Lumbar Spine

Degenerative Disc Disease

The lumbar disc is made of a jelly-like substance used as a cushion between the vertebrae of the spine. The discs are made of 80% water when we are born, but with age, they dry out and provide less cushion and absorb less shock to the vertebrae. The associated vertebrae first become unstable but eventually will restabilize. Common complaints are pain centered on the low back, continuous pain present for 6+ weeks, pain increases with prolonged sitting, standing, walking or even laying down. Pain is exacerbated by movements: bending, lifting, twisting. Severe symptoms include pain, numbness, tingling, weakness in legs (radiculopathy). Goal: retrain the lumbar spine with correct postures, improve lumbar ROM, improve postures in sitting, increase lumbopelvic stability.

Spinal Stenosis

Spinal Stenosis is the narrowing of the spaces between the spine. This narrowing causes increased pressure on surrounding nerves and can cause pain in the spine, hips, and legs. The cause of this is generally wear and tear of the spine related to osteoarthritis. Development is slow with a slow onset of symptoms. Common complaints are intermittent vs continuous pain. Pain increases with prolonged standing or walking/stairs. Usually, there is relief with sitting, laying down, flexed position. Goal: unload spine frequently, maintain or improve lumbar and hip ROM, increase leg strength.

Lumbar Disc Herniation

The lumbar disc is made of a jelly-like substance used as a cushion between the vertebrae of the spine. Surrounding the disc is a tougher outer ring called the annulus. When the disc becomes herniated it pushes up against or through the annulus. The annulus pushes against sensitive nerves from the spinal cord or nerve roots. Herniations can cause pain in the back, hips, buttocks, or legs and symptoms can include pain, numbness, and tingling. Other common symptoms are muscle weakness in legs or feet, decreased reflexes at knee or ankle. Goal: retrain the lumbar spine with correct postures, improve lumbar ROM, improve postures in sitting, increase lumbopelvic stability.

Lumbago (Low Back Pain)

Low back pain can be caused by any number of factors from overuse, loss of ROM, deconditioning, lower extremity weakness, or core instability (weakness). Low back pain can be acute at 6 weeks or can continue for months or even years depending on severity and treatment. Common causes of back pain are muscle/ligament sprain or strain, poor body mechanics, bulging discs, arthritis, osteoporosis. Symptoms include muscle ache, shooting or stabbing pain, pain that radiates down the leg, limited flexibility (range of motion) the back and hips. Goal: Restore as much ROM as possible in lumbar spine, increase hip flexibility, improve lumbar stability (core strength).

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