The lower back is an integral part of the human body but yet it is one of the most common areas for pain or discomfort. The lower back is comprised of the lumbar spine and a range of interconnected muscles and ligaments which work together to provide the lumbar region with its strength.
There can be many reasons as to why a person may have lower back pain. Some causes of pain are more severe, such as a disc bulge, while others are less painful, such as muscle tightness. Some of the main reasons as to why a person will have lower back pain can include:
– Lumbar disc injury (bulge or degeneration)
This can be caused by incorrect movement patterns, an impact injury or through old age. This injury can cause a large amount of discomfort. A professional should be seen as there are rehab exercises which can help to strengthen the area to alleviate the pain.
– Lower back sprains or strains
A sprain (injury to the ligament) or strain (injury to the muscle) can cause pain and discomfort of the lower back. Initially, resting would be best but completing gentle exercises would be of the up most importance in getting the lumbar region back to 100%.
Inflammation of the lower back can be caused by injuries, poor posture or even by the foods we consume. Consuming foods which are natural anti-inflammatories aid in lowering the pain in this area. Cutting out acidic foods and foods that contain gluten may also lead to improvements.
– Poor Posture
One of the most common causes can be incorrect posture. The lifestyle of the common office worker usually involves sitting for long periods of the day which leads to slouched posture and tightness through the lower back. When standing, weak core muscles also add unnecessary pressure to the lumbar region as the core is not switching on. Fixing the posture and tightness with a combination of strength exercises and mobility work, such as yoga.
It may seem strange but hydration plays an important role in decreasing joint pain in the lower back. As the synovial joint consists of water, increasing water consumption allows the synovial fluid to function properly. Increasing water intake allows disc size to increase when sleeping leading to improved function. The amount of water consumed should be 1 litre per 30kg of bodyweight.
– Abdominal bloating
Bloating is a result of eating foods which don’t mix well with our body. This bloating switches of the muscles of the core, placing extra pressure on the lower back. Different foods can cause this such as foods containing gluten and even alcohol.
The pain of the lower back can range from stinging pain, which can radiate to the glutes and down the legs, or a broad discomfort pain. The amount of pain a person feels will depend on the severity of the injury or cause but in most cases pain can be alleviated through some form of treatment. Whether it’s seeing a professional, completing exercises or even as simple as making changes in diet, there is always a form of treatment that can be completed.