Lower Back Pain Causes
Having a better understanding of lower back pain causes should always be
the first step towards treatment. The reason this is important is because
there can be many different causes of lower back pain so it is best to
understand the causes and the symptoms to gain a greater understanding of
how the back can become injured. This will also allow you to have better
insight when considering treatment options.
One common lower back pain cause is a strain in the muscles or a lumbar
sprain in the lower back. When muscle strain occurs, the muscles in the
back become stretched abnormally or too much, resulting in tears in the
muscle fibers. A lumbar sprain can occur in similar ways and yield almost
identical symptoms of pain, however when this occurs the ligaments in the
back become injured, not the muscles. The ligaments are thick, fibrous
bands of tissue that hold bones, cartilage, and other structures together.
Generally, these symptoms can be difficult to differentiate since their
symptoms are so similar, but luckily the treatment is usually the same.
Most cases of lower back pain are caused by a lumbar sprain or muscle
strain. However, when pain becomes chronic or severe, or when there is
noticeable weakness in the lower extremities, it is important to consult
your physician to ensure that the symptoms donít become worse.
In addition to sprains and strains, another common lower back pain cause
is a herniated or ruptured disc. The discs between the vertebrae act as
cushions. They rest between the vertebrae and help to absorb and
distribute weight. In addition, they also help to maintain stability
during movement. Over time, this soft cushion can become firmer and lose
its elasticity. If this disc becomes herniated it begins to bulge out from
the spinal column and the bulge can pinch the nerves and spinal cord. The
effects of this can be severe. Weakness in the lower extremities is one
symptom, as is severe pain in the legs, difficulty controlling your
bladder or bowels, and paresthesias which is abnormal feelings or
sensations through the body.
Arthritis often affects knees and other joints in the body, but is can
also be a common lower back pain cause as well. Arthritis is a disease
that causes inflammation of the joints. Osteoarthritis is one of the most
common varieties of arthritis and is thought to be caused by years of wear
and tear on the joints, causing them to become worn down and become
inflamed. Typically, osteoarthritis affects elderly people, although early
symptoms can begin between the ages of 30 and 40. The joints of the lumbar
spine can be seriously affected when this condition contributes to the
wearing down of cartilage and tissue around the joints, often resulting in
deep aching pain, joint swelling, reduced movement, morning stiffness, and
the degeneration of smooth movement.
Osteoporosis is often a cause of lower back pain and can have serious
effects. Osteoporosis is the loss of bone density and the degeneration of
bone tissue. This condition can have very serious effects since increased
thinning of bone can lead to problems with structural support. There are
two types of osteoporosis, type I and type II. Typically, type I
osteoporosis occurs in post-menopausal women. Type II is most common and
can occur in both men and woman, typically among the elderly. As people
age, calcium and phosphate are often absorbed from the bone back into the
body. This process often lowers bone density and causes bone to be weaker
and brittle. Hormone deficiencies are often the most common cause of
osteoporosis, where estrogen is lacking among women and testosterone is
lacking among men. Age, having menopause, and having a family history of
osteoporosis are often significant risk factors for developing the
condition. Symptoms may include fractures, neck pain, lower back pain, and
pain or tenderness in bones. Often, there are no early signs of the
condition and fractures as a result of the condition can sometimes be the
first sign of osteoporosis. To help prevent this condition it is essential
to have a balanced diet with the right amount of calcium, which aids in
the maintenance of bones, taking phosphorous, and taking Vitamin D which
helps with the absorption of calcium. It is also important to avoid
smoking and consuming alcohol. Exercise also helps bones retain density.
Spinal stenosis is also a common lower back pain cause. This condition
refers to the narrowing of the spinal column, usually in people over the
age of 50. When the disks between the vertebrae lose moisture and volume
with age, they become narrower and space between the discs becomes much
smaller. This condition can often cause inflammation around the joints. In
addition, it can cause nerves and tissue to become pinched, causing pain
and other damage to the tissue.
Fibromyalgia is not a familiar sounding condition, but it is a more common
cause of lower back pain than people may think. Stiffness, fatigue, and
chronic muscle aches are symptoms that are often associated with this
condition. This condition also leads to the inflammation of the bodyís
connective tissue. Chronic pain is often a symptom of this condition and
emotional stress has been known to add to the pain that is felt.
Back spasms, although usually not severe, can also be a lower back pain
cause. Spasms are spontaneous, abnormal contractions of muscles in the
lower back. When these spasms occur around the spinal cord it can become
painful. Usually, muscles spasms are a response to some sort of injury or
strain that affected the muscles in the back.
These are among the most common types of lower back pain causes.
Obviously, there are many different conditions that can contribute to
pain. If left untreated, many of these conditions can significantly
contribute to the degeneration of bones and tissue throughout the back and
lower back, which can have serious affects on your health. This is why
understanding the structure of the back and learning about the different
ailments is crucial in determining the specific cause of back pain, and it
will also allow you to understand what specific condition may be plaguing