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Back Pain


Low back pain is pain in the lower back. Almost everyone experiences low back pain at least once in their lives. With the exception of cold and flu symptoms, backache is one of the commonest reason people go to see their doctors.

Who gets back pain?

Low back pain affects both men and women equally, and usually occurs between the ages of 25 and 60. Low back pain is so common that it is the most prevalent cause of disability in people under the age of 45. For 85 percent of back pain sufferers, the primary site of injury and source of pain is the lower spine.

What are the symptoms of back pain?

There are many symptoms associated with low back pain. The most common symptoms are: dull or sharp severe pain, stiffness, numbness, tingling or shooting pains in your legs or buttocks, (usually only on one side). Another common symptom is pain worsens when you cough, sneeze, twist, or sit for long periods of time.

What causes back pain?

There are many causes of low back pain. Some of the main causes are: simple muscle strains, stress, and disc problems in the spine. Other causes includes fracture, infection, tumor and degenerative causes (age related).

What do disc problems mean?

Disc problems in the spine can cause low back pain. Discs are tough pads of tissue that act as shock absorbers in the spine. Sometimes a disc will weaken, bulge out and press on a nerve. When this happens, pain occurs.

What are the danger signs?

  • Back pain with loss of bladder or bowel control or loss of feeling in your legs or arm.
  • Back pain with high fever. This can be caused by an infection in your spine.
  • Severe back pain with rapid weight loss. This can be caused by a tumor on your spine.

If any of these symptoms are present, always consult your doctor immediately.

Can we prevent back pain?

Yes, we can. Simple measures include things like :

  • Sitting – up straight, not slouching
  • Bending the knees during heavy lifting
  • Do not attempt to lift things that are too heavy
  • Exercises for the back

How is it treated?

Many different treatment options are available to patients who suffer from low back pain, depending on the severity of the pain and whether the spine or surrounding tissues have been damaged.

The extent of the damage and/or origin of a patient’s low back pain can best be determined by orthopedics or spine doctors.


Campbell Operative Orthopaedics

Semakan Akhir : 25 April 2012
Writer : Dr. Izan Ibrahim
Reviewer : Dr. Heselynn Hussein