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Musculoskeletal Lower Back Pain: What Exactly Is It?

Updated: Jan 22

Musculoskeletal Lower Back Pain: What Exactly Is It?

Lower back pain is quite common in both old and young people. Anyone may experience lower back pain at any time, even if they have had no injury or any risk factor in the past. There are actually various types of back pains, and among the most common ones is musculoskeletal lower back pain. Basically, the term “musculoskeletal pain” refers to any pain that affects the bones, muscles, joints, tendons, or ligaments.

Although musculoskeletal lower back pain is a common condition, not a lot of people seem to know exactly what it is, including its symptoms and risk factors. To understand more about this pain condition, here are some of the most important pieces of information everyone should know about musculoskeletal lower back pain.

What is Musculoskeletal Lower Back Pain?

Musculoskeletal lower back pain is a pain condition that specifically affects the bones, muscles, joints, tendons, or ligaments of the lower back. Compared to the other regions of the back, musculoskeletal lower back pain usually has a greater impact on the soft tissues of the back’s lumbar region.

In Singapore, musculoskeletal lower back pain is very common and is said to affect up to 80% of the country’s adult population. This condition may develop abruptly or progressively over numerous weeks or months. Some of its most common causes include accidents, fractures, heavy work, intensive sports, surgery, and medical conditions like osteoarthritis and arthritis.

Symptoms of Musculoskeletal Lower Back Pain

Musculoskeletal disorders can have plenty of signs and symptoms that differ from person to person. With that said, musculoskeletal lower back pain has some common symptoms that occur in the majority of individuals who suffer from the condition. Here are the most typical symptoms of musculoskeletal lower back pain:

  • Pain in the lumbar region or the lower back. The type of pain may vary from person to person; it can be aching, dull, sharp, or with tingling or burning sensations. The pain may also radiate to one or both legs or to the buttocks.

  • Pain that worsens with certain postures or movements

  • Pain all over the body, not just in the back

  • Hardness or stiffness of the back muscles

  • Muscles that feel overstretched or overworked

  • Burning or twitching of the muscles

  • Constant fatigue

  • Disrupted sleep cycle due to the pain

Take note that the intensity or severity of these symptoms may also differ from person to person. Some people may find that these symptoms severely affect the quality of their life, while others can still carry out their day-to-day activities without the pain impairing them.

Risk Factors for Musculoskeletal Lower Back Pain

While musculoskeletal lower back pain is a common condition that can affect anyone, some individuals have a greater risk of developing it than others. Keep in mind that the back muscles are the most frequently used muscles by people in their every routine activity. Unlike animals that walk on their four legs, your erect posture essentially places extra strain on your back muscles and vertebral column.

This is the primary reason why your back muscles have a greater tendency to suffer from injury if they are not used properly. Here are some of the most usual risk factors for injuries of the back muscles that can result in musculoskeletal lower back pain:

  • Having and sustaining an abnormal body posture for extended periods of time

  • Lifting heavy weights in an improper way that can cause damage to your spine

  • Having sprained ligaments, tendons, or muscles

  • Lack of adequate physical activity

  • Obesity

  • Psychological stress

  • Working in a profession or job that requires continuously sitting for an extended period of time, bending frequently, swaying, or lifting heavy weights

How Musculoskeletal Lower Back Pain is Diagnosed

Diagnosing a musculoskeletal disorder is often based on the symptoms an individual experiences and on physical examinations, which usually include observing the movement of the back and legs. The diagnosis of musculoskeletal lower back pain should be made by a qualified healthcare provider or physician.

A physician may perform an extensive physical examination and pain assessment of the patient first and then proceed to ask them about their relevant medical history. If deemed necessary, the physician may also ask for a radiological analysis of the back, including CT scan, X-Ray, or MRI, depending on the degree of the patient’s condition.


Overall, musculoskeletal lower back pain is a type of back pain that particularly impacts the bones and muscles of the back and has specific symptoms. If you have been experiencing any or all of the symptoms of musculoskeletal back pain, it is important to consult your physician and undergo physical examination right away. Proper and prompt diagnosis of musculoskeletal lower back pain is necessary so that you can receive proper lower back pain remedies or treatment.

For the most effective and reliable back pain treatments in Singapore, Affinity Clinic is the lower back pain clinic you should go to! We are a pain management specialist that offers excellent treatments for a variety of pain conditions, including musculoskeletal pain, neck and back pain, joint pain, neuropathic pain, headaches and migraines, and more. Additionally, we also provide one of the most trusted muscle tear treatment in Singapore.

For more information about our treatments, please do not hesitate to reach out to us by filling out the contact form here.


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