What Causes Lumbar Pain?
Lumbar pain can occur due to numerous reasons. The lumbar region is the centre of gravity for our body and almost all daily actions affect lumbar region. In other words, the lumbar region is constantly under pressure.
Extensive pressure on the lumbar region, irritation of the nerves, pressure of the bones, deformity in the bones and joints, and arthritis may cause lumbar pain.
There are 2 groups of reasons for lumbar pain:
- Mechanical and degenerative reasons: Approximately 95% of all lumbar pain cases are related with these.
Mechanical Insufficient or excessive lumbar bone in the spine, ankylosis/adherence of lumbar bone and hip bone, excessive curvature of lumbar region /lordosis, hernia, trauma, and muscle weakness are the mechanical reasons that cause lumbar pain.
Degenerations in the tissues such as aging-related hypercalcifications in vertebrae, discs, ligaments, and muscles may cause lumbar pain.
- Inflammatory reasons: Rheumatoid diseases, infections such as tuberculosis, cancers that affect the spine or surrounding tissues may cause lumbar pain. Resting does not help in such cases, the severity of pain increases during the night, partially decreases with motion, there is morning stiffness, and heat application may increase the severity of pain.
Walking, light exercises, and stretching may help. Applying hot or cold packs on the location of pain may also help. People who do table work should use special chairs that support their lumbar region and enable placing their feet on the ground. Moreover, the computer screen should be at the eye level. Not wearing high heels also help to decrease lumbar pain.
Diagnosis of Lumbar Pain
Physical examination by a physician is the first step for the diagnosis of lumbar pain. Mechanical and degenerative lumbar pain can be diagnosed by imaging methods. Inflammatory lumbar pain can be diagnosed by biochemical blood analysis.
How is Lumbar Pain Treated?
The treatment method changes according to the reason of the lumbar pain. Medications, physical therapy, minimally invasive techniques such as epidural and transforaminal steroid injections, radiofrequency and laser applications may be helpful. Surgery is the ultimate choice if these minimally invasive therapies do not help.