Lumbago is the medical term used to describe lower back pain.1 The pain may range from mild to severe in intensity. It may be acute in which the individual will have sudden onset of severe low back pain after doing any strenuous activity or after having a bad fall on the back or it can be chronic which is usually caused due to an underlying medical condition like a bulging or a herniated disc.
While acute form of Lumbago can affect anyone, the chronic form is generally seen in individuals above the age of 50. An episode of an acute form of Lumbago may be triggered by a coughing fit, an episode of sneezing, or bending down to pick something up. Individuals with poor sitting posture are also at risk to develop Lumbago. Osteoarthritis and spondylolisthesis of the lumbar spine are also believed to be some of the causes of Lumbago.2 In rare cases, a tumor in the spinal canal can also result in episodes of Lumbago.
Is Lumbago Serious & How Long Does Lumbago Last?
The answer to this question is no. Lumbago in majority of the cases does not cause any symptoms which may require immediate medical attention. In very rare situations where the affected individual has bowel or bladder dysfunction along with back pain along with numbness in the lower extremities, poor strength in the lower extremities with alteration of reflexes, is when immediate medical attention is required as this may be a sign of an underlying medical condition like a spinal tumor or a severe case of herniated disc which may be compressing the nerve roots.2 This is when Lumbago may be considered as serious. Other than this, Lumbago is not considered to be a serious medical condition.
Coming to how long Lumbago lasts, this depends on the type of condition and the underlying cause. The acute form of Lumbago usually last for a period of about a month to six weeks and then starts to fade away with complete resolution of symptoms within six weeks.
A subacute form of Lumbago may last anywhere between two to three months and then the symptoms start to resolve. Chronic form of lumbago is a condition which can linger on for a significant period of time. It usually goes on for months unabated and normally requires medical attention and use of medications and modification of activities to calm down the symptoms of Lumbago.
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