Lower back Pain: what you need to KNOW


Doctors usually call lower back pain Lumbalgia. “Lumbalgia” derives from the Latin word “Lumbaris” referring to the lower or loin region of the body and “algia” is from the Greek word “algos” for pain. It is very common and approximately 85% of cases do not have specific cause. Less frequently herniated disc or degenerative spine disease can cause back pain.



You can see a doctor especially when the pain increases with time with or without neurologic symptoms like weakness of leg. During physical examination,doctors look for red flags in the clinical history and physical examination. Up to 90% of patients with low back pain will improve in one month even without treatment.

Complementary exams may include:

– X-ray: not generally recommended for routine check-up. It maybe a starting point for further study – CT scan: cheaper and faster than the later but miss some diagnosis

– MRI scan: most advantageous for evaluating lumbar pain.


  1. Understand that it is just a back pain and it will decrease.
  2. Psychological stress can produce low back pain and should be decreased through rest, activity modification and exercise: walking,  bicycling and other low-stress exercise.
  3. Painkillers like Paracetamol, Ibuprofen, Novalgin etc. can be sufficient to ameliorate it.
  4. Muscle relaxants are not more effective than painkillers neither do muscle contractions been proven to cause pain.
  5. Surgery is reserved in selected cases, which are less than 10% of the patients.
You can meet a nearby doctor for more information.
Lower back Pain: what you need to KNOW was written by Dr, Nnamdi Elenwoke.
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