Low Back Pain
What Is Low Back Pain?
Low back pain (or lumbago) is a symptom characterized by discomfort in the lumbar region. Depending on the duration and intensity of the discomfort, low back pain can be an incredibly debilitating condition, heavily impacting an individual’s quality of life.
Symptoms presented alongside low back pain can include pain, weakness, tingling, and/or numbness in the legs and feet, and in extreme cases bowel and/or bladder incontinence (involuntary leaking).
Low Back Pain: Common Accompanying Symptoms
- bowel and/or bladder incontinence*
- decreased range of motion
- difficulty changing body position
- difficulty walking
- hip pain
- neck pain
- paresthesia (tingling) in the legs and feet
- tightened muscles
- weakness in the legs
*If you are experiencing bowel and/or bladder incontinence in addition to low back and/or pelvic pain, this may be a sign of a serious, time-sensitive condition. Strongly consider visiting an emergency room immediately.
Low Back Pain Causes
Though low back pain is very common, it is often very difficult to determine its original cause in a given patient. Many different underlying problems and conditions can attribute to its presence, but physical therapy typically targets possible musculoskeletal issues.
Causes of back pain can include repetitive strain, bending at the waist and twisting (particularly if carrying weight), weight gain during pregnancy, osteoporosis (bone weakness), poor posture, and even sleeping in certain positions.
- degenerative disc disease
- muscle spasms
- muscle strain
- pelvic floor dysfunction
- poor musculoskeletal conditioning (weakness)
- poor body mechanics
- poor posture
- poor sleeping position
- spinal disc herniation
- spinal stenosis
- sports injury
- weight gained from pregnancy
Low Back Pain Treatment
Always consult your physician before attempting any kind of treatment program.
Pain medication can be prescribed to suppress low back pain, but this approach addresses only the symptom of low back pain itself and not the underlying cause(s) behind it. Leaving the core problem unaddressed increases the likelihood of the pain recurring.
At Central Washington Physical Therapy, located in Yakima, we take a causative approach to your healthcare. In addition to providing immediate treatment to help minimize your discomfort, we help identify probable causes for your condition, how to start improving it now, and how to avoid it in the future. For low back pain, such treatments may include the following:
Low Back Pain: Treatment Options
- electrical stimulation therapy for immediate pain relief
- hot/cold packs
- instruction in proper body mechanics
- instruction in lifestyle changes
- manual (hands-on) therapy
- spinal decompression (traction)
- vasopneumatic therapy
If you suffer from low back pain, Yakima’s Central Washington Physical Therapy may be able to help you. Contact us below to get started.