Facts about lower back pain
- More than 34 million Americans suffer from low back pain
- An estimated 8 million Americans suffer from CHRONIC low back pain
The lower back has many complex moving parts. Made up of bones, muscles, ligaments, nerves, tendons and intervertebral discs, and impacted by a range of activities such as sitting & lifting it’s no surprise that the low back requires proper care.
Types of low back pain
Back pain can be classified as acute or chronic. Acute back pain is usually the result of an impact injury and can last anywhere from a few days to weeks. Chronic back pain on the other hand is classified as pain persisting for 3 months beyond the expected healing time.
It is generally believed that there are 3 types of lower back pain:
- Back pain caused by a spinal condition – for example; sciatica, herniated disc, spinal stenosis, arthritis, fibromyalgia or a skeletal irregularity.
- Back pain resulting from trauma: for example a car accident or cancer.
- Non-specific – in about 85% of cases low back pain is not association with a known cause.
Causes and Risk Factors
There are number of common factors resulting in low back pain such as; Age, physically demanding work, being in poor physical condition and sometimes overstretching the back muscles.
Other factors that put you at greater risk for non-specific low back pain include; obesity, poor posture, poor sleeping position, smoking, stress, build-up of scar tissue from repeat injuries and anxiety or depression.
Signs and Symptoms of low back pain
- Muscle aches
- Shooting or stabbing pains
- Limited range of motion or flexibility
- Poor quality of sleep
- Inability to stand straight
Low back pain Prevention
The best way to keep you lower back from harm and prevent chronic low back pain is to maintain a healthy body weight, keep you muscles strong and flexible and ensure you practice proper lifting techniques.
Treatments for low pain back pain
There are various treatments available for low back pain. Should your low back pain require treatment by a pain specialist your course of treatment should be personally tailored depending on the cause of your low back pain and lifestyle. Below is a list of treatment options, some more interventional than others. Speak with your family practice physician to seek a diagnosis and/ or referral or call our office to schedule an appointment with one of our pain management specialists.
- Non- Steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs NSAIDS or acetomminophen
- Opioids – managed under proper supervision
- Epidural Steroid Injections
- Neuromodulation Therapies: such as Intrathecal Spinal Pumps or spinal cord stimulators.
- Nerve Block
- Radiofrequency Rhizotomy