Lower Back Pain

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Lower Back Pain

What Is Low Back Pain?

Low back pain is a universal human experience — almost everyone has it at some point. The lower back, which starts below the ribcage, is called the lumbar region. Pain here can be intense and is one of the top causes of missed work. Fortunately, low back pain often gets better on its own. When it doesn’t, there are effective treatments.

woman with lower back pain

 

Symptoms of Low Back Pain

Symptoms range from a dull ache to a stabbing or shooting sensation. The pain may make it hard to move or stand up straight. Acute back pain comes on suddenly, often after an injury from sports or heavy lifting. Pain that lasts more than three months is considered chronic.

Who’s at Risk for Low Back Pain?

Most people experience back pain first when they’re in their 30s. The odds of additional attacks increase with age. Other reasons your low back may hurt include:

  • Being overweight
  • Being sedentary
  • Lifting heavy stuff on the job

Diagnosis

To help your doctor diagnose the source of low back pain, be specific in describing the type of pain, when it started, related symptoms, and any history of chronic conditions.  Your doctor will probably not need to order X-rays, CT or MRI scans before starting treatment.

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