Most people will experience an episode of low back pain at some point in their life

Low back pain is a condition that affects most people at some point in their life. Despite the intense pain that is often experienced, the good news is that the condition is rarely related to a serious problem.

There are many thoughts as to what causes low back pain. Conditions such as a herniated disc, muscle strains, postural deficits, among others have all been implicated in the onset of low back pain. The fact is, despite all of the medical technology at our disposal, the true cause of low back pain is still an enigma.

Here we outline some of the broad categories of low back pain and the symptoms associated with each.

Causes of Low Pack Pain

The purpose of this article is to provide you with a framework of what we know about low back pain and to provide a foundation from which better questions can be asked. Keep in mind that, while these views are the consensus views of much of the scientific community, they, in no way, represent a definitive position on the matter. Instead, they formulate a logical explanation of the origin of low back pain based on the observation of tens of thousands of patients.

With that in mind, the first step to understanding low back pain is understanding that back pain describes a symptom and not a disease. The reality of this statement perplexes doctors everyday because the second leading reason for a person seeking medical attention is low back pain. And, with low back pain not being a treatable disease, coupled with the poor understanding of the origin of low back pain, and the fact that many of the problems associated with low back pain stem from outside the spine, management of the condition becomes difficult at best.

To assist patients, physicians, and other health care providers with a better understanding of low back pain, I have divided back pain into 5 categories: psychogenic, viscerogenic, neurogenic, vascular, and spondylogenic. A review of each of these entities follows.

Psychogenic Back Pain
Although rare in the truest sense of the word, many times a definitive, organic reason for a person’s back pain cannot be established. As a result, significant emotional overtones based on confusion and cloudiness of the f