The lower back, or lumbar spine, is the area of the back between the bottom of the rib cage and the top of the hips. Pain in this region, sometimes also referred to as lumbar or low back pain develops at some point in life for most people. When properly treated, the pain can be alleviated and the symptoms reversed. On-going low back pain, however, can become a chronic and even debilitating condition if it is left unchecked.
While the start of this pain can often be attributed to a particular moment of injury, twisting, or improper lifting; it can also develop over time or even have no apparent cause. People who sit a lot or carry excess abdominal weight can become particularly prone to pain in the lumbar spine. In some cases, a problem with the spine present at birth can lead to lower back pain.
Whatever the reason, the sensation of pain in the lumbar spine depends on alterations of the spinal alignment causing pressure or impingement on nerves. If left untreated, this pain can include permanent damage to the reception and interpretation of pain signals from these effected nerves.
The experience of lumbar pain can vary substantially from person to person. For some, low back pain is a dull ache over a broad area while for others; the pain is sharp and localized. Sometimes, pain in the lumbar spine is associated with episodic often-debilitating muscle spasms. It can also involve pain, tingling, or numbness in the legs.
Fortunately, the symptoms for most cases are reversible. In some severe conditions, however, the nerves involved cause weakness of the legs or loss of bladder and bowel control. Any low back pain involving these symptoms requires immediate medical attention.
Proper diagnosis of lower back pain is a crucial therapeutic step. Most clinical assessments involve a simple office visit and discussion with a physician. In some cases, particularly if the pain in the lumbar spine has lasted longer than six weeks, the physician may recommend some imaging exams such as X-rays or MRIs.
A number of therapy options are available to effectively treat the symptoms and underlying causes. While non-prescription analgesic drugs may help provide short-term pain relief, they should not be used without consultation with a specialist who can provide a complete assessment of the condition and recommend the best therapeutic options.
The specialists at the Alliance Spine and Pain Centers have the expertise to diagnose and treat even the toughest cases of lower back pain. While early treatment is the best option, it’s never too late to improve symptoms and find relief from this pain. Conveniently situated across 22 locations across northern Georgia and the Atlanta Metro Area, the team at the Alliance Spine and Pain Centers are available to make full clinical assessments and explore a range of treatment options. Stop by to stop the pain with Alliance Spine and Pain Centers, where top-quality specialist pain interventions are the standard of care.