Condition: Spine Pain

Pain in the lower back (or lumbago) or neck is the second most common neurological problem, the only thing more common being headaches. Affecting almost 70% of people in the United States at some point during their lifetime, it is the leading source of job-related disability. Such pain is normally given one of three classifications based on how long the symptoms last: acute (less than 4 weeks), sub acute (4 to 12 weeks), or chronic (more than 12 weeks).

Back pain

Low back pain is most common in those between the ages of 35 and 55. While it can be difficult to determine the root cause of back pain, most people recover completely from acute pain within a matter of six to eight weeks. The most common causes of back pain involve a strain of a muscle brought on by its use in a way that the body is not accustomed to, often while doing physically demanding work involving bending, twisting, or lifting.

Pain in the spine often involves one of the following distinct components:

  • the bony lumbar spine (perhaps a compression fracture);
  • the discs between the vertebrae (perhaps a "slipped disc");
  • the nerves along the spinal cord (perhaps a "pinched nerve");
  • the muscles in the lower back;
  • the ligaments around the spine and discs;
  • internal organs of the pelvis and abdomen;
  • the skin covering the lumbar region;