What is it?

low back pain (LBP) is a very common problem, It is estimated that up to 85 percent of adults have low back pain at some time in their lives.
The vast majority of LBP does not have a clear cause, but is believed to be the result of non-serious muscle or skeletal issues such as sprains or strains due to sudden movements or poor posture. Women may also experience low back pain as a result of gynecologic issues, including pregnancy, period, endometriosis or ovarian cysts.
There are many other less common causes for low back pain, Some of them may have serious complications. These causes include:
* osteoarthritis – age related degeneration of the discs between the vertebrae
* disc herniation
* spinal stenosis
* infection – vertebral osteomyelitis or epidural abscess. Kidney infection (pyelonephritis) may also cause back pain.
* Arthritis – inflammation of the joints, such as in ankylosing spondylitis, reactive arthritis and other inflammatory diseases.
* compression fracture – usually due to osteoporosis
* cancer

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Lumbago
- Lumbar back pain
- chronic back pain

Signs & symptoms

Acute back pain can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, while chronic back pain is pain that lasts longer than three months. Pain can vary from a dull constant ache to a sudden sharp feeling.
In most cases, there will be no other symptoms aside from the back pain itself. Additional symptoms, if present, depend of the underlying cause and may include fever, motor or sensory abnormalities, Bowel and/or bladder dysfunction, and unexplained weight loss.

Diagnosis

Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and perform a thorough physical examination, including a neurologic exam that checks your reflexes, motor function and sensation, in order to evaluate whether your nerves are affected.
Certain symptoms such as fever, weakness or sensation problems, require more testing. Likewise, if your low back pain continues after home treatment, your doctor may want to order additional tests. These may include:
* blood and urine tests
* imaging tests such as X-ray, CT, MRI or bone scan

Treatment

treatment depends on the severity of your symptoms and the underlying cause (if found).
Unless you have concerning or debilitating symptoms or neurologic loss, your doctor will probably monitor your condition for a few weeks. This is because most LBPs resolve in a few weeks using simple self-care treatments.
Your doctor may also recommend pain medications and/or physical therapy.
If a specific underlying cause is found, it will be treated accordingly with the appropriate medications or surgery.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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