What is Lumbago?
Lumbago, in its simplest terms, refers to low back pain. Historically, the term "lumbago" was widely used in the medical field to describe this discomfort. While the term might sound antiquated, the pain it describes is anything but outdated. (According to the CDC, in 2018, 28.0% of men and 31.6% of women aged ≥18 years had lower back pain in the past three months.) With our evolving lifestyles and increased sedentary habits, lumbago or lower back pain has become more prevalent than ever.
Common Symptoms of Lumbago
Anyone who's suffered from lumbago can attest to its discomfort. The symptoms often include:
- A sharp, aching, or severe pain in the lower back.
- Stiffness and limited flexibility, especially after waking up or prolonged sitting.
- Muscle spasms in the lumbar spine region.
- A tingling sensation or numbness that may radiate down the legs.
- A sudden spike in pain after activities like bending or lifting.
Causes of Lumbago
The lower back, or the lumbar region, is a complex network of muscles, ligaments, and bones. A properly functioning lumbar spine plays a crucial role in supporting our upper body as well as supporting movement of the pelvis and lower extremities. The pivotal placement and critical role of the lower back make maintaining good spine health necessary. Otherwise, it is vulnerable to injuries, sprains, and strain.
Common causes of lower back pain include:
- Poor Posture: Slouching, prolonged sitting, or standing without proper alignment and support can strain the lumbar region.
- Heavy Lifting: Lifting objects incorrectly or bearing excessive weight can cause acute lumbago.
- Trauma or Injuries: Accidents, falls, or sports-related injuries can lead to lumbago.
- Medical Conditions: Herniated discs, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis, and scoliosis are a few conditions that can contribute to lumbago.
How Poor Posture Causes Lumbago
Our spine, with its gentle curves, is designed for balance, movement, and support. However, in today's digital age, we often find ourselves hunching over screens or sitting for prolonged hours. This leads to an alteration in the lumbar curve, upper back rounding, and pelvic misalignment, causing an uneven distribution of weight and, subsequently, strain on the lower back. Over time, this musculoskeletal misalignment exacerbates and can manifest as chronic low back pain — something we see all too often.
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Treatment Options for Lumbago
Before plunging into treatments or a pain management program, it's a good idea to get an accurate diagnosis. Diagnostic methods like X-rays and MRIs can offer vital health information, pinpointing any orthopedic issues related to your pain.
The traditional medical health care system offers a variety of treatments, ranging from non-invasive to surgical interventions:
- Pain Relievers: Over-the-counter pain medications like ibuprofen and anti-inflammatory medications can provide temporary relief.
- Steroid Injections: In more severe cases, these can be administered to alleviate inflammation and pain.
- Physical Therapy: Symptom-focused exercises are typically indicated to strengthen back muscles.
- Chiropractic Care: Adjustments and manipulations can help restore spinal alignment.
- Surgery: Typically considered as a last resort for cases where other treatments fail.
Posture Therapy: The Holistic Approach to Lumbago
While traditional methods offer symptomatic relief, individualized posture therapy aims at the root cause. By addressing the whole body's alignment and not just the lumbar region, posture therapy provides a more complete solution. A holistic approach used by providers like Activ8 promises lasting relief. Through posture-corrective exercises, you can restore your body to its natural state, ensuring the even distribution of weight across the spine and fostering a more active, healthier lifestyle.
The Shortcomings of Traditional Back Pain Treatments
While the traditional medical healthcare system has long been the go-to for many seeking relief from back pain, there are undeniable shortcomings associated with some of these treatment modalities. Here's a closer look:
1. Symptom-Only Focus: Traditional treatments, such as pain relievers and steroid injections, often address the immediate symptoms rather than the broader picture. This tunnel-vision approach can mean that while a patient might experience temporary relief, the root cause of their discomfort remains unaddressed. This not only increases the likelihood of recurrent pain but also leaves other interconnected bodily issues unexamined and untreated.
2. Ignoring the Root Causes: Back pain isn't merely about strained muscles or a herniated disc; it's a complex interplay of postural habits, lifestyle choices, and even emotional health. By resorting to treatments that only offer symptom-based relief, like over-the-counter medications, we miss the opportunity to uncover and correct the underlying factors that brought about the pain in the first place.
3. Overlooking the Body's Natural Healing Abilities: Our bodies have an innate ability to heal and rejuvenate. However, certain treatments, especially invasive ones like surgery, can sometimes disrupt this natural process. Relying heavily on external interventions can overshadow the importance of giving our body the time, space, and right conditions to heal itself.
4. Passive Treatment Approach: Traditional treatments often place the patient in a passive role, merely receiving care rather than actively participating in their recovery. For example, while chiropractic care can realign the spine if a person doesn't make necessary lifestyle adjustments, they might find themselves back on the adjustment table sooner than hoped. Empowering clients to understand their pain and its origins, as well as providing them with tools to manage and prevent the causes, fosters long-term health sustainability. Our focus at Activ8 includes placing clients at the helm of their healing journey, improving results, and making them active participants in their health.
While traditional treatments have their merits and can offer relief in certain situations, a holistic approach—one that considers the entire body, addresses root causes, and emphasizes active participation—provides a more comprehensive and enduring solution to back pain.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is lumbago?
Lumbago refers to pain localized in the lower back, stemming from a myriad of causes, including muscle strain, injuries, or underlying medical conditions.
What is lumbago with sciatica?
When lumbago is accompanied by pain, numbness, or tingling that radiates down the legs due to irritation of the sciatic nerve, it's termed as lumbago with sciatica.
What is lumbago called now?
While "lumbago" is still understood, modern terminology often refers to it simply as "lower back pain" or "lumbar pain."
What is the cause of lumbago?
Lumbago can arise from various factors, including poor posture, heavy lifting, injuries, or underlying medical conditions like osteoarthritis, spinal nerve impingement, or herniated discs. Tuning into the warning signs of the body, such as poor posture and faulty movement patterns, can help avoid further damage and pain.
What does lumbago mean?
Derived from Latin, "lumbago" essentially translates to "pain in the loins" or "pain in the lower back."
Addressing lumbago effectively calls for a complete strategy. While seeking instant pain relief through traditional treatments can be tempting, their inherent shortcomings can't be overlooked. It's imperative not only to seek momentary comfort but also to understand and address the underlying root causes for long-lasting health. Embracing holistic therapies, especially posture correction, can bridge this gap. Don't let temporary solutions dictate your path to wellness. Take control of your health journey, and schedule a free posture assessment and consultation with Activ8 Posture today. Your pain-free future awaits.
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Experiencing low back pain? Don't let it hold you back any longer. Schedule your FREE consultation and posture assessment with Activ8 today, and take the first step towards lasting relief!