Lower back pain is a very common condition affecting 80% of the population during their lifetime. It could cost about 100  billion $ per annum. Classically, it presents with pain between the lower ribs to buttock creases. In the majority of cases, it is a result of simple sprains. The nature of the pain could be a dull ache or sharp and stabbing in nature. Other conditions which could manifest with back pain include:

  1. Lumbar disc prolapse
  2. Spinal Stenosis
  3. Facet Joint arthritis
  4. Lumbar spine fractures
  5. Vertebral bone/ disc infections
  6. Spinal tumors including metastasis
  7. Spondylolisthesis
  8. Inflammatory disorders like Ankylosing Spondylitis
  9. Other conditions  – Renal stones, Abdominal aneurysm, Pancreatitis

When to Worry – Red flag signs:

Associated with loss of weight/ appetite, history of malignancy, bladder and bowel disturbances (Cauda equina syndrome), Fever,  new onset of pins and needles or weakness in legs, history of significant trauma & pain disturbing night sleeps.

What to do:

In the absence of red flag signs, we recommend analgesia and bed rest as a primary measure. Role of physiotherapy in acute back pain is controversial. If the pain is ongoing, consult your General practitioner for further investigation.

Your Doctor may arrange an MRI scan of your lower back and may refer to a Spine Surgeon.


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