Low Back Pain (Mechanical)
What is Mechanical Low Back Pain?
Mechanical low back pain is back pain caused by or relating to the spinal joints, discs vertebrae, or soft tissues it is mechanical low back pain. Mechanical low back pain may also be known as acute low back pain, lumbago, idiopathic low back pain, lumbosacral strain or sprain, or lumbar syndrome.
What Causes Mechanical Low Back Pain?
In most cases the exact cause of low back pain is not found. However, in about 20% of cases, the cause of low back pain can be found. Common causes of low back pain include:
- Muscle strain
- Disk herniation
- Vertebral compression fractures
- A traumatic injury
- Repetitive stress or overuse
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Mechanical Low Back Pain?
The most common symptoms of both acute and chronic low back pain include:
- Pain or stiffness in the lower back
- Pain that radiates down to the butt and thighs
- Muscle spasms
How is Mechanical Low Back Pain Treated?
Depending on the cause, severity and length of time you’ve had low back pain, treatment will vary and can include:
- Rest: Bed rest (48 hours or under) is recommended if you’re experiencing intense back pain or spasms
- Activity: In some cases, you might be told to keep up with your normal activities as much as possible
- Heat and ice therapy: Alternate hot and cold treatment for 20-minutes each, two to three times a day to reduce inflammation and pain.
- Medication: Over the counter or prescription medication may be suggested including muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatory drugs
- Physiotherapy: Physical therapy can reduce the painful symptoms of low back pain and help prevent future episodes too
Physiotherapy for Mechanical Low Back Pain
Physiotherapists have extensive training in the diagnosis and treatment of low back pain. Depending on the cause of your low back pain and the severity, a physiotherapist will develop a custom treatment plan to help reduce pain, strengthen muscles, and prevent future bouts of back pain. Treatments can include:
- Hot and Cold therapy
- Therapeutic ultrasound
- Exercise prescription
- Stretching and strengthening exercises