A large part of the population suffers from lower back pain at some point in their lives, an area of the back that is vital in supporting the weight of your upper body and can also be sensitive as a result of sudden strains.
The lumbar area, made up of 5 vertebrae, is known as the third region of the back, and is located in the lower part of the back. Keeping it healthy is essential if you want to have proper mobility that will allow you to be physically active for many years to come because the spine is involved in almost all day-to-day activities such as walking, lying down, sitting, and standing.
Lower back pain is more common than you might think, as it is a vulnerable area. It is generally known as lumbago or lower back pain and is classified into three types of pain: axial, which is located in a specific area of the lower back, radicular, which involves some nerves and can extend to the legs or hips, and mixed, which combines the two previous types.
In addition, according to Dr. Alejandro Giraldo, an algesiologist at the Fracture Clinic in Medellín (Clínica de Fracturas de Medellín), beyond factors of movement, certain habits can also trigger it. “Being sedentary or obese are important factors associated with chronic lower back pain. Smoking is also associated with lower back pain because it dehydrates the intervertebral discs, making each vertebra closer to the next. That clash and impact between vertebrae can cause lower back pain,” he explained.
To maintain a healthy lumbar spine, you must acquire, maintain, and develop at least minimum levels of muscle strength. This is achieved by exercising the core, a group of muscles, bones, and joints that form the core of the body and involve the dorsal and lumbar spine, and pelvis.
In order to treat it, the Clínica Universidad de Navarra offers some recommendations:
- Tone your abdominal and spinal muscles with isometric exercises.
- Having good posture is key. Use ergonomic furniture at the workplace, avoid bending the spine forward, and keep weights close to the body.
- The application of currents, massages, tractions, and heat sources in rehabilitation can temporarily relieve pain.
- In more severe cases, periarticular infiltrations of local anesthetics and corticosteroids are included.
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