In any given year, one in five people suffers from back pain. Moreover, 80% of Americans will have at least one episode of lower back pain throughout a lifetime.
If you are reading this, perhaps you fall in that percentage of people suffering an acute case of back pain. It is also possible that you have been suffering from chronic lower back pain and have not yet found an effective treatment option.
Either way, it is essential to understand the common causes of lower back pain. Once you know what is causing the problem, you are better positioned to find the best lower back pain doctor and treatment options.
In this post, we will walk you through six causes of low back pain. We will also outline some ways to help lower back pain without the use of pharmaceuticals or surgery. Read on to learn more!
Accidents or Trauma
One of the most common causes of lower back pain is also the most obvious. Many people develop acute back pain as a result of sudden trauma such as:
- A car accident
- A slip-and-fall accident
- A sports injury
- Falling from height
- Lifting an object that’s too heavy
Depending on the nature of the injury, you may experience pain right away. It might also develop gradually in the hours or days after the incident.
If the pain is manageable, you may be able to treat it at home with rest, ice, and gentle stretching. If the pain persists or gets worse in the coming days or weeks, it is a good idea to visit a lower back pain doctor and get a proper examination.
Muscle Strains & Sprains
Most cases of acute back pain are due to muscular or ligament strains. These can result from trauma (as mentioned above), or gradually develop the symptoms over time.
Soft tissue sprains and strains can happen from:
- Improper stretching
- Repeated heavy lifting
- Incorrect lifting
- Playing contact sports
- Repeated twisting and bending
- Intense physical activity or exercise
- Prolonged coughing or sneezing
- Poor posture
Signs of soft tissue injury include pain, stiffness, and muscle spasms. You might feel sciatic nerve pain radiating through the butt, hip, and leg. You may also have difficulty getting comfortable while standing, sitting, or lying down.
Muscular strains can be debilitating, but the good news is that it usually responds well to conservative treatments. Your lower back pain doctor may recommend non-invasive treatment options like chiropractic adjustments, massage, and gentle stretches to help heal the body.
Abnormal Spinal Curvature
For some people, their lower back pain develops due to spinal deformities or long-term postural problems. These include:
- Scoliosis (an “s” shaped curve in the spine)
- Kyphosis (an exaggerated curve in the upper spine)
- Lordosis (an exaggerated curve in the lower spine)
- Spondylolisthesis (vertebrae that move more than they should, causing spinal instability)
Again, most of these conditions respond well to a combination of conservative treatments. A doctor may also recommend wearing a back brace, postural training, or switching to more ergonomic furniture.
When the cartilage between joints starts to wear out, it can lead to pain, stiffness, swelling, and mobility issues. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, affecting over 32 million Americans. It affects the spine and other joints such as the hands, knees, and hips.
There are a variety of risk factors for osteoarthritis. It is more common in women than men, especially after the age of 50. Being overweight and leading a sedentary lifestyle also increase their chances of developing this type of arthritis.
Although there is no cure for osteoarthritis, it is often possible to manage the symptoms through natural lower back pain treatment.
Adults have 26 vertebrae that make up their spinal column. Each set of vertebrates has a cushion-like “disc” that helps absorb the stress and pressure placed on the spine during your normal activities.
Due to blunt trauma or age-related wear and tear, the jelly-like inner part of these discs can push through the outer casing. The result is a herniated disc (also called a slipped or ruptured disc).
The signs of symptoms of a herniated disc do not always show up right away. You may notice muscular weakness or pain when you sneeze, cough, or laugh. You might also experience “pins and needles” in your lower back or pain that radiates into your butt, legs, and feet.
Many people are surprised to learn that an autoimmune disorder could cause back pain.
Fibromyalgia affects as many as 4 million Americans (2% of the adult population). It causes random, unexplained pain throughout the body that lasts for at least three months. The lower back is a common area of fibromyalgia pain, including the legs, butt, and shoulders.
Another autoimmune disorder that wreaks havoc on the spine is ankylosing spondylitis. It causes inflammation and joint fusion in the vertebrae and the hands, ribs, and hips.
If you are suspect an autoimmune condition could be an underlying cause of lower back pain, schedule a visit with A doctor ASAP. A doctor will help determine the most effective treatment options for back conditions.
Understanding the Common Causes of Lower Back Pain
As we have discussed, many different things can cause lower back pain. Sometimes, the cause is apparent — for example, if you are injured in a car accident or a slip-and-fall incident, you know where the injury was obtained.
Other times, though, it takes a lower back pain doctor to pinpoint the source of the problem. Once you have identified what is causing your issues, you can choose the best lower back pain treatment options to start feeling better.
The team at Preferred Injury Physicians understands all the common causes of lower back pain. Best of all, we know how to treat it without the use of risky surgeries or invasive procedures.
Are you ready to diagnose, treat, and prevent lower back pain in the future? Contact us today and schedule an appointment at one of our 12 convenient Florida locations.