Many people will feel a twinge in their lower back if they sit for too long in one position or if they bend down to move something heavy. But what if you’re simply standing in a regular position when you feel lower back pain?
While we’re all used to feeling an ache in our back every now and again from exercising or twisting our body in an awkward position, it can be frustrating to have lower back pain when you’re doing something as simple as standing.
There are a few reasons why you could be feeling abnormal lower back pain when standing normally. While some back pain doesn’t have a cause for alarm, it’s important to determine if there’s an injury or condition that needs further medical assistance.
Read on to learn about the basics of lower back pain, potential reasons why you could be experiencing it when standing and treatment options that can help alleviate it.
The basics of lower back pain
Lower back pain, sometimes referred to as LBP, refers to pain located in the lumbar region. This is the part of the back that starts underneath the rib cage. The pain in this area can vary in severity from a dull ache to sharp or burning, depending on the cause. LBP is considered chronic after three months.
If you’re experiencing lower back pain, you’re not alone. In fact, up to 23% of the global adult population is affected by chronic LBP. It’s also common for the pain to flare up over and over, with a one-year recurrence rate of up to 80% of the affected population.
While pain is the most prevalent issue for lower back problems, certain causes may result in the pain being coupled with other symptoms such as:
- Reduced range of motion.
- Tight spots (or knots) in back muscles.
- Balance or coordination problems.
- Muscle weakness.
- Numbness or tingling in limbs.
4 potential causes of lower back pain while standing
Even though it’s all stemming from the same region, not all lumbar pain is the same. There are a few potential reasons that you could be feeling lower back pain while standing. Many of the causes come from an injury due to an accident or excessive strain, while others can come from conditions that need medical assistance.
Four potential causes of lower back pain while standing are:
- Sprain — If you overextend the ligaments in your lower back, they can stretch or tear, causing a sprain. A back sprain often occurs after a fall, sustaining trauma from blunt force or a sudden twisting motion.
- Strain — A strain in your back refers to a muscle or tendon that had too much pressure put onto it. A lumbar strain can stem from an injury sustained while playing sports that require a lot of push and pull, like weightlifting, as well as constant twisting motions, like tennis.
- Degeneration — As you age, it’s possible for the intervertebral discs in your lower back to weaken and break down. As the discs degenerate, the space between the vertebrae is reduced and causes irritation to the surrounding nerves.
- Spinal stenosis — Cervical myelopathy, also known as spinal stenosis, occurs when the spaces in the spinal canal narrow and apply pressure to the spinal cord as well as the nerve roots. It’s most common in the lower back and neck. It’s usually caused by wear and tear over time or osteoarthritis.
A physical therapist can help determine the cause of your pain by evaluating your symptoms and range of motion through a physical examination. After pinpointing the reason for your lower back pain, they can determine the best treatment options to alleviate it.
Physical therapy treatments for lower back pain while standing
When your lower back pain flares up from a task as simple as standing, you’ll be eager to treat the pain as soon as possible. Physical therapy is one of the best ways to treat back pain because it not only helps with pain management, but it can also reduce the risk of future back injuries.
Physical therapy treatments for lower back pain while standing include:
- Ice and heat — If you’re experiencing lower back pain,apply an ice pack to it to reduce blood circulation and numb the area. Depending on the cause of the LBP, your physical therapist may recommend that you also do contrast therapy, which means alternating between cold and hot packs.
- Electrical stimulation — A common modality used by physical therapists for lower back pain is electrical stimulation. This involves pulses of electric currents that cause the muscles to contract and release the tension that’s causing your ache.
- Exercises — A physical therapist can walk you through safe and effective exercises that reduce your pain as well as strengthen and stretch your lower back muscles. The strengthening exercises will improve the support for your spine and decrease the risk of future back problems. They can also teach you stretching exercises that will increase your lower back’s flexibility and range of motion.
- Hands-on treatment — Depending on the cause of your lower back pain, your physical therapist may try manual therapy techniques to decrease the pain. Manual therapy means that the therapist will use their hands to loosen up tight tissue and mobilize your joints.
Forever Fit can help to get rid of lower back pain that occurs while standing
Lower back pain while standing can be frustrating, but there are ways to alleviate the ache. When you’re ready to see how physical therapy treatment can make a real difference in LBP, give us a call.
Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.