What is Lumbago: Symptoms, Causes and Cure

what is Lumbago
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What Is Lumbago?

What is Lumbago? This is a question that must have come into your mind very often; Lumbago is a disorder that involves aching in the lower back. Pain involves muscles, nerves, and bones of the back, and it differs from patient to patient. Now that we have a quick answer to our question – what is lumbago, read on to learn the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for lumbago.


Lumbago is classified based on the duration of lasting pain:

  • Acute Lumbago – Pain lasting less than 6 weeks
  • Chronic Lumbago – Pain lasting for more than 12 weeks
  • Subchronic Lumbago – Pain lasting for 6-12 weeks

The cause of the pain in most people is mechanical problems such as muscle joint strain and muscle spasms, and it doesn’t last for more than 6 weeks in 70-80-% of people. In some people, damaged intervertebral discs are the cause of lower back pain. 

Who Can Experience It?

Now that you know what is lumbago, you must be wondering who is more prone to it. Most commonly seen in people of the age group 40 to 80 years, lumbago is also experienced by people of the age group 20-40. It affects both men and women. 

Symptoms of Lumbago

  • Diffusing pain from a point that may develop after lifting, twisting, or forward-bending movements.
  • Radiating pain down the legs.
  • Recurrent episodes of pain. 
  • Pain that causes sleeplessness, anxiety, and depression.

What Is Lumbago: Causes  

The majority of lower back pain is caused by strain and sprains due to wrong muscle movement during any activity. The pain may be acute or chronic. Muscle strain due to playing, bending, or lifting weight goes away after conservative treatments.

Common Causes

  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Weight gain during pregnancy
  • Stress
  • Poor posture and poor physical condition
  • Poor sleeping position 

Physical Causes

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Degeneration of discs
  • Spinal disc herniation
  • Broken vertebrae or osteoporosis
  • or tumor in the spine(in chronic cases)

Causes Of Lower Back Pain In Women

  • Endometriosis
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Uterine Fibroids
  • Pregnancy

Categories Of Lumbago

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Lumbago can be inflicted due to different complications inside the body. The four main categories of lumbago based on the origin of the pain have been explored below.


  • Arthritis and Inflammatory Bowel disease.


  • Muscle strain, muscle spasm, compression fracture.


  • Bone metastasis from Thyroid, Prostate.



Radiating Pain

In disc herniation and spinal stenosis, the pain radiates down the leg below the knee.

Diffuse pain

The pain doesn’t change due to movement and remains localized in the lower back above the buttock.

Trauma, and weakness accompany the pain, which could be due to underlying problems or comorbidity. These are all red flags you need to look out for. 

The pain in the lower back area could originate from muscle and joints or due to other ailments like neurological problems, spinal tumors, fractures of the spine, and other infections or conditions.

To diagnose the disease, the pain is classified into the following categories:

Mechanical Back Pain

Non-Mechanical Back Pain

Pain From Internal Organs

  • Gallbladder disease
  • Kidney disease, kidney stones

Psychological problems

What Is Lumbago: Effective Management Strategies

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For Acute pain

Movement within limits is recommended and required for non-serious acute pain. However, after simple recommended exercises and physiotherapy, the pain will reduce. 

For Chronic or Subchronic Pain

  • Chronic patients are initially treated with non-medication-based treatments such as superficial heat, massage, acupuncture, and spinal manipulation.
  • Medication-based treatment includes treating with NSAIDs– Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as Ibuprofen and Naproxen. 
  • Acetaminophen and systemic steroids are not used as they are not anti-inflammatory drugs.

Other Medications

  • Rubs and Ointments containing ibuprofen and lidocaine are used as they give instant relief upon application.
  • Opioids such as Oxycodone with acetaminophen and Hydrocodone work for severe pain cases by acting on brain cells to reduce pain.
  • Muscle relaxants are used in muscle spasms, as it reduces pain by acting directly on the central nervous system.
  • Antidepressants like amitriptyline are also used for instant relief of nerve-related pain.
  • Doctors also recommend epidural corticosteroid injections for severe cases. It can numb the pain for around 2-3 months. Steroids are also helpful in sciatica cases. However, heavy use of steroids has many undesirable side effects. 


