Lumbosacral pain refers to a condition of the lower back caused by over pronation of the foot. Over pronation is where the arch of the foot
collapses, leaving the foot in a flattened state. This causes the foot to roll inwards in order to gain contact with the floor, and support the weight of the body. This biomechanical problem leads to bad tracking, and misalignment throughout the whole body.
Standing for long periods of time can aggravate this condition, by causing the muscles in the back to tighten, resulting in stiffness and discomfort. Back pain is second only to the common cold, as a cause of lost time from work, and results in more lost productivity than any other medical condition.
Causes of L5-S1 Pain
The lumbar spine meets the sacrum at the lumbosacral joint (L5-S1). It allows for considerable rotation, so that the pelvis and hips may swing when walking and running. The base of the spine is made up of the intricate L5-S1 vertebral segment, also called the lumbosacral joint. This spinal segment has several interconnected components, any of which can cause lower back and/or leg pain (sciatica).
- L5-S1 disc herniation: The disc becomes herniated when the inner portion leaks out, and touches the nearby nerve root, causing pain to radiate in the lower back and/or down the leg.
- L5-S1 degenerative disc disease: If the L5-S1 disc is compromised, the L5-S1 disc itself can become a source of lower back and or leg pain.
- L5-S1 Isthmic Spondylolisthesis: A small fracture in the facet joints can allow the L5 vertebra to slip forward over the S1 vertebra, impinging the nerve root, and leading to leg pain and other symptoms.
There are also a number of spinal conditions that can run through multiple levels of the lumbar spine, and affect the L5-S1 lumbar segment, such as osteoarthritis of the lower back, and lumbar spinal stenosis.
Because there is no spinal cord in the lumbar spine, even very painful conditions are unlikely to cause paralysis, or permanent damage.
Prevention and Treatment
It is advisable for patients to seek a diagnosis from a physician or chiropractor, to identify the underlying cause of their L5-S1 pain, and determine the most appropriate treatment. In most cases, L5-S1 treatment begins with non-operative solutions.
This condition is very common, and can be effectively treated using an orthotic insole. The orthotic insole will help to realign the body, and improve posture. Over the counter insoles can be beneficial for most, but in severe cases it is advisable that the sufferer sees a GP, podiatrist, or physiotherapist to assess the aliment.
Tips for maintaining good posture:
- – Pretend to balance a book on your head.
- – Stand with knees straight but not locked.
- – Keep your stomach in.
- – Keep your shoulders and head up.
- – Look straight ahead.
– When walking, always look straight ahead.
– Ensure that your feet are pointing forwards.
– Sit tall, with both feet on the floor.
– Rest your back against the chair if possible.
- – Keep your head up.
- – Look straight ahead.
- – Avoid reaching.
- – Ensure the seat supports the back properly.
- – Preferably, use arm-rests.
- – Avoid hunching the back, or slouching.
- – Use height adjustable chairs, if possible, to position the seat at the correct height.
– It is better to sleep on your back and side as sleeping on your front aggravates the spine.
- – Use a pillow that is at the right height to keep your head in line with the rest of your body.
- – Your mattress should be firm so that it provides support.
Non-contact sports, such as golf and cycling, are also associated with increased low back pain, largely related to repetitive forces or long-term postures. So you need to review your activities, and adjust your lifestyle accordingly.
Your feet mirror your general health . . . cherish them!