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By Dr. Navita Basiwar, B.P.T, M.P.T. (Neuro), Atmantan Wellness Centre
6, APR, 2019

Understanding Lower Back Pain


Low back pain is a universal experience almost everyone has it at some point. In India presently one out of every 6 individuals are having a history of low back pain. The lower back which starts below the ribcage is called as lumbar region. Pain in this region can be intense and is one of the top causes of missed work. Fortunately, low back pain often gets better on its own. When it doesn’t it needs effective treatment. There are many reasons that can cause low back pain but most of those can be classified in lifestyle or medical conditions.

Lifestyle causes back problems

1.  Nature of Job – If your job involves lifting, pulling or anything that twists the spine, it may contribute to lower back pain putting undue stress on muscles and ligaments.

2.  Your bag – Although you may carry a backpack or a briefcase, it is the lower back that supports the upper body-including any additional weight you carry. So any overstuffed bag can strain the lower back if your core muscles are weak, especially if you carry it day after day.

3. Your workout

Overdoing exercises in the gym is one of the most common causes of overextended muscles leading to low back pain. You are especially vulnerable if you tend to be inactive during the week and then spend hours at the gym over the weekend.

4. Your posture at work –

If you tend to spend more than 4-5 hours sitting you are most probable to have lower back pain. There are enough literature and studies which prove that “sitting is the new smoking”, as each hour of sitting reduces your life expectancy by 22minutes. So if you think your posture is the culprit for back pain, get it examined and corrected by a physiotherapist.

Medical Causes for back problems

1. Osteoarthritis –

This condition results from wear and tear of the spinal discs and facet joints. It causes pain and inflammation to a variable degree. It is associated with aging and slowly progressive. It is also referred to as spondylosis.

2. Spondylolisthesis –

This condition occurs when one vertebra slips over the adjacent one more than it should. This happens as we age. The pain can be caused because of the instability or compression of the nerves.

3. Prolapsed intervertebral disc –

The spinal vertebrae are cushioned by jelly-like discs that are prone to wear and tear from aging or injuries. A weakened disc may rupture or bulge putting pressure on spinal nerves. This is called as” herniated disc” and can cause intense pain.

4. Sacroiliac joint dysfunction –

The sacroiliac joint connects the sacrum to each side of the pelvis. This is a strong joint that primarily absorbs shock and tension between the upper body and the lower body. The sacroiliac joint can be painful if it becomes inflamed or if there is too little or too much motion of the joint.

DON’T medically investigate back pain until it meets at least 3 criteria


How to ease lower back pain? This is one of the frequent questions that people with spinal issues seek an answer for… Spinal pain can hamper day to day activities of an individual thus it becomes imperative to address this issue and treat this in the beginning stages. Lower back pain has many different solutions which range from simple exercises to correct posture to medical intervention. The intensity of the treatments is dependent upon the severity of the problem. There is no one size fit solution or the best way to get rid of back pain… It is mostly caused due to daily individual habits; the treatments are also prescribed on the case to case basis. Some of the common treatments to relieve lower back pain are as follows:

    1. Physical therapy –

    If back pain has let you inactive for a long time, a rehabilitation program can help you strengthen your muscles and get back to your daily activities. A physiotherapist can guide you through the rehabilitation program that will help you be fitter without straining your BACK.

    2. Massage Therapy –

    Massage may relieve chronic low back pain when done therapeutically, especially when combined with exercises and stretching.

    3. Spinal manipulations –

    Chiropractors and osteopathic doctors use spinal manipulation to treat low back pain by applying pressure with their hands to bones and surrounding tissues. This treatment may not be appropriate for everyone.

    Although so many lower back pain treatments are available, 99% of low back pain is due to mechanical reasons such as lifestyle problems mentioned above and improve only with regular exercises, taking sufficient breaks during work, maintaining proper posture at work and following the ergonomics of work and workstation.

    Click here to learn more about the Secret to a healthy spine

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