16 Facts About Back pain


Back pain is common; approximately nine of ten adults experiencing it at some point in their lives, and five of ten working adults experience back pain each year.

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Approximately 90 percent of people with back pain are diagnosed with nonspecific, idiopathic acute pain with no identifiable underlying pathology.

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Common infectious causes of back pain include osteomyelitis, septic discitis, paraspinal abscess and epidural abscess.

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Common types of cancer that present with back pain include multiple myeloma, lymphoma, leukemia, spinal cord tumors, primary vertebral tumors and prostate cancer.

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The Back pain can be associated with systemic symptoms such as weight loss, chills, fever, nausea and vomiting.

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Unlike other causes of back pain, neoplasm-associated back pain is constant, dull, poorly localized and worsens with rest.

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Disease processes that can present with back pain include pancreatitis, kidney stones, severe urinary tract infections and abdominal aortic aneurysms.

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Important characterizing features of back pain include location, duration, severity, history of prior back pain and possible trauma.

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Non-radicular back pain is most commonly caused by injury to the spinal muscles or ligaments, degenerative spinal disease or a herniated disc.

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Patients with uncomplicated back pain should be encouraged to remain active and to return to normal activities.

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Management goals when treating back pain are to achieve maximal reduction in pain intensity as rapidly as possible, to restore the individual's ability to function in everyday activities, to help the patient cope with residual pain, to assess for side effects of therapy and to facilitate the patient's passage through the legal and socioeconomic impediments to recovery.

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Back pain is generally first treated with nonpharmacological therapy, as it typically resolves without the use of medication.

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Surgery for back pain is typically used as a last resort, when serious neurological deficit is evident.

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Total disc replacement can be performed, in which the source of the Back pain is removed and replaced, while maintaining spinal mobility.

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Back pain typically begins at approximately 18 weeks of gestation and peaks between 24 and 36 weeks.

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Biomechanical factors of pregnancy shown to be associated with back pain include increased curvature of the lower back, or lumbar lordosis, to support the added weight on the abdomen.

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