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Types of Low Back Pain and How to Distinguish Them


Types of Low Back Pain and How to Distinguish Them

Up to 80 percent of adults will experience low back pain at some point in their lives. Whether it’s a dull ache or sharp and sudden pain, back pain of all kinds is huge annoyance that can leave you incapacitated. But not all lumbar injury is the same and each type may warrant unique treatment.   

Radicular Pain

Commonly known as sciatic nerve pain Washington County OR, this type of pain doesn’t just occur in the lower back but can travel into one or both legs. This is because the mechanism of injury that causes radicular pain involves irritation of the nerve roots that originate in the low spine and travel down the lower extremities. Specific exercises and anti-inflammatory medications can usually handle the burden of sciatica but sometimes chiropractic care is needed.

Muscle Spasm

This type of pain usually occurs after a specific incident or activity like a fall or lifting something heavy. Muscle spasms happen after an injury causes the muscle fibers to contract involuntarily. Your doctor may recommend massaging the area with topical pain relief gels and creams as well as applying heat to the area to help the muscle relax. If the spasm is severe, you may also be prescribed a muscle relaxant.

Muscular Strain

This is the most common type of lumbar discomfort and is characterized by non-specific muscle pain on one or both sides of the lower back. Similar to muscle spasms, it can come about after an isolated event like a fall. However, muscle strain is also associated with poor posture, sedentarism, continuous repetitive movement, and chronic overuse. Along with pain relief, your doctor may discuss what lifestyle changes need to be made to protect the health of your lower spine.

Lumbar pain is a common nuisance that can affect men and women of all ages equally. While low back injury is common, each case is unique and complex and should be treated with the utmost care.