Lumbago is a general term for pain in the lower back, which is a very common problem in the United Kingdom. Lumbago can have a number of causes, ranging from non-specific causes such as soft tissue sprains, muscle strains, muscular tension and minor injuries to everyday activities e.g. bending awkwardly, lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling incorrectly, slouching in chairs and car seats again resulting in soft tissue strains and sprains. Other common causes are arthritis, infection, bony fracture or partial dislocation from injury or osteoporosis, poor posture and obesity. A more serious cause can be intervertebral disc rupture (slipped disc) where the contents of the disc press on the sciatic nerve roots creating sciatica like symptoms.

Generally, in most cases of back pain the back will heal itself and staying active is important. Lumbago usually lasts from a few days up to six weeks. Where there are severe and persistent cases of lumbago medical advice must be sought to reach a correct diagnosis and the appropriate treatment given.

Treatment for lumbago usually depends on the underlying cause of the condition but symptoms can generally be managed with staying active, systemic painkilling therapy, topical pain killing therapy, adopting a good posture, achieving rest and structured exercising.

This information is for general educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a healthcare professional. The information should not be relied upon to make decisions about your health. Always consult your family doctor or pharmacist about your individual circumstances.

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