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  • Writer's pictureHolly Wild

Are You having bad low back pain?

Updated: May 6

Back Pain is not unique According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. An estimated 75-85% of Americans experience some form of back pain during their life.

The bad news is that back pain can be debilitating and painful. The good news, however; studies show that in approximately 90% of cases, it is temporary and pain improves without surgery.

The bad news is that studies also show that 50% of patients who suffer from episodes of back pain will have recurrent episodes within one year. Bad low back pain is considered to be chronic when it persists for more than 12 weeks.

Bad Low Back Pain - Understanding The Lumbar Spine

The lumbar spine (lower back) consists of five vertebrae (bones) in the lower part of the spine between the ribs and the pelvis. The vertebrae that form the spine in the back are cushioned by small discs, which are located between each of the vertebrae and act as shock absorbers for the spinal bones.

These discs are round and flat, with a tough, outer layer (annulus) that surrounds a jelly-like material called the nucleus. Thick ligaments attached to the vertebrae hold the pulpy disc material in place.

Of the 31 pairs of spinal nerves and roots, five lumbar (L1–L5) and five sacral (S1–S5) nerve pairs connect beginning in the lower back area.

Segmental movements

Your lumbar spine consists of the five bones (vertebra) in your lower back. Your lumbar vertebrae, known as L1 to L5, are the largest of your entire spine. Your lumbar spine is located below your 12 chest (thoracic) vertebra and above the five fused bones that make up your triangular-shaped sacrum bone.

Congenital anomalies

What Are Some Low Back Pain Conditions?

What Diagnostics Will Help Diagnose My Low Back Pain?

When Should I See A Low Back Pain Specialist?

Road to recovery from bad lower back pain

Alert! Sitting on the couch all day, resting will NOT heal your lower back pain. Here are a few suggestions all depending on the severity of your lower back pain.

But First! How bad are you hurting? Take our survey!

How bad is your back pain?

  • 0%Severe Lower Back Pain

  • 0%Moderate Low Back Pain

  • 0%Mild Low Back Pain

  • 0%I'm Feeling Ok

"Remember, bed rest is the worst thing you can do for back pain. Resuming activity helps to release endorphins (happy hormones) that minimize pain, boost your mood, and speed up your recovery.

The straight leg raise test for loq back pain
The straight leg raise test can detect pain originating from a herniated disc. When warranted, imaging such as MRI can provide clear detail about disc related causes of back pain (L4–L5 disc herniation shown)

Low-impact exercise, such as walking, swimming, or simple stretching, promotes healing and increases blood flow. If you don't move at all, the muscles around your spine may stiffen or weaken, which worsens low back pain.

Exercise alone, or along with education, appears to be useful for preventing low back pain.

Exercise is also probably effective in preventing recurrences in those with pain that has lasted more than six weeks.

Assessing chronic low back pain, a 2007 review concluded that a firm mattress is less likely to alleviate pain compared to a medium-firm mattress, while a 2020 review stated that studies have been inadequate to comment on mattress firmness.

There is little to no evidence that back belts are any more helpful in preventing low back pain than education about proper lifting techniques. Shoe insoles do not help prevent low back pain.

Ready to Address Your Back Pain?

NYPMD spine network of New York board certified can help you with your lower back pain. With New York lower back pain clinic locations near me, you will find the best spine surgeons and specialists who can help you identify the source of your lower back pain and put an end to it for good.

Put an end to your low back pain. Find a spine specialist near you.  1 (800) 929-0849

  1. Casazza BA (February 2012). "Diagnosis and treatment of acute low back pain". American Family Physician. 85 (4): 343–350. PMID 22335313.

  2. ^ American Academy of Family Physicians; Choosing Wisely (2023). "Imaging for Low Back Pain". Retrieved 21 July 2023.

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