Low back pain is a common and disabling problem in the community. It is the second most common reason for a patient to seek medical attention, and has a high rate of recurrence over the life of the individual patient. In some cases it is not possible to identify the exact cause of back pain however in a significant number of patients there is a specific cause or “pain generator” that is potentially treatable using specialist interventions. For that reason it is important that patients with low back pain are assessed by a pain medicine specialist with experience and knowledge of the diagnostic and therapeutic interventions that are available for the treatment of back pain in conjunction with a comprehensive management plan.
There are several causes of low back pain. The most common include:
Additional contributors to back pain include inappropriate muscle hypertonicity and abnormal patterns of muscle activation, cluneal neuropathy and an overlay of compounding central sensitization. Importantly, the causes can be multiple in any one individual. With advancing age, the likelihood of multifactorial back pain increases.
- RACGP Article: Low back pain: Can we mitigate the inadvertent psycho-behavioural harms of spinal imaging?
- RACGP: Approach to low back pain: physiotherapy
- Low Back Pain: Myths vs. Facts | Sid Anandkumar | TEDxChilliwack
- Back Pain and Your Brain: William S. Marras at TEDxOhioStateUniversity
- Why we develop back pain | Amy Selinger | TEDxUniversityofNevada
- The Neuroscience of Pain: Translating Science to the Patient