Nearly 80% of people have already experienced lower back pain, and one can surely say that it is unbearable. It can hinder your daily lifestyle. Most of the time, you can see that lower back pain vanishes with time. Unfortunately, sometimes it becomes a recurring condition.
Lower back pain is a symptom and not a diagnosis. One should surely try to diagnose the root cause of the pain and treat it accordingly. Lower back pain can move towards the buttocks and spread in the muscles near the spine. If the condition is serious, then you will feel weakness, numbness, and tingling.
Here is a list of 10 possible low back pain causes.
Possible Causes Of Lower Back Pain
Low back pain causes can range from mild to severe, depending on the root cause of it. Let’s see what the medical conditions which can cause lower back pain are.
1. Ligament And Muscle Injury
When the ligaments and muscles suffer any damage or strain, then it causes lower back pain. This type of pain will spread in the muscles near the spine. The pain can escalate and move towards the buttocks but will not go any further towards the leg. It is quite common to experience muscle sprains and strains in the lower back area.
- If you are landing or twisting awkwardly, then it might cause ligament injury, which can promote lower back pain.
- Lifting heavy weight can strain your back muscles or spinal ligament.
- The pain will continue to exist for 10-14 days.
- You won’t be able to maintain your healthy posture as the pain will cause stiffness in your lower body.
- Continuous muscle spasm.
- Your range of motion will get restricted due to lower back stiffness.
- The pain will radiate towards the buttocks.
- Try to stay active and avoid bed rest to maintain muscle strength.
- One can take anti-inflammatory medications as advised by the doctor.
- One can opt for physical therapy.
2. Spinal Stenosis
When the spinal nerves near the spinal column or spinal canal start to narrow down, it causes spinal stenosis. As the discs will start shrinking with age, this type of condition will occur.
During this time, the ligament and bone of the spine will become large or swell because of chronic inflammation or arthritis. One can say that spinal stenosis is the escalated version of osteoarthritis. The low back pain causes are written below.
- An abnormal growth, like a tumor inside your spinal cord, can cause this problem.
- Any trauma or car accidents that lead to fracture or dislocation of vertebrae can damage the spinal canal. Spinal injury will lead to lower back pain.
- With time the bones which are holding the spine together will become thickened and stiff. The bulging of it into your spinal canal will cause pain.
- Tingling or numb sensation in the leg of the foot.
- Your leg or foot will become weak.
- Chronic back pain.
- While walking or standing for a long time, either one of your legs or both the leg will experience chronic cramping or pain.
- Try physical therapy to increase the strength of your leg muscles, stomach, and back.
- Consume anti-inflammatory medications as prescribed by the doctor that can help with the swelling and pain.
Spondylosis is a condition that arises when there is a defect in the conjunction between the vertebrae. It leads to several stress fractures, which make the bone weak. Due to the fracture, the bones will slip out of their original place and lead to a condition known as spondylolisthesis.
- When pars interarticularis, which is a vertebra, becomes weak, it leads to spondylosis.
- Some people have thin vertebrae from birth, which places them at a higher risk of facing fractures.
- If the lower back faces repetitive trauma, then it can make the pars interarticularis weak.
- The pain will escalate towards the thighs and buttocks.
- The pain will become worse when you are performing stress activities.
- Extreme lower back pain which might resemble a muscle strain.
- Heal the affected pars by using a bracing for immobilizing the spine.
- Anti-inflammatory or pain medication is recommended.
- Begin with hamstring stretching and perform other gentle progressing stitches.
Osteoporosis is a type of bone disease that occurs when your body tends to make little bone or loses a lot of bone. This will not cause any pain, but it will make the bones weak, which will become highly susceptible to breaking due to minor bumps or sneezing.
- A decrease of estrogen during the time of menopause can lead to this condition.
- This problem had a genetic component.
- Calcium deficiency
- Smoking and little exercise increase the chances of having osteoporosis.
- The height will reduce with time.
- The bone will easily break.
- Your body will start to achieve a hunched posture.
- Excessive back pain caused by collapsed vertebra or fracture.
- Try to do some physical activity or exercises which can help in improving your posture and balance. By strengthening the bones, you will be able to escape fractures.
- Consume good food loaded with calcium.
5. Herniated Disc
Sciatica or back pain is caused by a ruptured, slipped, or bulged disc. Due to the disc displacement, there is pressure on the spinal nerve, which produces severe pain. It can occur in any portion of the spine, particularly in the lower back or lumbar spine. The disc which is prone to becoming herniated is usually in the initial degeneration stage.
- Any excessive strain will cause a herniated disc.
- As a person starts to age, the ligament becomes weak and causes a herniated disc.
- During the degeneration process, any twisting movement or minor strain can rapture the disc.
- The pain will become worse when you are sitting or standing.
- Excessive lower back pain. The pain is similar to an electric shock.
- Muscle weakness.
- Numbness and pain on one side of the body.
- Use heat and ice therapy for reducing pain.
- Try chiropractic manipulation.
- Perform gentle stretching, exercise, and physical therapy.
