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What is Lumbago: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment Options

What is Lumbago: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment Options

There may be days when you have sharp, abrupt aches or a persistent, all-over aching. Regardless of your age, you can suffer from muscular soreness due to a strange posture you have remained in for a long time. There can be several other causes of such pain. Now, a pain originating from the lower back is referred to as “lumbago”. Are you wondering “what is lumbago?”. Read on till the end to learn more about the condition and available treatments. 

What is Lumbago?

Lumbago is the term used to describe a condition when a person experiences lower back aches. While going about your daily business, this pain might be quite inconvenient. Back pain of this nature might come on suddenly or severely. Your back discomfort may be persistent if it persists for longer than three months. This type of illness affects the majority of individuals, and the elderly are most frequently affected. Although the specific aetiology of lumbago is unknown, frequent reasons include age, injury, excessive work, etc.

What are the symptoms of Lumbago?

The symptoms of lumbago are as follows:

  • A tingling or numbing sensation in the legs and hips.
  • Sudden, often severe pain, in the lower back region.
  • Stiff muscles, in the back and hip region.
  • Bending forward or backward becomes difficult due to pain.

What causes  Lumbago?

People often ask “what is the cause of lumbago?”. It might be challenging to identify a single cause of lumbago because it frequently results from a mix of conditions. The most frequent cause is having bad posture for a long time period. Strain from overload or lifting often causes muscle injury. Spinal arthritis (spondylosis), osteoarthritis, slipped discs, and osteoporosis are other major causes of lumbago. 

What are the common risk factors that can lead to Lumbago?

Some of the risk factors which often cause lumbago are:

  • Age: Above 30, bones start to weaken making people susceptible to body aches.
  • Diseases: If already suffering from arthritis, the chances of developing lumbago get high.
  • Sedentary lifestyle: Lack of exercise often makes the muscles weak, developing various aches. 
  • Smoking: This bad habit may reduce the blood flow to the spinal region, leading to osteoporosis.

When to consult a doctor 

Usually, back pain tends to go away on its own, with proper rest and time. However, persistent back pain, which is creating trouble in conducting daily activities, should be considered seriously. Go through the below-mentioned signs to know when to consult a doctor:

  • Pain medication is not effective anymore.
  • The pain extends past the knee, extends down to the hips, and one or both legs.
  • Despite a significant amount of rest, the piercing pain has not lessened in intensity.

How is Lumbago diagnosed?

The patient gives a thorough account of their symptoms and health background. A doctor would typically get an idea of the cause of the patient’s discomfort based on this data. Physical exams are conducted, such as a reflex test, leg raise test, and a neurologic exam to pinpoint the cause. Often scans are suggested, such as X-rays, A CT scan, or MRI to see the affected region clearly and get more details about the origin of the pain.

Treatments available for lumbago 

Are you thinking “what is lumbago and how to treat it?”.Thankfully there are treatments available for lumbago, depending on the severity of the condition and other factors such as age, weight, fitness, etc.

  • Losing weight.
  • Acupuncture.
  • Hot and cold compresses as per need.
  • Surgery (in severe conditions).
  • Medications to suppress inflammation. 
  • Chiropractic treatment. 

How can you prevent lumbago?

Lumbago can be prevented by leading a healthy and active lifestyle. Maintaining a good posture is very necessary. Here are a few preventive tips to follow:

  • Maintaining a healthy Body Mass Index(BMI): A person’s BMI can be easily calculated by dividing weight by the square of height. It’s an important parameter to determine if a person’s weight falls in the healthy or obese category. Being obese puts extra strain on various joints and muscles, which leads to body aches and other issues. 
  • Exercise regularly: The focus should be on core-building exercises such as brisk walking, ball workouts, crunches, etc. Strengthening the muscles minimises the chances of developing back aches. 
  • Buy a good chair: It might be quite beneficial to sit in an ergonomically designed chair that supports and appropriately aligns your back and thighs. When seated at a desk, hunching forward puts too much pressure on the grooves in your lower spine, which can lead to disc degeneration or make it worse.


Irrespective of type, body aches can be a very difficult situation to deal with. They make day-to-day functioning hard and often limit mobility. But the good news is that remedies are available for managing or curing them wholly. Now that you’ve got an answer to “what is lumbago?”, seek medical help quickly. You can find the best medical support at Ayu Health, due to their experienced and professional medical team. To learn more, contact 636-610-0800.

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About the Author

Dr goel
Dr. S. Goel
MBBS PGDCM FID MBAHHM at Ayu Health | Website | + posts

Dr. S. Goel  is a renowned Internal Medicine Specialist currently practicing at Ayu Health, Bangalore.  He is a Specialist in Internal Medicine, Diabetes HTN, Paediatric Care, and Family Medicine.

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