Lower back pain also called lumbago, is not a disorder. It’s a symptom of several different types of medical problems. It usually results from a problem with one or more parts of the lower back, such as:
- the bony structures that make up the spine, called vertebral bodies or vertebrae
It can also be due to a problem with nearby organs, such as the kidneys.
According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, 75 to 85 percent of Americans will experience back pain in their lifetime. Of those, 50 percent will have more than one episode within a year. In 90 percent of all cases, the pain gets better without surgery. Talk to your doctor if you’re experiencing back pain.
The Mayo Clinic recommends you see your doctor if back pain does not improve within two weeks of developing. There are times when back pain can be a symptom of a serious medical problem. Symptoms that can indicate a more serious medical problem are:
- loss of bowel or bladder control
- numbness, tingling, or weakness in one or both legs
- onset following trauma, such as a fall or a blow to the back
- intense, constant pain that gets worse at night
- presence of unexplained weight loss
- pain associated with a throbbing sensation in the abdomen
- presence of fever
There are many other potential causes of back pain, but most of these are rare. Be sure to see your doctor if you experience regular back pain that does not go away. After ruling out the more common causes of back pain, your doctor will perform tests to determine if you have a more rare cause. These can include:
- narrowing of the spinal canal, or spinal stenosis
- displacement of one vertebral body onto another, called degenerative spondylolisthesis
- loss of nerve function at the lower spinal cord called cauda equina syndrome (a medical emergency)
- fungal or bacterial infection of the spine, such as staphylococcus, coli, or tuberculosis
- cancer or nonmalignant tumor in the spine
Any affecting Organ:
Most back pain is musculoskeletal in origin. Pain arising from other organs may be felt in the back. … Many intraabdominal disorders – such as appendicitis, aneurysms, kidney diseases, bladder infections, pelvic infections, and ovarian disorders, amongst others – can cause pain referred to the back
Prevention / Treatment:
Ice packs may relieve discomfort and help lessen inflammation in acute phases of back pain. Warm compresses may relieve pain when inflammation has subsided.
Exercises to improve posture and strengthen the muscles of the back and abdominal muscles, called the core muscles, are a treatment option that should be strongly considered. This treatment often involves:
- improving posture
- using proper lifting techniques
- strengthening core muscles
A physical therapist can teach you how to perform these types of exercises at home.