Back pain is one of the most common complaints among adults, but do you actually know what’s causing it? Many people suffer from pain in the lower back without understanding why they hurt.
It could be poor posture or heavy lifting, or something more serious such as a herniated disc. Identifying the source of your pain can help you determine the right course of treatment.
In this article, I’ll explore some of the most common causes of lower back pain and useful treatments to help get you on the road to recovery.
Scoliosis is one of the most common causes of lower back pain. It’s a condition where the spine curves sideways in an “S” or “C” shape, rather than being straight. Scoliosis can affect people of any age and gender.
When the spine develops in this abnormal way, it puts increased pressure on the surrounding muscles and ligaments, resulting in pain, stiffness, and fatigue. Symptoms may come and go as time passes but they usually worsen with activity or when standing for long periods of time.
If you think you might have scoliosis, it’s important to see your doctor immediately to get checked out, as it can affect your posture and balance if left untreated. There are several treatment options available, including physical therapy and surgery depending on the severity of the condition.
Facet joint damage
Facet joint damage is one of the most common causes of lower back pain. The facet joints are small joints found between each vertebra in the spine and they help to stabilize the spine. When these joints become inflamed, damaged, or worn out, it can cause lower back pain as well as inflammation and stiffness in the affected area.
This type of lower back pain is usually felt on one side, typically in the morning or at night. It can be accompanied by muscle spasms or tightness around the area, radicular pain that radiates down one leg, and tenderness along either side of the spine. With severe damage to the facet joints, arthritic changes may also occur due to degeneration of cartilage or excessive stress caused by poor posture or increased physical activity such as sports activities or lifting heavy objects.
Treatment for this kind of lower back pain includes rest, ice or heat therapy, physical therapy, steroid injections, medications, and lifestyle changes like changing your posture habits. In extreme cases where there is intense pain and limited mobility, surgery may be considered a last resort.
A compression fracture is an injury to bones in the spine which can cause lower back pain. This type of injury typically occurs when a vertebrae collapses due to a trauma, such as a fall or sports-related accident. This kind of fracture is sometimes compared to an eggshell breaking.
Because a compression fracture can cause severe and long-term lower back pain, it’s important to identify this condition early on so appropriate treatments can be assessed. Common signs of a compression fracture include persistent radiating pain in the lower back, limited range of motion in the spine, feeling generally weak, and difficulty sleeping.
If you think you may have suffered from a compression fracture, you should get medical help right away. Depending on your specific situation, treatments might include rest and physical therapy sessions, pain management medications, or orthopedic bracing. In some very rare cases where there is considerable bone loss due to the fracture, surgery may be necessary.
Spinal stenosis is a common cause of lower back pain. It occurs when the small spaces around the spinal cord become narrowed, placing pressure on nerve roots and leading to chronic neck and lower back pain symptoms.
Spinal stenosis typically develops over time due to wear and tear or as a result of aging. In some cases, deformity in the spine can cause spinal stenosis. Other risk factors include osteoarthritis, bone spurs, herniated discs, thickened ligaments, and tumors.
Symptoms of spinal stenosis include the feeling that one is walking with an invisible weight on their back or numbness, weakness, and tingling in the arms or legs. Patients may also experience balance problems, loss of bladder control, and severe pain in a certain position such as bending forward or sitting for long periods of time. Treatment options for spinal stenosis fever vary from medication for symptom relief to physical therapy, epidural injections, or even surgery. Diagnosing Spinal Stenosis usually involves X-rays or MRIs to better understand why the symptoms are occurring along with other diagnostic tests to rule out other causes of back pain before treatment begins.
A herniated disk sometimes referred to as a slipped or ruptured disk, can be a common cause of lower back pain. The disks between the vertebrae house your spinal cord. When one of these disks is out of place, the condition is known as a herniated disk.
Symptoms of a herniated disk include severe lower back pain, numbness or tingling in the legs and feet, and muscle weakness. Depending on where the herniation occurs, it can lead to sciatica (pain shooting down your leg). It can also cause cushions abnormal curvatures in your spine (known as scoliosis), or problems with bladder or bowel control.
A herniated disc can be caused by various activities such as strenuous exercise, repetitive lifting motions, accidents, falls, and some medical conditions like arthritis or osteoporosis. It’s important to seek medical care if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms as they could potentially indicate serious damage or even degenerative disc disease that requires treatment. With proper diagnosis and treatment, there are many ways to manage herniated discs and reduce symptoms of lower back pain.
Spondylolisthesis is a condition in which one of your vertebrae slips forward and out of alignment in comparison to the rest of your spine. This can create an uneven distribution of weight on the other vertebrae causing lower back pain. It’s most common in the lower or lumbar spine and can be caused by aging, physical activity, or injury.
When this condition hits, it creates painful symptoms like numbness and tingling in the legs, stiffness and limited movement, deep sharp pains while walking or standing, and muscle spasms.
Your doctor can diagnose spondylolisthesis using tools like X-rays, bone scans, MRIs or CT scans to study the area around your lower back. Treatment options include medications to reduce inflammation, stretching exercises to loosen tight muscles, core strengthening exercises to help stabilize your spine, physical therapy, and even surgery if needed.