Lower back pain is seen to affect people of all ages, not just the old. With the lifestyle changes, and sedentary work culture we've adopted, lower back pain seems to be more prevalent than ever. The lower back is extremely vulnerable because it is the fulcrum between the upper and lower body. Lack of muscle strength and suppleness in the vertebrae, can cause strain in the lower back. In fact, the number of back pain remedies being marketed today, are an indication how this problem is invading our lives, like never before.

The lower back pain experienced can be of two types: acute and chronic. Acute lower back pain strikes suddenly, usually because of damaged muscles, ligaments, and tendons in the lower back. In severe cases, one or more vertebrae sustain injury and spearhead lower back pain. The event of origin is usually an accident, an attempt to lift something too heavy, or a slip and fall incident. Anything that puts unaccustomed strain on the lower back can result in an injury that causes acute lower back pain.
In most cases, it is possible to treat acute lower back pain with over-the-counter remedies. These include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin and ibuprofen. Chiropractic manipulation, physical therapy and/or exercise, massage, and acupuncture are usually also helpful in providing pain relief.

Chronic lower back pain on the other hand sets in gradually, increasing in intensity over a long period of time. Chronic back pain is far more serious than trauma-induced acute lower back pain, since the causes can include degenerative arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, degenerative disc disease, spinal disc herniation, or even cancer. In some cases, a difference in the length of a patient's legs can also cause chronic lower back pain.

Once a diagnosis via X-ray or MRI confirms chronic lower back pain, surgery is often the only viable option available. When degenerative problems are the cause, the doctor must address treating the disease, while providing pain relief measures in the interim. In cases where leg length difference causes lower back pain, using shoe inserts or building up the shoe heel can solve the problem.

If a sedentary lifestyle devoid of sufficient movement causes chronic lower back pain, the patient must obviously adopt healthier living habits. Stretching, walking, and other physical exercises that strengthen the back should be carried out throughout the day. Yoga is also very helpful in cases where the spine has lost its natural range of motion and flexibility. Sometimes, correcting one's posture can bring about long-lasting relief. Using an ergonomically designed office chair has also helped many achieve relief from the pain. Lower back pain can be extremely debilitating, so those who notice its onset should not take it lightly, and seek medical attention as soon as possible.
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