What Is Lower Back Pain & What Causes It?

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How do you know when you should seek medical attention?

The vast majority of low back pain in our population can be attributed to mechanical low back pain. Mechanical low back pain may be defined as pain secondary to overuse of a normal anatomic structure (muscle strain) or pain secondary to injury or deformity of an anatomic structure.

There are many different generators of low back pain.

It can come from a sedentary lifestyle or an injury sustained at the gym.

It is also important to be aware of certain “Red Flag” symptoms that could indicate a more serious underlying issue. In the case of low back pain, there are several Red Flag symptoms you should be aware of when managing your own care as they warrant further investigation from a medical professional.

If your low back pain consists of any or all of the following symptoms, please seek a professional medical opinion regarding your case.

Although the presence these symptoms does not guarantee a more serious issue at play, it indicates the potential for malicious pathology such as tumours, infections and other visceral pathologies, and should not be ignored.

Below are some signs that your low back pain may require immediate medical attention:

  • Severe and sudden onset without an obvious cause. Even more serious if abdominal pain is associated with the sudden onset
  • Change in bowel or bladder function

  • Numbness throughout your entire groin region; also known as saddle paresthesia (imagine the region of your groin that would be in contact with a horse saddle)

  • History of fever or chills at the onset or around the onset of your low back pain

  • Any sign of unexplained weight loss 

  • No position of relief.

Please note - often patients come into our office believing they have no position of relief until we find it upon examination.

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