Lower back pain is one of the most common maladies affecting the mankind. These incidences are increasing because of sedentary lifestyle, obesity and wrong postures. Spurts of un-accustomed physical activities are not an infrequent cause of lower back pain. Broadly speaking, the pain may be caused by stress and strain or inflammation of muscular or facial structures of the spine, ligaments of various vertebral joints amongst others. The risk increases with age. Lower back pain can also be caused by jobs that require heavy lifting of weights.
Causes: There are various conditions responsible for thepain. Degenerative changes of the lumbar spine are important causes of morbidity in adults. Changes include lumbar spinal stenosis, lumbar disc herniation, spondylolisthesis. Other causes are osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, tuberculosis, etc. There are various modalities causing lower back pain.
Treatment: Investigations done to assess these conditions include X-Rays, CT scans and MRI scans. Lower back pain is being treated by various conservative modalities and by surgery in few cases. Various conservative modalities include bed rest, heating pad application, medications, spinal manipulation, massage therapy, yoga and acupuncture. Lower back pain due to slipped disc, which doesn’t improve after adequate trial of conservative management, requires surgical intervention. The safe and effective surgical treatment involves minimally invasive procedures such as micro-lumbar discectomy and endoscopic discectomy. However, lower back pain can be prevented by sitting in right posture, avoiding prolonged sitting, healthy eating habits, regular exercises, avoiding weight gain and lifting objects from ground by bending at knees and not by bending forward. About 90 per cent of patients improve by conservative programmes of exercise and courses of physiotherapy. Only 10 per cent of patients who do not improve with conservative management require surgical intervention.