Lower back pain can be excruciating.Some say it is dull and aching.Others say it stings and burns.It sometimes travels towards the buttocks down the leg as if they are paralysed!It is that bad.
It is one of the leading reasons why people visit the hospital to see a doctor.
I promise not to bore you with medical terminologies as I discuss the topic.
Can you feel the structure at the centre of your back(commonly called the spine)? Done? Alright.
How does it feel? Bony and separated from each other? Yeah.
Our focus will just be the lower one-third of the whole length of the spine.
What are the structures around this area?
Vertebra: They are the bony structures you felt few seconds ago.They surround and protect the spinal cord.
Intervertebral discs: These are cartilage-like structures in between the vertebra.They separate the vertebra from each other.Put your hand to the back again…Can you feel a gap between those bones? Yeah…that is where these discs are! Do you know their function?They provide elasticity to the back.Without them your back will be stiff! Also they act as shock absorbers for the spine.
Ligaments:These join the vertebra above to the one below.If you remember your elementary biology… Ligaments connect what to what?
Tendons:They attach the bony vertebra to the surrounding muscles of the back.
Nerves: They come out from the spine and go to various parts of the body carrying sensations/information.For the purpose of this article,they are the ones that let you know you are having lower back pain!
Kidneys: They are organs in your back involved in flushing out harmful substances from your body.
Note:Anything that puts strain on all the structures mentioned above will cause back pain.What can strain these structures?
Strain:Overuse/overstretching may cause tears of the muscle/tendon/ligament.
Sitting down on a spot for too long(Bankers etc)
Driving for long hours without breaks(long distant drivers etc)
Lifting heavy objects inappropriately
Awkward sexual positions and marathon sexual activities.
If you are involved in the above mentioned, you may be having serious back pain and you may need to just simply relax your back for sometime.
What are the other causes of lower back pain?
Ruptured discs: What can make these intervertebra discs to rupture or slip?
Aging: As you age,these discs become dehydrated and lose their elasticity thereby predisposing the aged to having ruptured discs.
Prolonged vibrations to the buttocks: Construction workers and truck drivers are liable to have ruptured discs if they are not careful.The intense vibrations from the equipment they use can make these discs to slip or rupture.
Obesity: If your Body Mass Index is above 30,you are obese and it can cause the disc to degenerate such that you have severe back pain.
Meanwhile let me digress a bit by sharing how you can calculate your Body Mass Index(BMI).
Just simply divide your weight in kilogram by your height in metres.
Let’s say Mrs B’s weight is 80kg and her height is 1.5meters.
Her BMI is 80/1.5² =80/2.25 =35.6kg/m².That means she’s Class II Obese
What did you get when you calculated yours? Compare your answer with the chart below and know your level:
Lower back pain is just one of the problems people that are obese may have and that is the reason I am taking my time to hammer on it.Very likely you are already having recurrent back pain now if you are obese!
Watch your weight!
To be continued…