- One can consume anti-inflammatory drugs as recommended by the doctor.
Osteoarthritis can occur due to several reasons like genetics, injury, weight, overuse, and disorders. This type of arthritis is affecting several people worldwide. With time the protective cartilage that is cushioning the ends of the bones starts to wear out and cause pain. One can experience this pain on their lower back.
- Spine trauma can lead to osteoarthritis.
- If you had experienced any injury in the spine when you were young, then it can make the cartilage easily break down.
- Obesity will make your spine carry some extra bodyweight that will cause stress and pain.
- Restricted range of motion.
- Tenderness in the joints.
- Weakness and numbness in the arms and legs.
- Pain in the buttocks and back.
- Physical therapy or occupational therapy.
- Cold or heat therapy.
- Start gentle exercises and yoga for improving your mobility and reduce pain.
When harmful bacteria, fungi, and viruses attack the tissues surrounding the spine, then it causes disease. Spinal infection can be excruciating and will limit your movement. Specific injuries or spine surgery can also be the root cause of infection. Osteomyelitis is one such spinal infection that affects the spinal bones.
- Spinal surgery or injury
- Infection due to fungi, viruses, and bacteria.
- Chronic back pain
- Chills and fever
- Numbness in legs
- Muscle spasm
- Flushing, swelling, and tenderness in the lower back.
- One will have to take antifungal or antibiotic medications, depending on the root cause of the problem.
- If the infection becomes severe, then you may have to undergo surgeries for relieving the pressure from the spine and for draining the infected area.
8. Cauda Equina Syndrome
Cauda equina syndrome is a condition that develops when there is any damage or compression on cauda equina. This condition arises because of herniated disc caused by spinal fractures, tumors, infection, and stenosis.
- This condition arises because of spinal infection, fracture, tumor, and stenosis.
- Violent injuries in the lower back region caused due to auto accident, fall, or gunshots.
- Spinal hemorrhage
- Birth abnormality
- Spinal tumors and lesions.
- Chronic lower back pain
- Bladder and bowel problem
- Weakness, numbness, and loss of sensation in the legs.
- Difficulty in walking.
- This medical condition can be treated using surgery. Surgeries are performed for relieving the pressure from the nerves.
If there is any problem with the sciatica nerve, then it will cause back pain that will radiate from the lower back and will radiate towards the back of the legs. If the sciatic nerve is experiencing any pressure or injury, then it causes lower back pain, which will escalate towards your buttocks, hip, and leg.
- Herniated disk causes Sciatica.
- When the disc becomes weak with age, then it is more susceptible to injury that can lead to Sciatica.
- Spine injury
- Spine infection
- If you are suffering from Sciatica, then it will cause lower back pain along with the pain in your buttocks, hip, and leg.
- The pain will become worse when you are coughing, sneezing, or sitting.
- The legs will become weak, tingly, and numb.
- The symptoms will last for a few days to several weeks.
- Light stretching or walking can help in easing the pain.
- Hot and cold compression can reduce pain.
- One can take painkillers for countering the pain.
10. Disc Degeneration
The degenerative disc is a type of disease that makes the regular changes of your disc painful. The disc is the shock absorbers located between the spine and the bones. When this rubbery disc starts to shrink, it causes friction against the joints that leads to back pain.
- There are inflammatory proteins in the interior of the disc space which leak out and cause disc degeneration and pain in the spinal structure.
- Due to the aging factor, a lot of tears and wears are encountered on the spinal disc, which causes lower back pain.
- Minor injuries and everyday movement can put a lot of stress on the disc, which can cause pain.
- One will feel pain in the lower back, upper thighs, and buttocks.
- The pain will worsen when you are sitting, bending, lifting, or twisting.
- When you are lying down or changing your position, the pain will start getting better.
- Medications, special exercises, weight loss, and surgery are some ways of reducing the pain caused by disc degeneration.
- You can also take steroid shots for reducing swelling, inflammation, and pain.
- If all the treatments are not working for you, then the doctor will recommend you go through surgery.
Other Surprising Causes Of Lower Back Pain
Not all types of lower back pain indicate any injury in your spine or back. Sometimes it might be repercussions for other kinds of health ailments.
Yes, it is true sometimes the back pain may arise due to kidney stones. When there is any injury or inflammation in any organ of the body, then it will show different types of symptoms. During urinary tract infection and kidney stones, inflammation will radiate towards the lower back, which causes pain.
Smoking interferes with the blood supply towards the spine. It will reduce the strength of the intervertebral disc and increase the susceptibility towards herniation and injury.
If your back pain is becoming chronic with time, then you need to seek medical help immediately. There are several ways of treating lower back pain like- acupuncture, surgery, physical therapy, massage therapy, and chiropractic care. Back pain can also arise due to any particular medical condition. The reason can be degenerative or genetic.
In most cases, low back pain causes due to soft tissue or mechanical tissue injuries. If the back pain is hindering your daily activities like sleep or mobility, then you should seek medical treatment, chronic low back pain can also lead to anxiety, depression, and sleeping disorders