Lower back pain can limit your everyday life, mainly because it limits your mobility and strength to take on everyday tasks. Although you may experience mild or no pain as the condition begins, you need to understand the symptoms and risk factors associated with the condition. Relying on the information helps you avoid serious complications requiring surgery or other significant medical procedures. As a patient suffering from low back pain, you must work with a physical therapist to help alleviate the condition and return to your everyday routine. Their help is critical to your condition, enabling you to fully recover and return to your normal routine.
At Suarez Physical Therapy, we dedicate our services to helping you recover from lower back pain and other associated conditions. Our roles include providing effective treatment remedies and medical guidelines promoting long-term pain recovery. Additionally, our team is available to support you in case of additional concerns, giving you a reliable source of professional advice. Our team is ready to help any patient experiencing lower back pain in Las Vegas, Nevada, and you can contact us anytime to seek treatment.
What Lower Back Pain Entails
Once in a while, you may experience slight pain and discomfort around your lower back after a slight injury, improper posture, or heavy lifting. While you may experience discomfort, it only lasts briefly before it resolves itself.
On the other hand, lower back pain is more persistent, and many patients experience it for durations extending into months. You may notice a lower back pain onset if you have dull, sharp, or mild pain in the area below your chest and above your buttocks. The back of your torso or core region is constantly engaged, forming the central gravity point for your body to maintain balance and coordinate. Due to this, the spine in this region may be more susceptible to pain.
Patients also report various lower back pain types, each presenting different characteristics. Recurrent pain occurs when you experience initial symptoms that stop and return at different times. Due to this, tracking your pain may be difficult because of the infrequency, but you can still report the symptoms to your doctor as soon as they arise.
Alternatively, you may experience acute pain, often classified as lasting up to three months, before it slowly eases down. The pain intensity may vary during the three months, but you will likely experience discomfort. If so, you should consider noting the varying intensities of pain and whether you notice a sudden increase after specific activities.
The most serious back pains are classified as chronic and often last over three months. You will notice that your condition fails to improve over time, forcing you to adapt your regular schedule to accommodate your condition. You should consider seeking medical attention for pain lasting more than three months, as it often indicates a potentially serious underlying issue that requires urgent attention.
Symptoms of Lower Back Pain
If you are unsure about whether you could be experiencing lower back pain, you can seek additional information on commonly reported symptoms. Despite this, while information helps you gauge your experience with others, you can only receive a proper diagnosis after a medical examination. Some symptoms of lower back pain include:
Swelling Around the Lower Back
Swelling is a common indicator of an underlying infection or trauma to a body part, so you need to pay attention after experiencing the symptom. In the lower back context, you may experience swelling if your condition involves a spinal infection, warranting urgent medical intervention.
If the swelling is recurrent and does not resolve after a massage or resting your back, consider scheduling a consultation with a professional to help you assess the issue. They can then diagnose you and refer you to a physical therapist for treatment to begin.
Sudden Numbness in Your Limbs
Your spine is a support and passageway for your nerves to different body parts, making it crucial to your sense of touch and body movement. When the spine area on your lower back is under a lot of pressure due to swelling or any other condition, it may cause nerve compression over time. As a result, you may notice your limbs growing more numb over time, indicating the need for medical intervention.
Pinched nerves due to a spine misalignment can cause numbness to vary, as the effects depend on the spine position and how it compresses against your nerves. Despite this, you want to act fast after noticing numbness to reduce the chances of complications the longer you wait.
Reduced Mobility in Your Neck
Your neck is also an important connection point to your spine, and lower back pain may cause it to grow more stiff. The symptom could arise due to reduced mobility from nerve compression, resulting in neck numbness.
Alternatively, the reduced neck mobility may be due to improper spine alignment, causing pain and discomfort whenever you try to move it. The outcome is that your neck mobility will reduce, prompting you to seek medical attention.
