Most Common Causes of Lower Back Pain
The weight of the upper body on your lower back makes it a common target for back pain. Back pain is caused by a variety of conditions and diseases, including ruptured discs, degenerative discs, and osteoporosis. Overexertion resulting from strenuous exercise and heavy lifting can also be a primary cause. Read on for an overview of the most common causes of lower back pain.
Spinal discs are small, jelly-like, almost rubbery discs located between the vertebrae. A herniated disc, sometimes called a ruptured or slipped disc, occurs when material leaks out from the inside of the disc. The pain associated with herniated discs occurs when a nerve root in your spine is compressed or pinched as a result.
Degenerative disc disease, which can affect individuals even in their early 20s, occurs when the discs between the vertebrae begin to break down, causing both inflammation and instability in the lower back. Contrary to what the name suggests, degenerative disc disease doesn’t necessary mean you’ll feel increased pain over time.
Isthmic spondylolisthesis occurs when a fracture in the piece of bone connecting two joints on the back of the spine causes a vertebra to slip forward onto the disc space below it. It most commonly occurs in the lower back and results in nerve root pain due to compression of the nerve root.
Vertebral fractures caused by osteoporosis
Spinal fractures that are caused by osteoporosis are called vertebral compression fractures and are actually the most common type of fracture caused by osteoporosis. These fractures are caused by weakening of the vertebrae, which results in narrow or shrunken vertebrae.
Scoliosis is a condition in which the spine exhibits an abnormal sideways curvature. It often occurs during a growth spurt just before puberty. Some severe forms of scoliosis can be disabling or cause back pain.
Lack of needed exercise and strength training
Orthopaedic surgeons will tell you that regular exercise, especially exercise focused on strengthening the core, is essential to preventing back pain. When you subject your back to demanding forms of exercise or even work-intensive household chores, and you haven’t trained your core adequately to handle those stresses, you are much more prone to back injury.
Improper lifting technique
Similarly, not taking the proper care to observe proper lifting techniques can quickly put undue strain on your spine and back muscles, leading to injury or chronic back pain. When lifting heavy objects bend your knees while keeping your back straight, and enlist the help of a friend when you need it. In addition, refrain from pivoting or twisting your spine while lifting objects upward.