Patient Resources

Lower Back Pain

Low back pain is a common condition suffered by the majority of people.  Approximately 60% to 80% of people will have at least one episode of back pain in the lives.  Fortunately, most of the back pain is self-limiting and is not caused by a serious problem.  However, one should be aware of the serious causes of back pain.

Below is a list of the common causes of back pain:

1.  Back strain
2.  Damage to the bones, ligaments or joints
3.  The large nerves that go to the legs may be irritated or compressed.
4.  An intervertebral disc may be degenerated

Serious causes of back pain include:

1.  Tumour or cancer
2.  Infection
3.  Fracture

When to seek immediate treatment for low back pain:

Most low back pain patient do not need to seek urgent care but they should seek a doctor’s help immediately if the low back pain occurs after trauma or a fall or the pain is accompanied by the following symptoms:

  • Fever and chills
  • Sudden weight loss or unexplained weight loss
  • Significant leg weakness
  • Sudden loss of bladder or bowel control i.e. inability to pass urine/motion or uncontrolled urination or defecation (cauda equina syndrome)
Lower back pain symptoms and causes:

Lower back pain from muscle strain or from the disc usually occur in younger individuals (30-60-year-old’s).
Conditions that involved the disc include lumbar disc herniation or lumbar disc degeneration.

The symptoms include: Severe aching pain in lower back starting after activity, sudden movement or lifting of objects:

  • Difficulty mowing that can be serious enough to prevent walking or standing.
  • This pain travels to the groin, buttock or upper thigh. The pain rarely go beyond the knee.
  • This pain tends to be achy and dull.
  • The muscle spasm can be severe and occasionally cause the body to tilt to one side.
  • There may be tenderness to touch.

The possible causes could be :

Lower back pain
Low back pain that shoots to the buttock, leg or foot
Long-standing lower back pain worsened by certain positions and movements
Deep ache in the lower back that gets worse when standing or walking
The lower back pain and stiffness that is worse in the morning and in the evening