What Causes Lower Back Pain?

Published by Shauna Burchett, OTR/L on

Skier without Back pain

You know what? Lower back pain is like the annoying IRS: it will get you no matter who you are; man, woman, American, Canadian, athlete, couch potato, actor, banker, I could go on. Just like people pay money to get the most out of their tax return, why not learn more about lower back pain so you can live your life to the fullest?  Two of the major causes of lower back pain are an overuse injury and degenerative changes of spine.

First of all, you need to listen to your back. Your back is more likely to get injured if your job requires lifting constantly. Have you ever experience a burning sensation in your back while lifting a heavy load? This is probably muscle fatigue. Basically, your back is telling you that you are working too hard. There are many theories of what causes the burning sensation; lactic acid, free radicals, etc. The bottom line is you will fall apart if you keep on doing what you are doing! Muscle strain and lower back pain are the products of over used muscles.


How to Prevent Lower Back Pain

I have several strategies for my patients to avoid lower back pain. First, I encourage my patients to take a short break (1-5 minutes) every hour depending on the physical demands of their job.

Second, I instruct them to lift correctly. Those lifting techniques will reduce excessive stress acting up on their back and spine. It prevents potential injury and damage from work.

Last but not least, I prescribe a set of abdominal core and range of motion exercises to my patients. It will strengthen their back and abdominal area while keeping their back flexible.

Beside muscle strain; wear and tear of the body could also create lower back pain. Degeneration such as osteoarthritis impact the small joints (facet joints) between your vertebrae and generate back pain. Imagine a high pitched noise when you open up a rusty gate; this is a serious matter when it happens in your back!  Also, a herniated disc in the lumbar area would narrow down the intervertebral disc space. It creates extra pressure on the nerve root that can lead to  pain, numbness, and tingling sensation in your back and legs.

Physical therapy or chiropractic treatments are effective ways to fight against lower back pain. Synergy Healthcare offers physical therapy, occupational therapy and massage therapy in Spokane Valley, WA. Our highly trained therapists are ready to get you back on track fast! We try to prepare helpful articles that can help enrich your life. Have a question you want answered? Email us at info@synergyspokane.com or call at 509-413-1630 for more information. Comment below or give us a shout-out on Facebook– we love to hear whats on your mind!

Shauna Burchett, OTR/L

Shauna Burchett, OTR/L is a skilled occupational therapist and the owner of Synergy Healthcare. She graduated from the University of Alberta in 1993 with a degree in Occupational Therapy. Shauna began her career as an occupational therapist specializing in traumatic head injuries. She has also worked in skilled nursing facilities specializing in long and short term geriatric rehabilitation. Shauna has been in private practice since 1998.