Lower back pain is a serious issue faced by many individuals in the United States. Low back pain is the fifth most common reason for all physician visits, and is the second most common symptomatic reason (upper respiratory symptoms are first). As these patients are attempting to find a solution for their low back pain they are likely to have to pay medical bills and have decreased productivity at work. The estimated annual national bill for the care of low back problems is $38 to $50 billion. Low back pain can be a symptom of a wide array of mechanical and nonmechanical conditions. The mechanical conditions typically include muscular or ligament strains/sprains as well as degenerative disk disease, spondylolysis, spondylolisthesis, or osteoporosis. Radiculopathy is another large contributor to low back pain and is often identifiable as a sciatica, herniated intervertebral disk, as well as fractures, tumors, infection, or a vascular compromise. Nonmechanical spine disorders are less common but include neoplasia, infection of the low back, and inflammatory arthritis. Low back pain is located, managed, and treated by family practice providers, internists, neurologists, rheumatologists, radiologists, emergency physicians, and orthopedic and neurological surgeons. Nonallopathic providers of back care include osteopathic physicians, chiropractors, physical therapists, acupuncturists, and massage therapists.
Author 1: Braden Stoeger ,UWSP Biology Major
Author 2: Kunal Patel, MD
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