Lower back pain is a common issue that affects millions of individuals throughout the world. While occasional back pain is reasonable, severe or recurring pain should never be neglected. Ignoring lower back pain can lead to additional issues and decrease your overall quality of life. In this article, we will discuss ten common causes of lower back pain that should not be overlooked.
1. Muscle strain
Muscle strain is one of the most common reasons for lower back pain. Lifting heavy objects, making fast movements, or having poor posture can strain your lower back muscles. Muscle strain can produce local pain and discomfort. Rest, simple stretching, and over-the-counter pain medications are frequently enough to alleviate muscular strain.
2. Herniated disc
When the soft cushion between your vertebrae in your spine slips out of position, this means that you’ve developed a herniated disc. This might irritate surrounding nerves and cause lower back pain. Shooting pain, numbness, or tingling in the legs are common symptoms of herniated discs. Conservative therapies such as physical therapy and pain medicines are available, as are surgical interventions in complicated cases.
3. Spinal stenosis
Spinal stenosis develops when the gaps between the vertebrae narrow and put pressure on the nerves. This disorder is often associated with age and spinal degeneration. Lower back pain, leg pain, and trouble walking or standing for lengthy periods of time are additional symptoms of spinal stenosis. This condition can be treated with physical therapy, pain management, and surgery.
Sciatica is pain that extends from the lower back down to the buttocks and legs along the route of the sciatic nerve. This issue is frequently caused by a herniated disc, bone spur, or spine narrowing. The pain can be incapacitating, and people may feel weakness or numbness in the affected limb. Sciatica can be managed with physical therapy, pain medicines, and, in certain cases, surgery.
Arthritis, particularly osteoarthritis, can cause long-term pain in the lower back. Inflammation and discomfort are caused by cartilage degradation in the joints. Exercise, physical therapy, pain medicines, and lifestyle changes are beneficial in the management of arthritis-related lower back pain.
Osteoporosis is a bone disease that causes weak and brittle bones. Spinal compression fractures can cause excruciating lower back pain. Women, particularly those in menopause, are more likely to develop osteoporosis. Treatment includes medications to reduce bone loss, pain management, and lifestyle changes to avoid fractures.
7. Kidney stones
While kidney stones are most commonly associated with the urinary system, they may additionally result in acute lower back pain. The pain often becomes excruciating and spreads from the back to the abdominal area and groin. Other symptoms may include blood in the urine, frequent urination, and nausea. Seeking medical assistance is critical for accurate kidney stone diagnosis and treatment.
Lower back pain can be caused by infections in the kidneys, bladder, or spine. Urinary tract infections, kidney infections, and spinal infections all need immediate medical intervention. Lower back pain can be accompanied by other symptoms like fever, chills, and pain during urination. Proper antibiotic or other medication treatment is required to resolve the infection and relieve pain.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic disease that causes widespread musculoskeletal pain, particularly pain in the lower back. The precise etiology of fibromyalgia is unknown. However, it is thought to be caused by changes in how the brain interprets pain signals. Treatment usually consists of a mix of medications, physical therapy, and lifestyle changes.
10. Psychological factors
Psychological issues such as anxiety, stress, and depression can cause or worsen lower back pain. Emotional stress can increase muscle tension and impact pain perception. Managing these underlying psychological problems via counseling, stress management techniques, and self-care can help relieve lower back pain.