Low back pain is not something you should be experiencing alone.
Low back pain is a common condition that affects around 80 percent of Americans. Another 31 percent are affected at any one time. Low back pain affects half of all adults, while 85 percent of people younger than 50 experience it at least once a year. Children also experience back pain episodes, with 24% of them reported experiencing low back pain. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 13,260 back injuries were treated in 2000.
Low back pain treatment, symptoms, and diagnosis
Low back pain symptoms can include a muscle ache, shooting pain down one’s leg, restricted range of motion, flexibility, and inability to stand straight. Your doctor may recommend a CT scan or MRI, X-rays or tests to determine if the nerves are functioning properly, or even bone scans.
Cauda Equina Syndrome is a sign that you need emergency treatment for low back pain. These symptoms include difficulty passing or controlling your bladder, saddle numbness, pins and needles, weakness in the legs, or foot drop. These symptoms should be reported immediately to an emergency room. If these symptoms are not treated, permanent neurologic impairment could occur.
Low back pain: Causes
Low back pain can affect men and women of all ages, but it is most common between the ages 30 and 50. This is the second most common neurological condition in the United States. It can be caused by sports injuries, work around the home or garden, trauma, or even a car accident. Pain can also be caused by conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, or osteoporosis.
Lower back pain can be classified into three types: disc or nerve (94 percent), organic (1 percent), and mechanical (94 percent). Lower back pain can be caused by bones, muscles, and joints, as well as ligaments. Muscle spasms, sciatica, and spinal stenosis are all examples of nerve or disc origin pain. Organic causes can be related to other systems in the body, such as the digestive and genitourinary systems. Appendicitis and kidney stones are examples of organic causes of low back pain.