There’s a good chance that your friends, family, and coworkers often complain about low back pain. If you’re reading this, you too probably experience low back pain. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, approximately 80% of adults experience low back pain at some point in their lives. When it comes to what causes job-related disability, low back pain tops the list.
So, why are you experiencing low back pain, and what does it indicate?
Strains and Sprains
Strain in the lower back occurs when a muscle is overstretched and ends up tearing. Sprains occur when the ligaments that hold bones together tear because of overstretching. If you lift a heavy object and twist your spine while lifting, have poor posture over a long period of time, or have suffered a fall, you can strain or sprain your lower back.
Causes for Chronic Low Back Pain
Intervertebral disc degeneration — As people age, their intervertebral discs lose moisture and integrity. Loss of moisture leads the discs to wear down because they lose the ability to resist forces. A normal and healthy back, these discs allow flexion, bending, and torsion, but with deterioration they don’t provide the necessary cushioning.
Herniated discs — Discs become herniated when they are compressed enough to rupture the outer layer and irritate a nerve root. This leads to pain in the lower back.
Sciatica — This condition is caused when the sciatic nerve undergoes compression. The compression a burning or shocking sensation in the lower back. It is typically accompanied by pain in the buttocks and one leg, sometimes even reaching the foot.
Spondylolisthesis — This condition is caused by a vertebra in the lower spine slipping out of place and pinching the nearby nerves that exit the spinal column.
Trauma — Trauma sustained from sports, a fall, or a car accident can cause injuries in the muscles, ligaments, or tendons in the lower back, leading to pain in that area. Trauma can also cause spine compression, which can lead to ruptured or herniated discs. These discs, in turn, cause irritation and compression in the spinal nerves which may even lead to sciatica.
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***Disclaimer: This blog is intended for general informational purposes only. Don’t delay seeking professional medical advice based on the information accessed on this website.