Lower back pain is an extremely common condition. It affects about 10-14% of 30-64 year olds.3 Many back problems commence in the 15–34 year age range.3 Roughly 1.8 million Australians suffer with back pain.1 It has been estimated that 70–90% of people suffer from lower back pain in some form at some point in their lives.2 Although the underlying pathology of lower back pain is usually not serious, it is an important cause of pain in the community and has considerable impact on the economy because it is a significant cause of disability and lost productivity.1Lower back and pelvic pain are common problems in pregnancy, when the use of medications is a risk.4
Causes of Lower Back Pain
The most common causes of back pain that we see at Acu-ease are the result of irritation or poor function of the bones, joints, connective tissue, muscles and nerves of your back1. Such irritation can be the result of vertebral dysfunction, a common condition that occurs when the spinal vertebrae compress or irritate the delicate nerve structures of your lower back.2
Other causes of lower back pain include inflammatory arthritis (e.g. ankylosing spondylitis, Rheumatoid arthritis) and fractures due to osteoporosis. Lower back pain may also be ‘referred’ from another location.2
Less common conditions causing low back pain include cancer (usually from another source, such as the prostate or lung), serious infections and compression of the spinal cord.2 If cancer is suspected you will be referred to your Medical Practitioner for further assessment and treatment.
Assessment of Lower Back Pain
After conducting a thorough history and musculoskeletal examination, your Registered Acupuncturist at Acu-ease will discuss treatment aims and options with you. Imaging investigations, such as X-ray, CT or MRI, may also be required to accurately assess your low back pain. If required, you will be referred to your GP for these.