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Two Common Types of Lower Back Pain

Mechanical pain. By far the most common cause of lower back pain, the source of mechanical pain is primarily the muscles, ligaments, joints, or bones in and around the spine. It tends to be localized to the lower back, buttocks, and sometimes the top of the legs. It may feel different based on your motion (forward/ backward/twisting), activity, standing, sitting, or resting. Generally, mechanical pain is dull or achy.3

Radiating pain. This type of pain can occur if a spinal nerve root is interfered with or becomes inflamed. It may radiate down into the leg and/or buttock. Its sensation is a sharp, electric, burning-type pain and can be associated with numbness or weakness known as sciatica, and is typically felt on only one side of your body.3

Low back pain can range from mildly annoying to debilitating. It can start suddenly, or begin slowly and progress over time.3

Acute back pain

Typically comes on suddenly and lasts for a few days or weeks, and is considered a normal response of your body to injury or tissue damage. The pain gradually subsides as your body heals.

Subacute back pain

Usually mechanical (such as a muscle strain or joint pain) but lasts between 6 weeks and 3 months.

Chronic back pain

Usually defined as lower back pain that lasts over 3 months, this type of pain is normally severe and does not respond to initial treatments.

3. Peloza, John, MD. Lower Back Pain Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment viewed at https://www.spine-health.com/conditions/lower-back-pain/lower-back-pain-symptoms-diagnosis-and-treatment Accessed April 21, 2018