Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 21, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963855 | Print ISBN: 9781412941860 | Online ISBN: 9781412963855| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Shen-Ying (Richard) Ma & Dino Samartzis & Francis H. Shen
Back pain is a ubiquitous complaint and one of the most common reasons for a medical office visit. The differential diagnosis for back pain is very broad. Therefore, a thorough history and careful physical exam are essential for determining the etiology of the back pain. Fortunately, most back pain complaints are benign in nature and responsive to conservative measures alone. However, in the presence of certain symptoms, an aggressive pathology may be suspected; this necessitates urgent evaluation and intervention. Approximately 75 to 80 percent of individuals experience back pain at some point during their lifetime. Back pain affects both sexes, all age groups, and all socioeconomic classes. Back pain most commonly affects those between 35 and 55 years old and is the leading cause of disability for individuals under 55 years old. Because of the prevalence and potentially debilitating nature of back pain, it is a major public health concern. ...