Low back pain is the most common pain for both men (74%) and women (64%). About 100 million hours of work per year are lost due to back injuries.Studies show that most cases of low back injuries are benign. The severe symptoms usually begin to resolve within 30 days. If neurological signs are present (i.e. loss of muscle strength or profound numbness) in the lower extremity, one should visit a physician for a consultation. Unexplained weight loss or a personal history of cancer also requires a physician consultation.
- Spinal stenosis
- Degenerative disc disease
- Disc bulge or herniation
- Osteoporosis fractures
- Muscle sprain or strain
Even if some of these dramatic diagnoses are found on x-ray, there is probably an underlying muscular cause to some or even at times all of the low back pain and lower extremity referred pain. Studies have shown that 70% of patients that had no back pain when put in the MRI had all of the above spinal problems. This finding accurately demonstrates that just because there is a finding on an MRI (like spinal stenosis or bulging disc) doesn’t mean that the patient is experiencing pain.
Pain and Trigger Points
Trigger points (hyperirritable areas of overly tight muscle) cause continued pain or referred pain around the low back area or to the lower extremities. Injured muscles can have numerous trigger points that keep the pain localized and refer to other areas as well. They need to be extinguished in order to permanently resolve the muscle pain issues.
We use therapeutic remedies including: massage, ultrasound, myofascial release, kinesio tape, dry needling, home exercise and stretching programs, preventive re-injury education.