What is back pain?
December 20, 2006 1:23am CST
Back pain can occur anywhere along the spine, but the most common site is the lower back or lumbar region. The lower part of the back bears the weight of the upper body plus any weight you are carrying, and it also twists and bends more than the upper back. Back pain may be acute or chronic. Most cases of back pain are acute i.e. the pain starts suddenly and intensely, and usually lasts a short time (less than a month). Acute back pain is not usually caused by a serious medical condition, and most cases resolve within a few days without treatment. Recurrence is common, however. Repeated episodes may eventually lead to chronic back pain. Chronic back pain persists beyond three months, and even slight movements can trigger it. Chronic pain is usually more intractable than acute pain, and often requires specialist advice.