Chronic lower back pain is defined as pain that lasts for longer than three months. Understandably, it takes a toll on your daily life and impairs your ability to carry out regular tasks. To deal with lower back pain, it is important to understand its cause. More often than not, chronic pain in the lower back involves either a disc or joint problem or an inflamed nerve root. Here’s a detailed overview of the most common causes for chronic lower back pain:
- Lumbar Herniated Disc: A disc is a thick shock-absorbing pad between each of the five lumbar vertebrae. Each disc has an outer band that encircles a jelly-like material (nucleus pulposus). Disc herniation happens when the nucleus pulposus breaks through the outer band, causing inflammation when it makes its way to a nerve root. A herniated disc can also lead to compression of the spinal cord or spinal nerves, thus causing pain.
- Degenerative Disc Disease: Usually attributed to aging, degenerative disc disease involves intervertebral discs – the cushions between the vertebrae in the spine. These discs assist your back in bearing weight and enable intricate movements of the spine while sustaining stability. Over time these discs are worn down and lose hydration, leading the discs to become rigid and inflexible. This, in turn, causes pain.
- Facet Joint Pain: Facet joint pain is the pain experienced at the joint between two vertebrae in the spine. Facet joints are the joints in the spine that enable flexibility and allows one to twist. They have cartilage between the bones, which allows uninterrupted movement of the vertebrae without grinding against each other. Each facet joint is also made smooth with synovial fluid for extra safeguard against normal wear and tear. These joints can become inflamed, thus giving rise to pain.
- Spondylolisthesis: The term ‘spondylolisthesis’ is the combination of two Greek words: spondylo (spine) and listhesis (slippage). Hence, spondylolisthesis occurs when one vertebra slips on to another one. It typically happens in the lumbar spine. It can be classified by severity, cause, and location. As far as its effects go, spondylolisthesis can not only cause pain in the lower back but also in one or both thighs or legs. It can also affect the ability to control bowel and bladder functions and in some case, even the manner in which people walk and stand.
While it is advised that one seeks professional help in case they are, or suspect that they may be, suffering from chronic lower back pain, some remedies implemented at home can also be extremely beneficial. Perhaps the simplest among the advised methods is just temporarily steering clear of any arduous activity. Additionally, avoiding positions or prolonged activities, such as sitting at a desk, can go a long way in alleviating such pain. Using one of the many iterations of the ice and heat therapy has also proven to be quite helpful; alternate between heat and ice or apply only either one of the two, it is a pretty straightforward way of reliving lumbar pain. And if you are looking for instant relief, over-the-counter products such as Moov spray can come in handy. Made from completely Ayurvedic medicines, the Moov spray uses a special deep penetration formula to provide prompt pain relief.