9 Lower Back Pain Causes That Could Be Affecting Your Well-Being
by AZ Pain Doctors, on Mar 18, 2021 3:07:00 PM
Do you suffer from lower back pain, an area also called the "lumbar region?" This is one of the most common disabilities in the world. Back pain was previously thought to be something that seniors struggled with. Today, most people as young as 35 develop back pain.
But why is lower back pain so common? And how does it start? Low back pain has many causes. If you’re unsure where your back pain came from, you can read these different lower back pain causes and take the necessary steps to relieve your back pain with an Arizona pain clinic.
Here are 9 lower back pain causes to know.
1. Bulging or Ruptured Discs
Discs are made of soft tissue material and act as cushions between the bones in your spine. These discs can bulge or rupture, pressing on a nerve that causes pain or a dull ache. You usually feel this pain in the lower back, though it can also cause sciatica (pain down the back of the legs).
There are many reasons why discs rupture. Your discs wear out as you age, though they can also rupture from a car accident or any strenuous activity. Fortunately, most ruptured discs heal on their own. But if your pain is severe, you may need surgery.
Keep in mind, not all bulging or ruptured discs cause pain.
2. Muscle or Ligament Strain
Back muscle strains are common. This occurs when you overuse or overstretch the muscles in your back.
Doing something as simple as lifting a heavy object or being in an awkward position is enough to cause back muscle and ligament strains. Some issues can cause more frequent muscle strains, such as poor physical health.
Fortunately, pulled back muscles are considered a minor injury. But they can cause severe pain, a stabbing sensation, and muscle spasms.
3. Psychological Stress
While this seems odd, your mental health is often connected to your physical health. That’s why a negative mental state can exacerbate any physical pain you have. This sensation exemplifies if you have limited mobility due to back pain.
For example, if you struggle with anxiety and are stressing about your back pain, this will likely worsen the pain.
Psychological vulnerabilities can intensify the pain. That’s because of the neurotransmitters in your brain, specifically dopamine. Depression and anxiety are linked to dopamine dysfunction; low levels of dopamine may also exacerbate nerve pain.
If you suspect your pain is “all in your head,” it’s suggested you try different relaxation techniques to enhance your mental well-being.
Osteoporosis is a bone disease that occurs when you lose bone mass. As a result, your bones become weak. If you fall, your bones may break easier than normal. In some cases, Osteoporosis is so severe that patients experience broken bones from bumping into an object.
If the bones in your spine are porous and brittle, your spine’s vertebrae can develop painful fractures. Since your spine vertebrae will weaken, Osteoporosis can also cause a hunched posture.
Osteoporosis often goes unnoticed until it’s too late. That’s because you can’t feel your bones weaken.
Arthritis can lead to the narrowing of the space around the spine, which is called spinal stenosis.
Wear and tear is the leading cause of spinal arthritis, but infection and even autoimmune disorders can cause spine arthritis. Certain factors, such as age, genes, certain health conditions, and obesity increase the chances of getting arthritis.
The cartilage in the spine slowly breaks down, leading to pain and inflammation. Spine arthritis is not only painful but the pain often becomes chronic.
Scoliosis is a spinal irregularity, resulting in the spine curving sideways. This sideways curve usually occurs during puberty, but it’s not known how and why scoliosis occurs. Other conditions may also cause scoliosis, such as muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy.
One of the most common scoliosis effects is discomfort and even pain in the lower back. Fortunately, most cases of scoliosis are mild, though the condition can also get more serious as the adolescent grows. Severe cases of scoliosis make mobility and even breathing difficult.
7. Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction
This is a condition that causes inflammation in the sacroiliac (SI) joint. This joint connects the bottom of your spine to your pelvis on both sides. Sacroiliac joint dysfunction can cause a burning sensation on the back of your thighs, intense pain on the joint, and flare-ups that occur with movement.
You can treat mild sacroiliac joint dysfunction with postural correctness, pain-relieving medications, and certain exercises. For severe cases, you may need medical treatment.
Sacroiliac joint dysfunction is difficult to diagnose. That’s because the symptoms are similar to other conditions, such as a herniated disc.
8. Piriformis Syndrome
The piriformis muscle is located deep within the buttocks. There are times when this muscle can irritate the sciatic nerve, causing severe pain.
This pain usually radiates throughout your hips and buttocks, though it can affect your lower back and thighs. You may feel acute lower back pain, stiffness, and a warm painful sensation throughout your thighs.
Most causes of piriformis syndrome are easy to treat. You can treat mild causes with over-the-counter pain medications, though severe cases may need prescription muscle relaxers. Physical therapy and stretches are holistic methods to treat piriformis syndrome.
9. Inflammation of Internal Organs
While this isn’t always the case, lower back pain may be a symptom of issues with the internal organs. Many organs are located in the abdominal, mid-back, and pelvic regions.
Some of these conditions may include:
- Kidney infection
- Kidney stones
- Ulcerative colitis
Keep in mind, most of these conditions usually come with other symptoms.
For example, a kidney infection usually starts as a urinary tract infection (UTI), so it’s best to not assume these conditions aren’t the cause of lower back pain unless you experience other symptoms or if the pain is localized to one region.
If you suspect these conditions are causing your back pain, consult your doctor for an accurate diagnosis.
The Most Common Lower Back Pain Causes: Seek Help Today
While there are many lower back pain causes, you won’t be able to identify the true cause of your low back pain unless you visit a doctor. If you’re based in Mesa, Arizona and the surrounding areas, schedule your appointment today.