Doctor's Notes on Low Back Pain
Low back pain is pain usually located in the lumbar section of the spine; it is a symptom that may occur from many different processes. Is frequently intermittent and 85% of people with it will have no specific cause identified. Besides pain, other symptoms and signs of low back pain include
- radiating of pain down the front,
- side or back of your leg and may become worse with activity.
- Numbness and/or
- weakness of a leg may accompany the pain symptoms.
Common causes of low back pain include
- disease (for example, shingles, but infections, fibromyalgia, spondylitis) or
- injury to the muscles,
- bones, and/or
- nerves in the lumbar spine that damage or compress nerves.
A common cause compression or nerve injury is a herniated lumbar disc that pinches or compresses a nerve that extends to your leg.
- Spinal stenosis can cause back pain and pain down both legs.
- Cauda equina syndrome, where the lower spinal cord is compressed, beside pain production, can produce signs and symptoms of possible loss of sensation and/or the inability to control bowel and bladder functions. The syndrome is a medical emergency.
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What Is the Best Treatment for Spinal Stenosis?Spinal stenosis is treated with medications, lifestyle options, and surgery. Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spaces in the spinal canal, which is the space that contains the vertebrae, spinal cord, spinal discs, nerves, and other tissues. The narrowing is typically caused by arthritis or injury.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.