Background on Lower Back Pain
According to the current date approximately 31 million Americans experience low-back pain at any given time. In fact according to the Global Burden of Disease 2010, low back pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide and it is the , second most common reason for visits to the doctor’s office, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections. Some experts estimate that as many as 80% of the population will experience a back problem at some time in our lives
Most cases of back pain are musculoskeletal in nature—meaning they are not caused by serious conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis, infection, fracture or cancer.
Causes of Lower Back Pain
The lower back is complex structure of interconnected and overlapping elements: In the lower back there are muscles, tendons, ligaments and other soft tissues. There are also a network of
Highly sensitive nerves and nerve roots that descend from the lower back down and travel into the legs and feet. In the lower back there are also small joints, spinal discs with their gelatinous inner cores. Any of these structures can cause lower back pain and/or pain that radiates or is referred to other parts of the body. Even the slightest irritation or inflammation of these structures can cause pain. Common conditions that can cause back pain are, compression fractures, sciatica, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, post operative refractory pain.
Lower back pain is extremely common but the symptoms and severity of lower back pain vary greatly. Often time a simple muscle strain is excruciating enough to necessitate an emergency room visit, while there are several people with degenerating disc with only mild or intermittent discomfort. Identifying the symptoms, along with an accurate diagnosis of the underlying cause of the pain, is the first step in obtaining effective pain relief.
Management of Lower Back Pain
If you’re experiencing Lower Back Pain you need to visit an experienced pain management provider, who specializes in using a multimodal approach to treating you identified diagnosis.
Comprehensive care should include, complimentary and alternative medicine (physical therapy, Chiropractic care, Acupuncture) , psychological support, medication and interventions. There is also a role for bracing, TENS unit and topical ointment/creams.