When lower back pain arises because of a separate medical condition, it may reduce your ability to use muscles around the area. This could be because you feel sharp pains when you try to engage the muscles, forcing you to use them less.
Additionally, numbness caused by lower back pain conditions results in reduced limb movement, which may also affect muscle strength. Due to this, you may experience additional muscle weakness, which reduces your mobility and general body strength.
Reduced Bladder and Abdominal Bowel Control
The lower back region extends to the area above your bowels and abdominal parts, and you rely on sphincter muscles to control your bowel movements. Similarly, your bladder control requires you to engage your lower abdomen muscles, and you may have a harder time controlling them due to a lower back condition.
If so, you may be experiencing a symptom that is closely linked to muscle weakness and numbness, often caused by a misaligned spine. Contacting your doctor as soon as possible is highly advisable, as they will provide the necessary treatment to help you completely recover.
Experiencing chest pains is also not uncommon for lower back pain, as improper spine alignment may severely affect your nerves. Similarly, your lower back and general chest area are close, as the rib cage is just above the lower back.
Based on this, you may experience chest pains as an extension of the sensation emerging from your lower back. The severity of pain varies for each patient, and you do not necessarily have to experience it to seek treatment.
Reduced Body Balance and Coordination
Your spine is central to your body's coordination and balance, supporting your entire body frame. Additionally, it holds millions of nerves, all connected to your limbs, for proper coordination and support.
If a lower back problem grows, you can detect it by noticing how much your body coordination has reduced since you started experiencing pain. The symptom should push you to receive treatment, as failure to seek urgent medical attention can cause complications.
Persons at High Risk of Suffering from Lower Back Pain
Although anyone may experience symptoms associated with lower back pain, some groups of people are considered to be high-risk individuals. The increased possibility of exposure may be because of pre-existing medical conditions or lifestyle factors, so you should seek additional information on whether you fall within the category.
The following are categories of circumstances that put patients at greater risk of experiencing lower back pain:
When your body weight exceeds the amount your frame can comfortably support, your limbs and back will constantly be stressed. Hence, being overweight makes you more likely to experience lower back pains based on how often the lower spine supports your body in different positions.
You can reduce the risk by taking low-impact exercises to avoid hurting your back until you notice weight loss. You should notice reduced discomfort around your lower back once your body is back to a healthy weight.
Dealing With Mental Health Issues
Although many patients believe mental health issues are only psychological, they often affect your entire body. You may, therefore, experience lower back pain if you are dealing with stress, anxiety, or depression as a physical manifestation of your psychological state.
In some cases, you are at a higher risk of developing the condition because you remain at rest for extended periods, putting extra strain on your lower back. Over time, you may experience more severe pain, requiring you to seek treatment.
Having a Physically Demanding Career
Working in a physically demanding career may mean constantly straining your back, thus causing pain over time. If you work in a logistics position where you have to move heavy loads or in a construction zone where similar effort is required, you are at a higher risk of experiencing lower back pain.
Nevertheless, you can reduce your increased risk factor by resting sufficiently after work shifts and massaging your back regularly to prevent fluid retention and spinal misalignment.
Leading a Sedentary Lifestyle
While resting your back is suitable to prevent serious injury, low-movement activity can be as detrimental as high-impact movement. The rationale is that your body weight often rests against your back when you sit or lie down in various positions.
Due to this, your back is constantly exposed to high pressure for extended durations, making you more likely to suffer from lower back pains. Failure to stretch often can cause spine misalignment, especially if you assume a curved position when resting for long durations.
Sedentary lifestyles are also closely linked to becoming overweight after some time, resulting in the outcomes discussed above for overweight individuals being at a higher risk.
While aging is a natural process, your body is more vulnerable as you age, leaving you at a higher risk of developing lower back pain. The condition is more likely because your spinal discs may have less synovial fluid to keep them lubricated. Consequently, they may compress against your nerves and cause discomfort.
