Low Back Pain

Though, Statistics shows 65% of the patients visiting Orthopedic OPDs (Out Patient Departments) complain of Backache.

So, what is Backache or Low Back Pain?

Low Back Pain or Lumbago is mild to severe pain or discomfort in the area of lower back. It is a common Musculo-skeletal disorder affecting 40% of the world’s population. Pain can be acute (sudden or severe) or chronic (if it has lasted for more than 3 months). Often occurs in younger people whose work involves physical effort and is not uncommon in people of retirement age group.

Lower Back consists of the Vertebrae, Spine Muscles and the ligaments. The spine contains intervertebral discs, a kind of cushion made of cartilage that fits between the two vertebrae. Injury or disease of the muscles, ligaments or discs of the lower back can cause back pain.

Risk Factors for Low Back Pain:

1)   Sedentary life style

2)   Obesity

3)   Poor posture while sitting & standing

4)   Weak back & abdominal muscles

Causes of Low Back Pain:

Back Pain is a symptom. Most back pain is Musculo-skeletal in origin. Pain arising from other organs may also be felt in the back. This pain is called Referred Pain. Common causes of Low Back Pain include:

a)    Lumbar Strain

b)    Nerve Irritation

c)     Disc Prolapse

d)    Vitamin D deficiency

e)     Vertebral fractures caused by osteoporosis

f)     Spinal stenosis

g)    Scoliosis

h)   Other conditions such as Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis

Many Intra-abdominal disorders such as – Appendicitis, Aneurysms, Kidney diseases, Bladder infections, Pelvic infections & ovarian disorders can cause pain referred to the back.

Low Back Pain may present after exercise or activities involving Lifting, Twisting or Forward bending movements. Description of symptom may range from localised to diffuse pain & may or may not worsen with particular movements such as sitting, standing or raising a leg. Pain may radiate down to the legs (Sciatica).

Five Danger Signs which require Immediate Attention:   

1)   Unable to control your bowel or bladder movements

2)   Area of the lower back or legs suddenly turns numb or weak

3)   Any accident with forces that may have been sufficient to fracture your spine

4)   Low Back pain that is bothering you for more than 6 weeks

5)   Low Back Pain which is severe & not improving or actually getting worse

All Patients with Low Back Pain are not the same. Each one should be properly examined and evaluated before the commencement of treatment. Approximately 90% of cases can be tackled by taking appropriate preventive measures.

Ways to Prevent Low Back Pain:

1)   Do regular back strengthening exercises

2)   Practice Good posture while sitting & standing

3)   Quit Smoking

4)   Obese people- Try to shed some pounds!!!

5)   Maintain healthy diet

6)   Lift with your knees, Keep the object close to your body & do not twist while lifting

7)   Sleep on mattress of medium firmness

8)   Wear comfortable Low heeled shoes

Tags: Causes of Low Back Pain, Five Danger Signs of Low Back Pain, Low Back Pain, Prevent Low Back Pain, Risk Factors for Low Back Pain

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