Left Lower Back Pain
Lower Back Pain Causes -
Lower Back Pain Exercises -
Lower Back Pain Treatment
Left lower back pain is a frequent culprit of pain and is responsible for many visits to an orthopedic doctor. Pain that develops in the left lower back is most often due to relatively common, simple conditions. However, it is important to understand the causes and symptoms of back pain in order to prevent more serious conditions from occurring.
The left lower back is made up of many different structures. The part of the spine that relates to this region is the lumbar spine. The lumbar spine is composed of five vertebrae which protect the spinal cord. Between each of these is a disc of cartilage which is helps with movement and stabilizes the vertebrae. Within the spinal column are nerves that are responsible for sending signals from the brain to the muscles throughout the body. There are also muscles and ligaments that support movement, but also help to add stability to the back for movement.
There are many different reasons why left lower back pain can occur. First, overuse may be the culprit. In many cases, overuse related to repetitive lifting of heavy objects, or exercising too much can often lead to strained muscles in the left lower back. In addition, poor posture or obesity can also place added weight and pressure on the lower back.
More serious causes of left lower back pain can also be related to aging and wear and tear. Arthritis is one cause of pain in the lower back that is relatively common. This condition occurs when the joints in the back become worn and inflamed. Wear and tear can often cause the discs of cartilage between the vertebrae to thin, causing pain during movement since the cushion becomes not only thinner, but also firmer as it loses elasticity. Also with age, osteoporosis can also occur and causes severe lower back pain. Osteoporosis is when bones lose their density, putting you at risk of developing fractures.
Another serious cause of pain in the left lower back is a herniated disc. When a disc becomes herniated, part of it begins to bulge and slide out into the spinal column. This alone can be very painful. However, this can also cause a nerve in the spinal column to become pinched, causing pain and weakness to occur not only in the back, but also throughout the legs and as far as the toes as well.
In most cases, left lower back pain is attributed to a strained muscle. In such instances, back pain can be relieved by conservative means. Rest is the most important initial treatment method since it will limit the amount of additional and unnecessary weight and stress placed on the strained area. In addition, ice packs followed by heat pads are a good way to minimize pain and also reduce tension from a tight muscle. Physical therapy is also an option because it is a good way to reduce pain in the lower back as well as an opportunity to learn the exercises and stretches necessary to not only relieve pain, but also add strength to the back. If pain persists after conservative treatment, it's important to consult your physician about other treatment options. Surgery is usually only required for the most back pain conditions, however if significant damage has been caused then surgery may be needed.
Preventing left lower back pain can be achieved in a number of ways. First, it is important to maintain the correct posture when doing anything, whether you are sitting or exercising. Also, when exercising it is important not to over do it. Ease into a routine and always stretch the muscles out first. Avoid smoking and also maintain the proper body weight in order to stay in a good, healthy shape.