Low back pain (LBP) is the second most common reason, other than having a cold, that we seek medical care. Approximately 90% of us will suffer a significant episode of LBP in our lifetime. LBP is the leading cause for disability under the age of 45 and second for those over 45.
The good news is that nine out of ten patients will recover from their back pain within four weeks with or without treatment. Tips (DO'S) to prevent back pain include:
* Lift with the legs not the back
* Do not lift heavy objects
* Wear low heeled shoes
* Get consistent sleep
* Shift heavy purses/briefcases
* Stop activity that hurts
* Do not stoop, and
* Exercise regularly.
Low back pain typically is due to injuries of the soft tissue structures, spinal joints, or discs. Risk factors (DON'TS) for developing low back pain include: poor posture, repetitive motion, prolonged sitting/standing, smoking, poor nutrition, and incorrect bending, lifting, and twisting.
Seek medical attention if your pain does not improve or if it increases over a period of two to three weeks. In addition, you should seek immediate medical care for any of the following RED FLAGS:
* Sudden pain onset if > age 50 O LBP related to a fall or trauma
* Sciatica (leg pain)
* Loss of bowel or bladder control
* Loss of groin or rectal sensation
* Leg weakness
* Falling when walking
* Fever or weight loss, and
* LBP worse at night.