Low back pain (simple back pain)

 What is low back pain?

Back pain is a very common problem.  Typically, eight out of ten people will experience low back pain at some point during their lives and 1 in 10 of us will have back pain at anyone time. Back pain is not necessarily linked to wear and tear, so it can affect anyone, at any age. Low back pain is not on the whole a serious problem. It is often simply because one of the structural tissues of the back is strained. These tissues are typically your muscles, ligaments, joints and lumbar discs.


Low back pain can be experienced in a number of ways, for example, a low back problem can often be the cause of discomfort in the front or back of one or both legs.  See the diagram below.

central back pain Photo Skitch Document simple low back pain referral

Most cases of low back pain will resolve  in a few days to a just a few weeks with very simple measures such as keeping active, doing some restorative exercises or taking some medication for pain. Sometimes, we experience symptoms which seem to resist our attempts to settle them In which case, seeking some physical therapy and additional input can be necessary. Some back problems can persist beyond this or be recurrent, and specialist imput might be required, and this is usually managed by your family doctor.

Low back pain can be called ‘acute’ (recent onset and lasting just a few weeks) or ‘chronic’ (for pain lasting over 3 months.) Be reassured that in most cases, the problem will resolve in time. In order to give yourself the best chance of this happening, it is advised thaat you remain active, and in most cases this also means still performing your day to day work. Essentially, try to continue on as normal, but be sensible. If your pain is severe and persistent then you should seek medical advice for diagnosis and the appropriate treatment.


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