Lumbar Back Pain

Lumbar Back Pain

Lower back pain is one of the most common problems experienced by people today and most adults have experienced low back pain at one time in their lives.

Causes

There are many different causes of back pain most of which aren't serious and the pain clears within a few days. However there are other causes of that may be due to underlying conditions that need medical treatment. Proper diagnosis of prolonged back pain or pain due to injury is necessary to evaluate treatment options.

Most common causes are:

  • Sprain or spasm in one of the muscles or ligaments in the back.
  • Herniated disc
  • Lower back injury or trauma.
  • Pinched nerve
  • Disc degeneration or arthritis
  • Sciatica
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Spondylitis
  • Osteoporosis or other bone diseases.
  • Viral infections
  • Congenital abnormalities in the spine.
  • Weight gain, poor posture, poor physical condition
  • Problems in the internal abdominal area associated with organ problems.

Symptoms of lower back pain

  • Pain that may worsen with activity
  • Pain that may radiate down the front, side or back of your leg or buttocks
  • Pain that may become worse with prolonged sitting.
  • Numbness or weakness in areas of your leg that may be affected by a nerve.

As you can see, low back pain may be caused by a multitude of things and low back pain symptoms vary and may not necessarily stay localized to the lower back. Occasionally, low back pain may indicate a more serious problem. If you experience any of the following symptoms or pain that doesn't go away within a few days you should consult your physician or a specialist at SCCNS.

Symptoms or indications to be aware of:

  • Recent trauma such as a fall, auto accident, sports accident.
  • Slight fall in persons older than 50 (a fall that causes one to land on the buttocks may be reason for concern).
  • Acute pain that may result from prolonged steroid use.
  • Numbness of loss of feeling in legs or feet.
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control.
  • Unexplained weight loss

Diagnosis

Proper diagnosis of lower back pain is extremely important and should be done by a qualified expert in the field. Because many different conditions may cause back pain, your complete medical history needs to be included as part of your diagnostic exam. Although many questions may not seem pertinent to you, they may help our your doctor determine the cause of your pain.

A physical examination will be done to check for nerve damage, test your reflexes, test for muscle strength and sensation in areas that may be affected by nerve damage. Depending on the initial exam and what the doctor suspects may be wrong, the doctor may perform an abdominal exam, pelvic exam, etc. to rule out any diseases that can attribute to lower back pain. In addition, imaging tests such as X-rays, MRIs, Myelogram or CT scan may be done to assist in proper diagnosis.

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