Some people think that low back pain is common with old age. It is true. However, some low back pain results from an underlying health problem. When the pain is severe enough to disrupt your daily activities, it’s important to find out what causes it. This knowledge will help identify treatment options for immediate and long-term back pain relief.
Common Causes of Low Back Pain
Pain in the lower back can have various underlying causes. Here are the five most common causes of low back pain.
1. Spinal Deformity
Spinal deformities like scoliosis or lordosis involve an abnormal spine curvature. These conditions cause lower back pain due to the stress they place on the surrounding structures.
Abnormal curvatures from these spine deformities can cause an imbalance in the spinal alignment. This condition can lead to strain on the muscles and ligaments that provide support to the spine. Over time, these back structures may lose their strength from daily wear and tear, leaving those with this condition feeling the pain.
2. Disc Problems
Intervertebral discs serve as cushions between the spinal vertebrae. When you have a disc problem, such as herniated discs or degenerative disc disease, these cushions lose their effectiveness. The distance between the vertebrae lessens and may cause compression of the nerves. Both conditions can result in localized or radiating lower back pain due to nerve irritation. The pain can differ in intensity and may be worsened by lifting, bending, or sitting for extended periods.
Treatment for disc problems typically begin with conservative measures such as rest, pain management, physical therapy, and exercises to strengthen the core muscles and improve posture. These conservative treatments can often help alleviate symptoms and promote healing. However, if conservative measures are ineffective or the condition is severe, more advanced interventions may be considered, including epidural steroid injections or surgical procedures such as discectomy or spinal fusion.
Trauma or injury, such as from falls and car accidents, can result in strains or fractures. It can also occur in sports injuries or even improper lifting of heavy objects. Over time, these injuries can damage the ligaments and other back structures.
4. Compression Fracture
Compression fractures can happen when one or more vertebrae in the spine collapse or become compressed. These conditions are commonly seen in people with osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis can affect individuals of any gender. They are, however, more pronounced in postmenopausal women. Decreased estrogen levels during menopause can lead to accelerated bone loss.
Compression fractures can cause severe pain and may result in a loss of height or a stooped posture. Diagnosis and treatment by a healthcare professional are crucial for managing compression fractures.
5. Bad Posture
Poor posture is among the primary causes of low back pain, especially in individuals who spend long hours sitting or have improper body mechanics. Constant slouching can strain the muscles and ligaments in the lower back. Maintaining good posture and incorporating ergonomic principles into daily activities can help alleviate and prevent lower back pain associated with poor posture.
If you live around Texas, consult a Houston chiropractor. They can help “reset” your spine and correct your posture.
Lower back pain can significantly impact daily life, but understanding its common causes is the first step toward effective management and treatment. Consult a healthcare professional when you feel persistent or severe lower back pain. They can run some tests to come up with an accurate diagnosis and appropriate care.
Remember that it’s important to address the underlying issues first. It will be critical for preventing pain recurrence or even disease progression. When you have better control of your health and wellness, it’s easier to live life to the fullest.
- Spinal deformities and disc problems can cause localized or radiating back pain.
- Trauma to the lower back can result in acute pain that may require surgical intervention to afford pain relief.
- Compression fractures, often related to osteoporosis, can cause severe pain and height loss.
- Poor posture, particularly with prolonged sitting or improper body mechanics, can strain the lower back muscles and lead to pain.