Lumbar pain is back pain that occurs around the area of the natural waistline. There are several bones of the back that make up this portion of the spine, and these bones are usually referred to by their location, such as L3. The most common cause of lumbar pain is generally muscle strain initiated by improper lifting or poor posture. This type of injury is best healed with a day or two of rest with a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication.
Another cause of lumbar pain can be the slippage of a between the vertebrae or the degeneration of a disk. Both can cause pressure on the nerves originated from the spine in that area, resulting in lumbar pain. The location of pain, numbness or tingling can help suggest exactly where the disk has become compressed.
An MRI is done if back pain is severe, worsens, or it has lasted for more than a few weeks. Magnetic resonance imaging allows doctors to examine the softer tissue around the spine. These images allow the physician to see degeneration of disks and see if they are compressing nerve roots and where. Occasionally, fluid may build up around the disk injury and cause a cyst to form, which can also compress the nerve root.
If you have been experiencing consistent lumbar pain for more than a few days or weeks, it is important to see a physician. Numbness, pain down the leg, and a tingling sensation is indicative of nerve root impingement. It can be accompanied numbness around the hip, upper buttock, and to the thigh, calf or foot. It can be mildly uncomfortable to unbearable in its level of pain for the patient. Either way, seeking an expert opinion is recommended.
Sometimes, disks can move on their own, and with physical therapy, medication, and attempts to adjust behavior, pain relief can be significant. If the pain is severe, interferes with bladder or bowel function, or there is a cyst compressing the nerve, surgery provides the best results. It is also important to maintain a healthy weight and lift properly.
Regardless of the cause or severity of your lumbar pain, we can help, so be sure to contact us today!