If you're experiencing pain in your lower back, it's important not to ignore this issue. There are many possible reasons why your back may be hurting. Some are rather harmless and will subside on their own, while others will require medical treatment in order to improve. Here's a look at some of the most likely explanations and how they're treated.
Did the pain come on after you engaged in a strenuous activity or suddenly turned to the side? The pain may be due to a herniated disc. This is an injury that occurs when one of the discs of cartilage found between your vertebrae bulges out to the side. Often, the pain from a herniated disc radiates down into your lower thighs or up towards your upper back because the disc places pressure on the spinal nerves that carry pain signals from these areas.
A herniated disc does usually require treatment in order to heal properly. A chiropractor can adjust your spine to reduce pressure on the disc, encouraging inflammation to subside and the disc to gradually shift back into place. Your doctor may also recommend anti-inflammatory medications to reduce swelling and ease your pain as you recover.
Is the pain isolated to a specific spot to one side of your spine? It's probably due to a strained muscle. In most cases, this type of injury will heal on its own as long as you get plenty of rest and avoid over-working your back. Applying ice to the sore area and massaging it gently will also help. If the pain does not ease up within a few days, see your doctor or a chiropractor. You may have a deeper muscle tear that requires some physical therapy or other advanced treatment in order to heal.
If what you're experiencing is more of a constant, dull ache and stiffness rather than a sharp pain, there's a good chance your spine is just out of alignment. This can happen after repeatedly sitting or walking with poor posture. When one or more vertebrae move slightly out of place, they pull and push on muscles in your back, leading to feelings of stiffness and tightness.
A visit to a chiropractor, such as those at Fick Chiropractic Centers Inc, is likely to alleviate this soreness. Keep in mind, however, that unless you change your posture going forward, you're likely to need repeat adjustments to keep your spinal column properly aligned and prevent the back pain from returning.