In the United States, back pain affects nearly 80% of the population at some point in one's life. Chronic back pain is usually felt in the lower back, but may occur in the upper back as well as extend into your legs or feet. A number of spinal diseases or injuries can trigger chronic back and leg pain, including degenerative disc disease, muscular strains, lumbar disc herniation, disc tears, facet joint disease, post-laminectomy pain syndrome, adhesions from previous spine surgeries, epidural fibrosis, and arachnoiditis. Symptoms range from mildly uncomfortable to completely disabling. You may feel a sharp or knife-like pain, a burning sensation, or a dull muscular ache. Affected areas may feel tender or sore to the touch and the pain may increase with movement.
In diagnosing back pain, a thorough work up including a comprehensive history and physical examination is completed by your doctor. Your physician my require you to undergo additional diagnostic testing that may include X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) scanning.