Lumbago is the general term referring to low back pain, and the two terms are often used interchangeably. The underlying causes of low back pain can be complex and are not always readily apparent. When determining the underlying cause of lower back pain, two main factors help guide the physician in making a preliminary diagnosis:
- The type of low back pain – meaning a description of how the pain feels, what makes it better or worse, when it occurs, and
- The area of pain distribution – meaning where the pain is felt, if it is confined to the low back, or if the accompanying leg pain is worse than the low back pain, or if the pain radiates elsewhere in the body.
Ari Ben-Yishay, MD, Understanding Low Back Pain (Lumbago), Spine-Health (updated Apr. 25, 2012), https://www.spine-health.com/conditions/lower-back-pain/understanding-low-back-pain-lumbago