67 year old female presents to the office with chief complaint of "I can not sit down" Patient states as soon as she sits down within minutes she gets a horrible back pain and buttocks pain forcing her to stand up and walk around. "But I can not be standing all the time" patient says. Her past medical history is remarkable for Back surgery, she has tried Epidurals, Radio-frequency, Acupuncture. She has to take a sleeping pill and antidepressant. She describes her discomfort to be there all the time and everyday (she goes to sleep with it and wakes up with it). On the scale of 0-100 (0 being the least painful and 100 being the most painful) she describes her pain to run between 50-90 depending on her good and bad days.
Discussion: Low back pain usually results from degenerative disease or arthritis of the lumbosacral spine (medical lingo: lower spine) is a big problem in our nation, and it is a common cause of morbidity, disability and lost productivity. It is guesstimated that up to 90 percent of the Americans may have low back pain at some point of their life. Data from In 1984, suggests that over 5 million people were incapacitated because of lower back pain. This means a big financial disturbance as far as "health care dollars" is involved and because of back pain many people may go on disability and not work which costs the system billions of dollars each year in our country. With people living longer and our baby boomer (people who were born between 1944-1964) approaching their retirement , the problem of back pain remains a significant health care issue.