What is Low Back Pain?

Many patients ask the question, "What is low back pain?".

80% of all people experience lower back pain over the course in their lifetime. Thankfully, the majority of this 80% of people do not experience back pain for very long, and it is usually gone in a couple of days with no aggressive treatment required. The 80% figure that many journals and publications report are based on insurance figures, medical records, and industrial statistics. These stats are compiled from records which review work days missed because of back pain, emergency room visits, and medical appointments made to diagnose the cause of back pain and treat it. And these are just the reported statistics. Other reports indicate that close to 100% of all people experience back pain in their lifetime. The severity of a person's back problem may range from an annoying ache that keeps returning once in a while, to days lost while in bed from back pain and back spasms. Some people are able to keep working and fulfilling all of their necessary life commitments, though with the reduced enjoyment and zeal they once had for the little things in life. Low back pain is a comprehensive medical problem that may include chronic pain in the lower back, as well as depression, anxiety, and limited mobility. People who have had chronic back pain understand the toll the condition can take on mind and soul.

Low back pain is a common affliction with a specific cause, in the vast majority of cases. Though lower back pain typically has a root cause, causing the person's symptoms, it often continues despite several attempts at treatment for the condition. The specific cause and precise treatment for low back pain are still somewhat baffling to the medical profession.

What is Low Back Pain? Determining the precise cause of low back pain may be especially challenging, because there are so many variables that may be involved. There may be mechanical caused of low back pain that relate to a person's posture and techniques that use as they sleep, stand, walk, and do tasks at work. A person's diet or lifestyle habits may affect the health of the muscles of the lower back and abdomen and the blood vessels that deliver oxygen and nutrients to the soft tissues of the spine. The cause of back pain may also be due to diseases that we have no control over. These conditions may include disease of the stomach, kidney, and bowel. Other disease conditions that may affect the lower back include tumors and bone, metabolic, and other diseases. Typically disease conditions are only considered after the standard diagnostic tests fail to provide any positive indication of a specific root cause of back pain, or when the patient states unusual symptoms not typically associated with back conditions. Other diseases and disorders may be considered as causes of back pain after one or more traditional treatments has failed to provide any back pain relief for the patient.

The various types of diseases mentioned above are exotic causes of back pain, and account for less than 1% of all cases. The real cause of backaches, for the majority of us, is mechanical low back pain. Mechanical low back pain occurs when one more sections in our spine become irritated as a result of injury, arthritis, or chronic strain. This irritation is recognized by the nerve roots and nerves in the area, which results in our experience of pain.

Click here to read more about mechanical low back pain.