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Low Back Pain, the single leading cause of disability, preventing many people from engaging in work as well as other everyday activities.

What is causing it?
There are many potential reasons behind lumbar pain, and similar to pain in the thoracic spine- we have to be certain if those causes are from serious pathology or musculoskeletal causes.

Here are common MSK causes of Low Back pain I see in clinic:
● Disc Injury- Protrusion or prolapse
● Nerve Root Impingement- eg Sciatica
● Spinal Canal Narrowing 
● Muscle Strain
● Ligament Sprain
● Spinal Changes- eg Scoliosis
● Osteoarthritis
● Rhematoid Arthritis 
● Sacroiliac joint dysfunction

● Pain- Described as ache/stiffness
● Burning
● Pins and Needles 
● Weakness
● Numbness
● Pain on coughing/ Sneezing
● Difficulty bending forward/ twisting or arching back

When a patient is experiencing low back pain, we have a duty of care to distinguish whether these symptoms are from an MSK cause or something more serious.

Below are classed as “Red flags” in back pain, indicating systemic causes:
● Unexplained weight loss
● Constant pain with no ease
● Recent serious illness/infection
● Loss of bladder/ bowel or sexual function
● Numbness around inner thigh area
● Weakness, Numbness or pins and needles in Legs
● Spinal deformity from injury
● Fever/ Chills/ Abdomen pain

Possible cause behind these symptoms:
● Cancer
● Bone Infection
● Abdominal aneurysm
● Reactive Arthritis 
● Ectopic Pregnancy/ Miscarriage
● Spinal cord lesion
● Spinal fracture
● Kidney Stones
● Autoimmune Disease

If you are experiencing any symptoms mentioned above, please seek medical advice.

Lumbar pain (Low Back): Resources
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