Understand Your Lower Back Pain
Most of us will feel lower back pain at some point. For many, this is a one-time minor pain that you don’t have to put much thought into. For others, the pain could be more severe or long lasting. Either way, it’s important to remember that aches and pains are always caused by something.
There are dozens of factors that could play a part in your lower back pain, but one of these 9 common issues is often the culprit:
Strain from activity
Participating in strenuous activities such as sports can sometimes injure the spine, causing lower back pain.
Lifting things improperly
Lifting heavy objects should always be done using the strength in your legs, not your back. People often default to using the back to lift objects, causing pain.
Degeneration in the spine
As you age, it’s fairly common to notice some changes in your body. The discs in your spine (the sponge tissue that acts as a cushion in between the vertebrae) dehydrate and become stiff which decreases the ability of the disc to compress as your spine moves.
Lower back pain could be a sign of a spine injury, such as a fracture. If the pain comes suddenly, especially after a fall or unusual movement, you should see a doctor immediately.
Scoliosis is an abnormal curve of the spine. While idiopathic scoliosis (the most common type) has not been shown to cause back pain, other types such as degenerative scoliosis (which is more common in adults) can cause significant pain.
Spinal stenosis puts pressure on the nerves surrounding the spine causing pain, tingling, numbness, or weakness from the lower back down into the legs.
Spondylolisthesis occurs when the vertebrae in your spine slip out of place which puts pressure on the spinal cord and surrounding nerves.
Sacroiliitis in the inflammation of one or both of your sacroiliitic joints. These joints are found where your lower spine and pelvis connect. It can cause pain in the lower back, buttocks, and down one or both legs.
Spondylosis refers to the degeneration of the spine and is often used to explain osteoarthritis of the spine.
In the end, it all comes down to listening to your body. You should always be observant to the signals your body is giving you that something may be wrong. Whenever you’re unsure of an ache or pain, you should see a back doctor immediately. In the event that it’s serious, you’ll want to start treatment as soon as possible.
Casey McClone, MD
Board Certifications in Family Medicine and Sports Medicine. Dr. McClone specializes in treating musculoskeletal pain for patients of all ages with ultra-sound guided injections.