Lower back pain is a common complaint, often caused by some form of injury or overuse. While most cases of lower back pain are fleeting, some are chronic, lasting for months with little to no relief. Pain without a clear explanation can be troublesome. Only a doctor can precisely diagnose the exact cause of your complaint, but below are some of the more common causes of lower back pain.
Excessive strain on the back over either a long or short term period can lead to the muscles and ligaments in the back to stretch or tear. Work-related injuries are often the cause of this type of strain, although sports-related injuries are common as well.
Disc injuries such as an extrusion, protrusion, or herniation can all cause lower back pain. These types of injuries occur when the spinal disc slips or ruptures, pinching the surrounding nerves. The risk of disc-related injury increases with age.
The sciatic nerve stretches from the lower back, along the hips and down to the legs and feet. Lower back pain can occur when the sciatic nerve is pinched or compressed, typically from a herniated disc.
Spinal stenosis refers to the narrowing of the spinal cord, which puts pressure on the spinal nerves. It is usually caused by degenerative disc disease and can cause pain throughout the spine, depending on the location of the narrowing.
An abnormal spine curvature, such as scoliosis, can cause lower back pain. Typically, this condition is diagnosed and treated in childhood or early adolescence. Scoliosis causes back pain as it places pressure on the muscles, tendons and ligaments surrounding the spine.
Arthritis of the Spine
Arthritis of the spine is a form of degenerative joint disease. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis to occur in the spine, causing the immune system to attack healthy cartilage and tissues. This condition typically occurs in older adults over the age of 60.
Lower back pain is a common condition that can affect anyone at any age. While most cases are acute, not knowing the exact cause of your pain can be troublesome. For chronic lower back pain that does not subside after three months with conservative treatment, contact The Spine Pro, Dr. Hooman Melamed at 310-928-2769.