The pain cycle:
pain or lumbago:
is a common musculoskeletal
disorder affecting 80% of people at some point in
Low back pain can happen anywhere below
the ribs and above the legs. The lower back is the
connection between the upper and lower body, and it
bears most of the body's weight. So it's pretty easy
to hurt your back when you lift, reach, or twist.
fact, almost everyone has low back pain at one time
or another. It is the most common cause of
job-related disability, a leading contributor to
missed work, and the second most common neurological
ailment only headache is
more common. It can be either acute,
sub-acute or chronic in duration. With
conservative measures, the symptoms of low back pain typically
show significant improvement within a few weeks from
What causes low back pain?
Causes of low back pain include:
Overuse, strain, or injury
A spine problem you were born with.
Often doctors don't really know what causes low back
pain. But it is more likely to become long-lasting
(chronic) if you are under stress or depressed.
What are the symptoms?
Depending on the cause, low back pain can cause a
range of symptoms. The pain may be dull or sharp. It
may be in one small area or over a broad area. You
may have muscle
spasms. Low back pain can also cause leg
symptoms, such as pain, numbness, or tingling, often
extending below the knee. A rare but serious problem
called Cauda Equina Syndrome can occur if the nerves at the
end of the spinal cord are squeezed.
Seek emergency treatment if you have weakness or
numbness in both legs or you lose bladder or
Most low back pain is short-term
(acute) and will go away in a few weeks. It is more
likely to become long-lasting (chronic) if you are
depressed or under stress.
How is low back pain diagnosed?
The doctor will ask questions about your past
health, symptoms, and activities. He or she will
also do a physical
exam. Your answers and the exam can help the
doctor rule out a serious cause for the pain. In
most cases, doctors are able to recommend treatment
after the first exam.
scans, and MRIs don't
usually help. But if you have a back pain problem
that has lasted longer than 4 weeks, or if your
doctor thinks you may have more than muscle
pain, it might be time for one of these tests.
How is it treated?
Most low back pain will improve with basic
first aid, which includes resting for a day or
two, getting up and active as soon as possible, and
taking over-the-counter pain medicine as needed.
Walking is the simplest and maybe the best
exercise for the lower back. It gets your blood moving
and helps your muscles stay strong.
Why it is used:
Muscle relaxants can be helpful when severe
muscle spasms follow the start of low
back pain. Muscle relaxants are not
recommended for use by pregnant women,
older adults, or people who have depression or
a history of drug or alcohol addiction.
How It Works:
For acute low back pain, muscle relaxants
improve pain, muscle tension, and mobility.
But side effects are common.
For chronic low back pain, muscle relaxants
may relieve pain and lead to overall
improvement, but side effects are common.
The muscle-relaxing effects of these
medicines are most likely the result of
their ability to depress the central
nervous system. They are also called
Drowsiness or dizziness
Possible addiction or
What To Think About:
Muscle relaxants should
only be taken at bedtime and never before
driving or operating machinery.
muscle relaxants is restricted to short-term
use to avoid addiction.
Muscle relaxants are effective in the
management of low back pain. However, the
side effects require that they should be
used with caution.
hydrochloride) has the most recent and
largest clinical trials demonstrating its
benefit, but carisoprodol, diazepam and
metaxalone also appear to be effective.