Low back pain facts

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Majority of the job-related disability that we witness today are caused by low back pain. There is a shocking statistics which show as high 80% of grown up suffer from low back pain. It is important that people have a better understanding of this condition.

Affects both men and women

Both men and women are affected by this problem with the pain causing any of the following symptoms:

Ache

The sufferer experiences pain which ranges from dull to shooting pain. The pain could be so debilitating that one may be rendered immobile.

Fever

The patient suffers from fever and chills which could last for days.

Weight loss

The debilitating effects of the low back pain may cause one to suffer from weight loss. The problem of the weightloss is usually sudden and one cannot explain why this happens.

Weakness in the legs

One develops serious weakness in the legs which could lead to incapacitation.

Incontinence

Patients with low back pain are unable to control their bowels and bladders.

Acute and short lived

This problem is usually sudden, acute but lasts only for a few days before resolving itself. It may last for up to 12 weeks in the case of the sub acute one.
In the recent years, studies have been carried out which show that the problem has gotten worse, ranking among the top 3 in US in as recent as 6 years ago.

The cause

The low back pain is caused by a number of things. These include the following:

Spraining or straining

The back is made up of ligaments which could stretch and tear, leading to sharp pain which shoots which radiates to the legs and feet. One can strain or sprain by turning suddenly, twisting or even lifting heavy objects using the back support instead of the legs.

Degeneration of the disc

The discs which make up the spine degenerate over the years. The loss in the cushioning function of the disc places a lot of pressure on the back, hence the pain that one experiences. These discs play a pivotal role in movement, balance and the flexibility.

Rupture of the dices

Sometimes the discs become herniated or rupture. This causes them to bulge due to compression. As a result, one suffers from severe back pain.

Inflammation of spinal nerve root

Due to compression and injury in the spinal cord, there is undue pressure on the nerve root, leading to a condition known as radiculopathty.

Sciatica

The condition is caused by the pressure or compression of the sciatic nerve. This never is pinched from above it by the collapsed discs. In turn, pain radiates down to either of the buttocks and the individual legs before making its final foray at the knees.

Slipping of the spine

The lower spine may slip out of its position and as it does so, it places a lot of pressure on the nerves at the lower end of the spine. This is the condition that is known as spondylolisthesis.

A traumatic injury in a sport or car accident can lead to the problem.

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