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Lower Back Pain: Common Problem

by Kimberly Hays June 22nd, 2018 | Common Conditions
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back painLower back pain is a common condition. It affects 90% of adults in the U.S. at some point in their lives. It is also a symptom, and not a disease, and most often, actually 80% of the time, a physical examination cannot determine the cause. Usually when no specific cause is found, the pain usually dissipates over time on its own. Lower back pain is second in causes of loss of work, following the common cold. Because lower back pain usually goes away on its own within a month, medical professionals diagnose accordingly. If the pain has been ongoing for less than a month, it is considered acute back pain. It will only be considered to be chronic back pain if it lasts for a period of time much longer than this.

This does not mean that lower back pain should not be taken seriously. There are circumstances when medical treatment should be sought right away. If the pain is brought on by trauma, such as a car accident or a fall, there is a chance of fracture, and you should see your doctor as soon as possible. Also, in those 50 or older, serious complications can come from a slip and fall where they land on the buttocks or lower back.

Disease can also attribute to lower back pain. Those diagnosed with osteoporosis are at high risk of fracture from even the smallest of falls, and should also seek medical attention immediately. Steroids are often used to treat illness for a long period of time in those with COPD and asthma, which will put people in this category at high risk for fracture and infection. Lower back pain can also be associated with cancer, especially those 70 years old or older. This pain will be associated with abdominal pain.

If you are experiencing minor back pain for a few days, there are things you can do at home to help get relief. Sleeping on your side with pillow between your knees will relieve pressure from your lower back. If you prefer to sleep on your back, you can also place a pillow under your knees to relieve some pressure. For short term treatment, Ibuprofen is effective. Do not exceed the daily dosage, and do not take it long term, because of the possible issue of gastrointestinal bleeding. Do not lie around for more than 48 hours. After this, your back will be stiffer, and it will take longer to recover. Get up and move around, but do not overdo it. Just move to the extent you can without over exertion.

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All health and medical information is provided for educational purposes and is not meant to replace the medical advice or treatment of your healthcare professional.