Lower back Pain
Lower back pain is categorised in to 3 areas:
- Non-Specific Lower Back Pain
- Radicular Syndromes
- Specific Spinal Pathologies
Non-specific lower back pain accounts for the majority of cases with specific spinal pathologies and radicular syndromes only accounting for less than 11%.
Non-Specific Lower Back Pain:
Accounting for 90-95% of all lower back pain cases, non-specific lower back pain is diagnosed when no specific structure has been injured and all spinal pathologies have been excluded. The usual causes are from sudden injuries such as bending awkwardly to pick something up or overstress injuries that have occurred over a period of time due to poor posture.
These often result in muscle strains, ligament strains and can be treated with physiotherapy for effective lower back pain relief. The key is early diagnosis and a tailored treatment plan from your physiotherapist.
Radicular Syndromes (sciatica):
Making up between 5-10% of back pain cases radicular syndromes is lower back pack that is caused by the irritation or pinching of a nerve. This is most commonly the sciatic nerve. This can result in additional pain down the leg and result in being diagnosed with sciatica.
The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body and runs all the way to your feet. Most people find the pain goes away naturally within a few weeks but this can last for much longer. This is the most common nerve associated with radicular syndromes but any other spinal nerve can be affected.
Lower back pain in this way can be caused by common back injuries that increase swelling in material adjacent to the spinal nerve either irritating or compressing the nerve.
Specific Spinal Pathologies:
Making up less than 1% of the lower back pain cases spinal pathologies do require urgent and specific referral and treatment. These can include spinal infections, malignancy, spinal arthropathies, cauda equine syndrome or spinal fractures.
Some referrals should be immediate so please seek advice from a medical professional.