At Advanced Spine & Rehab, we specialize in the treatment of back pain and injuries. One of the most common parts of the back in need of treatment is the lumbar spine, or lower back. Consisting of five vertebra in the lower part of the spine and between the ribs and the pelvis, the lumbar spine supports the weight of the upper body while providing mobility for everyday motions. While you may injure your lumbar spine through muscle strain or a ligament sprain, there are also many potential causes for chronic pain to this area. Here is a look at just a few.
Degenerative Disc Disease
As you age, your intervertebral discs lose hydration and wear down. When this occurs, they are less able to resist force. As a result, the force is transferred to the disc wall, which may lead to tears or a general weakening that leads to herniation. The disc may also collapse and contribute to issues with stenosis.
Facet Joint Dysfunction
Each disc has two facet joints at the motion segment of the lumbar spine. These joints are surrounded by a capsule ligament and have cartilage between the bones. These joints can develop painful problems or can contribute to overall disc pain.
Lumbar Herniated Disc
Lumbar discs contain a jelly-like center that can actually break through and irritate the nearby nerve root. This herniated portion of the disc is full of proteins that can cause inflammation, which then leads to nerve compression.
Spinal stenosis is a condition that is characterized by a narrowing of the spinal canal where the nerve roots are located. This narrowing can be central, forminal or a combination of both. In addition, it may be single level or it can occur at multiple levels in the lower back.
Other potential causes of lumbar pain include sacroiliac joint dysfunction, spondylolisthesis, osteoarthritis, compression fractures, trauma or deformity. Regardless of the cause, the experts at Advanced Spine & Rehab will be happy to work with you to address the issue and manage the pain that you are experiencing.