Back care consists of any of several approaches used to restore or maintain a healthy, pain-free back. Low back pain is a major problem in our society. Up to 90 percent of all Americans will have a problem with back pain at some time in their lives. They will spend approximately five billion dollars annually for relief. Each year, some 200,000 back surgeries are performed, and hundreds of thousands of prescriptions are written for medications to relieve low back pain. It is estimated that one-third of all workmen's claims and 60 percent of all long-term disability payments are used for the care of back injuries. It is no wonder there is an increasing interest in the prevention and management of low back pain. The major reason low back pain is not a simple problem to solve is that each individual's situation is unique. Pain may be the result of any combination of factors, such as day-to-day activities, lifestyle, level of fitness, nutritional status and even, the aging process. ...
Back pain - nonspecific
Low back pain
Pain in any part of the back
Pain may radiate to the buttocks or upper leg(s)
Signs and tests
A physical examination focused on the back, the abdomen, and the extremities may confirm back pain or muscle spasm , but the examination does not reveal a specific cause (such as a herniated disk) or any neurological problem (such as weakness or change in sensation).
X-rays of the spine are usually normal. Further work-up may include a CT scan or MRI of the spine .
Highlights Overview: Back pain can be acute, subacute, or chronic, and more commonly occurs in the lower area of the back.
Acute back pain develops suddenly and lasts up to several weeks. Acute pain is the most common type of back pain. Subacute back pain is pain that lasts up to three months. Chronic back pain can begin abruptly or gradually, linger, subside and then come back, but it lasts longer than 3 months. With proper self-care, most acute cases resolve within 4 - 6 weeks. Two-thirds of those patients, however, will experience another episode of back pain within 12 months. Diagnosis: A medical history and a brief physical examination is always necessary for both acute and chronic back pain. The main goal of a physical exam is to try and determine the source of the pain and to detect warning symptoms. Imaging techniques such as x-rays or scans are rarely recommended in the first month unless the health care provider suspects a serious problem such as a tumor, fracture, infection, caud...
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