How do low back pain occur?
Back pain is becoming increasingly common. Low back pain can occur acutely or increase gradually. Low back pain is located somewhere between the lower rib and the tailbone. In most cases you can clearly describe and point out the pain. Sometimes there is radiation this is usually in one leg and very sometimes in both legs. The leg pain can radiate sharply to the foot. Sometimes with tingling in the leg. Some positions and movements give more symptoms and in some cases movement is almost impossible.
Anatomy of the low back
The low back consists of several muscles, nerves and joints. The lumbar spine consists of 5 vertebrae. These vertebrae are often abbreviated as L1 through L5. The low back has a natural curvature. The joints in the back are called facet joints. The facet joints in the low back enable mainly bending and stretching and to a lesser extent turning. Between all these vertebrae are intervertebral discs. Intervertebral discs are of a softer structure and have the function of allowing the vertebrae to move among themselves smoothly. In addition to movement, the intervertebral discs also play an important role in the stability and shock absorption of the low back. In the lower back there are many muscles. The function of these muscles is to move and stabilize the spine during various daily movements. There are muscles that run from vertebra to vertebra but also muscles that run along the entire spine. Anatomically, a distinction is made between a local muscle system and a global muscle system. From the different vertebrae there are nerves that run from the lower back into the leg. Nerves have a directing function towards the muscles in the leg. Here stimuli from the brain go to the muscles. This makes movement possible. In addition, they also have a sensory function. This means that information such as pain, temperature, pressure and movement stimuli go from the leg to the brain.
Causes of low back pain
Back pain can have many different causes. In most cases there is non-specific low back pain. This means that the cause cannot be directly demonstrated by means of, for example, an X-ray or MRI. Usually the cause can be found in the musculoskeletal system, so in the muscles or joints. Examples of this are terms like lumbago and spit. These are precisely the complaints where physiotherapy has much to offer.
Sometimes a herniated disc in the low back is the cause of the symptoms. Often these complaints also go away with the help of physiotherapy. With a herniated disc, there is pressure on the nerve that runs from the low back to the leg. Generally, the symptoms in the leg are in the foreground. So you have more pain in your leg than pain in your low back. Often this involves a sharp clear pain that goes through the leg.
Osteoarthritis symptoms of the low back occur more frequently as we age. In particular, we see that the intervertebral discs show signs of aging. Osteoarthritis of the spinal canal is also possible. This is called a stenosis. Osteoarthritis is not always a reason for pain in the lower back. When the symptoms correspond to the image on an X-ray, the cause of the pain may well be the result of osteoarthritis in the back.
Physical therapy and low back pain
During the examination, we look at what possible factors are contributing to your low back pain. Based on the examination and interview, a clear treatment plan is drawn up. Keeping moving is very important to maintain the mobility in your back. We find it very important that you understand how the symptoms arise and what you can take into account to recover as quickly as possible! Besides specific advice, the treatment can consist of increasing the mobility of the lower back through manual therapy, various muscle techniques and training the muscles of the back through exercise therapy and physical training.