Low Back Pain
Low back pain is one of the most common pain conditions in the world. Every year, the cost of treatment for low back pain leads to high medical expenses and economic losses for those unable to work due to low back pain. According to statistics, more than 80% of people have experienced low back pain in their lifetime. Low back pain can be categorized into acute and chronic (symptoms for over six weeks) conditions. Common causes include:
- Muscle or ligament sprain, lifting heavy objects, exercising with poor form or during transitioning movements. If you are someone who does not have a regular habit of exercise or who often needs to carry heavy objects, low back pain may take longer to heal due to insufficient core muscle strength or chronic soft tissue damage.
- Herniated intervertebral disc: May be caused by a large external impact or a large sprain, causing acute pain, and may be accompanied by symptoms such as foot numbness and weakness.
- Arthritis or stenosis: Mainly caused by degeneration; in rare cases, arthritis or stenosis may be caused by major trauma.
- Spinal alignment problems: Including scoliosis, kyphosis (hunched back), etc.; poor alignment of the bony structures may cause long-term muscle imbalance and pain.
- Individual factors: Excessive physical and mental stress, being overweight or obese, smoking, or autoimmune problems may all lead to tightening of the fascia, thus causing chronic lower back pain.
Treatment of low back pain may require the assistance of medication to improve the quality of life during the acute stage if the pain is intolerable. Physical therapy can also help to promote circulation and therefore reduce inflammatory substances from within the body. It is imperative that patients continue with the prescribed rehabilitation exercises and learn correct their posture to better control and prevent recurrence of low back pain in the long-term.