used with caution.
Epidural Steroid Injections
Epidural steroid injections involve injecting a steroid medication into the space around the spinal cord. This can help reduce inflammation and pain in the lower back. The effects of the injection can last for several weeks or months.
Spinal Cord Stimulation
Spinal cord stimulation involves implanting a small device under the skin that sends electrical impulses to the nerves in the spinal cord. This can help reduce pain signals, making it an effective treatment for chronic lower back pain.
Radiofrequency ablation involves using high-frequency radio waves to heat and destroys the nerve fibers that are causing pain in the lower back. This treatment can provide long-lasting relief for certain individuals with chronic lower back pain.
Discectomy or Microdiscectomy
Discectomy or microdiscectomy is a surgical procedure that involves removing the herniated portion of a spinal disc. This can help relieve pressure on the nerves and reduce pain in the lower back.
Spinal fusion is a surgical procedure that involves fusing two or more vertebrae together to provide more stability to the spinal column. This can help reduce pain and improve function in individuals with chronic lower back pain.
Artificial Disc Replacement
Artificial disc replacement is a surgical procedure that involves removing a damaged spinal disc and replacing it with an artificial disc. This can help restore movement in the spine and reduce pain.
How Long Does Physical Therapy Take For Lower Back Pain?
The duration of physical therapy for lower back pain can vary depending on the severity of the condition, the individual's overall health, and other factors. In general, a physical therapy program for lower back pain may last several weeks to several months.
How Much Is Physical Therapy For Lower Back Pain?
The cost of physical therapy for lower back pain can vary depending on a variety of factors, including the location of the therapy, the number of sessions required, and the type of insurance coverage the patient has.
Without insurance, the cost of an initial evaluation and each subsequent physical therapy session can range from $75 to $350, depending on the location and facility.
What Kind Of Physical Therapy For Lower Back Pain?
Lower back pain can be treated through several physical therapy methods, including exercise therapy, manual therapy, and functional training.
Exercise therapy can involve activities such as stretching, aerobic exercise, and strength training, which can improve flexibility, increase blood flow, and strengthen the muscles supporting the lower back.
You can contact Physical & Sports Rehab in Upper Marlboro for more information.
Can Physical Therapy Make My Back Pain Worse?
It is possible for physical therapy to cause temporary discomfort or soreness, especially during the early stages of treatment. However, a skilled physical therapist will work with you to ensure that any discomfort is minimized while still providing effective treatment.
Chronic lower back pain can significantly impact an individual's quality of life. Fortunately, there are several treatment options available, including non-invasive and invasive treatments.
It's important to work with a medical professional to determine the best course of treatment for your specific needs. With the right treatment, it is possible to manage chronic lower back pain and improve your quality of life.