Lumbago is defined as mild to severe pain or discomfort in the area of the lower back. The backache can be acute (sudden and severe) or chronic if it has lasted more than three months. Lumbago often occurs in younger people whose work involves physical effort and is not uncommon in people of retirement age.
What causes lumbago or backache?
In the majority of cases, it is impossible to identify the exact cause of backache. In about 25 per cent of cases, however, it is possible to identify the cause. Often, these patients are suffering from conditions like a slipped disc, osteoporosis (brittle bones), deformation of natural spine curvature (scoliosis) or more rarely, skeletal damage due to tumours or infection.
What are the symptoms of lumbago?
- Pain across the lower part of the back that sometimes radiates into the buttocks, the back of the thigh or to the groin. The pain is usually worse on movement.
- Limitation in movement of the spine - especially bending forward and leaning back.
- Tense spasm of the muscles surrounding the spine and causing a stiff back.
- With severe pain and spasm, the back may tilt to one side causing a change in posture.
- The pain is sometimes accompanied by a tingling sensation or numbness in the back or buttocks or leg.