Almost everyone suffers from back pain at some point during their lifetime. For some, lower back pain is severe enough to warrant a trip to the emergency care department. For others, it’s a mild problem that quickly resolves itself. If you’ve been experiencing severe or persistent lower back pain, it could be time to consult a physician at your local hospital. Your doctor may recommend some tests, such as imaging scans, to determine the underlying cause of the problem.
It’s a common misconception that lower back pain always involves a problem with the spine itself, when in fact the back is composed of a multitude of structures. Often, lower back pain arises from damage to the muscles or ligaments of the back. These soft tissues may become sprained or stretched beyond their normal capacity if you engage in physical activities such as trying to lift a very heavy object.
Your spine has many more structures than just your bones, or vertebrae. It also features intervertebral discs, which serve as cushions for the vertebrae. They absorb shock and promote flexibility. However, over time, the discs begin to lose their water content and become more brittle, which means they are prone to developing tears. This can cause back pain in itself. However, if the tear enables the inner material of the disc to protrude through the exterior and compress a nerve, this can also cause lower back pain. This condition is referred to as disc herniation.
Certain lifestyle factors can contribute to lower back pain and increase the odds that you’ll visit an emergency care department. Individuals who are overweight or obese and those who maintain poor posture are at a higher risk of suffering lower back pain. Additionally, smoking, stress, and poor physical condition may contribute to this common health issue.
Residents of Punta Gorda, North Port, and Port Charlotte are invited to explore the Spine, Orthopedic, and Neurosurgical Program available at Fawcett Memorial Hospital. We provide exceptional treatments within a luxurious, hotel-like setting. Connect with our Consult-A-Nurse referral line at (888) 685-1599 to request a physician referral or to ask us about our cardiac care, emergency care, or senior care departments.