Low Back Pain
Low back pain can range from mild, dull, annoying pain, to persistent, severe, disabling pain in the lower back. Pain in the lower back can restrict mobility and interfere with normal functioning.
What causes low back pain?
The exact cause of low back pain can be hard to determine. In most cases, back pain may be a symptom of many different causes, including any of these:
- Overuse, strenuous activity, or improper use (such as repetitive or heavy lifting, exposure to vibration for prolonged periods of time)
- Degeneration of vertebrae (often caused by stresses on the muscles and ligaments that support the spine, or the effects of aging)
- Abnormal growth (tumor)
- Obesity (often increases weight on the spine and pressure on the disks)
- Poor muscle tone in the back
- Muscle tension or spasm
- Sprain or strain
- Ligament or muscle tears
- Joint problems (such as spinal stenosis)
- Protruding or herniated (slipped) disk
Disease (such as osteoarthritis, spondylitis, compression fractures)
What are the symptoms of low back pain?
Low back pain is classified as acute (or short term) and chronic. Acute low back pain lasts from a few days to a few weeks. Most acute low back pain will resolve on its own. Chronic low back pain lasts for more than 3 months and often gets worse. The cause of chronic low back pain can be hard to find.
These are the most common symptoms of low back pain. Symptoms may include discomfort or pain in the lower back that is:
- Sharp or dull
- Well-defined or vague
- The pain may radiate into one or both buttocks or even into the thigh or hip area.
The symptoms of low back pain may look like other health problems. Always see your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call:
- SBL Bonutti Clinic at 217 342-3400, or
- SBL Orthopedics & Sports Medicine at 217 238-3435
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