Lower back pain (lumbago)

Updated on 23 May 2024

Lower back pain (lumbago)

Lower back pain (also known as lumbago) is becoming increasingly common. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes (NIH), roughly 4 out of 5 people will suffer low back pain at some point in their lives. It is also one of the world’s major causes of stopping work.

Low back discomfort affects your lumbar vertebrae, as the name implies. There are 5 in total, and the lumbar is beneath your ribs, near the bottom of your spine. This sort of discomfort can also impact the sacrum, which links your tailbone to your spine.

The pain may spread to your buttocks, thighs, knees, legs, and feet in certain situations. The fact that we are bipedal, among other factors, helps explain this sort of discomfort. In reality, our spines were intended for four-legged creatures, but evolution has led to back issues.

Although lower back discomfort generally goes away on its own, podiatric therapy may be required to resolve this issue, which can have a significant impact on everyday living. Low back discomfort can occasionally be caused by a misalignment or flattening of the feet. Another risk factor is having one leg shorter than the other.

Learn about the many forms of lower back discomfort, their causes, and how a podiatrist may help you.

Causes of lumbago

Lower back pain may be divided into two categories. And they’re both for different reasons:

  1. Common lower back pain

The most frequent kind of lower back pain is sciatica. This discomfort has nothing to do with inflammation, infection, tumors, or trauma. Any discomfort in the lower back that is 

not caused by a specific condition is referred to as common lower back pain. It generally happens as a result of your spine or muscles aging naturally.

This type of pain can be:

  • Acute (lasting less than 4 weeks)
  • Subacute (lasting between 4 weeks and 3 months)
  • Chronic (lasting more than 3 months)

Although ordinary low back discomfort is typically not hazardous, if it persists, you should seek medical advice. Allowing yourself to tolerate this discomfort for an extended period of time might limit your mobility, develop joint stiffness, and weaken your muscles.

  1. Symptomatic (or specific) low back pain:

This type of lower back pain is more uncommon (about 15 percent of cases) and also more difficult. It is caused by another pathology, such as:

  • An infection of the vertebrae (spinal infection)
  • A tumor
  • A broken bone
  • Osteoarthritis
  • A malformation of the bone

It’s not always simple to figure out what kind of low back pain you’re dealing with. However, consult a healthcare professional as soon as possible if:

  • You have or have had cancer
  • You’ve dropped a significant amount of weight in a short amount of time
  • Your pain is most noticeable when you are lying down
  • You have difficulty urinating
  • You had severe trauma

If you have symptomatic lower back pain, it implies you have more significant problems than just back discomfort. If you believe you have it, you should act quickly.

Lower back pain can also be caused by the following factors:

  • Sudden movements
  • Repetitive movements
  • Blockage of a nerve in the back
  • A spine that is too curved

People at risk

Même si les douleurs lombaires peuvent toucher n’importe qui, certaines personnes sont plus à risque d’en souffrir : 

  • People who are obese
  • People aged 50 and over 
  • People with flat or cavus feet or with a biomechanical disorder  
  • Pregnant women 
  • People who work on their feet or who have to drag heavy loads 
  • Smokers 
  • People who are depressed, stressed or anxious 
  • Sedentary people
  • Athletes who do not stretch enough
  • Women who often wear high heels 
  • People with bad posture 

You may be at higher risk if you frequently have neck or chest pain. Lower back pain can also be passed down the generations. It’s essential to be cautious if you have family members that suffer from back problems.

How to prevent lower back pain? 

First and foremost, prevention is the best treatment. Even if lower back pain happens regularly, it is possible to reduce or eliminate its effects. The trick is to keep a close eye on your posture.

It is advised that you sit with your back straight at work, for example. If you have to carry large things frequently, make sure you bend your legs instead than your back. It’s also a good idea to rest your back. Long durations of lying down, on the other hand, will not fix the problem. The idea is to exercise on a regular basis and to be aware of your limitations. Physical exercise is the most effective strategy to maintain your back in good shape. However, don’t forget to warm up first!

Another thing to keep an eye on is your footwear. Make sure that your feet are well-supported. Wearing high heels for an extended period of time is not recommended. The same goes for sandals such as Crocs.

Lower back pain may also be caused by some recent lifestyle choices. You probably spend a significant amount of time each week in front of a computer or hunched over your smartphone screen. The vertebrae in your neck are put under a lot of strain as a result of this. Consider shifting your posture!

The benefits of podiatry for lower back pain 

A podiatrist can assist you in overcoming persistent lower back pain that has been troubling you for a long time.

A misalignment of your feet can cause back pain since they have such a direct impact on your posture. A podiatrist can assist you in determining the best treatment option for your condition. Depending on your situation, he or she may also recommend you to other health-care experts. It’s possible that you’ll need physiotherapy to finish your rehabilitation.

Treatment can sometimes be avoided with the correct guidance. The podiatrist can assist you in selecting shoes that are appropriate for your foot morphology. This way, you avoid causing an imbalance in your body mechanics.

Podiatry allows you to receive a therapy that is tailored to your specific needs in order to alleviate your lower back discomfort.

The podiatrist will resort to a thorough evaluation of your posture and determine if there are any misalignments. In order to obtain a comprehensive picture of the issue, he or she will also inquire about your medical history and lifestyle habits. The podiatrist also investigates the mechanics of your foot, both when it is still and when it is in motion.

Podiatric treatments for lower back pain

The podiatrist may choose one of the following procedures to ease your pain:

  • Foot orthoses: custom-made orthotics are intended to keep your feet straight and stabilized. Your legs, knees, hips, and back will be correctly aligned in this manner. Orthotics can also help you avoid muscular tightness by reducing pressure points on your feet.
  • Cortisone injection: if your back discomfort is caused by foot pain, a cortisone injection may be an option to treat your foot pain while also reducing the effects on your back. This drug, which is made from a natural hormone, has strong anti-inflammatory effects and can help with a variety of joint problems.

It may be advised that you continue to work from home to help with your recovery. There are methods to receive relief in the comfort of your own home if your pain gets severe. You can undertake strengthening exercises in addition to taking pain medication or other products suggested by your doctor. A physiotherapist would be the most qualified person to advise you on this.

PiedReseau: state-of-the-art technology to treat your pain

PiedReseau is a network of over forty podiatry clinics located throughout Quebec, and the network is still growing! Among its strengths is the cutting-edge technology utilized to address your back pain. PiedReseau’s specialists may also create custom-made orthotics to assist you support your back appropriately.

Regardless of the PiedReseau facility you visit, you can expect to receive treatment that is personalized to your specific needs. The podiatrist is a valuable ally in your everyday life who can provide you with the solutions you need to feel better.

Find your local PiedReseau clinic today and say goodbye to lower back pain!

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