What Is Lower Back Pain?
Lower back pain is a pain in the lower back area, which may be caused by nerve problems, muscle irritation or bone lesions. Lower back pain may follow an injury or back trauma, but pain can also be caused by degenerative conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis or other bone diseases, viral infections, irritation of joints and joint discs, or congenital abnormalities of the spine. Obesity, smoking, weight gain during pregnancy, stress, poor physical condition, unsuitable posture for activities performed, and poor sleeping position can also cause lower back pain.
The causes lower back pain:
1. Excessive Activities. One of the more common causes of lower back pain is muscle pain due to excess activity. Muscles and ligament fibers may be too stretched or injured.
2. Discus Injury. Some people experience lower back pain that does not go away in a few days. This may mean an injury to the disc, which may be:
- Tearing Disk. Small tears on the outside of the disc (annulus) sometimes occur in the aging process. Some people with a tear of the disc do not experience any pain at all. Some others may experience persistent pain for weeks, months or even longer. A small percentage of people may experience constant pain that persists for many years and simply decreases the productivity of life. Why some people experience pain and some others are still not well understood.
- Disk Herniation. Another common cause is shifting discs or disc herniation. Disk disc herniation occurs when a part of the jelly located in the middle (nucleus) suppresses the outer ring (annulus). When herniated discs protrude into the spinal canal, this can put pressure on the spinal cord that is sensitive, and cause pain. Because discs that have herniation on the back often provide pressure on the nerve roots that supply legs and legs, pain often occurs in area of the buttock and down to the legs. This is called sciatica. Disk herniation is often the result of lifting weights, pulling, bending the spine or circular motion.
3. Disk Degeneration
As the years pass, the intervertebral discs begin to disappear and shrink. In some cases, the disc may collapse entirely and cause the facet joints on the vertebra to rub against each other. This results in pain and stiffness. This is called osteoarthritis and can cause further back problems, including spinal stenosis.
4. Degenerative Spondylolistesis
Changes due to aging and “wear & tear” make joints and ligaments more difficult to keep the spine in the right position. The spine moves more than it should and the spine can move forward. If there is an excessive shift, the bones begin to compress the spinal nerves and cause pain.
5. Spinal Stenosis
Spinal stenosis occurs when the space around the spinal cord narrows and makes pressure on the spinal cord and nerve.
When the intervertebral discs collapse and osteoarthritis occur, the body responds with new bone formation in the facet joints to help support the spine. Over time, these bony overgrowth (called spurs) can cause narrowing of the spinal canal. Osteoarthritis can also cause the ligaments that connect the spine to thicken, which also causes narrowing of the spinal canal.
Scoliosis is a spinal curvature abnormality that can develop when children, most often during adolescence. Scoliosis may also develop in older patients with arthritis. Spinal deformity can cause back pain and possibly also limb symptoms, in the event of nerve pressure.
7. Other Causes
There are several other causes of back pain, some of which can be serious. If you have vascular disease, a history of cancer, or a pain that always exists even if your activity or position is minimal, you should consult your doctor.