What is Lower Back Pain?
Back pain can affect anyone at any age, but it’s most common in people between the ages of 35 and 55. Lower back pain is a pain or ache on your back, in between the bottom of your ribs and the top of your legs.
Lower back pain can come on suddenly or gradually, and is sometimes the direct result of a fall or injury. The complex structure of your lower back means that even small amounts of damage to any part of the lumbar region can cause a lot of pain and discomfort.
What are the symptoms of Lower Back Pain?
An aching pain may come and go in the lower back. Pain may be on either side, both sides or in the middle. A common complaint is that the pain is in a band all the way across the lower back. There may be pain in the buttocks or hamstrings as well. There also may be a reduced range of motion.
What are the causes of Lower Back Pain?
Often lower back pain is caused by sprains, muscle strains, minor injuries or a pinched or irritated nerve. Each of these may have arisen during sport. Back pain can also be triggered by everyday activities at home or work, and by poor posture. For example, back pain may be triggered by bending awkwardly or lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling incorrectly.
What should I do if I have Lower Back Pain?
An assessment by a podiatrist, physiotherapist or referral to a consultant may be required. Help should be sought promptly to help reduce the risk of complications. If a certain activity has caused the pain suddenly, it should not be continued until treatment and advice have been sought. Exercising sensibly under a practitioner’s supervision is usually beneficial to those with lower back pain. Being conscious of your posture is important.
What shouldn’t I do if I have Lower Back Pain?
Bending and lifting should be avoided as should sitting or standing in a slouched position.
Could there be any long term effects of Lower Back Pain?
Over time, serious lower back pain may develop which may be as a result of bulging or rupture of one or more of the intervertebral discs. This is commonly known as a ‘slipped disc’. The pain will usually be in your lower back, but you may also experience pain in your buttocks, thigh, calves, feet and toes, due to irritation of the sciatic nerve, which runs down both legs. Prompt management of this condition is recommended.
Podiatry treatment for Lower Back Pain
Orthotics (shoe inserts) may be provided to give support under the arch of the foot and to realign the foot into a more central position with the ground. A heel raise may be indicated where there is a leg length difference. If the feet are functioning inefficiently, it is possible that the legs and lower back are functioning poorly also, this may be improved by wearing orthotics.
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