What is low back pain? | Dr. Andrew Cash, MD Las Vegas, Nevada

By Brooke Strickland and Andrew Cash, MD

If you’ve lived with or experienced low back pain, you know how painful and truly miserable it can make you feel.  Unfortunately, lower back pain is very common and the second most-common reason why people visit a doctor.  The lower back is made up of an intricate number of tendons, ligaments, muscles, tissues, joints, and tissues, so when your back starts hurting, it may be difficult for you to pinpoint exactly is happening in there.  But, you shouldn’t just start popping the pain pills and learn how to live with chronic pain. There are ways to find out what’s wrong, treat it, and ways to prevent it from occurring again. 

What causes low back pain?

Whether you have severe lower back pain, or just moderate pain, there are a variety of things that can cause pain to start happening.  Some of the causes could be muscle strain, herniated disc(s), degenerative disc disease, tissue strains, or joint degeneration.  It’s important to see a doctor if you’re experiencing low back pain and make sure that it is actually related to a spinal problem and not another type of issue caused by another part of your body. 

What are the symptoms of low back pain?

Symptoms can vary, depending on the level of injury or condition present.  Some lower back pain symptoms include:

  • Difficulty moving, including difficulty walking or standing
  • Pain that does not radiate down the leg or pain that moves around the groin, buttock, or upper thigh
  • Burning or tingling pain
  • Pain that is dull and achy
  • Muscle spasm
  • Weakness or numbness in the limbs
  • Soreness upon touch

It’s important to remember that you can help prevent injuries to your back as well.  Treat it with care – lifting heavy items incorrectly can cause damage.  In addition, obesity can cause unnecessary stress on your spine and limbs, so staying active, eating well, and exercising regularly is an important way to keep your back – and body as a whole – healthy.    If you do hurt your back, don’t continue to overdo it.  Rest up, apply ice or heat as necessary, or get a massage.  Most importantly, if you are experiencing chronic pain, either severe or moderate, make an appointment to get yourself checked out.  It’s important to find out what’s causing the pain and how it needs to be treated.  Your spine is worth it. 

Contact Dr. Cash at Desert Institute of Spine Care for an appointment at: http://www.disclv.com

You can also view Dr. Cash's Verified Reviews® at www.medrounds.org/Dr_Andrew_Cash or his personal page at www.andrew-cash-md.com.