08 Dec How Much Do You Know About Lower Back Pain?
Patients struggling with low back pain in Weatherford are not abnormal. As it turns out, pain in the lower back is one of the most common complaints heard in doctor’s offices around the country. Perhaps you’ve experienced it yourself. But how much do you really know about it?
If your only knowledge is how much back pain hurts, that’s okay. You are not expected to know all about the spine and how it works. As pain specialists, that’s our job. It is also our job to educate patients, which is the point of this post.
Two Categories of Back Pain
Let us start with the fact that doctors begin exploring the causes of a patient’s low back pain by putting it into one of two categories. Those categories are:
- Acute – Acute pain is short term pain that doesn’t tend to last more than a few days or weeks. More often than not, acute low back pain resolves on its own. There is rarely a need for medical intervention, though symptoms of an underlying condition can continue after pain resolves.
- Chronic – Chronic pain is generally classified as pain that continues for 12 weeks or longer. It doesn’t have to be constant, but it is experienced either every day or nearly every day over that 12-week period.
Some 20% of people affected by low back pain experience chronic pain. It is not unusual for us to see patients that have been dealing with back pain for a year or longer. The thing to remember is that persistent, chronic pain in the lower back doesn’t necessarily signal a serious problem.
What Causes Low Back Pain
For purposes of easier diagnosis and treatment, medical science divides the back into five different regions. The lower back is known as the lumbar region. It is made up of the five vertebrae at the bottom of the spine.
Given the combination of biology and physics, it stands to reason that lumbar pain is the most common type of back pain. The lumbar spine bears the entire weight of the upper body. It has to support that weight when a person is walking, standing, or sitting.
Simply put, the lower back can really take a beating even under normal conditions. As such, there are a lot of things that can make it hurt:
A common cause of lower back pain is injury. For example, you can sprain ligaments in your back or strain the muscles. It is no different than experiencing a strain or sprain in one of your other joints. Sprains can be quite painful.
Traumatic injuries are also in play. You can injure your back playing sports or falling off a ladder. Car crashes are a leading cause of lower back injuries as well.
Degenerative diseases, like arthritis and spondylosis cause lower back pain by affecting the joints, discs, and bones. Arthritis is the one that throws a lot of people off. For some reason, it surprises patients to learn they can have arthritis in the back.
Numerous congenital problems are well known for causing lower back pain. Examples include spina bifida, scoliosis, and kyphosis. Note that congenital problems are those that patients are born with. They are not the result of injury or a disease later in life.
This post has merely scratched the service in terms of what can cause low back pain. Here is what we want you to know: we can help you find relief. If you are suffering from low back pain and you live in the Weatherford area, make an appointment to visit our clinic.