back pain

Lower Back Pain – Symptoms and Causes

Lower back pain is the number one condition that is presented to me at my Physiotherapy clinic. It will affect up to 80% of us at some stage in our lives – and it is 80% of my daily work.

Symptoms are many and varied – ranging from lower back pain alone, to back pain with pins and needles and numbness on one or both legs. In my experience, it does have one of a number of specific causes – poor posture, poor lifting techniques, road traffic accidents, pregnancy and arthritis.

Treatment is quite straightforward (even though a lot of people choose to suffer in silence) and essentially involves elimination of the cause which is then followed by strengthening exercises to reduce the risk of re-occurrence. Diagnosis and follow through is the key!

Exercises will be specific to your condition and a necessity in the long term resolution of your symptoms. I find that it is always worthwhile to have at least one visit to your Physiotherapist to receive a correct diagnosis and a progamme of exercises appropriate to your symptoms and lifestyle.

Types of Lower Back Pain.

There are many different types of this pain but I feel it is worthwhile mentioning the following. Right Sided Pain is frequently seen in my working day. This is always due to posture and working techniques straining the right side – on the other hand – Lower left side back pain is also common. This is due to repetitive movements favouring the left side and poor postural habits.

Lower Back Pain is is often associated with groin pain. This is due to the closed proximity of the groin to the lower back as well as the nerves in the back affected causing groin pain.

Finally, I frequently see this complaint during pregnancy. This is due to the hormones of pregnancy affecting the lower back as well as the postural changes which occur straining your back.

Sally Ann Quirke is a Chartered PhysioTherapist based in Fermoy, Cork, Ireland. She specialises in the relief of Back Pain – especially Lower Back Pain and also runs a website:

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