Causes of Lower Back Pain You Need to Know

About 80 percent of adults will experience pain in their lower back┬ápain at some point in their lifetime, according to the National Institute Of Health. Whether it’s sudden, sharp, and severe or chronic and dull, living with back pain can negatively impact someone’s daily life.

Curious to know what might be the root cause of your back pain? Read on to find out.

13. Sprains and Strains 

Sudden, acute low back pain is most often caused by sprains and strains. This type of acute low back pain involves a disruption in how the spine, nerves, muscles and intervertebral discs work together and move. That means that back strains can occur when the muscles, ligaments, or tendons in the lower back tear.

If pain is so severe that it impedes daily life or doesn’t go away, it’s time to see a doctor. This next condition also often requires medical attention…

12. Intervertebral Disc Degeneration 

Intervertebral disc degeneration is another common cause of back pain. It takes place when normally rubbery discs in the spine begin to lose their flexibility and integrity as people age. This deterioration means less flexibility and less cushioning for the joints in the back. The result? A drop in height, a decrease in flexibility, and pain.

It’s not just discs that can cause pain. Sometimes all it takes is a pinched nerve…

11. Radiculopathy (Pinched Nerve)

Radiculopathy is the medical term for a pinched nerve. A pinched nerve frequently results in numbness, pain, or a tingling sensation in the back. A pinched nerve frequently results in numbness, pain, or a tingling sensation in the back.

The next condition also involves nerve pain and be serious…

10. Sciatica 

Sciatica refers to pain resulting from the pinching of the sciatic nerve, which runs along the lower back to the legs. Sciatica can cause a burning sensation in the affected area, weakness or even numbness. The back is frequently affected, too.

Sciatica is an incredibly specific cause of back pain, unlike the following…

9. A Traumatic Injury

An injury is the most obvious cause of back pain, whether it be from a car accident or sports collision.

Every traumatic event will be different, which means each injury can be different and cause pain in different ways. However, impact injuries commonly cause the following pain-related issues:

  • Herniated or ruptured disc
  • Dislocations that result in pinched nerves
  • Inflammation
  • Irritation and compression of spinal nerves
  • Tearing of ligaments, muscles, and tendons

Unfortunately, the next cause of back pain is incredibly difficult to manage…

8. Skeletal Irregularities 

Skeletal irregularities refer to abnormal curves and positioning of the skeleton. Those that affect the spine, including scoliosis, spinal arthritis and lordosis, can result in lower right or lower left back pain.

Just like skeletal irregularities, the next cause can also result in back pain.

7. Infections

Infections are another reason people sometimes suffer from lumbar pain. This is particularly true when the infections, such as osteomyelitis (bone infection), discitis (intervertebral disc space infection) and sacroiliitis (sacroiliac joints infection), involve the vertebrae.

While surgery is typically needed in only the most severe cases here, that cannot be said of the following, where an immediate hospital room visit is necessary…

6. Cauda Equina Syndrome (CES)

Another serious condition that can cause pain in the lower back is cauda equina syndrome (CES). This rare condition means there is damage to the cauda equina, a nerve bundle under the spinal cord’s end. In some cases, people will experience lower back pain, left side only.

Besides low back pain, CES can also cause there to be radiating pain down the legs. The pain can be so severe that people lose control of their bladder and bowels. In some cases, the anus may also numb.

In the following, the root cause of back pain absolutely must be eliminated…

5. Kidney Stones

People who have kidney stones often experience sharp pain in their lower back. It can feel like a back pain muscle spasm. Lumbar pain can occur when these stones migrate to the urinary tract or bladder. There, they can cause discomfort or even block the ureter, the narrow duct that connects the kidneys to the bladder.

Abnormally large stones, however, may require removal surgery. The following cause of lower back pain may also need surgery…

4. Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms

Those who think they are experiencing an aneurysm should seek emergency medical attention right away.

An abdominal aortic aneurysm is another cause of low back pain. This condition develops when there is an enlargement of the big blood vessel (aorta) supplying blood to the pelvis, abdomen, and legs. This enlargement occurs as the artery walls weaken.

Back pain, including pain on left side of the back, is a sign that the aneurysm is becoming very large and should be assessed for the risk of rupture. At this point, life-saving emergency surgery is needed. That is why it is important to pay attention to sudden, severe back pain, as back pain is one of the few signs of this type of aneurysm.

While this condition primarily affects men, the opposite is true of the following…

3. Osteoporosis

This metabolic bone disease is characterized by progressive deterioration of bone density and strength. This deterioration can lead to painful vertebrae fractures and chronic low back pain.

It’s not the osteoporosis itself that causes back pain, but its complications. Specifically, this condition means bones become fragile and weak. In and of itself, this weakening is not painful. However, the weakening can lead to painful problems.

While osteoporosis is a specific cause of back pain, the following is an umbrella condition that can affect people of any age…

2. Inflammatory Diseases

Another cause of low back pain? Inflammatory diseases. Some conditions that may generate or worsen lower back pain include:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Ankylosing spondylitis (AS)/Bechterew’s disease (a specific type of arthritis)
  • Inflammatory bowel disease

Inflammatory diseases are relatively easy enough to diagnose, unlike the following condition…

1. Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a disorder where someone experiences pain and tenderness all over the body. It also often causes fatigue as well as issues with sleep, mood, and memory.

About 66 percent of people with fibromyalgia have chronic low back pain. This pain is one of the first symptoms doctors look at when making a fibromyalgia diagnosis.

Living with back pain is never easy, but there are ways to help yourself feel better…

Living With Back Pain

Millions of people will experience lower back pain in their lifetimes. Those pains can range from mild to moderate to severe. While back pain itself can be a serious and debilitating condition, it can also be a symptom of something else.

How is back pain treated?

Treatment for back pain naturally varies based on the individual and what is causing them pain. For example, the treatment for a strain is different than that of kidney stones. What’s most important whatever the cause may be is to seek medical attention when necessary.

When is a doctor necessary?

People who find themselves experiencing chronic, unexplained back pain or sudden and severe pain should not just take a painkiller and carry on. Instead, they should take the time to see a doctor to make sure their back pain isn’t due to a serious injury or illness.

Those who are unsure if their pain warrants a doctor’s visit should play it safe and seek professional help. After all, left untreated, some of these conditions can result in permanent injury or even death.

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