Back Pain/Introduction

Lower Back pain is a major problem in modern society. It affects almost all of us at some time in our lives and frequently leads to pain, distress and time away from work.

The problems with the lower back can be compounded by the fact that almost every specialist or therapist you see will offer a different reason for your symptoms. They often also suggest a different treatment. So who do you believe? Whose treatment tips can you trust?

Do you have a lower back problem? Have you had it previously? What about friends or relatives, do they suffer from pain in the lower back?

If you can honestly answer no to all of these questions then you are quite an unusual person. Lower back problems are very common. In times gone by they were regarded as one of lives "fleeting ills" and was so widespread as to not even be regarded as an illness needing treatment. Little has changed. In 1993 nearly seventeen million people in Britain experienced backpain or lower backache. Recent estimates state that up to six million people in the USA will be experiencing lower-back symptoms at any given time. More than six out of every ten of us will suffer from it at some time during our lives. In one year the UK government spends two thousand million pounds on paying benefits to people with backache and the UK National Health Service spends another five hundred million pounds on their treatment.

New research shows that half of all lower back attacks take more than four weeks to completely go away. Treatment speeds things up but many back-pain sufferers don't seek treatment early enough. One person in twenty will have trouble that goes on for years - whether they get treatment or not.

That's the bad news!

But don't despair! There is some good news too. Simple first aid treatment measures and early hands-on treatment will get most sufferers fit within a fortnight. Many are better even sooner. If you follow sensible treatment advice at an early stage then you have nothing to fear from your lower back. The pages of this website aim to provide exactly the sort of treatment advice that you need.

If you are in lower lumbar pain as you read this then it is likely that you will be feeling a range of different emotions. Frustration, anger, puzzlement and maybe even fear. Often these feelings come about because of a lack of factual knowledge. What is wrong with my lower back? Why has this happened to me? Do I need to stay in bed or is it safe to work? Have I got a serious illness, will I become a cripple? How do I find treatment?

These questions go through the minds of many people with lower back pain. The answers are all on these pages. Sometimes knowing the answers is all that is needed to get rid of the negative thoughts and emotions that can slow down recovery if they persist.

Never allow yourself to get too depressed or worried if you suffer from a back problem. There is always treatment help at hand. In some cases this book will provide it. In others you will be pointed in the direction of help. Remember - DON'T PANIC.

Author: Dr Gordon Cameron

Medical Disclaimer


Wikibooks contains books on many medical topics; however, no warranty whatsoever is made that any of the books are accurate. There is absolutely no assurance that any statement contained or cited in a book touching on medical matters is true, correct, precise, or up-to-date. The overwhelming majority of such books are written, in part or in whole, by nonprofessionals. Even if a statement made about medicine is accurate, it may not apply to you or your symptoms.

The medical information provided on Wikibooks is, at best, of a general nature and cannot substitute for the advice of a medical professional (for instance, a qualified doctor/physician, nurse, pharmacist/chemist, and so on). Wikibooks is not a doctor.

None of the individual contributors, system operators, developers, sponsors of Wikibooks nor anyone else connected to Wikibooks can take any responsibility for the results or consequences of any attempt to use or adopt any of the information presented on this web site.

Nothing on or included as part of any project of Wikimedia Foundation Inc., should be construed as an attempt to offer or render a medical opinion or otherwise engage in the practice of medicine.