Lower back pain is an equal opportunity offender, striking men and women alike, regardless of race or ethnic origin. If lower back pain was a disease it would certainly be considered an epidemic. There is no sure cure, but there are treatments available that can alleviate your pain and put a bounce back in your step.
Lower back pain, or lumbar pain, can strike anyone, but it often begins between the ages of 30 and 50. Normally, it goes away on its own after a few days, but some people develop chronic back pain which results in lost work days, lost mobility, and lost enjoyment of life.
Back pain is a really just a symptom of an underlying cause. It can result from stress, a sports injury, arthritis, a sedentary lifestyle, improper form when lifting, and just the simple fact of growing older. Even teens can develop lumbar pain, typically from carrying over-laden backpacks filled with heavy textbooks. Determining the best course of treatment for any back pain depends upon correctly identifying the underlying cause.
Symptoms of lower back pain include muscle ache, a shooting or stabbing pain, restricted flexibility and/or range of motion, or an inability to stand straight. Temporary back pain can be treated with heat therapy, such as heat pads, a hot bath, or a visit to a Jacuzzi. One of the most popular treatments is therapeutic massage, which promotes healing and helps manage stress through a careful manipulation of the soft tissue.
If, however, your pain lasts for more than a couple of weeks, you should consult with your practitioner. You should also seek medical attention if in addition to your lower back pain you experience numbness in your legs or feet, have debilitating pain, or have pain that shoots down your legs to below your knee.
You can help prevent lower back pain by starting an exercise routine designed to strengthen your back muscles, and a stretching regimen to improve flexibility. There are also simple changes you can make in order to avoid instigating back pain and injury: always lift heavy objects using your knees for thrust, instead of bending over and using your back; push heavy objects instead of pulling them; be sure to get up from your desk regularly to relieve stress from sitting; and women should stay away from high heels that affect the natural curve and sway of the back. Most importantly, exercise regularly and lose those extra pounds. That could make the biggest difference of all.