Chronic low back pain is defined as pain in the lumbar region of the spine that lasts longer than 3 months. According to the US Department of Health & Human Services Center for Disease Control and Prevention 20.3% of U.S. adults experienced low back pain in 2012!1 This is one of the most common musculoskeletal disorders in the United States and yet there is still no easy answer on how to fix it! (Note: Acute low back pain could occur from a serious injury or trauma such as a fall. This is not the same as chronic low back pain and you should go get checked out by a medical professional immediately.)
The causes of chronic low back pain:
1. Issue with an internal organ
2. Muscle strain due to excess force during a movement
3. Postural issues such as staying in one position for too long causing stiffness
4. Disc issue
5. Spinal cord issues
6. Nerve pain like sciatica
7. Breathing issues
8. Emotional and psychological stress
9. Issues with joints other than the spine
These are just some of the possible umbrella causes of low back pain. As you can see, they are all very broad. So what does this mean for you and how to manage your own symptoms?
It means you should follow a path designed to treat YOUR specific signs, symptoms, and pathologies. The first step you should take is to go see your primary care physician who can hopefully direct you to a specialist that can treat your specific ailments. This could be a surgeon, a pain doctor, a physical therapist, a chiropractor, a massage therapist, or a personal trainer.
According to both WebMD2 & the National Institute of Health3, an appropriate exercise and nutrition regiment can help prevent and treat some cases of low back pain. The important part is that a professional who can properly assess the issue comes up with a plan specifically for your pain. There is no cookie cutter formula to treating this disabling issue!
At Triad Wellness Philly we specialize in assessment of not only the musculoskeletal system but also lifestyle and nutrition to help manage low back pain. After assessment, a plan is formed between our trainers and massage therapists to help you feel better and get back to doing the things that you want to do!
Stephen Cornely LMT CPT
Triad Wellness Philly