Medical Library: Back & Spine – Low Back Pain
Low back pain is a condition that affects many people in the US across a wide range of ages, fitness levels, and body types. In most cases, the pain is mild and will go away on it’s own, but for some, the pain is chronic and can be debilitating.
The symptoms of low back pain vary a great deal. Your pain might be dull, burning, or sharp. You might feel it at a single point or over a broad area. It might be accompanied by muscle spasms or stiffness. Sometimes, it might spread into one or both legs.
THERE ARE 3 DIFFERENT TYPES OF LOW BACK PAIN:
- Acute – pain lasting less than 3 months
- Recurrent – acute symptoms come back
- Chronic – pain lasting longer than 3 months
Most people who have an episode of acute pain will have at least one recurrence.
Often, low back pain occurs due to overuse, strain, or injury. It could be caused by too much bending, twisting, lifting, or even too much sitting. But just as often, the actual cause of low back pain isn’t known, and symptoms usually resolve on their own.
Although low back pain is rarely serious or life threatening, there are several more serious conditions that may contribute to low back pain, such as:
- Degenerative disk disease
- Lumbar spinal stenosis
- Herniated disk
- Tumors of the spine