Chronic low back pain
Seminowicz, David A. Department of Neural Pain Sciences, Pain Imaging Lab, and School of Dentistry, Baltimore, Maryland.
Last reviewed:January 2019
Show previous versions
- Peripheral mechanisms
- Central nervous system mechanisms
- Physical and psychological components of CLBP
- Future directions
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
Any persistent pain occurring in the lumbar (lower) back, sometimes extending to the buttocks and legs, which has been present for at least 3 months. Chronic low back pain (CLBP) [Fig. 1] is usually a combination of musculoskeletal and neuropathic pain, or pain that occurs as a result of damage to the nervous system. Neuropathic pain is typically indicated by the presence of radiating pain down the leg, pain of a shooting or electrical quality, and increased sensitivity to cold. The majority of CLBP cases are referred to as nonspecific, that is, they occur in the absence of an obvious organic cause, whereas mechanical problems (including disc, spinal, and muscular problems, as well as other deformations) account for the next greatest percentage of cases. Relatively few cases of CLBP result from cancer, infection, inflammation, or referred pain from visceral diseases. Because most CLBP is nonspecific, the disorders are categorized as a functional pain syndrome, which includes other pain conditions (for example, migraine, fibromyalgia, and chronic pelvic pain). Acute low back pain affects more than 80% of the population at some point in their lifetime, whereas CLBP occurs in more than 20% of adults who are 20 to 59 years old. It is more prevalent in women than men, and its prevalence increases in individuals from 30 to 60 years of age. CLBP is considered one of the most burdensome medical conditions worldwide, with enormous societal effects via the cost of treating the condition. See also: Molecular components of itch, pain, and touch sensation; Muscular system; Muscular system disorders; Pain; Skeletal system; Spinal cord; Spinal cord disorders; Vertebra
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 9000 highly qualified scientists and 43 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8700 articles covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information