How Common Is Low Back Pain In America
Low back pain is the second most common cause of disability. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is also the leading type of pain patients report. Almost 65 million American adults reported experiencing back pain recently, with 16 million suffering from chronic back pain.²
Low back pain is more common in adults than children and adolescents, but the figure is rising as young people spend more time on their screens.³
Lower back pain is common in people aged 18 or older and peaks at 80 to 89.
Lower back pain is more common among females than men. Females had a lower back prevalence of 8.01% in 2017, whereas males had 6.94% in the same year.
Fortunately, 95% of individuals affected by low back pain in America recover within a few months.
Urgent Advice: Ask For An Urgent Gp Appointment Or Get Help From 111 If:
You have back pain and:
- a high temperature
- you’ve lost weight without trying to
- there’s a lump or swelling in your back or your back has changed shape
- the pain does not improve after resting or is worse at night
- the pain is made worse when sneezing, coughing or pooing
- the pain is coming from the top of your back , rather than your lower back
Improper Posture Or Body Mechanics
Bad habits can stress your spine and strain the soft tissue surrounding it. And over time, this repeated stress can break down the structural components of the spine.
While posture or body mechanics are part of every movement you make , your work environment can have a big impact.
If your job requires regular lifting or repetitive movement, proper mechanics are your best defense against chronic back pain.
For office workers, when you sit at your desk for long stretches without stretching, it can cause your hip flexors to tighten. Over time, this can cause hips and hamstrings to weaken, leading to lower back pain.
If you notice yourself hunching over your keyboard several times per day, you may be developing kyphosis. This excessive curving of the spine is often associated with chronic back pain.
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The Diagnosis: Is It Your Hip
When you tell your doctor your hip hurts, the first thing she should do is confirm that your hip is actually the problem. Women might say they have hip pain, but what they may mean is that they have pain in the side of the upper thigh or upper buttock, or they may be experiencing lower back pain, says Stephanie E. Siegrist, MD, an orthopedic surgeon in Rochester, New York, and a spokeswoman for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Hip pain is often felt in the groin or on the outside of the hip directly over where the hip joint is located.
When To Contact A Medical Professional
- Back pain after a severe blow or fall
- Burning with urination or blood in your urine
- History of cancer
- Loss of control over urine or stool
- Pain traveling down your legs below the knee
- Pain that is worse when you lie down or pain that wakes you up at night
- Redness or swelling on the back or spine
- Severe pain that does not allow you to get comfortable
- Unexplained fever with back pain
- Weakness or numbness in your buttocks, thigh, leg, or pelvis
Also call if:
- You have been losing weight unintentionally
- You use steroids or intravenous drugs
- You have had back pain before, but this episode is different and feels worse
- This episode of back pain has lasted longer than 4 weeks
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Back Problems That May Affect Women More Often
A womans reproductive anatomy can sometimes contribute to her back pain, as weve seen. On the flipside, however, women can also be susceptible to degenerative conditions that affect the structure of the spine.
Back pain is quite common and the average patient experiences one to two episodes of low back pain per year. Low back pain can start in your 20s and can become a recurring problem which can be triggered by various events in life, notes Dr. Brian A. Cole, MD, FAAOS, orthopedic spine surgeon, Englewood Spine Associates, Englewood, NJ. Most back pain resolves by six weeks and is considered acute low back pain. When the pain lingers more than 12 weeks it is considered chronic low back pain.
Signs That Your Spine Is The Source Of Your Pain
Whereas groin pain is a telltale sign that the pain is linked to the hip, pain above the waistline that travels down the body typically indicates a low back issue. A low back problem may also be responsible for other types of lower body pain, including thigh, buttock, and below-the-knee pain.
Among the most common degenerative conditions that affect the lumbar spine are herniated discs, spinal stenosis, and spondylolisthesis. These conditions cause pain by irritating your low back nerves, resulting in pain that shoots down your legs , weakness, numbness, and reducing your range of motion.
The pattern of pain coming from the lumbar spine can be variable, depending of the specific issue causing the pain. Commonly, pain from arthritis of the spine occurs during transitions such as getting out of bed in the morning or raising up from sitting. It can often then improve after getting moving. In contrast, pain from spinal stenosis or nerve pressure is often worse with prolonged standing or walking and relieved with sitting.
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Lower Back Pain Caused By Infection
Infections of the spine are not common, but they do occur. The doctor will ask about the usual signs and symptoms of infection, especially when back pain is accompanied by fever and/or chills. Dialysis patients, IV drug users, and patients who have recently had surgery, trauma, or skin infections are at risk for infections of the spine. Infections of the spine can be caused by a number of agents, most commonly bacteria. Doctors will first test for the presence of bacteria, then give antibiotics.
