Causes: More than 99% of back pain is due to muscle or soft tissue sprain or strain. It is a stretch injury to the tendons, ligaments, and/or muscles of the lumbar area, and the pain is felt laterally to the spine. Lumbar strain most often occurs in the middle years, but can happen at any age. Other causes of low back pain include conditions such as osteo-arthritis, disc herniation, fractures, leg length discrepancy, spinal stenosis, pelvic misalignment, tumors, ankylosing spondylitis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Signs and Symptoms: The symptoms can be mild to severe, depending on the nature of the injury, and the pain is usually localized with the most common cause of muscular strain.
Treatment: For back pain due to sprain or strain, cold therapy followed by heat is indicated. Staying as active as possible within limits of pain is important to aid in recovery. Stretching, strengthening, and aerobic exercise, physiotherapy and massage therapy are appropriate treatments, as well as acupuncture. Spinal manipulation such as chiropractic or osteopathy are indicated where symptoms do not improve. Chronic low back pain is more commonly found in individuals who have suffered an injury requiring time off of work, those who fear that any movement will increase their pain, and those suffering from depression or anxiety. For chronic low back pain spinal manipulation has been shown to have an effect equal to other therapies. Therapeutic massage has been proven to be effective for chronic low back pain sufferers. For more information, or to book an appointment call 604-524-4446.