What Is Lower Back Pain?

Lower back pain, also referred to as lumbar spine pain, is a common ailment that is experienced by millions of people in the United States. If you suffer from lower back pain, you’re not alone. Recent reports suggest that the majority of adults in the U.S. (84%) will suffer from some type of low back pain during their lifetime.

Also of concern is the relapse rate of lower back pain, with reports suggesting that a large percentage (44% to 78%) of individuals who suffer from one occurrence of lower back pain reporting a future pain episode. The CDC reports that lower back pain is associated with significant disability and has a negative impact on both the personal and work life of those who suffer from the condition. Lower back pain also has a significant economic impact in the United States. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has stated that an estimated 50 billion dollars per year is spent in the United States due to lower back pain.

If you suffer from lower back pain, there are multiple treatments that can help. These range from targeted exercise programs to more interventional treatments like spinal cord stimulation. Read on to learn more about these options for lower back pain relief.

Must-watch lower back pain video

Lumbar spine pain is a leading cause for individuals missing time from work and is the leading cause of work-related disability. Furthermore, lower back pain is a main cause for decreased work productivity and increased use of medical resources. For these reasons, low back pain has received considerable attention in the research world. Over the past ten years the amount of research investigating prognostic factors that relate to lower back pain, and randomized controlled studies testing the various treatment methods that are available to treat low back pain patients, has increased dramatically.

Acute versus chronic lower back pain

Lumbar spine pain is generally classified as either acute or chronic, depending on the length of time that a patient suffers with the pain. Acute pain is described as short-term pain that typically lasts no longer than three months. Conversely, chronic pain refers to long-term pain that persists for a period of longer than three months. Acute lower back pain episodes can sometimes lead to persistent lower back pain in some patients. Chronic lower back pain generally progresses over time, initially presenting as a dull ache and progressively worsening to severe, unrelenting pain. Chronic lower back pain can lead to significant impairments in an individual’s functioning, often resulting in disability. It has been reported that a significant percentage of the U.S. population (12%) report disability due to their chronic lower back pain symptoms.

Chronic lower back pain that cannot be attributed to a specific cause, including disease, trauma, or tumor is referred to as non-specific lower back pain. There is little evidence that has investigated the prevalence of non-specific, lower back pain. However, some researchers suggest that the incidence rates may be quite high (23%). This statistic suggests that