Lower Back Pain
The lower back is one of the most important parts of the body, as it holds most of our body weight when we stand and is involved in movement when we bend or twist at the waist. Because of its pivotal role and frequent use, it is susceptible to injury and chronic pain. Lower back pain is especially common in older adults, who may have decreased bone strength and muscle elasticity. The vertebral disc may be degenerated and worn away as well.
Lower back pain can be a result of a muscle sprain, strain or spasm, a ruptured or bulging disc or an irritated nerve. The pain may radiate down the legs as well. Obesity, smoking, poor physical condition and poor posture can create a higher risk for lower back pain. Trauma is also a common cause of pain.
While lower back pain is not usually a serious condition, it can be very painful and debilitating. Treatment for this pain is usually simple and can include medication, ice and heat, rest and exercise. In other cases, a more detailed evaluation may be necessary and can include x-rays, MRIs, diagnostic injections and even surgery.