Low back pain (LBP) or painful low back is just what it sounds like: pain in the low spine and/or lower back region. The low back consists of muscle, nerve, bone and connecting tissues. The spine includes the spinal cord (the main nerve cable between the brain and the rest of the body), its bony protection (the vertebral bones or vertebrae), and the ligaments and muscles that hold everything in place. The low back also includes the large back and buttock muscles, plus the pelvic bones.
Low back pain may feel a number of ways: sore, tight, or sharp sensations are common. Clear causes are hard to identify because so many factors contribute to low back pain: external factors like overuse or exertion, and/or internal factors like genetic weakness of certain tissues, may determine how back pain evolves. Common causes also vary by age. LBP is relatively rare in the very young, whereas injury dominates middle age, and degeneration (arthritis) manifests with more advanced age.
Low back pain is the second most frequent reason to visit a physician for a chronic condition. [1,2,3,4] Chronic low back pain is the most common cause of disability in Americans younger than 45 years.
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