Lower back pain is a common concern, affecting up to 90% of Americans at some point in their lifetime. Up to 50% will have more than one episode. Low back pain is not a specific disease. Rather, it is a symptom that may occur from a variety of different processes. In up to 85% of people with low back pain, despite a thorough medical examination, no specific cause of the pain can be identified. Low back pain is second only to the common cold as a cause of lost days at work. It is also one of the most common reasons to visit a doctor’s office of hospital emergency room. Doctors usually refer to back pain as acute, if it has been present for less than a month and chronic if it lasts for a longer period of time. Back pain is a common complaint, four out of five people in the United States will experience low back pain at least once during their lives. Though back pain may seem to go away in a month or two, the real problem still exist as the body posture changes. The most severe problem with the back pain is sciatica.
Sciatica is a common type of pain affecting the sciatic nerve.
Common symptoms of sciatica include: Pain in the rear or leg that is worse when sitting, a burning or tingling down the leg, weakness, numbness, or difficulty moving the leg or foot. A constant pain on one side of the buttock, a shooting pain that makes it difficult to stand up. Sciatica usually affects only one side of the lower body, often, the pain extends from the lower back all the way through the back of the thigh and down through the leg. Depending on where the sciatic nerve is affected, the pain may also extend to the foot or toes. For some people, the pain from sciatica can be severe and debilitating, for others, the pain from sciatica might be infrequent and irritating, but has the potential to get worse.
Treatment for back pain
The best way to treat back pain is to first “correctly and specifically” identify its cause. The cause of back pain is normally the bodies attempt to level the hips or head. Therefore a competent evaluation by a medical massage therapist must be the first step. X-rays and MRI scans can show the results of postural misalignment but a qualified medical massage therapist can find and correct the cause.