Lumbago (Lower Back Pain)

Updated on 27 April 2023

Lumbago (Lower Back Pain)

Lumbago – another word for lower back pain – is a prevalent condition affecting the lumbar region of the spine. Experiencing lower back pain can be a frustrating and debilitating issue for many. Let’s look at this ailment and its causes, symptoms, and possible treatment options.

What is Lumbago?

Lumbago can range from mild discomfort to agony, making it difficult for individuals to carry out daily activities and maintain a good quality of life. This pain can originate from various sources, including muscles, ligaments, nerves, or intervertebral discs.

Is it a common problem?

Quite common, it affects millions of people worldwide. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes (NIH), approximately 80% of individuals will experience some form of lumbago.

Different Causes of Lumbago

Lumbago can be classified into common and symptomatic (or specific). Common lumbago is not directly related to inflammation, infection, tumor, or trauma. Instead, it usually results from the natural aging process of the spine or muscles, poor posture, muscle strain, or ligament sprain. In contrast, symptomatic lumbago is caused by another pathology, such as an infection, tumor, bone fracture, or malformation.

Various factors can contribute to the development of symptoms, including:

  • Poor posture
  • Overuse or strain of muscles
  • Degeneration of intervertebral discs
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Herniated discs
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Scoliosis

Who is more likely to be affected by lumbago?

Specific individuals are at a higher risk of developing this condition. These include:

  • Overweight or obese individuals: Excess body weight strains the spine and back muscles.
  • People over 50 years of age: The natural aging process can lead to spine degeneration, increasing the likelihood of this disorder.
  • Individuals with flat or cavus feet: These foot types can cause biomechanical imbalances, contributing to low back pain.
  • Pregnant women: The added weight and changes in the body’s center of gravity can strain the lower back.
  • Smokers: Smoking can negatively affect blood flow and oxygen delivery to the spine, hindering healing.
  • Sedentary individuals: A lack of physical activity can weaken muscles and increase the risk of lumbar discomfort.

Symptoms of Lumbago 

Its symptoms can present themselves in various ways, depending on the severity and underlying cause. Some of the most common ones include:

  • Acute pain (lasting less than 4 weeks)
  • Subacute pain (lasting between 4 weeks and 3 months)
  • Chronic pain (lasting more than 3 months)
  • Pain that radiates to the buttocks, thighs, knees, legs, and feet
  • Stiffness and limited range of motion in the lower back
  • Muscle spasms
  • Pain that worsens with activity and improves with rest

It is essential to consult with a healthcare professional if you experience persistent or worsening lower back pain, as it may be a sign of a more severe underlying condition.

Lumbago Diagnosis by Chiropodists

A chiropodist can play a crucial role in diagnosing and treating your low back pain by conducting a comprehensive biomechanical examination. This assessment evaluates posture, alignment, medical history, foot structure, and a thorough examination of the lower back, hips, knees, and feet. Sometimes, the professional may also request imaging tests, such as X-rays, MRI, or CT scans, to determine the condition’s underlying cause.

Solutions and Treatments Offered by Chiropodists for Lumbago

Chiropodists can provide various treatment options for your ailment, depending on the root cause and severity of the pain. Some common treatments include:

  • Custom orthoses: These shoe inserts help redistribute pressure and support the foot, improving overall biomechanics and alleviating lumbar strain.
  • Footwear changes: Properly fitting shoes with adequate support can help maintain correct alignment and reduce the risk of worsening symptoms.
  • Manual therapy: Manipulation and mobilization techniques can help improve joint mobility and alleviate discomfort.
  • Exercise: Back pain exercises for strengthening and stretching can help improve muscle imbalances, flexibility, and overall spinal health.
  • Pain management techniques: Heat, cold, and massage therapy can help reduce inflammation and pain.
  • Lifestyle modifications: Weight loss, smoking cessation, and regular physical activity can help prevent the onset of this condition and improve overall health.

What is the healing time?

The healing time for lumbago depends on the severity of the pain and the underlying cause. For mild to moderate cases, patients may experience significant improvement within a few weeks of treatment. However, more severe or chronic cases may require an extended recovery period, sometimes several months.

Are there any contraindications to different treatments?

Depending on the individual’s medical history and the cause of the pain, there may be contraindications or precautions for some specific treatments. It is essential to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any treatment plan to ensure its safety and effectiveness.

 Lumbago Prevention Methods

Preventing lumbago involves addressing the risk factors that contribute to lower back pain. Some effective prevention strategies include:

  • Maintaining proper posture: Ensuring correct spinal alignment while standing, sitting, and lifting can help reduce strain on the lower back.
  • Regular exercise: Regular physical activity can help strengthen the muscles that support the spine, thus reducing the risk of symptoms.
  • Proper lifting techniques: Using good form when lifting heavy objects can help prevent injury to the lower back.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight: Excess body weight puts added stress on the spine and, as such, should be avoided as much as possible.
  • Smoking cessation: Quitting smoking can improve blood flow and oxygen delivery to the spine, promoting a healthier back.

Exercises for back pain relief

Incorporating targeted exercises into your daily routine can help alleviate and prevent further low back pain. Some effective back pain exercises include:

  • Pelvic tilts
  • Cat-cow stretches
  • Glute bridges
  • Bird-dog
  • Child’s pose

It is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new exercise routine to ensure it is safe and suitable for your specific needs.

Learning what is lumbago, is the first step toward treatment

Lumbago is a widespread issue affecting many people’s daily lives and well-being. By understanding its causes, symptoms, and available treatments, individuals can better manage their condition and improve their overall quality of life. If you’re experiencing its symptoms, don’t hesitate to seek help. Visit the FootNetwork contact page to find a qualified healthcare professional who can guide you on the path to recovery.

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