Back pain is not a condition but a symptom suggesting a functional disorder in the spine. In back pain the pain is mainly located in the waistline area (at kidney level).

Acute back pain is the sudden pain in the waistline area and chronic back pain is the persistence of the pain in the area for a period longer than three months.

Statistical studies estimate that 60-80% of the population at some point in their life will experience acute back pain without always being possible to identify the exact causes. Until today, more than a hundred causes of back pain have been described. The most common cause of back pain, however, is the herniated intervertebral disc (radiculopathy). The incidence of herniated intervertebral disc is estimated to reach up to 3% of the general population.

Of course any back pain is not radiculopathy. The distinctive characteristic of the herniated intervertebral disc is the sudden and intense back pain and often sciatica (pain at the back side of the thigh and calf, which often also reaches the toes). The pain increases with walking, movements, cough and strenuous physical effort. Sub-sensory symptoms from the lower extremities, lower extremity weakness and orthocystic disorders are observed less commonly.

The herniated intervertebral disc, apart from the patient’s quality of life impairment entails significant economic and social effects as it mainly concerns young people of productive ages (30 – 50 years).