How Common Are Low Back Conditions

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Four out of every five individuals will have lower back conditions at some time in their life. It is one of the most prevalent reasons patients seek medical attention. Also, some individuals are more prone to low back conditions Edison than others. Low back conditions can be caused by various injuries and disorders, the most common of which is back muscle or tendon damage. The intensity of pain can vary from minor to severe. In certain circumstances, discomfort makes walking, sleeping, working, or doing daily tasks difficult or impossible. Lower back conditions usually improve with rest, medications, and physical therapy (PT). Cortisone injections and hands-on therapies (such as osteopathic or chiropractic manipulation) can aid with pain relief and recovery. Some low back conditions necessitate surgical intervention.

What is the lower back?

The lumbar spine region refers to your lower back. The lumbar spine supports your whole upper body and the biomechanical forces that occur during movement. The lumbar spine comprises five vertebrae (backbones).On each vertebra’s front side, a big disc (cushiony gel covered in a strong membrane) works as a shock absorber. There are two cartilage-lined facet joints on the rear side of each vertebra. Discs and facet joints enable the spine to flex and twist securely. Ligaments, tendons, and muscles are also found in your lower back. Ligaments are strong bands that connect the vertebrae and discs. Tendons connect muscles to vertebrae. These components assist in controlling excessive movement that might cause spinal cord damage.

How to diagnose low back conditions

In addition to an in-depth medical history and physical exam, diagnostics for low back conditions may include:

  1. X-ray: This test makes pictures of bones on film using electromagnetic energy beams.
  2. MRI: This test creates detailed pictures of organs and structures in the body using huge magnets and a computer.
  3. CT scan: A CT scan is an imaging test that employs X-rays and computer technology to create comprehensive pictures of any body region, including the bones, muscles, fat, and organs. CT scans provide more information than standard X-rays.
  4. Radionuclide bone scan: This imaging procedure injects a very small quantity of radioactive material into the patient’s bloodstream, which is then detected by a scanner. This examination demonstrates blood flow to the bone and cell activity within the bone.
  5. Electromyogram (EMG): This test evaluates the function of the nerves and muscles.

When to see a doctor

Rest and pain medication generally help with lower back conditions. Back conditions that do not go away might indicate something more serious. Consult your specialist if you have:

  • Agony that does not improve after a week of at-home treatment.
  • Buttocks or leg tingling, numbness, weakness, or discomfort.
  • Severe discomfort or muscular spasms that interfere with your routine activities.
  • Fever, loss of weight, bowel or bladder issues, or other unexplained symptoms.

Low back conditions affect millions of individuals. Stiffness, discomfort, and restricted movement can negatively influence one’s quality of life. However, by keeping a healthy weight and remaining active, you may be able to avoid lower back discomfort. Consult your healthcare practitioner if your low back condition persists or if you are unable to participate in your favorite activities. Several therapies can help you feel better, move better, and get more out of life. Call Jeff Pan, MD, or book your appointment online to learn more about back pain conditions treatments.