You’re not alone if you’ve suffered from lower back pain. Back discomfort is one of the most prevalent reasons that individuals visit their physicians or miss work. Even young children may suffer from back discomfort.
Back pain can be characterized as a dull, constant pain to a sharp, sudden, or shooting discomfort. It might come on suddenly as a result of an accident or the accumulation of stress, or it can develop gradually with age. Back pain can be induced by either too little activity or a strenuous exercise session.
Types of back pain
- Acute, or short-term back pain lasts a few days to a few weeks. It usually goes away on its own in a few days without self-care and there is no residual loss of function.
- Chronic back pain is defined as pain that continues for 12 weeks or longer, even after an initial injury or underlying cause of acute low back pain has been treated. In some cases, treatment successfully relieves chronic low back pain, but in other cases pain continues despite medical and surgical treatment.
The most common type of low back pain is caused by a mechanical problem, which means there is a break in the way the components of the back (the spine, muscle, intervertebral discs, and nerves) fit together and move.
Some examples of mechanical causes of low back pain include:
- Congenital — Skeletal irregularities, Spina bifida
- Injuries — Sprains, strains, traumatic Injury
- Degenerative problems — intervertebral disc degeneration, Spondylosis, Arthritis or other inflammatory disease
- Nerve and spinal cord problems — Spinal nerve compression, inflammation and/or injury, Sciatica, Spinal stenosis, Spondylolisthesis
- Non-spine sources — Kidney stones, Endometriosis, Fibromyalgia
How is low back pain diagnosed?
Any serious ailments that may be causing the discomfort should be discovered during a thorough medical history and physical examination. Neurologic testing can assist in determining the source of pain as well as appropriate therapy. Imaging tests aren’t necessary in most situations, but if they’re needed to rule out certain causes of pain, such as tumors or spinal stenosis, they are usually ordered. Even after a complete examination, the reason for chronic lower back pain is sometimes challenging to determine.
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