What is lower back pain?

Lower back pain usually consists of two types:

Any pain that has been consistent for less than 6 weeks falls under the Acute Lower Back Pain category. Acute pain might be caused by an activity, trauma or accident. This type of pain usually is self-healing and cured completely in several weeks.

Any pain that lasts longer than 3 months is a Chronic Lower Back Pain. In more than half of chronic lower back pain cases, neuropathic pain is present. Lower back pain with a  neuropathic component might be caused by nerve damage related to various spine diseases. (See: neuropathic pain)

Lower Back Pain Frequency

75 to 85% of the population suffers from lower back pain in anytime of their life. It is the second most commonly observed pain following headaches. Only 2% of lower back pain cases are related to a herniated disk.

What are the risk factors?

Commonly observed between 35 to 45 years of age, lower back pain occurs equally in men and women. Higher frequencies are observed in women older than 60.

People with a sedentary life style, incorrect postures, who sit down for work for long hours, overweight people and people lifting heavy objects or work out in an incorrect manner are under risk.

In which instances does the lower back pain occur?

The most common causes are musculoskeletal instances

  • Congenital anomalies
  • Hereditary diseases
  • Increased weight on the spine: Incorrect sitting down posture, sitting down for extended periods of time, heavy lifting, trouble moving, weight gain, standing up for extended periods of time
  • The involvement of lumbar spine in diseases such as cancer and tuberculosis
  • Traumas
  • Osteoporosis
  • Neuromuscular (muscles and nerves)
  • Psychogenic lower back pain

What are symptoms of lower back pain ?

Pain in the lower back region, limitation of movement, numbness, pain and loss of power in the leg in advanced cases.

How to diagnose lower back pain?

It is diagnosed by the physician based on a detailed physical examination, patient history, x-ray imaging and blood tests or further screenings if necessary.

How to avoid lower back pain?

It is possible to avoid lower back pain by working out regularly and working the back muscles to ensure strength and flexibility, maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, having a correct sitting down and standing up posture, using the right methods when weight bearing.

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