Factors and Diagnosis

 The following factors are linked to a higher risk of developing low back pain:A mentally stressful job,Pregnancy – pregnant women are much more likely to get back pain,A sedentary lifestyle,Age – older adults are more susceptible than young adults or children,Anxiety,Depression,Gender – back pain is more common among females than males,Obesity/overweight,Smoking,Strenuous physical exercise (especially if not done properly),Strenuous physical work.

Diagnosing back pain:Most GPs (general practitioners, primary care physicians) will be able to diagnose back pain after carrying out a physical examination, and interviewing the patient. In the majority of cases imaging scans are not required.
If the doctor and/or patient suspect some injury to the back, tests may be ordered. Also, if the doctor suspects the back pain might be due to a mentioned cause, or if the pain persists for too long, further tests may be recommended.

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Back Pain and Surgery

Depending on the diagnosis, surgery may either be the first treatment of choice – although this is rare – or it is reserved for chronic back pain for which other treatments have failed. If you are in constant pain or if pain reoccurs frequently and interferes with your ability to sleep, to function at your job, or to perform daily activities, you may be a candidate for surgery.

In general, there are two groups of people who may require surgery to treat their spinal problems. People in the first group have chronic low back pain and sciatica, and they are often diagnosed with a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, or vertebral fractures with nerve involvement. People in the second group are those with only predominant low back pain (without leg pain). These are people with discogenic low back pain (degenerative disc disease), in which discs wear with age. Usually, the outcome of spine surgery is much more predictable in people with sciatica than in those with predominant low back pain.

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