Simplifying the process of deciding “What causes my LBP?”
Low back pain (LBP) can emerge from the bones, nerves, joints, and soft tissues around it. The Quebec Task Force proposes splitting LBP into three major categories: 1) mechanical LBP; 2) back pain involved with the nerve root; and 3) back pain or fracture. We’ll be covering the first two, because Osteopaths most commonly treat them.
Making the best decision leads your Osteopath in the right direction when it comes to care. It avoids time wasted by treating an unrelated condition, which runs the risk of increased chances of a poor and/or prolonged recovery. Low back pain is certainly no exception! The “right” diagnosis makes for concentrated and precise care, ensuring that the optimal outcomes are obtained.
The most frequently observed form of back pain is mechanical low back pain, which involves discomfort that results from sprains, strains, facet and sacroiliac (SI) syndromes and more. The key difference between this and LBP connected to nerve root is the ABSENCE of a pinched nerve. Therefore, usually pain does NOT radiate, even if it does, it never extends past the knee and does not normally cause weakness in the leg.
The injury process for both forms of LBP can occur when a person is doing too much, holding an uncomfortable posture for too long, or over curves, lifts, and/or twists. Yet LBP may also occur “insidiously” or for almost no reason whatsoever. For most situations, though, if one considers long enough, they may recognise an incident or a sequence of “micro-traumas” that stretch back in time, which may be the “source” of their present low back pain symptoms.
LBP connected to the nerve root is less frequent, but it is also more severe — since the pain associated with a pinched nerve is sometimes very sharp, can often radiate down a leg to the foot, and can cause numbness, tingling, and muscle weakness. The location of the weakness depends on which nerve is pinched. Think of the nerve as a wire to a light and the switch of the nerve is located in the back where it exits the spine.
When the switch is turned on (the nerve is pinched), and the “light” switches on — possibly in the outer foot, middle foot, inner foot, or front, back or side of the thigh. In fact, there are several nerves that innervate or “run” into our leg, so usually, a very specific location “lights up” in the limb.
Determining the cause of your low back pain lets the Osteopath decide which care plans will better function to relieve the discomfort as well as when to concentrate on these therapies. Book Online.