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CONDITIONS A-Z

Lower Back Pain

More working days are lost due to lower back pain than any other condition. Lower back pain can affect as many as 3 in 5 adults.

Lower Back Pain Overview

Lower back pain, also referred to as lumbago, may lead to an ache or a pain anywhere in the region between the lower ribs and above the legs. Lumbago can occur in both sexes at all ages, but individuals in the age group of 35 -55 years experience it more commonly. An approximate seven of every ten people experience low back pain, which may restrict work, everyday activities, or recreation.

This condition can be either acute or chronic. Pain in the lower back may be variable in intensity, may restrict movement, and may spread into the buttocks or upper thighs. Low Back Pain occurs in the back below the waist and it may be sudden and sharp or persistent and dull; it may radiate down to the buttocks and then down the back of the leg to the sole of the foot.

In most instances low back pain only lasts for a week or so, but many people find the problem recurs unless they alter their lifestyle and the way in which they perform daily activities. In a minority of people, persistent low back pain can cause chronic disability.

What is lower back pain?

Lower back pain refers to an ache or a pain anywhere in the region between the lower ribs and above the legs.

Common causes of lower back pain

Lower back pain may come on suddenly (acute) or develop gradually over a number of weeks. If the pain persists then it's referred to as chrnoic

Lower back pain may result from injury or a muscle strain, or it could be due to a more specific condition like a herniated disc.

Main symptoms of lower back pain

The main symptom of lower back pain is pain anywhere between your rib cage and your upper thighs. Pain may be localised to one small area or be a more generalized ache in your lower back. The intensity of pain may vary with time, increase with movement, or spread from one area to another.

Most common treatments for lower back pain

In most cases, lower back pain is self-limiting and may resolve within six weeks with painkillers, rest, judicious exercise, and local ice/heat application.

Chronic back pain, however, often requires non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, physiotherapy, a complementary therapy such as spinal stimulation or acupuncture, and in rare cases, surgery.

Self-care and prevention of lower back pain

Adopting a few healthy habits and being careful about your posture can go a long way in maintaining a healthy back.

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