Chronic lower back pain: Causes and treatments
Lower back pain, also called lumbago, is not a disorder. It's a symptom of several different types of medical problems. It is common with about nine out of ten adults experiencing it at some point of their life and five out of ten working adults having it every year.
There are a lot of causes of back pain, although there are some serious underlying causes of it, in majority (80-90%) of the cases cause of low back pain is nonspecific, with no identifiable cause.
BACK STRAIN AND PAIN
Acute nonspecific back pain is usually considered to be self limiting(recovery rate 90 per cent within 6 weeks) but 2%-7% of patient develop chronic pain . Studies have found that the incidence of low back pain is highest in the third decade and overall prevalence with age until 60-65 years age group and then declines. There is evidence that people suffering from stress, anxiety, depression, job dissatisfaction, low level of social support in working environment are at increased risk of suffering from back pain.
People who are not physically active or do not perform regular exercises will not be able to maintain efficiently strong back muscle to support the spine and are likely to suffer more commonly from back pain.
MANAGING BACK PAIN
The nonspecific back pain is usually transient in nature and might need a short period of rest and simple analgesic to get relieve. In all such cases it is essential to prevent its recurrence by a policy that can reduce or prevent the initiating cause of it. Back muscle strengthening exercise can play a great role in preventing the recurrences of back Pain.
The priority in managing back pain is to exclude any underlying serious disease causing back pain. Back pain is common occurrences to get rid of it many people take analgesic (NSAID) frequently and inappropriately without a authenticated prescription. Inappropriate and prolong use of such drug has an adverse effect on body specially on cardiovascular and renal system.
Now a day in our daily practice, there are some patient who comes with mild swelling of foot and ankle & puffiness of face even after taking short course analgesic like NSAID (Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) probably due to prolonged and inappropriate intake of analgesic.
Actually chronic back pain seems to be an biopsychosocial condition meaning that biological aspect like structural or anatomical causes though have a great role , the psychological and social factors also play an important role which cannot be ignored. Consequently sole use of drugs or pharmacological therapy might not be adequate for proper management.
The written is an MBBS, MS (Ortho), Fellow Spine Surgery (ISIC, Delhi). He is a professor (Ortho-Surgery) at Lab Aid Diagnostic LTD, Malibag, Dhaka.