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The Low Down on Low Back Pain

Low back pain is fairly common worldwide and is the leading cause of disability and reason for people to be absent from work. It is estimated that 4 in 5 adults will experience low back pain at some point of their lives, from a variety and combination of reasons.

While muscle strain and ligament sprains are among the top causes,  low back pain can also development due to fractures, dislocation, infective causes, degenerative causes and malignancy.


Low back pain can be classified as acute, sub-acute and chronic. Pain that lasts for 4-6 weeks or less is acute, while pain that persists for more than 3 months is considered chronic. Back pain can also be grouped as non-specific low low back pain or those of known causation. Non-specific low back pain refers to back pain in the absence of a specific underlying condition that can be reliably identified, while those to specifically identified pathology can be a result of infection, degeneration, trauma or malignancy.


Other than initial rest and adopting postures that will help to reduce pain, individuals with low back pain need to be evaluated by a specialist to determine the cause of the pain, and to seek appropriate treatment if needed.

The general treatment options for low back pain include medication to control the symptoms, physical therapy, and lifestyle modification. For patients with specific causes of back pain, treatment will always be tailored to treatment that cause. Most with low back pain need not undergo surgery, but surgery is an option as a form of decompression.

Read more here. “What to know about low back pain

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