Self-help measures are often very helpful in people with back pain. If your back pain is severe or chronic your GP may prescribe appropriate medicines or refer you for manual (physical) therapies. If an underlying cause of back pain is suspected, your GP may refer you to a back or pain specialist or clinic for diagnosis and specialised treatments (such as spinal injections).
Common causes of lower back pain include strain injury from athletics or overuse, disc herniation, kidney infection, pinched nerve in the spine, and pregnancy. Less common causes of back pain include infection of the spine, ankylosing spondylitis with lumbosacral and sacroiliac joint disease, compression fracture of a spinal vertebra, disc ligament tear (annular tear), and spinal tumor or cancer in the bone of the spine.
Mind over back pain: a radically new approach to the diagnosis and treatment of back pain, a book by John Sarno. A classic in the field, flawed and aging still but worthwhile, written before Dr. Sarno started to treat his approach like a panacea. The book emphasizes a lot of right ideas for the wrong reasons.
In the past, advice had been to rest until the pain eases. It is now known that this was wrong. The evidence from research trials is that you are likely to recover more quickly by getting moving again and by getting back to work as soon as possible. Also, you are less likely to develop persistent (chronic) back pain if you keep active when you have back pain rather than rest a lot.
Alexander LA, Hancock E, Agouris I, Smith FW, MacSween A. The response of the nucleus pulposus of the lumbar intervertebral discs to functionally loaded positions. Spine. 2007;32:1508–1512. doi: 10.1097/BRS.0b013e318067dccb. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
Back pain is common, with about nine out of ten adults experiencing it at some point in their life, and five out of ten working adults having it every year. Some estimate up to 95% of Americans will experience back pain at some point in their lifetime. It is the most common cause of chronic pain, and is a major contributor of missed work and disability. However, it is rare for back pain to be permanently disabling. In most cases of herniated disks and stenosis, rest, injections or surgery have similar general pain resolution outcomes on average after one year. In the United States, acute low back pain is the fifth most common reason for physician visits and causes 40% of missed days off work. Additionally, it is the single leading cause of disability worldwide.
Grab your favorite book or magazine or just relax the day away inside with this comfortable and supportive reading pillow. The Majestic Home Goods’ reading pillow provides back support that is perfect for many activities such as reading, watching TV or playing video games.
^ Jump up to: a b Rubinstein SM, van Middelkoop M, Assendelft WJ, de Boer MR, van Tulder MW (2011). Rubinstein SM, ed. Spinal manipulative therapy for chronic low-back pain. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (2): CD008112. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD008112.pub2. PMID 21328304. Archived from the original on 9 June 2013.
Low back pain (LBP) is a common disorder involving the muscles, nerves, and bones of the back. Pain can vary from a dull constant ache to a sudden sharp feeling. Low back pain may be classified by duration as acute (pain lasting less than 6 weeks), sub-chronic (6 to 12 weeks), or chronic (more than 12 weeks). condition may be further classified by the underlying cause as either mechanical, non-mechanical, or referred pain. The symptoms of low back pain usually improve within a few weeks from the time they start, with 40-90% of people completely better by six weeks.
Maintain proper nutrition and diet to reduce and prevent excessive weight gain, especially weight around the waistline that taxes lower back muscles. A diet with sufficient daily intake of calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D helps to promote new bone growth.
De Carvalho DE, Callaghan JP. Influence of automobile seat lumbar support prominence on spine and pelvic postures: a radiological investigation. Appl Ergon. 2012;43:876–822. doi: 10.1016/j.apergo.2011.12.007. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
Having a chair with lumbar support can help alleviate any discomfort and encourage you to sit properly so as not to cause stress on these areas of the body. The lower part of your spine naturally curves inward toward the belly, so having lumbar back support helps to promote good posture by filling in the gap between the lumbar spine and the seat. This will support the natural inward curve of the lower spine.
In older adults, about 6% of cases have a serious cause, but 5% of those are fractures — which are serious, but they aren’t cancer either. The 1% is divided amongst all other serious causes. For people under age 55, the odds are even better. BACK TO TEXT
One more noteworthy endorsement, with regards to this whole website and all of my books, submitted by a London physician specializing in chronic pain, medical education, and patient-advocacy (that’s a link to his excellent blog):
Nerve root syndromes are those that produce symptoms of nerve impingement (a nerve is directly irritated), often due to a herniation (or bulging) of the disc between the lower back bones. Sciatica is an example of nerve root impingement. Impingement pain tends to be sharp, affecting a specific area, and associated with numbness in the area of the leg that the affected nerve supplies.
2016 — Minor update: Clarification of the significance of some previously cited science, Ferreira et al. [Section: Core strengthening has failed to live up to the hopes and dreams of therapists and patients.]