Your lower back is home to your lumbar spine. Like other parts of your spine, this section includes bones and discs. The discs act as shock absorbers between each bone.
Conditions affecting your lumbar spine can cause low-back pain as well as pain, numbness, tingling and weakness in your legs. Lumbar spine conditions can also affect sensation in your feet. Common conditions affecting the lumbar spine include:
- Lumbar listhesis — shifting of the bones creating a narrowing of the spinal canal
- Lumbar radiculopathy — pinched nerve (sometimes called sciatica)
- Pars defect or Spondylolysis (pictured below) – stress fracture of the spine that causes an interruption of the bony ring of the spine and can allow forward shifting of the spine. The abnormal architecture and alignment of the spine can create bone spurs and narrowing of the canal that compresses the nerve typically going to the lower leg and foot with an additional symptom of back pain
- Scoliosis – curvature of the spine
- Cauda Equina Syndrome – severe compression of the nerves of the lumbar spine that can create bowel and bladder incontinence usually coupled with buttock and saddle-area numbness
Lumbar spine conditions can occur as a normal part of aging or inherited from family members (genetic) or present at birth (congenital). For example, scoliosis in young people — also called adolescent idiopathic scoliosis — is a genetic condition. Degenerative scoliosis develops in older adults as a result of disc degeneration and collapse.
Other causes of lumbar spine conditions include injuries or accidents and repeated activities that put pressure or stress on the lower back.
The spine team at Pelham Medical Center offers many treatment options for lumbar spine conditions. These include acupuncture, chiropractic care, dry needling, medication therapy, physical therapy and surgery. We also offer aquatic therapy and back bracing, which can alleviate pain associated with lumbar spine conditions.