Further, aging exposes you to other medical risks involving lower back pain, an additional problem. Consulting your doctor is highly advisable to ensure your immunity remains strong despite age and to help you manage lower back pain if it develops.
Experiencing a Severe Underlying Medical Condition
Lower back pain may also indicate a more serious and undiagnosed condition requiring immediate attention. For example, a herniated disc that dislodges from the required position may press against your spine and cause pain. You can only alleviate the discomfort if your doctor diagnoses and treats the condition separately.
Further, more serious conditions like cancer may be detected through lower back pains. This will likely occur if the malignant tumor presses against your lower back, prompting a medical professional to assess the condition and provide possible solutions.
Understanding the Diagnosis Process
Upon seeking professional medical services, your doctor will first undertake a diagnosis process to establish the exact nature of your condition. During this stage, participation is important, as the doctor will ask various questions about your symptoms and their frequency. You can expect to undergo the following diagnostic steps before treatment:
Undergoing a Physical Examination
Assessing your lower back pain by conducting physical examinations is essential, as it helps your doctor determine how serious the condition is. They can identify swelling and other unusual physical signs that indicate the need for specialized treatment.
The physical exam may also involve applying force to specific lower back regions to help the doctor assess whether your pain is mild or more severe.
Providing Details on Your Symptoms
Since a physical examination may not reveal your entire experience with lower back pain, your doctor may also ask you to expound on your symptoms. They do this to learn about when you first experienced pain and whether you have a specific symptom that keeps recurring.
Upon identifying a specific symptom, your doctor can make a clearer diagnosis of the most likely condition you may be experiencing. In return, you are in a better position to receive effective treatment, so you need to provide as much detail as possible.
Providing Your Medical History
Medical histories are important during the diagnostic process because they provide context for your condition. While you may believe your lower back pain is independent, your doctor can quickly link it to a past or concurrent medical condition you may not have considered.
For example, dealing with mental health issues makes you less active and increases the likelihood of developing lower back pain. Similarly, body infections can cause lower back pain, especially if they cause swelling along the spine.
Additional medical history details include your genetic information, as you may be more prone to a condition than a regular patient.
Overall, your doctor is keen to identify additional factors like your lifestyle choices and everyday experiences during the diagnosis process, as they will engage you in a conversation about it without having to ask directly.
Possible Treatment Options for Low Back Pain
After diagnosing you with low back pain, your doctor recommends various treatment processes that vary between patients. Among these is working with a certified physical therapist to help you rebuild your health and eradicate your lower back pain.
Once you find a trusted physical therapist, they will exercise their roles, including:
- Providing a simple exercise program to help you embrace movement.
- Engaging you in physical exercises and massages to improve your condition.
- Use ice compressions or heat packs to reduce swelling in your back.
- Guiding better ways to undertake physically demanding roles.
- Providing tips on how to improve posture when sitting or lying down.
Over time, your physical therapy sessions will help you observe improvements in your lower back condition, and you can continue to schedule sessions until the pain stops.
Contact a Physical Therapist Near Me
You may face severe mobility limitations when you or a loved one suffers lower back pain. The condition may also interfere with your ability to perform regular tasks, especially if your job involves constant standing or lifting of objects. You can avoid the limitations that lower back pains cause by seeking professional treatment and support, meaning you need to partner with an experienced professional. Their involvement will help you slowly and correctly move your spine and allow natural progression back to the required position to reduce pain. When choosing a professional to partner with, you must consider their experience levels and reliability to help you recover properly.
At Suarez Physical Therapy, you will receive the necessary support to help you alleviate lower back pain and regain proper spinal health. Our team has experience providing excellent physical therapy services, making us a reliable partner through your recovery journey. Further, you can request information regarding your treatment plan and how effective the exercises we provide are. Over time, our services and medical treatment options should help you eradicate the lower back pain, allowing you to return to your everyday life. Our services are available for patients seeking lower back pain treatment in Las Vegas, Nevada, and you can call us at 702-368-6778 to book an appointment.