What is lower back pain?

Lower back pain is a common musculoskeletal symptom that may be either acute or chronic.

It may be caused by a variety of conditions and is defined as pain experienced between the twelfth thoracic vertebra (where your ribcage ends) and the gluteal folds (bottom of the buttock).

Lower back pain could also, in some cases, be accompanied by referred pain down the legs.

Acute pain in the lower back that does not extend to the leg is most commonly caused by a sprain or muscle tear, usually occurring within 24 hours of heavy lifting or overuse of the back muscles. The pain is usually localised, and there may be muscle spasms or soreness.

Chronic lower back pain could be due to various causes, including obesity, pregnancy, or job-related stooping or bending, to name but a few.

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