Lower Back Pain


What Is Lower Back Pain?

Lower back pain affects the section of your back starting below the rib cage and down the length of your spine. The sensations you feel can range from a dull ache to bursts of pain (spasms) that stop you in your tracks.

Nearly 8 in 10 adults experience lower back pain at some point in their lives. Symptoms can make it hard to go about your daily life, much less participate in your favorite activities.

That’s why we offer easy access to doctors and physical therapists who quickly get to the source of your pain. In fact, you can even see a physical therapist without a referral from your primary care doctor.

At Aurora Health Care, your many options for care include massage therapy and injections. Our experts, from chiropractors to physical therapists to spine surgeons, can help you get lasting relief from the most stubborn symptoms.

The Aurora Difference

Specialized Care for Lower Back Pain

Our large team of sports medicine experts includes chiropractors and physical therapists with specialized training in caring for active people. At Aurora, you’ll also have access to orthopedists who offer the latest nonsurgical and surgical treatments.

Other highlights of our program include:

  • Convenience: Getting care for lower back pain may be as simple as walking down the hall of one of our clinics. If you come in for an appointment with your doctor and you’re in a lot of pain, our chiropractors may be able to help you on the spot. You may also see one of our physical therapists without a referral from your primary care doctor.
  • Expert physical therapy: Our specialty-trained physical therapists have thousands of hours of hands-on practice in orthopedics and sports medicine. And they use the latest techniques – like video analysis and anti-gravity treadmills – to help you reduce pain and recover faster so you can get back to your busy lifestyle.
  • Nonsurgical treatments for stubborn symptoms: For lower back pain that just won’t quit, injections and other nonsurgical treatments can help you feel better. And since our orthopedists treat a high volume of patients with these techniques, you can expect a high degree of accuracy and lasting relief. Find out more about injections for joint pain.
  • Prevention: We offer special services to prevent future episodes of lower back pain. Our Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists® can help you build a strong core, which can relieve stress on your back. Read more about our strength training program.


Causes of Lower Back Pain

Your lower back is made up of many complex structures. Injuries from an active lifestyle as well as general wear and tear can damage these structures, causing lower back pain.

Structures in your lower back include:

  • Discs, which are jelly-like structures that cushion the bones in your back. Discs can sometimes slip out of place (herniated disc) and cause pain.
  • Joints, which are the connective tissues that hold your backbone together. Joints can fall out of their natural position, causing them to not function properly, which in turn can cause lower back pain.
  • Muscle strains, which happen when tears form in the muscle tissue after pushing yourself too hard during sports, work or exercise. These tears can be a major source of back pain. Find out more about sprains and strains.


Lower Back Pain Tests & Imaging

Our experts will perform a detailed exam to get to the source of your pain. They’ll ask you when the pain started, and what you think might be causing it. Your exam may also include imaging tests, like an X-ray or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), to help your doctor further pinpoint the cause of your pain. Find out more about orthopedic diagnosis.


Treating Lower Back Pain

For many people, lower back pain goes away on its own. If symptoms persist, treatment can help you stay comfortable as you heal and prevent the pain from coming back.

Lower back pain treatments include:

  • Chiropractic care: This treatment involves applying gentle pressure to guide the bones and joints of your lower back into their natural position. Find out more about chiropractic care.
  • Massage therapy: Our licensed massage therapists loosen tight back muscles and ligaments with a healing touch. Find out more about massage therapy.
  • Physical therapy: We can help you improve flexibility and range of motion in your lower back with special exercises. Read more about orthopedic physical therapy.
  • Injections: We inject pain medication or jelly-like lubricant into injured tissue to help you feel better. Injections can delay the need for surgery or help you avoid it altogether.
  • Surgery: If there are problems with the structures in your back and none of the above options provide relief, you may need surgery. We offer advanced options including the latest in minimally invasive surgical treatments. Find out more about orthopedic medicine and orthopedic surgery.

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