Lower back pain is extremely common and is something nearly everyone has to deal with at some time or another. For many, the pain is often just due to a minor muscle strain that improves quickly and only requires minor treatment and rest. However, lower back pain can also become chronic and debilitating, negatively affecting relationships, work and hobbies. In these cases, it is necessary to seek more intensive treatment from a qualified medical professional, such as a physical therapist.
Even if lower back pain is severe enough to disrupt your life, it can still be difficult to take the next step toward getting the treatment you need. One way to definitely know if you should seek immediate help is if certain lower back pain symptoms are present that indicate a spine condition. To help you better understand what these symptoms are and how they’re caused, our team has created the following guide.
Take a few moments to read over this information, and as always, don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns about your treatment.
These lower back pain symptoms need your attention
The term “lower back pain” generally describes localized pain that originates in the lumbar, or lower, region of the back. While this type of pain can very often be the result of a muscle strain or ligament sprain, it can also be related to a condition affecting the lumbar spine. Spine conditions like a herniated disc or a bone spur can put pressure on nerves that travel down into the lower body, causing radiating symptoms as well.
If you are experiencing any of the following issues in relation to lower back pain, it could be an indicator of a spine condition:
- Shooting pains in the buttocks, hips and legs
- Tingling and numbness in the lower extremities, including the toes
- Muscle weakness in the legs
- Muscle spasms and cramping
While these symptoms can be alarming, they typically don’t represent a medical emergency and can often be treated with conservative options like physical therapy. However, if these symptoms are accompanied by paralysis and loss of bowel or bladder control, it could be a sign of a more serious condition, called cauda equina syndrome, which requires immediate medical attention.
Treating lower back pain symptoms with physical therapy
To treat these symptoms, a physical therapist can perform a full evaluation, including movement tests and a hands-on examination, to determine the best course of treatment. Options like therapeutic exercises and manual therapy can help stabilize the back and improve range of motion to relieve back pain and related symptoms.
At Arrow Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation, our expert therapists take a highly personalized approach, treating everyone who comes to us with lower back pain according to their unique needs. To learn more and to schedule your initial appointment, please contact us today.