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Lower back pain is the aching or distress felt at the bottom of the spine at an area called the lumbar spine. This part of the spine is responsible for supporting most of the weight of a person’s body. About eight out of every ten people suffer from lower back pain. Furthermore, it is also the primary reason why so many people miss work. The good news is that there are many useful ways of treating the condition.
The ABC of Lower Back Pain

How does the condition arise?

Whenever a muscle in the spine or the bones or the discs and tendons close to the lumbar region become damaged, one will start experiencing lower back pain. The best way to identify the cause of your lower back pain is by looking for everyday symptoms. A person who suffers from lower back pain may feel a dull ache or he or she might experience muscle spasms. The affected area will also feel sore and the pain may move down the legs or to the groin or buttock or even the upper thigh. Other symptoms of lower back pain include stiffness and not being able to move freely.

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What are the main causes?

The main causes of lower back pain include a strained ligament or muscle tissue. The condition is also caused by spinal stenosis or by skeletal abnormalities. Other common causes include degeneration of the discs in the spine. An infection that affects the vertebrae can also cause lower back pain as too can any traumatic injury. Other than these causes, you can also include certain health issues, osteoporosis, arthritis as well as fibromyalgia and kidney stones. People who live sedentary lives and who do not exercise enough are also prone to developing the condition. Obesity can also cause lower back pain as too can a pregnancy.

How to treat the condition?

There are several different ways to treat the condition including surgery, non-surgical options as well as exercising and medications. It all depends on your symptoms and your medical history as well as physical state. If the condition is not very serious then it can be managed by taking over-the-counter medications. Applying ice packs and heating pads can also provide relief from the problem.
There are times when the lower back pain cannot be treated without using a marginally intrusive treatment. This is the case when a patient is suffering from a herniated disc or when the vertebrae are fractured and also because of a serious complication. In such cases, your doctor might recommend discectomy or fusion-based surgeries. If the doctor recommends discectomy then the surgeon will have to remove the ruptured disc portions while leaving any area not directly affected untouched. When performing a discectomy the surgeon will need to use an endoscope to guide the procedure.

If the doctor recommends fusion-based surgery then the broken vertebrae or slipped disc fragments will have to be removed and bone-bridges as well as spacers will need to be inserted. This helps the vertebrae to fuse properly.

If you suffer from lower back pain then it makes sense for you to talk to a spine specialist. They are the best people to diagnose and treat your condition. If the condition can be treated by medication then the doctor may recommend that course of action. Otherwise, there are other options available like doing yoga or exercising.

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What causes lower back pain?

Lower back pain affects about four out of every five Americans. It would not be an exaggeration to say that almost everyone has had to deal with this condition at some point of time in his or her lives. Lower back pain generally begins in the rib cage, which is also known as the lumbar region. The pain that you experience can be very intense and is one of the main reasons why people miss work.

Pain may or may not subside with time

The good news is that lower back pain subsides after a certain period of time. However, if it persists then you will need to treat the condition. This condition often occurs after you have lifted a heavy object or have twisted your spine when lifting something. Lower back pain also occurs whenever you make a sudden movement that puts too much stress on the lower back. Another reason why people suffer pain in their lower back region is because of their poor postures. Finally, the condition also occurs because of a sports related injury. When playing a sport that involves much twisting, there is a greater risk of developing pain in the lower back.

Mechanical issues

It is safe to say that lower back pain occurs mainly because of a mechanical issue or it can also be attributed to an injury to the soft tissues. Another possible cause is a damaged intervertebral disc. Compressed nerve roots and the wrong movement of the spinal joints are other causes of the condition.
The ABC of Lower Back Pain

Most common cause

The most common cause however is when you pull your muscle or ligament or tear a muscle or ligament. Lower back pain can occur all of a sudden or it may develop gradually because of certain repetitive movements. Whenever you stretch a muscle beyond its capacity you may end up tearing the muscle and this can, besides damaging the muscle, also result in lower back pain.

Heavy objects

People who lift heavy objects or who twist their spines also are more likely to suffer from lower back pain. Any sudden movement that places unwanted stress or strain on the lower back can also cause pain in the lower back.

Chronic lower back pain

If your lower back pain goes on for more than 3 months, then you are suffering from chronic lower back pain. This kind of condition normally occurs whenever there is a problem with the discs in your vertebrae or when there is a problem with your joints. It also occurs when a nerve root becomes irritated.

Less common causes

Among the lesser common causes of lower back pain, infections to the spine are also a reason for the condition. This is a rare cause, but if you do suffer lower back pain because of an infection in your spine, then the pain can be very severe and the condition can also turn life threatening when not treated. 


Tumors can also cause lower back pain. A spinal tumor may begin somewhere else in the body but it may spread to the spine. The reasons why the tumor spreads to the spine include breast cancer and prostate as well as kidney cancer. Last but not least, an autoimmune disease is also a possible cause of lower back pain. 

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