Lower back pain is something that impacts millions of people each year. The University of Maryland Medical Center estimates that 60 to 80% of American adults experience lower back pain.
Back pain is the top cause of disability for Americans who are 45 years old and younger. It sends millions of people to the doctor each year and some of them end up with permanent damage.
With so many people going through lower back pain, it is important to understand some facts about the subject. Here are some things you should know:
Lower Back Pain Symptoms May Vary
Not all lower back pain has the same signs and symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms of lower back problems include:
- Lower back stiffness
- A tender feeling in the lower back
- Pain that moves to the legs or buttocks
- Difficulty getting up or standing still for extended periods of time
- Inability to get in a comfortable position while sitting
- Pain or weakness in the lower back or legs while walking
Causes of Lower Back Pain Aren’t Always Obvious
Sometimes lower back pain is the result of something specific, like a car accident or an injury. However, there are also times when it can be difficult to determine the exact cause of your lower back pain.
It can sometimes get injured without you realizing it, a twist or strain that you may not notice right away. Other times it could be due to a disk injury, like a bulging disk or a ruptured disk. Lower back pain can be caused by arthritis or osteoporosis.
Tense muscles can be a factor of lower back pain. Kidney stones may cause lower back pain. For women, endometriosis or pregnancy could cause lower back pain. At times, lower back pain could even be a symptom of something more serious, like a tumor or an infection.
There are so many potential causes of lower back pain. This is why consulting a doctor when you have lower back pain can help you determine the exact cause and best treatment.
There are Certain Risk Factors for Lower Back Pain
Though lower back pain could happen to anyone, there are some people who may be more likely than others to have lower back pain. For example, women may be more likely than men to have lower back issues.
Some risk factors for lower back pain include:
- Older age
- A family history of back pain,
- Being a smoker
- Being overweight or obese
- Anxiety or depression
- A physical job or lifestyle
- A job or lifestyle that is sedentary
There are Plenty of Lower Back Pain Treatment Options
With so many potential causes of lower back pain, the right treatment can vary. Sometimes lower back pain can get better by simply improving your overall health. Strengthening your back with exercise and eating healthy may make your back pain improve. Sitting in a chair with proper back support can also help.
When the cause of your lower back pain is something more serious, it may require more in-depth treatment. This might include medication, physical therapy or even surgery.
Talk to a medical professional to figure out what the right treatment is for you.