Lower back pain may have different causes than upper or entire back pain. The lower back serves a different role from the other parts of the back, as is it the sole support for the entire upper body. The lower back takes on the majority of the stress from everyday life and injuries. Bodies bend, rotate, and extend at the waist; the lower back is always a part of that process and is affected by most body movement.
Protecting the core and lower back are essential to maintaining healthy body movement. The most common causes of lower back pain are a lumbar strain or radiculopathy, nerve irritation, a bony encroachment, or any type of bone or joint condition, such as arthritis.
A lumbar strain is when the ligaments, tendons, or muscles of the lower back are stretched too far and become strained. The tissue tears usually as a result of overuse, although improper use or accidents are sometimes to blame. The most effective way to relieve and eliminate a lumber strain is to take pain medication and rest to allow the back to heal. Massage and heat therapy can help to soothe the pain. After the strain has healed, exercises should be performed to strengthen the area to prevent future problems.
Lumber radiculopathy because a problem after there has been damage to the discs of the back. More often than not, disc damage is caused by use in daily life. The discs wear down and allow for nerve irritation, and can sometimes cause a hernia. This type of condition is more severe and requires a more serious form of treatment, sometimes leading to surgery. Medication and rest are important treatments, but if unsuccessful, the patient will need surgery to remove the affected disc(s).
Basic nerve irritation can be caused by a range of issues, as the nerves spread a long way throughout the body. A viral infection and body encroachment can cause nerve irritation. Body encroachment results from anything that forces the movement of the lumbar spine. The movement of growth can crowd other spinal cords and nerves. Pain from body encroachment can be quite severe and even irritated by walking. Sometimes, the only useful treatment is to rest to relieve the pain. The most severe cases require surgery to remove a disc and release the pressure causing the pain.
Bone or joint conditions such as arthritis, scoliosis, or spina bifida can cause severe back and sometimes body pain. Scoliosis and spine bifida are typically birth defects that are indentified when the baby is in the womb. Arthritis can be genetic or the result of daily life. More serious bone conditions can require bracing to support the body and spine. Others are treated with heat and physical therapy, and rest. Arthritis can range from mild to severe, typically getting worse as the body ages, and can be treated with medication.
Lower back pain can result from something as simple as slouching in a chair, but sometimes the causes are more serious and require evaluation by a doctor.