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Clinical Application - Low Back Pain

2014/01/01

 

 

Causes:
There are many causes for Low Back Pain and this article will explore a few primary causes:
● Bruising of the muscle or ligament. This is a very commonly seen cause of lower back pain. Patients mainly complain about being unable to bend over, stiffness, and tight muscles in the lower back. After sitting, resting or lying down horizontally the pain does not reduce but instead intensifies.
● Intervertebral disc changes due to disease. Herniated discs put pressure on nearby nerves and account for lower back and lower extremity pain depending on the division of the nerves these problem areas suffer from soreness, numbness and weakness. Heavy coughing from the abdomen to expel mucus will intensify the ache. Some sciatic nerve diseases are because of problems with the vertebrae discs.
● External injuries include: tripping and falling, slips, exercise injuries, and work related injuries. The majority of work related injuries are avoidable. When dealing with heavy lifting it is important to pay attention to posture and effort, thus possible lower back injury situations can be reduced. Since there are various ways lower back injuries can occur the following are accounted percentages:Lifting heavy objects: 37%~49%, pushing heavy objects 6%~9%, pulling heavy objects9%~16%, carrying heavy objects5%~8%, twisting 9%~18%, bending over too quickly12%~14%, and slips and falls 7%.
● Changes due to vertebrae degeneration include: arthritis, bone fractures and osteoporosis, particularly in patients age 65 and up.
● Vertebrae infections and peripheral spinal inflammation can cause either a shift in the spine or spinal tumors.
● Abdominal organ diseases include: kidney disease, cardiac tumors, ovaries, and the womb can all have the possibility of causing lower back pain and if not properly diagnosed will delay medical treatment, which can lead to an infinite number of other problems.

Symptoms:
Low Back Pain can cause pain, numbness and tightness in the lower back muscles and sometimes there is pain from the sciatic nerves. This can affect the legs from the thighs to the toes which can affect walking and such, when multiple nerves are severely affected this can lead to loss of bowel and bladder control.
Low Back Pain can be very serious and occur gradually or very suddenly over long durations of time, specific times, or due to some positions; it is possible to be limited to a single area or it can shift to other areas of the back, for example, numbness, stabbing pains or severe pains in the legs and buttocks. Coughing, sneezing and rotating the body can intensify the pain, stiffness, numbness and weakness, particularly numbness in the groin and rectal areas, loss of bowel and bladder control or weakness in one or both legs.

Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging (DITI) Clinical Photos:
The image to the left shows the temperature of a healthy back so the average temperature of a healthy individual can be clearly be observed. The reason the temperature towards the middle is slightly higher is because in normal conditions the spinal column’s original temperature is higher on both sides. The image on the right shows the poor circulation in the patient’s back which can easily result in blood settling in the lower back and putting a slight pressure on the lower back that accounts for the higher temperature; this system can immediately measure the body’s temperature and the seriousness of the condition.