Surgery is the last resort in severe cases of the herniated disc and spinal stenosis. In other cases, surgery might not be as successful.

  • In a herniated disc, a discectomy is done to remove a disc that causes leg pain. It is a more reliable treatment than non-surgical methods. In addition, it gives a better outcome when done within a year of the symptom as further delay can reduce the chances of success.
  • Microdiscectomy is a less invasive surgery for a herniated disc that has a similar outcome to a normal discectomy. However, it has a faster recovery rate. 
  • Spinal Infusion is done on patients with localized lower back pain. Infusion has proved to be better than low-intensity non-surgical methods and comes under intensive physical therapy. For those with the acquired displaced vertebra, spinal fusion treatment is recommended only when conservative treatment doesn’t help. Spinal fusion has a lower success rate.

Alternative treatment


Acupuncture is an alternative treatment for non-specific acute pain or subchronic pain. This is also done on patients with chronic pain when other conservative methods and medications aren’t working. It is a temporary treatment for lumbago.

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy works for patients with subacute and chronic low back pain. It is often accompanied by aerobic and strength exercises to get better results. Patients should avoid taking massages from mechanical massage tools for low back pain as it can cause more damage.


It is a method in which a solution is injected into the joints to cause inflammation. This will stimulate the healing response of the body. Prolotherapy is effective when accompanied by another therapeutic method.

Herbal Treatment

Herbal plants are often used to treat many diseases, including lower back pain, and have proven beneficial. 

  • The Devil’s claw, also known as grapple plant or wood, helps reduce the pain.
  • The White plant, native to Europe, is useful in reducing pain.
  • Capsicum in the form of gel or plaster cast is also used to reduce the low back pain.

Behavioural Therapy

While learning what is lumbago, many people would not consider ‘s relation with pain. But the impact is substantial, and one who is suffering for a long time should consider Behavioral therapies.

The Treatment Involves-

  • Operant conditioning, in which the patient is treated to wade off undesirable behaviors and acquire desirable ones
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy is suitable for patients who burden themselves with negative thinking. They are made to identify their behavior and correct them.
  • Respondent conditioning is a form of psychological therapy in which an individual’s physiological response to pain is modified. 

The effort here is to reduce chronic back pain by talking to the patient and helping them accept the pain or disability. It is inconclusive whether it reduces the pain or not. But it helps make the patient’s mind aligned and prepares them for the worst.

KT Tape

KT Tapes are tapes that are used by a physiotherapist in the treatment of chronic patients. This is useful when done regularly in the presence of a physiotherapist.

How To Prevent Back Pain

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The young generation doesn’t have answers to questions like what Lumbago is or how it can be treated or diagnosed. This could lead to ignorance and prolonged suffering.

Unfortunately, just knowing what Lumbago is isn’t going to help, so here are some tips to prevent it.

  • Carrying heavy bags, and suitcases gives strain on the shoulders, neck, and spine and can cause acute pain. Bags with wide straps and waist support should be used. Try to use bags with wheels if you have back pain.
  • Studying or working on a Laptop for a long time may cause tightening muscles in the back. Therefore, stretching regularly and changing posture while studying or working are recommended.
  • Exercise or Yoga has many curing benefits. Daily exercise prevents such cases.
  • Using Medium-firm mattresses helps soothe back pain also; it can cure the disease if used regularly.
  • Back belts and supports while lifting weight can prevent strain on muscles of the lower back.
  • Some People carry bad habits of walking in a poor posture, which has a very bad impact on the shoulders and neck, which later take chronic lower back problems. 
  • Use instead of high heels as heels may appear fancy and stylish, but it damages lower back nerves if used more frequently. 

In the end

Now you know what is Lumbago- nothing but a general term for lower back pain. It is extremely common, and it has the possibility of becoming chronic if not treated at the right time, But in most cases, people recover independently.

The above symptoms of Lumbago should be considered before proceeding with treatment, as pain could indicate bigger underlying problems.

If you are here for educational purposes only, try implementing the preventing measures, changing your posture while the article, or using your Laptop.

Also, read “7 Terrific Types of Butt Shapes” click here.

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