Almost every man will experience lower back pain at some point in his life. It occurs most often between the ages of 30 and 50 and is the number one reason adults under age 45 miss work. If you experience pain of the lower back, you may think you have to live with it, but treatment may help get you back to normal.

Causes vary

Men often say work or sports-related injuries are the cause of their lower back pain. Many a "weekend warrior" has hurt his back by overexerting himself during occasional exercise. This type of pain is most often caused by a sprain or strain. These injuries occur when the ligaments or muscles of the back, which become less flexible as we age or become more sedentary, are overworked. Pain also comes from normal wear and tear on the body, decreased bone mass, or disk problems.

While you cannot completely avoid the aging process, you can reduce its effect on your back by getting regular exercise, lifting and moving objects correctly, avoiding smoking, eating well and maintaining a proper weight.

Treatment and relief

Most cases of lower back pain are not serious and your doctor can usually diagnose and treat it in the office. He or she may first prescribe muscle relaxants and a brief period of rest, followed by light activity, which can aid recovery and healing.

If pain does not respond to treatment, you may need imaging tests such as an X-ray to determine if the cause of your pain is due to arthritis or another bone disease. Other diagnostic tests are used to determine if your pain is caused by a problem with soft tissue. Your doctor may also suggest physical rehabilitation to increase flexibility and muscle strength.

In most cases, surgery is not needed. Some cases that may require surgery include disk problems or severe arthritis. Many who are suffering from lower back pain assume that there is no cure and wait too long to see a doctor. If your back is aching, please don't wait.

To find a doctor, call Riverside Community Hospital at (951) 788-3463, and you'll be back on track before you know it.