A patient with long-time lower back discomfort underwent a procedure to find the source of the pain. The procedure numbs the area. If it works, then she should not feel pain for one week. It worked.
For one week, she felt like her old self again especially when she worked out. She could go hard. She could bounce out of bed and move around well. This is a testament to how much lower back pain interferes with a person’s life.
Structure of the Lumbar Spine
Before understanding where the back pain starts, here’s a look at the structure of the lower back. The spinal column provides the main support structure for the body. It’s made up of bones called vertebrae. The spine contains five regions. The top two regions are cervical and thoracic. The lumbar is in the middle region followed by the sacral and coccygeal regions.
The lumbar region, known as the lower back, contains five lumbar vertebrae. The specific vertebrae are referred to as L1 to L5. They make up the main weight-bearing part of the spinal column. Between each one is a disc that allows the spine to twist and bend. The discs also cushion the bones.
The spine protects the spinal nerves inside its spinal canal. As the nerves travel down the spine, they branch off in spaces on the sides of the spine.
The Causes of Lower Back Pain and Symptoms
The most common cause of lower back pain are muscle and ligament strains. These often result from an activity like heavy lifting, moving, and standing.
Another cause is the compression of the spinal nerves. Osteoarthritis can cause bone growth, which presses against the nerves. The same goes for herniated discs. As they thin, they can fracture or poke out and hit the nerve.
These could potentially lead to the following symptoms:
- Dull ache or a stabbing pain
- Trouble bending and twisting
- Pain that travels down one or both legs
- Tingling, weakness, or numbness
The treatment for lower back pain varies. Not all lower back conditions require surgery as more conservative spine treatments are available. A doctor will do a diagnostic workup and review the patient’s medical history. In some cases, the doctor may request imaging such as an MRI, CT, or X-rays. If back pain hasn’t improved after a week, then it’s time to call a doctor.
If you have questions, contact us or call 214-823-2052. With offices in Addison and Dallas, our team serves residents in Dallas, Addison, Plano, Frisco, Garland, and other cities in the DFW metroplex.