Lower Back Injuries
Back pain can be particularly difficult to diagnose due to the complexity and the number of structures and tissues in the lower back that can cause pain. The most common causes are slipped discs and this can sometimes cause leg pain called Sciatica. In addition, scoliosis, spinal canal stenosis, spondylytis, spondylolisthesis, spondylolysis, spondylosis, transverse process fracture, facet joint pain and more.
Most back injuries will settle with appropriate rest and treatment however some require further assessment. Minor back injuries are usually recommended to apply protection (back support), rest, ice and compression. Here we outline when it might be suitable to seek professional advice.
Sciatica is the term used to describe back pain which radiates down the leg and is a symptom itself rather than a specific diagnosis. Sciatic nerve pain can be caused by a number of factors although a prolapsed or slipped disc is one of the most common along with piriformis syndrome. We explain the symptoms, causes and treatment.
A herniated disc is sometimes also known as a slipped disc or prolapsed disc. It can occur anywhere in the spine although is most common in the lower back.
Muscle strains in the lower back can occur for a number of reasons and may be a weak point waiting to happen. It is very important that muscle strains are treated properly as imbalances in the back can lead to problems later on.
Scoliosis is an S-shaped or C shaped curve in the spine. You can be born with it, or it can develop over time. It can also range from very mild which is hardly noticeable to severe cases causing deformity.
Spondylosis is a term used to describe bony overgrowths of the vertebrae which form the spinal column. It has previously been known as spinal osteoarthritis although this is not technically accurate.
Ankylosing Spondylitis (Bechterew's disease or Marie Struempell disease as it is also known) is a form of chronic, degenerative arthritis that affects the spine and sacroiliac joints and often other joints of the body.
Spondylolisthesis is a back injury involving a forward slipping of one vertebra over another and is most commonly seen in children between the ages of 9 and 14.
Spondylolysis is a stress fracture of a part of the spine called the the pars interarticularis. It is an overuse injury and is more common in young athletes involved in sports requiring lots of bending backwards and rotation of the spine.
Paravertebral trigger points are tight localized knots or lumps in the muscles either side of the spine which cause back pain. Trigger points can be active or latent.
A broken tailbone or fractured coccyx as it is also known occurs after a fall where the patient lands directly on the tailbone at the very base of the spine.
An Iliolumbar ligament sprain is an injury to the Iliolumbar ligament between the pelvis and the 5th lumbar vertebrae. This ligament may be injured after a sudden movement or repeated bending and lifting.
Lumbago is the term used to describe general lower back pain. The exact cause of the lumbago/back pain is often unknown.
Lordosis or hyperlordosis is an exaggerated lumbar curve in the spine. To put it another way, the lower back curves inwards more than it would naturally do.
The facet joints, also known as zygapophysial joints are synovial joints which help support the weight and control movement between individual vertebrae of the spine.
Spinal stenosis is a condition seen more in older athletes where the spinal canal narrows causing pressure on the nerves with resulting pain and numbness.
Weak back and especially core and abdomen muscles will be unable to support the back sufficiently leading to pain and tiredness.
A lumbosacral sprain is a ligament injury in the lumbar or sacral areas (lower back). A sprain usually occurs after a forceful or rapid movement which overstretches and maybe tears a ligament.
The tailbone (also known as the coccyx) is a group of 3-5 fused bones at the base of the spine. This is the remainder of a tail and has no real function in humans!
A Coccydynia is a type of tailbone pain, as is coccygodynia. It is five times more common in women than men.
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