Low Back Pain

Lower back pain is a very common occurance within the United Kingdom; back pain is estimated to affect 1 in 3 adults, costing the NHS is in excess of £1000 million per year. Most low back pain is triggered by some combination of overuse, injury and inflammation to the structures associated with the spine.

The common causes of low back pain are:

  • Injury or overuse to muscles, tendons, ligaments, facet joints and joint capsules of the lower back.
  • Injury or adhesion to the nerves that pass through the lower back.
  • Wear and tear degeneration of spinal joints and discs (spondylarthrosis and spondylosis)
  • Compression on nerves either in the spinal canal (spinal stenosis) or outside (foraminal encroachment), this can be due to:
    • A herniated disc
    • Degenerative joints  
    • Spondylolisthesis Â? Defects in vertebra that can alter the alignment of the spine and allow one vertebra too slide over another.
  • Chemical irritation of nerves due to productus associated with swelling and inflammation.
  • Abnormal on unbalanced spinal posture.
  • Alterations to the central nervous system, which alter the processing and perception of pain.  

Less common conditions, which may causes low back pain include:

  • Ankylosing Spondylitis Â? A form of rheumatic disease causing inflammation and rigidity of the joints of the spine and pelvis
  • Compression Fractures Â? Compression or crush fractures are more common in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis.
  • Infections Â? Bacteria and viruses can be carried to the spine via the bloodstream; this could be from an infection elsewhere in the body, surgery, intravenous drugs or open wounds. The pain may be as a result of an infection in the; bone (osteomyelitis), in the tissues that surround the spinal cord (meningitis), in the spinal cord, or due to a fragility fracture that can occur as a result of Tubuculosis.
  • Tumours Â? Growths can occur on the bones, connective tissues, nerves or spinal cord itself.
  • ScheuermannÂ?s Disease Â? Not really a disease but arises due to defective or delayed endochondral ossification (the process that turns our soft young cartilaginous bones into hard calcified bone). ScheuermannÂ?s is normally only active during teenage years and results in wedge-shaped vertebra, leading to a slight rounding of the back.
  • PagetÂ?s Disease Â? A disorder affecting the middle-aged and elderly, itis characterized by abnormal and excessive bone remodelling, leading to soft, weak, enlarged, and deformed bones.

The causes of pain are often multifactorial as one problem tends to add on to another. An example may include; a mild disc herniation leading to local inflammation, muscles spasm, change in posture and gait, compression of a single nerve and chemical irritation of nerves nearby.  This herniation could be predisposed by compensations within the lower back due to ScheuermannÂ?s disease causing excessive stiffness within the midback.   

An osteopath is trained to detect and treat, either directly or around all of the above conditions and more. So if you have back pain, come and consult an osteopathy www.gdOsteopathy.co.uk we will do our very best to reduce your pain, and get you back to being you.

About the author:

Registered osteopath and sports and remedial massage therapist. Based in North London and Essex.

Website: http://www.gdosteopathy.co.uk

Author: Glen Daniels M.Ost
Copyright © 2023 Glen Daniels M.Ost. All rights reserved

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