Lower Back Pain In Females Can Stem From A Womans Reproductive Anatomy Or Her Spinal Anatomy Learn What Can Cause Lower Back Pain In Women That Men May Not Have To Worry As Muchor At Allabout
Here are 7 lower back pain causes women may experience more than men
On this page
We humans are terrible about pinpointing pain. You might wonder how you can mistake menstrual cramps for back painand then it happens to you. Its all the same general area, and there are certain conditions that make your core just a morass of pain. And womenlucky usmay be more susceptible than you might think.
Research suggests 60 to 80% of people experience low back pain during their lifetime with its prevalence being slightly more common in females than males across all age groups. Back pain in women increases significantly with age. Additionally, a middle-aged subject research comparison reported an increased incidence of low back pain in females versus males post menopause age.
Here are some possible lower back pain causes in females that men may worry less about.
When Is Surgery A Good Idea For Back Pain
These red flags can be indicators for surgery, if theyre found to berelated to your spine condition:
- New or progressing bowel/bladder issues
- Weakness in limbs
- Gait and balance problems
- Evidence of increased reflexes
Surgery can also be an option for chronic back pain if there is a knowncause confirmed by imaging and if other treatments didnt help. Getopinions from at least two surgeons, suggests Nava, as pain can stillcome back after the surgery.
Unlearning Chronic Back Pain
Most recently, researchers have shown you can successfully reverse chronic back pain by retraining your brain with Pain Reprocessing Therapy .10 As reported by DW.com:11
PRT aims to rewire neural pathways in the brain to deactivate pain and train the brain to respond to signals from the body more appropriately, using what’s called pain education. Ultimately, the goal is to reduce a patient’s fear of certain movements, so that when they do move in those ways, they are confident that it won’t cause them any pain.
The article tells the story of one of the study participants, Daniel Waldrip, who had suffered chronic debilitating back pain for 18 years. One month after the conclusion of the study, Waldrip was 100% pain free, and hes remained pain free in the four years since. It completely changed my life, he told DW.com.
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What Can I Do About Poor Neck And Back Pain
The key to bouncing back from severe back or neck pain is restraining your activity and taking over the counter prescriptions since the majority of back pain is associated with muscular tissue stress. Severe back hurting will certainly go away on its own over a term of days. Below are some suggestions that will help you rebound:
What Are The Symptoms
The signs and symptoms of SI pain start in the lower back and buttock, and may radiate to the lower hip, groin or upper thigh. While the pain is usually one sided, it can occur on both sides. Patients may also experience numbness or tingling in the leg or a feeling of weakness in the leg.
Symptoms may worsen with sitting, standing, sleeping, walking or climbing stairs. Often the SI joint is painful sitting or sleeping on the affected side. Some people have difficulty riding in a car or standing, sitting or walking too long. Pain can be worse with transitional movements , standing on one leg or climbing stairs.
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Inflammatory Lower Back Pain
Although comparatively few patients have low back pain due to a systemic inflammatory condition, the problem can be life long and can impair function significantly. The good news is that treatments can help essentially all patients, and can lead to major improvements.
Seronegative are a group of inflammatory diseases that begin at a young age, with gradual onset. Like other inflammatory joint diseases, they are associated with morning stiffness that gets better with exercise. Sometimes fusion of vertebrae in the cervical or lumbar regions of the spine occurs. Drugs called TNF-alpha blocking agents, which are used for rheumatoid arthritis, are also used to treat the stiffness, pain, and swelling of spondyloarthropathy, when the cases are severe and not responsive to traditional medications
People who have spondyloarthropathy have stiffness that is generally worst in the morning, and have decreased motion of the spine. They also can have decreased ability to take a deep breath due to loss of motion of the chest wall. Its important for the physician to look for problems with chest wall expansion in patients with spondyloarthropathy.
syndrome is one of the forms of spondyloarthropathy. It is a form of arthritis that occurs in reaction to an infection somewhere in the body, and it carries its own set of signs and symptoms. The doctor will look for:
Common Back Injuries And Back Problems
- Acute Low Back Pain
- Arthritis and osteoarthritis
- Chronic Low Back Pain
- Degenerative disc disease
- Herniated discs and bulging discs
- Joint dysfunction
- Muscle sprain or muscle strain of the back
- Nerve compression or pinched nerve
- Piriformis Syndrome
- Postural reeducation and strengthening therapy.
- Core Stabilization therapy
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Mechanical Lower Back Pain
Because it represents 97% of cases, mechanical low back pain deserves to be discussed first. To determine the factors that bring out the pain, the doctor will consider the following causes of mechanical low back pain:
- Spondylolisthesis .
- Osteoarthritis .
- Spinal stenosis .
Low back pain that gets worse with sitting may indicate a herniated lumbar disc . This is because certain positions of the body can change the amount of pressure that an out-of-place disc can press on a nerve. This is one reason we suggest to people with low back pain to periodically get up and stretch or walk around rather than continually stay sitting. Acute onset, that is, pain that comes on suddenly, may suggest a herniated disc or a muscle strain, as opposed to a more gradual onset of pain, which fits more with osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis, or spondylolisthesis.
