What is Low Back Pain?
About 80% of adults may suffer with lower back pain at some point in their life. Pain in the low back can range from mild to very severe. People with a sedentary lifestyle are more likely to develop some form of back pain. Obesity can also lead to back pain.
Back pain can differ greatly in terms of quality and location. It can sometimes be associated with numbness and pain in the legs. Those with lower back pain that is due to an significant injury or is very severe should seek urgent medical attention.
Causes and Risks
- Muscle Strain
- Ligament Sprain
- Spinal Stenosis
- Ankylosing Spondylitis
- Cauda Equina Syndrome
- Spinal Infection
Treatment and Prevention
Part of the evaluation process involves ruling out some of the more serious potential causes of pain. Various modalities and methods may be used to investigate the condition of the back including the following:
- Physical Examination
- MRI or CT scan
- Blood testing
- Bone scan
- Electromyography (EMG}
Some of the treatment options include:
- Physical Therapy
- Interventional Pain Management (Injections and Procedures)
- Massage Therapy
- Other Types of Alternative Medicine
- Prescription Medication Options
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is the best method of preventing low back pain:
- Regular exercise to strengthen the back and abdominal muscles to increase stability of the spine.
- Maintaining an appropriate body weight is paramount in preventing low back pain. Excess weight puts increased pressure on the spine and lower back.
- Minimizing unnecessary stress can prevent worsening of back pain. Stress can increase back pain. Depression and/or anxiety additionally can increase back pain.