2017 — Science update: Discussed important new review of SMT for acute low back pain. Significant revision of the section. [Section: Spinal manipulative therapy (SMT): Adjustment, manipulation, and cracking of the spinal joints.]
^ Jump up to: a b c Downie A, Williams CM, Henschke N, Hancock MJ, Ostelo RW, de Vet HC, Macaskill P, Irwig L, van Tulder MW, Koes BW, Maher CG (11 December 2013). Red flags to screen for malignancy and fracture in patients with low back pain: systematic review. BMJ. 347 (dec11 1): f7095–f7095. doi:10.1136/bmj.f7095. PMC 3898572 . PMID 24335669.
Low back pain is not a specific disease but rather a complaint that may be caused by a large number of underlying problems of varying levels of seriousness. The 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. Obesity, smoking, weight gain during pregnancy, stress, poor physical condition, poor posture and poor sleeping position may also contribute to low back pain. A full list of possible causes includes many less common conditions. Physical causes may include osteoarthritis, degeneration of the discs between the vertebrae or a spinal disc herniation, broken vertebra(e) (such as from osteoporosis) or, rarely, an infection or tumor of the spine.
Anyone with severe or worsening back pain, particularly after a fall or injury, should speak to a doctor. People should also speak to a doctor if they experience pain that gets worse after resting or at night.
Depending on the cause of your pain, your treatment could include lifestyle changes, medication, or possibly surgery. Talk with your doctor if your back isn’t feeling right. He can help you discover what’s causing the hurt and can help you feel better.
But how do you kow if you’re the exception? Can you recognize the early warning sign of cancer, infection, autoimmune disease, or spinal cord injury? These things often cause other distinctive signs and symptoms, and so they are usually diagnosed promptly. If you are aware of these red flags, you can get checked out when the time is — but please avoid excessive worry before that.
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Compression fracture. A fracture that occurs in the cylindrical vertebra, in which the bone essentially caves in on itself, can cause sudden pain. This type of fracture is most common due to weak bones, such as from osteoporosis, and is more common in older people.
Most commonly, mechanical issues and soft-tissue injuries are the cause of low back pain. These injuries can include damage to the intervertebral discs, compression of nerve roots, and improper movement of the spinal joints.
Though it can be tempting for people to put their feet up or lie in bed when back pain flares up, that’s actually the worst thing they can do, Maher said. Studies in dogs, sheep and pigs show that loading the joints and muscles in the back can speed tissue recovery after an injury, he said.
2014 — New section: A minor topic, but one of the most overdue sections I’ve ever added to the book: I’ve been asked about these devices a lot over the years. [Section: Back bracing and stabilization contraptions (especially inflatable ones).]