Chronic Lower Back And Hip Pain: Causes & Reliefs
Are you experiencing pain in the lower back or pain in the hips? Some may tend to experience both symptoms at once. This condition is known as the combination symptom syndrome. Actually, the factors leading to the pain in the hips are usually related to those that cause the pain that occurred in the lower back. The combination of both is terrible and difficult, and can greatly affect the persons action and mobility. Read on and learn more about these symptoms for better guidance and knowledge.
Some Common Causes Of Lower Chronic Back Pain Are Given Here:
1. A slipped or displaced disc. chronic back pain happens when the disc present in the spine gets physical shock and hardly presses the nerve. 2. Sciatica: It is a pressed or irritated sciatic nerve. It causes huge pain in the lower back. 3. Whiplash: It is caused by the sudden injury in neck. 4. Frozen shoulder: It happens because of inflammation in the shoulder. 5. Ankylosing spondylitis: It happens around the area where spine unites with the pelvis.
What Does It Mean If Lower Back Pain Is Shooting Into Legs
Lower back pain can radiate to other parts of the body: up or down from its place of origin. Sometimes lower back pain can be on one side of the back, which is also normal.
If the pain is shooting from the lower back into one or both legs, it could be sciatica , but its not always the case. There are many parts in the lower back that may cause the pain to radiate into the legs, such as facet joints, sacroiliac joints, muscles or inflammation of the bursa.
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How Is Low Back Pain Diagnosed
A complete medical history and physical exam can usually identify any serious conditions that may be causing the pain. Neurologic tests can help determine the cause of pain and appropriate treatment. Imaging tests are not needed in most cases but may be ordered to rule out specific causes of pain, including tumors and spinal stenosis. Occasionally the cause of chronic lower back pain is difficult to determine even after a thorough examination.
Blood tests are not routinely used to diagnose the cause of back pain but might be ordered to look for signs of inflammation, infection, cancer, and/or arthritis.
Bone scans can detect and monitor an infection, fracture, or bone disorder. A small amount of radioactive material is injected into the bloodstream and collects in the bones, particularly in areas with some abnormality. Scanner-generated images can identify specific areas of irregular bone metabolism or abnormal blood flow, as well as to measure levels of joint disease.
Discography involves injecting a contrast dye into a spinal disc thought to be causing low back pain. The fluids pressure in the disc will reproduce the persons symptoms if the disc is the cause. The dye helps to show the damaged areas on CT scans taken following the injection.
Electrodiagnostics can identify problems related to the nerves in the back and legs. The procedures include:
Causes Of Lower Back And Hip Pain
Your lower back and hip are co-dependent on each other. They share many muscle groups, so its no wonder that disruption or pain in one tends to cause problems in the other. If you suffer from lower back pain or hip pain, you risk experiencing abnormalities in muscle function or movement.
Lets take a look at 6 causes of lower back and hip pain:
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Other Causes Of Back Or Hip Pain
Sometimes back and hip pain may not be coming from that area at all. Referred pain from abdominal or pelvic organs such as the colon, kidney, ureter, bladder, or uterus may be the cause, Dr. Jain says. If your doctor suspects that the pain is coming from elsewhere in your body, he or she will likely order additional tests to track down the source.
What Can Cause Lower Back And Hip Pain
When it comes to causes of lower back and hip pain, each case or patient is unique. However, various health conditions or injuries can affect the nerves in the lower back and hip region. When a person experiences lower back and hip pain, the cause may be overuse of muscles, an injury, or symptoms of a medical condition.
Lower back pain is the most common cause of activity limitation and people not going to work, which imposes a substantial economic burden on families and individuals. According to the Health Policy Institute, lower back and hip pain healthcare and indirect costs are over $12 billion annually.¹
In this article, we will be looking at what can cause lower back and hip pain.
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Possible Causes Of Chronic Back And Hip Pain
Arthritis is a condition that affects the spine as well as the hip bones. This involves the inflammation of the joints. It can be very painful, weakening, and debilitating. People of any age and gender can suffer from arthritis, but older people have a higher risk of experiencing this condition.
2. Back Muscle Pain
Back muscle pain is a painful condition or injury that normally resolves on its own. This is a common form of pain in the lumbar region that radiates to the hip muscles. It is rarely serious, however, can be very painful and can functionally affect your movements.
3. Hip Bursitis
Hip bursitis is a common medical condition that occurs due to old age and extreme use of the joints. This occurs when the bursa or fluid-filled sacs in the joints which are responsible for the smooth motion are inflamed. The smooth joint motion is then prevented, thus causing pain in some people and asymptomatic in most people.
Osteoporosis is a condition that makes the bones weak and brittle due to low bone density. The development of porous bones is mostly observed in older people. The risk becomes even higher with the development of fracture in the hips and any other areas of the body. This may lead to more pain and movement problems that may last a lifetime.
5. Pinched Nerve
6. Piriformis Syndrome
7. Sacroiliac Joint Pain