What is Lumbago? How Long Does It Last?

what is lumbago

Pain in the lower part of the back is commonly referred to as lumbago.

The most common symptoms of lumbago range from lower back pain, limitation in movement of the spine, severe pain and spasms.

In this article we will discuss the diagnosis and meaning of lumbago.

What is Lumbago?

Lumbago is a common name for the pain in lower back.

It can be diagnosed as mild to severe pain or discomfort in the area of the lower back. This pain can be acute or chronic if it has lasted more than three months.

Most people will experience this condition at some point in their lives. People whose work involves physical exertion as well as the elderly are more prone to becoming afflicted by lumbago.

Also Read: What Causes Pain in Lower Left Back?

What is lumbago with sciatica may cause you to experience more severe symptoms. How long does lumbago last?

This condition is usually resolved within a few weeks, but occasionally can become a chronic problem.

What are the Symptoms of Lumbago?

Lumbago symptoms are more commonly associated with lower back pain.

Rarely does lumbago cause serious symptoms that require immediate medical attention.

Pain in lower back symptoms

The many different lumbago symptoms are listed below:

  • Pain across the lower part of the back that sometimes radiates into the buttocks, the back of the thigh or to the groin. The pain is usually worse on movement.
  • Limitation in the movement of the spine. Especially bending forward and leaning back.
  • Tense spasm of the muscles surrounding the spine and causing a stiff back.
  • With severe pain and spasm, the back may tilt to one side causing a change in posture or a limp.
  • Lumbago with sciatica. The pain is sometimes accompanied by a tingling sensation or numbness in the back or buttocks or leg. This may also pass all the way down to the foot.

What are the Causes of Lumbago?

what causes pain in lower back

The exact causes of lumbago are not known yet.

In most cases the lower back pain can be treated but without a clear form of causation.

Many times, there are tiny strains or tears in the small muscles and ligaments that surround the spine.

However, in twenty five percent of the cases a cause can be found.

A slipped disc, collapse or fracture of one or more vertebrae or osteoporosis are what causes lumbago.

There are two different kinds of lumbago, sudden onset and gradual onset.

Sudden onset occurs when there is damage done to the lower back from injury or other activities.

Gradual onset is caused through the buildup over time from daily activities and work.

Also Read: Pain Under Right Rib Cage: 12 Possible Causes and Treatments

How to Treat Lumbago at Home?

Lumbago treatment can be done from home without a doctor’s help. You may also be wondering how long does lumbago last?

This varies greatly on whether it is acute or chronic and how you respond to treatments. With an acute lower back pain, you can simply use painkillers regularly.

1. Muscle Relaxers

Your general physician may also prescribe muscle relaxers to reduce the tension in the lower back.

Ibuprofen has been found to resolve lower back pain issues better than placebo.

2. Stay Active

Activity is also very beneficial. Staying active and getting your life moving within the limits of your pain. Moving around helps keep the muscles limber and ready to flex and stretch instead of tear.

Using a hot pack or swimming in a warm pool can provide relief.

3. Sleeping on the Flat Surface

Rest and sleep lying on a firm, flat surface, can help.

This will provide your back with much needed support. No further strain will come to the lower back while you sleep.

Also Read: How Sleeping on the Floor Benefits Your Health?

4. Avoid Stooping, Bending, or Lifting

These activities can damage the lower back more by possibly worsening the tears in the muscles and ligaments.

With chronic lower back pain, you may need to seek medical attention.

5. Other Options to Try

A simple x-ray will provide some insight into what exactly is causing the pain and proper lumbago treatments can be made.

A structured exercise program, which will be made for you specifically that can relieve your pain. A course of manual therapy or a course of acupuncture if needed.

Your back pain is more than likely not a sign of a more serious condition or illness.

They usually settle themselves within a few days or weeks. There is no need to worry about lower back pain unless it is not allowing you to carry on with normal life.

Also Read: Essential Oils for Arthritis: 12 Essential Oils to Treat Arthritis, Joint Pain and Inflammation

Lumbago Exercises


Exercises for lumbago are usually easy to do and can be done from home.

Strengthening and stretching your lower back can help reduce inflammation and pain.

To prevent the problem from worsening, use some of the gentle exercises for lumbago and good form listed here:

1. Ankle Pumps

Ankle Pumps

Lie flat on your back. Flex your ankle up and down. Repeat ten times on each ankle.

2. Wall Squats

Wall Squats

Stand with your back flat against a wall. Make sure that your feet are out twelve inches in front of your body.

Tighten your abdominal muscles while slowly bending your knees down to a 45-degree angle. Hold the squat for five to ten seconds. Slowly return to the starting position. Repeat 10 times.

3. Heel or Calf Raises

Heel or Calf Raises

Stand up straight and place your weight evenly on both feet. Slowly raise your heels up. Slowly lower down. Repeat 10 times.

4. Sitting on an Exercise Ball

Sitting on an Exercise Ball

Sit on the ball with your hips and knees bent at 90 degrees. Your feet should be resting on the floor. Raise and lower your arm slowly over your head.

Alternate between the right and left side. Raise and lower your heel slowly. Alternate between the right and left side.

5. Leg Raises

Lie flat on your back. Straighten your left leg and bend your right knee. Stabilize your lower back by tightening your abdominal muscles.

Slowly begin lifting your left leg until it is six to twelve inches off the ground.

Remember to keep your leg straight. Hold for five seconds. Lower your leg down slowly. Repeat 10 times on each leg.

Read Next:


Herzog R, Elgort DR, Flanders AE, Moley PJ. Variability in diagnostic error rates of 10 MRI centers performing lumbar spine MRI examinations on the same patient within a 3-week period. Spine J. 2016 Nov. PubMed #27867079. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27867079.

Vibe-Fersum K, O’Sullivan P, Skouen JS, Smith A, Kvåle A. Efficacy of classification-based cognitive functional therapy in patients with non-specific chronic low back pain: A randomized controlled trial. Eur J Pain. 2013 Jul;17(6):916–28. PubMed #23208945. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23208945.

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Dr. Mark Williams, MD

Dr. Mark Williams is a leader in alternative and integrated medicines. He is a medical writer and reviewer at Daily Health Cures. He received his medical degree in 1988. Mark brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Daily Health Cures editorial team. He is a natural health advisor and provides a variety of alternative healing techniques in his practice.