Low Back Pain
Low back pain is a universal human experience almost everyone has it at some point. It is one of the common causes of missed work. Fortunately, low back pain is usually self-limited, meaning it often gets better on its own. However, in some patients pain may become significant and difficult to resolve.
Symptoms range from a dull ache to a stabbing or shooting sensation. The pain may make it difficult to walk or stand up straight. Most patients complain of localized tenderness or spasm with loss of range of motion.
The most common causes of back pain include: muscle strain, bulging disc, herniation, arthritis, fractures, infection or radiating pain from the abdomen or pelvis.
Risk factors for back pain include: obesity, smoking, heavy physical labor, repetitive lifting, pushing and pulling.
The majority of patients with low back pain do not require immediate medical care. However, if pain is associated with fever, chills, leg weakness or loss of bladder and bowel control you must contact your doctor. Physical examination is the first step to assess the cause of your pain. If a specific condition is suspected to be the cause of your back pain, your doctor may order X-ray, MRI, CT or bone scan imaging.
Over the counter medication such as Ibuprofen, Naproxen and Acetaminophen may be recommended. Muscle relaxers, and antidepressants may be helpful as well. Other treatment options for back pain may include: