If you have lower back pain, you are in good company. According to researchers, more than 80% of all Americans will suffer from lower back pain at some point in their life. One of the reasons it is so widespread is that this pain can be caused by many conditions, some not even related to your back.
The back is a complex framework of joints, bone, muscles, and ligaments, that must coordinate to do their work. The lower back supports your upper body and provides sensation and power for movement of hips, legs, and feet. Your back also houses and protects your spinal cord.
This complexity makes your back susceptible to injury and disease if not properly cared for. Muscles can be pulled, sprained, become inflamed or even torn. Bones can fracture or break. The nerves protected inside your spine may swell or get pinched. There are numerous medical conditions that may contribute as well, such as arthritis, lumbar spinal stenosis, sciatica, osteoporosis, scoliosis or herniated discs.
Your lower back may be perfectly healthy, but you may give yourself lower back pain through your actions. Take a fall, slouch, lift a heavy object, or carry too much weight and your back may be in pain.
Most frustrating of all is that lower back pain may be caused by something other than your back; this is called referred pain. Tumors, kidney infections, endometriosis, fibromyalgia are likely medical culprits.
But do not fear, there are a number of things you can do to prevent or minimize the odds of suffering from lower back pain. Exercise and maintaining a healthy weight are at the top of the list. Don't smoke because it restricts blood flow to your spine. Practice proper posture when sitting, standing and lifting.
If you do get lower back pain, it often clears up after a few days or weeks. To be on the safe side, always check with your doctor.
- Lower Back Pain, Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment, spine-health.com
- Tips for Pain Relief, webmd.com
- Chronic Low Back Pain on the Rise, med.unc.edu