The causes of back pain are nearly as numerous as terms used to describe the symptoms. Back pain is a primary reason people seek medical and chiropractic attention. Considering that almost 80% of the adult population will encounter some form of back pain, it could be said that back pain is a universal epidemic. Back pain recognizes no age, economic, or ethnic barriers.
ACUTE - CHRONIC - EPISODIC
Typically back pain originates in the neck (cervical), mid back (thoracic), low back (lumbar), or a combination such as 'thoracolumbar pain'. Depending on the source of the pain, certain types of pain may be indicative of disease or a particular disorder.
Pain may be described as sudden, sharp, persistent, or dull. Symptoms may be localized to a specific area of the back (e.g. neck) or may radiate into the shoulders, arms, low back, buttocks, legs, and even the feet. Sometimes pain is accompanied by neurologic symptoms such as numbness, tingling, or weakness.
Back pain is either acute or chronic. Acute pain may begin suddenly with intense pain usually lasting a short period of time. Chronic pain is persistent long-term pain, sometimes lasting throughout life. Even chronic pain may present episodes of acute pain