What Is Lower Back Pain?

Lower back pain (LBP) can range from dull sensations to sharp, shooting pains along the lower back area. The lower back is called the lumbar region of the spine. This area of the spine contains rubber discs that cushion the bones and protect the vertebrae. Lower back pain can be acute, which is short-term pain that lasts for days or weeks. LBP can also be chronic, meaning it lasts for months at a time.

What are the causes of lower back pain?

These pains can be caused by a variety of reasons like injury, nerve issues, or congenital disabilities. Back pain can occur when these discs become worn out, a condition known as intervertebral disc degeneration. This area’s nerve endings, muscles, and ligaments can become strained or sprained and create painful sensations. Conditions like spina bifida and scoliosis affect the skeletal structure of the spine and generate back pain

How do I treat lower back pain?

Treatment options depend on the severity of pain the patient is experiencing. Acute pain may respond better to simpler treatments. Chronic pain may require more intensive treatment options or even surgery. Different treatment options also provide distinct types of relief. Some options provide pain relief for days or hours while others provide long-term relief.

How can a pillow help alleviate lower back pain?

Lower back pain can disrupt someone’s sleeping patterns and make sleep uncomfortable. Ironically, poor sleeping habits contribute to more back pain. A pillow placed strategically under the lower back, legs or spine will help alleviate back pain. These special pillows are wedge-shaped to fit under the lower back or elevate the legs for additional support.

Will heat help my lower back issues?

Heat treatments can be an effective way to relieve lower back pain. For these treatments, moist heat works best so patients can take a hot bath or shower and place a wet washcloth on the affected area. Patients can also buy heating pads or wraps and apply them directly to the lower back. The heat will help lessen inflammation and pain.

Will exercise help lower back pain?

Exercise can be a great way to increase mobility and reduce lower back pain. Patients can start with simple stretching exercises like yoga and Pilates. Then patients can move on to other exercises that target the abdominal area since this area is connected to the lower back region. A physical therapist can help with these exercises. Exercising will improve and promote flexibility which helps lower back pain.

Talking to a physician

Before exploring treatment options, schedule a consultation with a medical professional. A medical professional can educate patients about various treatments and help develop a comprehensive treatment plan. For more information about lower back pain, consult with a physician.