Lumbago & Lower Back Pain
Low back pain or Lumbago as it is sometimes referred to, like Sciatica, may affect most of us throughout
our lives and is defined as mild to severe pain or discomfort in the area of the lower back. The
symptoms of Lumbago often appear in younger people engaged in work involving heavy lifting and
equally the elderly may suffer low back aches too. Information on pain management of these symptoms
is widely available and we will discuss what physical therapies and back pain treatments are
successful later in this article.
Low back pain symptoms include
- Pain felt across the lower back, sometimes radiating into the buttocks, the back of the
thigh or into the groin. The pain is usually worse on movement.
- Difficulty in leaning forwards or backwards.
- Stiff back caused by muscle spasms around the spine.
- In severe cases, the back may tilt to one side changing the posture of the sufferer.
- The pain is sometimes accompanied by a tingling sensation or numbness in the back or
buttocks or leg (similar to the symptoms of Sciatica).
It is rare for lumbago to cause serious symptoms that require immediate medical attention.
However, the following warning signs are an indication that help should be sought: loss of bladder
or bowel control, leg numbness, or loss of leg strength.
What causes Lumbago or Low Back Pain?
In reality it can be very difficult to find the exact cause of lower back pain and the original
cause or “injury” may go unnoticed by the patient. However it is possible to identify in around a
quarter of cases. Commonly these patients already suffer from other conditions such as:
- Slipped disc.
- Osteoporosis (brittle bones).
- Deformation of natural spine curvature (scoliosis).
- In very rare, cases, skeletal damage due to tumours or infection.
The shock revelation to most is thatsitting down can cause lower back
pain! (see Standing
Self help - How to treat Lumbago or lower back pain
Okay, let’s deal with back pain treatments you can do yourself:
- The first simple lower back pain therapy is to ensure correct posture and sit
- Avoid stooping, bending, lifting and sitting on low chairs.
- Stay active within your limits.
- Swimming may help ease back pain especially in a warm pool.
- Try to sleep on a firm flat surface if possible.
- Use painkillers. Special medicines to relax the muscles may sometimes be prescribed. NSAIDs
(nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs eg ibuprofen).