The spine is one of the most important structures in our body. In the first place, it is the place from where practically the rest of our skeleton emerges, and, therefore, it is an essential element of the muscular and skeletal system. Second, it protects the nerves that travel from the brain to the rest of the organs and extremities. Due to the weight we bear on our spine, the conditions that affect its integrity usually have an essential mechanical component. At the same time, due to the presence of the multiple nerves that emerge from it, it is common for it to cause pain and discomfort.
Combining these elements can produce one of the most frequent alterations of the spine, an injury known as mechanical low back pain. In this FastlyHealarticle we will talk to you about mechanical low back pain: causes, treatments, and exercises that you can perform to improve the feelings caused by this common condition.
What is mechanical low back pain?
Name of mechanical low back pain, the condition whose main characteristic is localized pain in the lumbar region -also called the lower back- is known, which can radiate to other areas and with painful limitation of movements. It is widespread in people between 30 and 60 years old, being the leading cause of restriction of movement and activity in people under 45 years of age and the most frequent musculoskeletal alteration in people over 65 years of age.
Mechanical low back pain: causes
Pain in mechanical low back pain can have multiple causes. Still, most of them are related to functional overload in workers and poor positions that affect the lumbar area.
Another frequent cause of mechanical low back pain is the presence of a herniated disc which is a syndrome in which pressure is exerted on the root of the spinal nerve producing pain, tingling, numbness, and other symptoms.
Lumbar canal stenosis can also be one of the possible causes, that is, an alteration in which the size of the lumbar canal is reduced.
This list of causes can also be associated with facet syndrome, which is pain that occurs in the lower part of the spine (facet joints) as a result of factors such as:
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Lack of exercise
- Being in the same posture position for a long time
In other conditions, mechanical low back pain can also be caused by fractures or tumors. Despite its many possible causes, most mechanical low back pain cases have an unknown origin.
Symptoms of mechanical low back pain
Clinically the person can go through two stages, an acute or a chronic one. In the acute phase, the person has pain in the lower back, although it can also spread laterally and towards the buttocks, as well as numbness and tingling.
A consequence of pain is the limitation of movements or specific postures to avoid pain. It can also cause stiffness that is particularly pronounced in the morning.
The pain caused by mechanical low back pain is more aggravated when the person is not at rest but is in constant movement or standing for a long time, until sitting with poor posture. If so, the low back pain will last longer, and when this time exceeds six weeks, it is considered chronic low back pain.
Treatment of mechanical low back pain
Mechanical low back pain has two phases for treatment:
Acute low back pain treatment
In the case of acute mechanical low back pain, the best treatment is rest; however, it cannot be prolonged or in bed unless it is an intense pain. It should only be done between 2 to 4 days.
An extended rest period is not recommended because the person loses physical strength, causes discomfort, loss of body mass, depression, etc.
Local heat therapy is also used in the area, and pain relievers such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen relieve pain. Another therapy can be the consumption of muscle relaxants to improve muscle contractures.
Chronic mechanical low back pain: treatment
If mechanical low back pain has become chronic, treatment can be even more complex. Depending on the intensity, rest can be considered first, and then other measures such as:
- Thermotherapy with the application of heat
- Anti-inflammatory analgesics in case it hurts and under the supervision of the treating doctor
- Muscle relaxants
- Semi-rigid lumbar girdles to keep the spine in a better position during the day
- Infiltration with local anesthetics in the area
- Physical activities since they bring a positive effect as long as there is no functional overload
Another possible treatment is the application of massage by a specialist to improve the condition.
Exercises for mechanical low back pain
Below we will mention a series of recommended exercises if you suffer from mechanical low back pain:
The first exercise that we will mention is kinesitherapy; it consists of performing spinal flexibilization exercises performed by a physiotherapist to strengthen the muscles and correct posture. This is also called therapeutic exercise because the patient uses exercise and physical activity to improve health.
Hydrokinesitherapy is an exercise in water to correct the column, as performed under the supervision of a specialist which point you take care of what is the best position in the spine to prevent back pain.
It is also recommended to respect ergonomic rules, that is, to maintain a suitable position during work to avoid the appearance of this injury.
Another possible exercise is lumbar traction, which can be done at home and relieve lumbar tension. The person must position themselves on a single bed to support themselves with their hands; they must be placed face down and with the pelvis down relaxed towards the floor to feel the relaxation of all the elements at the lumbar level. It is important to inhale and exhale in this position, returning slowly to the initial work, however this exercise must first be supervised by a physiotherapist
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to Mechanical Low Back Pain: Causes, Treatment, and Exercises, we recommend entering our Bones, Joints, and Muscles category.
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.