Lower Back Pain

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Tomohiro Hamahata

Tomohiro Hamahata, MD (Orthopedic surgery)

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People with these symptoms also use Ubie's symptom checker to find possible causes

  • Pinched nerve in lower back

  • Low back pain worsens when getting up from a sitting or lying position

  • Severe back pain that prevents me from bending down when standing

  • Back pain that prevents me from standing still for a long time

  • Low back pain aggravated by coughing, sneezing, or straining

  • Low back pain when leaning forward and lifting something

  • Lower back pain is worse when pressed on a painful area

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Content updated on Nov 1, 2022

About the symptom

Low back pain can vary from dull pain that develops gradually to sudden, sharp or persistent pain felt below the waist.

When to see a doctor

Seek professional care if you experience any of the following symptoms

  • Fever

  • Intermenstrual bleeding

  • Numbness of lower limbs

  • Abnormal sensation (tingling, prickling)

  • Abdominal pain

  • Lower abdominal pain

Possible causes

  • Low back pain

    Low back pain is very common. More than 80% of people have at least one episode of low back pain during their lifetime. Back pain is usually not serious and most often resolves on its own, but can be frustrating when pain interferes with daily life. Risk factors include smoking, obesity, older age, female sex, physically strenuous or sedentary work, stress, and mental health issues. Serious causes include menstrual problems, injury, slipped disc, nerve disease, spine disease, joint deformities etc.

  • osteoporosis

    Osteoporosis is a disease that makes your bones weak and brittle, resulting in the bone to frature easily even with minor truma/ stress (for instance, after a simple fall). It my be caused due to long-term low calcium intake, estrogen deficiencies in women and inactive lifestyle.

  • Diabetes mellitus (DM)

    A disease where blood sugar levels are abnormally high, due to problems with insulin production or resistance. There are often no symptoms until the condition has worsened, hence regular screening is important.

  • Lumbar spondylosis
  • Chronic pain
  • Neuropathic pain
  • Acute low back pain
  • Ovulation bleeding
  • Osteoarthritis (OA)
  • Vertebral compression fracture

Questions your doctor may ask about this symptom

Your doctor may ask these questions to check for this symptom

  • Do you have pain in the lumbar back?

  • Did your symptoms appear when you move your body?

  • Did your symptoms appear when you lifted something or leaned forward?

  • Do your symptoms improve with exercise?

  • Do you feel the low back pain improves when you lie on your back?

Other Related Symptoms

Similar symptoms or complaints

References

  • Will JS, Bury DC, Miller JA. Mechanical Low Back Pain. Am Fam Physician. 2018 Oct 1;98(7):421-428. PMID: 30252425.

    https://www.aafp.org/pubs/afp/issues/2018/1001/p421.html

  • Knezevic NN, Candido KD, Vlaeyen JWS, Van Zundert J, Cohen SP. Low back pain. Lancet. 2021 Jul 3;398(10294):78-92. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(21)00733-9. Epub 2021 Jun 8. PMID: 34115979.

    https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(21)00733-9/fulltext

  • Urits I, Burshtein A, Sharma M, Testa L, Gold PA, Orhurhu V, Viswanath O, Jones MR, Sidransky MA, Spektor B, Kaye AD. Low Back Pain, a Comprehensive Review: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, and Treatment. Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2019 Mar 11;23(3):23. doi: 10.1007/s11916-019-0757-1. PMID: 30854609.

    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11916-019-0757-1

  • Delitto A, George SZ, Van Dillen L, Whitman JM, Sowa G, Shekelle P, Denninger TR, Godges JJ; Orthopaedic Section of the American Physical Therapy Association. Low back pain. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2012 Apr;42(4):A1-57. doi: 10.2519/jospt.2012.42.4.A1. Epub 2012 Mar 30. PMID: 22466247; PMCID: PMC4893951.

    https://www.jospt.org/doi/10.2519/jospt.2012.42.4.A1

  • Patrick N, Emanski E, Knaub MA. Acute and chronic low back pain. Med Clin North Am. 2014 Jul;98(4):777-89, xii. doi: 10.1016/j.mcna.2014.03.005. PMID: 24994051.

    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0025712514000443?via%3Dihub

Reviewed By:

Tomohiro Hamahata

Tomohiro Hamahata, MD (Orthopedic surgery)

From our team of 50+ doctors

Just 3 minutes.
Developed by doctors.

Ubie is supervised by 50+ medical experts worldwide

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