If you have lower back pain, you are not alone. About 80 percent of adults experience low back pain at some point in their lifetimes. It is the most common cause of job-related disability and a leading contributor to missed work days. Men and women are equally affected by low back pain. Pain can begin abruptly as a result of an accident or by lifting something heavy, or it can develop over time due to age-related changes of the spine.
Chronic back pain is defined as pain that persists for 12 weeks or longer. About 20 percent of people affected by acute low back pain develop chronic low back. In some cases, treatment successfully relieves chronic low back pain, but in other cases pain persists despite medical and surgical treatment.
In many cases, low back pain is associated with spondylosis, a term that refers to the degeneration of the spine associated with normal wear and tear that occurs in the joints, discs, and bones of the spine as people get older.
Intervertebral disc degeneration is one of the most common causes of low back pain, and it occurs when the usually rubbery discs lose integrity as a normal process of aging. As the discs deteriorate, they lose their cushioning ability.
Herniated or ruptured discs can occur when the intervertebral discs become compressed and bulge outward (herniation) or rupture, causing low back pain.
Radiculopathy / Sciatica is a condition caused by compression, inflammation and/or injury to a spinal nerve root. Pressure on the nerve root results in pain, numbness, or a tingling sensation that travels to leg and foot.
Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal column that puts pressure on the spinal cord and nerves that can cause pain or numbness with walking.
A complete medical history and physical, imaging studies like x-rays, CT scans, MRI etc. may be ordered as needed. EMG/Nerve testing may be ordered to assess a pinched nerve.