Lower back injury
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Lower back injury

Other Resources UpToDate PubMed


One of the leading causes of disability, lower back pain is the second most common presenting complaint during doctor visits. Lower back injury includes damage to the lower back, including the lumbar and sacrum regions of the vertebral column and/or the surrounding joints, ligaments, muscles, tendons, cartilage, and nerves. Presentation may consist of lower back pain and muscle spasm, tenderness, or stiffness. Lower back injury severity ranges from mild and self-limiting to potentially life-threatening or disabling.

Injury may be caused by acute trauma, falls, chronic repetitive motions, poor posture, hyperextension, or a degenerative condition. Some cases are idiopathic. Risk factors include obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, sporting activities, heavy backpacks, and strenuous work.

A common occupational injury, especially in occupations in which employees are required to lift heavy objects, maintain awkward positions, or perform repetitive tasks. Occupational injury is preventable with appropriate training and equipment. When applicable, equipment must be fitted to the employee since ill-fitting equipment can cause injury. Regular exercise helps prevent this type of injury and/or neurologic dysfunction.

Management may include rest, physical therapy, massage, anti-inflammatory or analgesic medication (resources for opioid prescribing guidelines, as well as nonopioid alternatives, can be found here), or surgery. Some injuries are self-limited and resolve within weeks to months, but other cases may result in chronic pain (lasting longer than 3 months).

Related Topics:


S39.92XA – Unspecified injury of lower back, initial encounter

282766005 – Lower back injury


Subscription Required

Last Updated:11/07/2018
Copyright © 2022 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.
Lower back injury
Copyright © 2022 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.