Low Back Pain

Low back pain affects a large percentage of the population. Statistics show that 80% of the population will experience low back pain at some point in their lives.

Low back pain can be:

  • acute (caused suddenly when lifting, twisting, or falling), or
  • chronic (happening slowly over time, or lingering well beyond six weeks).

Low Back Pain Treatment at Spinal Decompression Centre MiltonMost low back pain will ease within the first six weeks of an injury, either by avoiding lifting or bending and strenuous activity, but still participating in your lighter daily activities, or seeking treatment including physiotherapy, massage therapy, acupuncture, traction, spinal manipulation, or specific exercise for your low back.

A smaller percentage of those suffering from low back pain may require extensive treatment for many months to many years, may require spinal decompression therapy, and a few will require surgical intervention.

Your lumbar spine consists of five lumbar vertebrae, stacked on top of one another with a disc filled with a jelly like substance in between each vertebrae to provide shock absorption as we move, and to increase the flexibility or mobility of your spine.

At each level, there are two more joints called facet joints, and the two joints plus the vertebral body equally support the weight of the trunk at each level. The boney structure that you feel in your low back as you bend over is called your spinous process. All these boney structures surround and protect your spinal cord, which runs from your brain, all the way to your tailbone.

The yellow structures seen in the picture are your nerve roots which exit at each level in your spine, and are responsible for stimulating or working the surrounding structures in your body, including muscles, inner organs, and the sensation of your skin. Surrounding the nerves, bones of your spine, and joints are ligaments (strong tissue that holds the bones and joints firmly), and finally, muscles. All of these structures in your low back that can cause painful symptoms.

If you have low back pain longer than 3 weeks that does not resolve on its own, it is important to see a health practitioner like a registered physiotherapist that has superior assessment skills to help you differentiate which structure has been injured, how it happened, and how to treat or manage your low back pain.