Lower back pain is among the most common health problems in the world today and health professionals are constantly researching how best to deal with it. It is also believed to effect 8 out of every 10 people at some time during their lives. Lower back pain can generally be classified into acute lower back pain and mild to moderate lower back pain.
In the US, it is one of the most common conditions and one of the leading causes of physician appointments. The pain may be felt on either side, both sides or in the middle of the back. It may be vary in intensity, may limit movement, and may even spread into the buttocks or upper thighs. One method of classifying the severity of the symptoms is by the duration of the pain: acute (less than 4 weeks), sub acute (4-12 weeks), long-term (greater than 12 weeks).
Lower back pain may have many causes, for example, a pulled back muscle, disc problems, arthritis, or sacroiliac joint dysfunction. Though the majority of pain is brought on by muscle or ligament strain, there are other causes eg damage or injury to spinal nerves, bones, or discs. Physical causes may also include osteo arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, deterioration of the discs between the vertebrae or a spinal disc herniation, a vertebral fracture (such as from brittle bones), or on rare occasions, an infection or tumour. Chronic pain is much more serious than trauma-induced pain, because the causes can include the above mentioned symptoms as well as degenerative arthritis, degenerative disc disease and even cancer. Anything that puts unaccustomed stress on the lower back may result in an injury that causes pain. More serious causes can also be associated with aging and deterioration. Thankfully, the most common causes are not serious.
Often rest and over-the-counter pain drugs are suitable treatments. Cortisone injections and prescriptions for muscle relaxants or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are the most common treatments utilized by doctors. Side effects and the degree of success of each treatment should be examined in order to determine the best treatment or combination of treatments. Surgery should only be considered as a last resort after all treatments have been tried.
A trial in Australia has shown that the best preventative cure is a painkiller plus normal activity, and the most effective solution to prevent and deal with this aliment is to have a powerful, well balanced core. The duration of symptoms associated with this condition is usually relatively short and recovery occurs within 4 to 6 weeks in 90% of cases.