The lumbar region of the spine, more commonly known as the lower back, plays a pivotal role in supporting the upper body’s weight; it is also responsible for a vast amount of our daily movements. Because of this, the bones, muscles and ligaments found in the area are susceptible to wear and tear and injury, thus causing lower back pain.
The adult human spine is composed of 33 bones called vertebrae, separated from each other by disks consisting of an outer fibrous ring and a gel-like center. The purpose of these disks is to absorb the pressure placed on the bones. Herniated disks occur when the inner gel contained within the outer ring leaks, consequently pressing on the surrounding nerves and causing intense pain in your back and, occasionally, in an arm or leg.
The spine is naturally curved in an “S” shape if viewed from a side angle. In some cases, the spine curves to the side; this condition is called scoliosis.Lower back pain and discomfort are common symptoms of scoliosis but, depending on the severity of the curve, it can be successfully treated by physical therapists, braces or surgery.
Osteoarthritis is a condition in which the protective cartilage that cushions the end of the bones disintegrates, causing the bones to rub together. Spinal osteoarthritis can sometimes degenerate into spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spaces within the spine that puts pressure on nearby nerves. If left untreated, osteoarthritis and spinal stenosis can be extremely painful and turn into sciatica, a pain that radiates down the lower extremities.
Lower back pain can often be associated with muscle strain. The lumbar spine depends on the muscles to support upper body weight. Lifting heavy weights, fast movements and awkward bends can overstretch or tear muscles and ligaments, resulting in muscle strain and causing severe pain.
Spondylolisthesis occurs when one vertebra slips forward over the vertebra below it. When this happens, great amounts of compressive force are placed on the discs that separate the vertebrae. Lumbar disk deterioration can lead to pinched nerves and sciatica.
Physical Therapy in Nassau County, New York
If your lower back pain is not responding to rest and self-care and it’s disrupting your daily life, it is time for you to consider seeing a physical therapist. At Quantum Physical Therapy & Chiropractic Care, we believe that a hands-on, personalized approach to care and treatment is the key to success. We like to ensure that every patient we treat experiences positive changes and satisfactory results. Make your appointment today!