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2 MINUTES ON... Lower back pain.

Byline: DR MIRIAM STOPPARD

More working days are lost to lower back pain than to any other medical condition - it affects about three in every five adults.

Low back pain occurs in the back below the waist and it may be sudden and sharp or persistent and dull. It may radiate down to the buttock and then down the back of the leg to the sole of the foot. This is known as sciatica.

In most cases, low back pain lasts for only a week or so, but many people find the problem recurs unless they alter their lifestyle. In a minority of people, persistent low back pain causes chronic disability.

Low back pain is usually caused by minor damage to the ligaments and muscles in the back due to a minor injury (e.g. a twist), overexertion or the natural ageing process of the spine, which makes it prone to strains and slow to heal.

The lower back is vulnerable to these problems because it supports much of the body's weight and is under continual stress from movement and bad posture.

Less commonly, lower back pain may be due to an underlying disorder such as a prolapsed or slipped disc in the spine.

In most cases you can treat low back pain yourself with over-thecounter anti-inflammatory drugs and a hot water bottle.

Research shows your back will get better more quickly, in fact, if you don't rest.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 2, 2015
Words:238
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