Lower Back Pain
What are the causes of low back pain?
The muscles and ligaments in the back can stretch or tear due to excess activity. Symptoms include severe stiffness, tightness, sharp pain in the lower back, as well as muscle spasm.
Abnormal spine curvatures
Scoliosis, kyphosis, and lordosis are all conditions that cause abnormal curvatures in the spine.
These are congenital abnormal curvature causes pain and poor posture because it places pressure on:
The discs in the back are prone to injury. This risk increases with age. The outside of the disc can tear or herniate.
A herniated disc, which is also known as a slipped or ruptured disc, occurs when the cartilage surrounding the disc pushes against the spinal cord or nerve roots. The cushion that sits between the spinal vertebrae extends outside its normal position.
This can result in compression of the nerve root as it exits from the spinal cord and through the vertebral bones. Disc injury usually occurs suddenly after lifting something or twisting the back. Unlike a back strain, pain from a disc injury usually lasts for more than 72 hours.
Sciatica can occur with a herniated disc if the disc presses on the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve connects the spine to the legs. As a result, sciatica can cause shooting pain in the legs and feet. This pain usually feels like burning, or pins and needles.
Spinal stenosis is when the spinal column narrows, putting pressure on the spinal cord and spinal nerves.
Spinal stenosis is most commonly due to degeneration of the discs between the vertebrae. The result is compression of the nerve roots or spinal cord by bony spurs or soft tissues, such as discs.
Pressure on the spinal nerves causes symptoms such as:
You might feel these symptoms anywhere in the body. Many people with spinal stenosis notice their symptoms worsen when standing or walking.
There are a number of other conditions that cause lower back pain. These conditions include:
- Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints.
- Fibromyalgia is long-term pain and tenderness in the joints, muscles, and tendons.
- Spondylitis is inflammation of the joints between the spinal bones.
- Spondylosis is a degenerative disorder that may cause loss of normal spinal structure and function. Although aging is the primary cause of the condition, the location and rate of degeneration is specific to the individual.
Additional health conditions that can cause lower back pain include:
Kidney and bladder problems
- ovarian cysts
- uterine fibroids