Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain research studies show that this condition is the second most common reason for consulting a doctor, taking sick leave and missing work, along with the common cold. The older you will get, the more you tend to experience periods of lower back pain.

A healthy back is rare to find these days. Back pain is the common complaint of the majority of Americans. Lower back pain can affect people from almost all walks of life. It can distress professionals, homemakers, hard laborers or even pregnant women. This is indeed a problem that can greatly affect your life, almost to the point of crippling you.

Types of Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain is generally categorized into two groups: acute and chronic.

Acute lower back pain is short term and it can go away without undergoing major treatments. The duration of pain may last for days or weeks. It may be due to prolonged standing, bad posture, poor quality mattress or chair, obesity, smoking, diet and muscle strains.

On the other hand, chronic lower back pain is a long-term problem. It lasts longer than 12 weeks. The pain may go away but it also has a tendency to return and progress. Chronic back pain can be intermittent periods of mild pain mixed with levels of severe back pain. Degenerative diseases such as osteoarthritis, slipped discs and other organic conditions can cause this type of excruciating back pain.

Distinguishing Lower Back Pain from Kidney Pain

Some people may associate lower back pain with kidney problems. Although the pain may feel alike, these two different problems necessitate different treatments. It is important to tell them apart.

Common back pain is continuous and it usually starts in the middle part of the back and eventually spreads to both sides. The reason behind this type of pain is brought about by an injury to the back muscles and ligaments.

In contrast, kidney pain begins on one side of the spine and later spreads toward the middle part of the back. In addition, kidney pain is associated with common renal ailments such as kidney stones, urinary tract infections and renal failure. Kidney problems also come with changes in the pattern, color, smell and amount of urination.

By knowing these simple facts, you can easily distinguish one from the other.  But, to be sure, always check with your doctor.

Treatment of Lower Back Pain

Uncomplicated, acute lower back pain can heal with time and it usually doesn’t require any type of surgery. You can just take your prescribed medications or undergo alternative therapies like physical therapy, chiropractic treatments and acupuncture.

You can also apply simple pain-relieving methods like massage, stretching and proper body posture. Aside from the common therapies and medications, taking measures like getting a good chair with stable support, new shoes and a quality mattress can also help you in dealing with lower back pain.

On the other hand, complications from chronic lower back pain are expensive to deal with. You have to spend quite a bit of money for all the necessary treatments and medications. The agonizing pain can affect the hours of work and may lead to financial distress in paying large amounts of cash for your health insurance.

Undergoing surgery may be needed to treat your chronic pain. Procedures like laminectomy, discectomy and fusion surgeries are commonly done to treat chronic cases of lower back pain.