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I have Low Back pain is it common ?


Yes, epidemiologically by the age of 20 years 50% have had an episode of low back pain.by the age of 60 years the incidence may be as high as 80%.Low back pain is second only to common cold in terms of symptoms.


What are the common causes of back pain?


The most basic answer to this question is the fact we have an upright stance. Because of our upright stance, a curvature is forced to occur in the spine producing a lordosis, or curvature, which is convex to the front and concave to the back. This results in an extensive amount of compressive force on the lower five lumbar discs. The discs wear out causing bulging and herniations, which produce back pain and/or radiating leg pain. In addition, the facet joints, or stabilizing joints, located posterior in the spine become arthritic. Facet arthritis is a very common cause of back pain. Although the list of back pain is exhaustive but the more common causes are the structures in and around the back. Another common cause if postural or mechanical back pain related to the work environment or habits of the subject. And be true most backaches are diagnosed as “ Non- specific low back ache “ as the real cause is difficult to find at times.


What is degenerative disc disease (DDD)?


This is a gross misnomer of a typically normal aging process; this is actually not a disease. With age, discs typically become dried out or desiccated, and this can be diagnosed with an MRI scan..


Unfortunately, when a disc is observed on an MRI scan to be dried out it is often characterized as being degenerated, and a patient with several discs is diagnosed as having degenerative disc disease.


The fact that people who have dried out discs have symptoms of back pain is secondary to the processes. This includes the fact the outer portion of the disc is heavily enervated and a patient who has a disc not functioning normally often has instability of that portion of the spine, which results in symptoms of chronic back pain.


My doctor told me I have arthritis in my spine and that I should learn to live with the pain. Is this true?


Pain is a subjective complaint. The only person who experiences the pain is the individual patient. I believe any doctor whose recommendation to the patient is to live with the pain is not providing appropriate medical advice. There are multitudes of treatments for back pain, all of which have a history of helping certain people. I don’t believe any one treatment helps everybody, including surgery.


In general, the best treatments for back pain include an active exercise program strengthening the abdominal and back muscles and stretching. This can be accomplished with physical therapy, Other treatments for chronic back pain certainly worth exploring include chiropractic, traction devices, back braces, lumbar supports at work, home and in the automobile, and special lumbar support pillows for sleep. Heat and ice are excellent treatments with few side effects, being careful not to burn your skin.