The lower back is critical to our function as a human being. It provides structural support as well as enabling movement in all directions. The lower back is primarily responsible for forward and backward movements and also allows sideways bending and rotation. Another critical function
Varicose veins are very common during pregnancy because the growing baby, the uterus and the placenta all contribute to the weight pressing down on the veins in the pelvis and also the pressure on large vein known as the inferior vena cava. The inferior vena
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The lower back is critical to our function as a human being. It provides structural support as well as enabling movement in all directions. The lower back is primarily responsible for forward and backward movements and also allows sideways bending and rotation. Another critical function of the lower back is to protect the tissues of the nervous system, spinal column as well as the organs of the pelvis and stomach. As such an essential aspect of our lives it is also susceptible to a number of injuries that cause us pain. The top 8 most common causes are outlined below.
8. Bone Injuries
Fractures of the lumbar spine usually occur after a traumatic event such as a fall or motor vehicle accident. If the fracture is unstable, risk of damage to the spinal cord and permanent paralysis is extremely high. Patients are stabilised and immobilised for long periods. If the fracture is stable patients are treated with rest and pain relief. In some cases people with osteoporosis, or those taking medication such as cortisone long term, can be susceptible to fractures even with minimal stress on the spine. This may cause a crush fracture where the vertebrae loses some of its height. Pain can be severe and is often aggravated by movement.
7. Congenital Inherited Conditions
Some of the common inherited conditions that cause lower back pain include scoliosis which is a sideways curve of the spine, sometimes caused when one leg is shorter than the other (functional scoliosis). You can also get structural scoliosis which is a fixed sideways curve often due to unknown factors, more common in women. Another common congenital cause of lower back pain is a forward slip of the lower lumbar vertebrae on top of the sacrum. This is referred to as spondylolisthesis, which in some cases can be associated with fractures of the joining bones in the vertebrae and is known as a pars defect.
6. Bone Encroachment
Sometimes when the bony canal of the spinal cord and the spaces that the nerves exit can be narrowed by bone spurs or other soft tissues. This can cause sciatic pain which radiates down the leg. Often pain from narrowing of the spinal canal gets worse with walking and improves with rest.
Arthritic changes and inflammation can affect the lumbar vertebrae as well as sciatic joints and can commonly cause lower back pain and stiffness, which is often worse in the morning. Degeneration can also affect the disc and is known as sponydolosis. This shows up on x-rays as narrowing of the lumbar disc joint space.
4. Lumbar Radiculopathy – Damage to a Disc
When the disc is injured or weakens over time the outer rim can bulge or rupture (herniate), putting pressure on the spinal cord and/or the nerves exiting the bones. This can produce both local low back pain as well as sciatica characterised by pain down the leg. It can also be associated with pins and needles, numbness and weakness. In more serious cases, patients may experience problems with bladder and bowel function. They should seek medical attention immediately.
3. Nerve Irritation
The nerves exiting the bones of the lower back can be irritated by pressure from bone, soft tissue, as well as inflammation. Pain can be both local, as well as radiating down the leg.
2. Tendon and Ligament Strains
The soft tissues supporting and connecting the bones of the lower back can be stretched or injured in a number of ways. Commonly there is some sort of microscopic tear of varying degree which is often caused by an acute injury or overuse.
1. Muscle Strain
The most common form of lower back pain is of muscular origin. Muscle pain can be brought on by poor posture, overuse, improper use, sustained positions and even trauma. It is so common because not only is it the primary cause of most lower back pain, it is a significant component of all the other causes of lower back pain. This is because with arthritic changes, structural changes, such as curvature of the lower back, disc disease or even ruptures will all sensitise the muscles. This is why it is essential to understand muscle pain specifically, to learn strategies for prevention as well as self-management long term.
If you, your friend or family member suffer from back pain please do not hesitate to contact one of our friendly Camp Hill physiotherapists on 07 3847 8040. Our Camp Hill physios can also provide treatment from our Camp Hill Physiotherapy practice in Brisbane.
Varicose veins are very common during pregnancy because the growing baby, the uterus and the placenta all contribute to the weight pressing down on the veins in the pelvis and also the pressure on large vein known as the inferior vena cava.
The inferior vena cava is located on the body’s right side and is responsible for circulating blood from the lower limbs and from most of the organs located in the tummy and pelvis area. When a lot of pressure is exerted on this main blood vessel this makes it difficult for the blood coming from the legs to make its way back to the heart.
When one is pregnant, they also have an increased amount of blood circulating round the body and also large amounts of the hormone progesterone which is the pregnancy hormone that relaxes the walls of the blood vessels. With all those factors combined, they contribute to the swelling of the veins in the legs. However, the swelling is bound to go down after the baby is born.
Do Vericose Veins Put Your Pregnancy At Risk?
Generally they can’t put your pregnancy at risk and they also cant cause serious problems during pregnancy as long as they don’t occur in the vagina area and the back passage. If they occur in the perineum which is also the back passage, the midwife will have to watch closely during the child bearing process and ensure that the back passage doesn’t tear while pushing the baby out of the birth canal. Tearing of the perineum usually causes severe bleeding which can even lead to death. So the midwife will instruct the mother to push slowly and maintain certain positions that will not exert more pressure in the area.
The skin where the varicose veins are is usually very thin and severe bleeding usually occurs when there is a forceful impact or a cut on it. The bleeding can be too much and might even require immediate medical attention to stop it.
Due to lack of oxygen, fresh blood and nutrients in the varicose veins area of the skin, waste products would normally build up and cause the skin to harden, cause eczema or ulcers. Seeking medical attention immediately one notices such signs is advised.
Deep vein thrombosis is one condition that some pregnant mothers with varicose veins can develop, however, this rarely happens and when it does, treatment can be done.
When Varicose Veins Don’t Disappear After Birth
When the varicose veins fail to disappear even after childbirth, simply get treatment. However, get treatment only after you have had your last baby because they tend to get worse with every pregnancy. With no more pregnancies, they can be successfully gotten rid of for good through treatments such as chemical injections, radiotherapy, surgery or laser treatment. It is advisable to get treated after childbirth as soon as you can.
Nothing To Worry About
When you are pregnant and have varicose veins just make sure you visit your doctor for checkups regularly and during childbirth have your midwife on standby to help you out especially if you have them in the vagina area or at the perineum. Otherwise they really can’t put your pregnancy at risk and you are always highly likely to have a successful birth.