Common Causes Of Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain can be caused by a variety of conditions, but the majority of back pain cases are simply caused by muscle strain. Doctors may perform tests or prescribe a MRI to rule out more serious conditions, but usually bed rest and pain relievers are enough to allow lower back pain to dissipate on its own.
For many adults lower back pain is a common occurrence. In fact lower back pain is one of the leading causes of adults seeking medical treatment from a doctor, clinic or emergency room. But in the vast majority of cases, back pain does not necessarily indicate a more serious issue -- it is only an occasional nuisance. But, of course, it can still be very painful and render the individual practically useless for several days or possibly even weeks.
Sometimes however, lower back pain can be a symptom of another, more serious medical problem. For example, kidney problems can result in severe lower back pain, and there are other medical conditions that can also produce soreness in the lower back area.
But for the most part lower back pain is simply caused by strain placed on the muscles supporting the spine. The fact is, the muscles of the lower back support most of the weight of an adult human's body. The heavier the body, the greater the stress that is placed upon lower back muscles, and the more likely it is an individual can develop occasional soreness in the lower back. Weak or undeveloped stomach muscles may also contribute to back pain, as the muscles in the abdomen also help support the spine. Strengthening the abdominal muscles can help prevent lower back pain in some cases, or at least, make it far less frequent.
Lower back pain that persists for 90 days or more is usually considered chronic. But any time an individual has back pain for longer than three or four days, they should see a doctor for a diagnosis of the problem. Additionally, if the back pain is severe or if there is also pain down the side of the leg, it is important to see your doctor immediately, as this can be a symptom of sciatica. Sciatica is not usually a dangerous condition, but it can be very painful as it involves pressure on the sciatic nerves in the back, hip and leg.
The tricky thing about many a lower back problems is that they are often difficult to diagnose. Your doctor may prescribe a series of tests in order to rule out any type of kidney problem or other medical cause unrelated to the back muscles themselves. Doctors also sometimes prescribe MRI tests to look for a herniated disk or other problem of the spine.
But in the overwhelming majority of cases the cause of lower back pain is entirely down to strain on the lower back muscles. Stress is also believed to play a role in lower back pain, as chronic stress can cause the muscles in the body to contract, resulting in decreased blood circulation to muscle tissues. This decreased circulation in muscle tissues is a leading cause of back pain.
If your doctor determines that you have a herniated disk, in most cases the disk will slide back into its proper place on its own. But in the meantime, you will need to get plenty of rest, and as much as possible, reduce all strain to the back. Staying in bed is often prescribed. In rare cases, or as a last resort to control chronic disc related pain, doctors may recommend surgery. However, using pain relievers, and getting plenty of bed rest is usually enough to allow lower back pain to subside on its own.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Craig Thornburrow is an acknowledged expert in his field. You can get more free advice on lower back pain and lower back exercise at http://www.relievingbackpain.org