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What Is Low Back Pain?

Simply put, Low Back Pain is pain in the lower back. Almost everyone experiences low back pain at least once in their lives. With the exception of cold and flu symptoms, backaches send more people to the doctor than any other medical condition.

Low back pain can strike in many different ways. The most common types of pain are: dull ache, burning, tingling or numbness. Sometimes the pain may shoot down your buttocks and into your legs.

Low back pain can develop quickly on quickly, or it can progressively get worse over many days or weeks. Some people may have bouts of back pain for a couple of weeks and then it will go away for a couple of weeks.

Low back pain affects both men and women equally, and usually occurs between the ages of 25 and 60. Low back pain is so common that it is the most prevalent cause of disability in people under the age of 45. It is the fifth most frequent reason for hospitalization in the United States.

Symptoms of low back pain

There are many symptoms associated with low back pain. The most common symptoms are: dull or sharp severe pain, stiffness, numbness, tingling, or shooting pains in your legs or buttocks, (usually only on one side). Another common symptom is pain that's worse when you cough, sneeze, twist, or sit for long periods of time.

What Causes Low Back Pain?

There are many causes of low back pain. Some of the main causes are: simple muscle strains, stress, and disk problems in the spine.

Disk Problems

Disk problems in the spine can cause low back pain. Disks are tough pads of tissue that act as shock absorbers in the spine. Sometimes a disk will weaken, bulge out, and press on a nerve. When this happens, pain occurs.

Good news about Low Back Pain

The good news about low back pain is that it can be prevented, treated and it will go away. If you suspect that you have low back pain, make an appointment with your doctor. Your doctor can work with you to determine the cause of your pain and give you treatment options.

Immediate Help Required

If you have any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

  1. Back pain with loss of bladder or bowel control, begin dragging a leg or a foot, or lose feeling in your legs or arms.
  2. Back pain with high fever. This can be caused by an infection in your spine.
  3. Severe back pain with rapid weight loss. This can be caused by a tumor on your spine.

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