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What is Lower Back Pain?

Low back pain, or Lumbago,  is very common; about 70-80% percent of adults will have low back pain in their lifetime.

A common cause of lower back pain is acute injury and/or degenerative changes. Most of the time, this is from normal wear and tear on the body and can increase over time. Some low back pain can arise from sprains (overstretching or tearing ligaments), strains (torn tendons or muscles) or other  traumatic injuries.

Symptoms of back pain can vary depending on the underlying cause, but common signs and symptoms may include:

  1. Dull or Sharp Pain: Back pain can present as a persistent, dull ache or a sudden, sharp pain.

  2. Stiffness: Limited flexibility and stiffness in the back, making it difficult to move comfortably.

  3. Muscle Tension: Tightness or muscle spasms in the back muscles.

  4. Radiating Pain: Pain that radiates from the lower back into the buttocks, thighs, or even down the legs (sciatica).

  5. Difficulty Standing or Walking: Back pain may make it challenging to stand up straight or walk without discomfort.

  6. Weakness or Numbness: Weakness or numbness in the legs or feet, especially if there is nerve compression.

  7. Pain that Worsens with Activity: Back pain that intensifies with certain movements or activities.

  8. Pain that Improves with Rest: Relief or reduction of pain when resting or changing positions.

  9. Limited Range of Motion: Difficulty bending, twisting, or turning the torso due to pain or stiffness.

  10. Pain that Persists: Chronic back pain that lasts for an extended period, beyond a few weeks.

Back pain resulting from a motor vehicle accident (MVA) or slip and fall can exhibit various symptoms. Here are common signs and symptoms of back pain in such situations:

  1. Pain: Persistent or acute discomfort in the back, which may range from a dull ache to sharp, shooting pain.

  2. Stiffness: Difficulty in moving the back or a sense of tightness in the muscles.

  3. Radiating pain: Discomfort that may extend from the back to other areas, such as the buttocks, hips, or legs.

  4. Muscle spasms: Involuntary contractions or tightness in the back muscles.

  5. Tenderness: Increased sensitivity or pain when touching the affected area of the back.

  6. Limited range of motion: Difficulty in bending, twisting, or performing regular movements due to pain or stiffness.

  7. Numbness or tingling: Sensations like pins and needles in the legs or feet, indicating potential nerve involvement.

  8. Weakness: Reduced strength in the legs or feet, especially if nerves are affected.

  9. Sciatica: Pain that radiates along the sciatic nerve, often causing discomfort down one leg.

  10. Difficulty standing or walking: Pain may make it challenging to maintain an upright posture or move comfortably.


It's important to note that these symptoms can be indicative of various underlying conditions, and it's advisable to consult with a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

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