Common Causes Of Low Back Pain

Low back pain from Morgue File photos

In patients ages 30-60, the most common causes of low back pain differ from those in older adults. These conditions can cause anywhere from mild to severe pain in the low back and can be acute, lasting less than 3 months, or become chronic problems.

Muscle Strain
This is the most common cause of low back pain, often from over exertion, sports, lifting something heavy or a sudden movements. The muscles and ligaments may develop small tears, which cause pain. For some this pain can be severe and may include muscle spasms and soreness. Patients will often feel better after resting.

Herniated Disc
A herniated disc in the lumbar region can when the soft center of the disc gets pushed out a tear or crack, irritating nerves and sending signals of numbness or pain which travels down the leg (sciatica). This pain can be made worse when in specific positions and doing particular movements.

Degenerative Disc Disease
Affecting patients as young as 20, degenerative disc disease is when discs between the vertebrae start to become damaged and degrade. Often this is from wear and tear over time. This causes inflammation, instability, muscles spasms, sciatica and pain. Often pain is worse when walking or standing. Some patients report a pins and needles feeling or numbness.

Isthmic Spondylolisthesis
Occurring when a vertebra from the lumbar region slips forward, causing pain from nerve compression. This may happen because the bone connecting the facet joints is very thin and is more susceptible to fractures from stress. This can lead to low back and buttocks pain, worsened by walking or standing for long periods. Sometimes the legs feel tired or numb and the patient may feel a ‘deep ache’ in the low back.

Sacroiliac Joint Disease
If there is not enough or there is too much movement in the SI joint, inflammation can arise. For those suffering with SI joint disease it is important to avoid the activities that cause the inflammation until that inflammation goes away. Pain is often felt in the low back, hips, or thighs. Your physician will need to perform special tests to isolate the pain.


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