While almost everyone can expect to generally suffer from back pain at some point in their life, a great majority specifically complain of severe lower back pain. In fact, severe lower back pain remains to be fifth most common complaint during visits to doctors.
Industry experts place direct health care costs to reach about twenty billion dollars annually and if you would impute indirect expenditures too, the aggregate costs figure would exceed forty billion dollars.
Of the people suffering from severe lower back pain, about ten percent have underlying medical reasons that need specific treatment like cases of osteoporosis or disk alignment. For the greater part of remaining ninety percent, they usually feel much better after taking a prescription of muscle relaxants and after resting in bed for a few days. The patient normally regains full mobility within three weeks or a month at most. Those who cannot recover after four to six weeks time need to return to their doctors for further evaluation and diagnosis of their severe lower back pain.
Assessment of the different symptoms and recognition of the various diseases related to severe lower back pain have been traditionally linked to the patient’s age although the examining physician would always make allow for possible exceptions. Like in cases of severe lower back pain that can be directly attributed physical causes such as hard manual labor or lifting of heavy objects.
For people within the age range of 20 to 40, severe lower back pain is usually caused by a muscle strain and any form of body movements only intensify the pain. Symptoms include tenderness in the affected area, muscle spasm at the lower back, and limited spinal motion. Total bed rest is required from the patient as well as restricted movement while convalescing. Injured tissues should be allowed to heal properly to prevent recurrence.
If the complaint is about a sharp, shooting or burning pain in the lower back region by persons aged 30 until 50, it could be symptomatic of acute disc herniation or what is commonly known as slipped disc, which causes more severe lower back pain. The patient also reports a burning sensation that radiates down to the legs and marked weakness with his reflexes. On the other hand, the severe lower back pain of those over 50 would most likely be due to osteoarthritis. In this case, pain is not restricted to the lower back but is also felt in one or both legs. Walking aggravates the pain that can be relieved a little by sitting.
Sometimes, severe lower back pain can be traced to infections in the lumbar spine or in the nerve sac at sacrum, the triangular bone at the base of the spine. A doctor’s visit is needed to accurately determine the cause.