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What Causes Lower Back Pain

low back pain

The majority of lower back pain issues are caused by mechanical stress issues, with soft-tissue injuries also cause lower back pain in some cases. Spondylosis is commonly associated with low back pain, which is when the spine deteriorates as a result of wear and tear occurring in the joints, bones, and discs in the spine throughout your life.

It is important to seek out a lower back pain specialist. Here are some more examples of how mechanical stress can cause lower back pain:

Sprains and Strains

Sprains and strains account for most cases of lower back pain because of how common it is to injure yourself in this way. Sprains and strains are quite similar, with sprains affecting your ligaments and strains affecting your muscles and/or your tendons. Sprains and strains are normally caused by overstretching these body parts, with tearing occurring in more severe cases.

Sprains and strains can be caused by the following:

Lifting something incorrectly or with bad posture

Lifting something that is too heavy for you


These incidents can also trigger muscle spasms in your back, which can also be quite painful.

Herniated Discs

Herniated discs are more likely to affect you the older you get, as your discs become less flexible and more vulnerable to tearing or becoming ruptured. This can potentially cause pain as the nucleus of the disc pushes through the crack, compressing nearby nerves. Herniated discs do not always have symptoms, and can also affect other parts of your body depending on where the disc is located.

Spinal Stenosis

Spinal Stenosis is the term for the narrowing of space within your spine, which can result in pressure being put on the nerves. This can be caused by wear and tear, herniated discs, car injuries or even being born with a small spinal canal. In extreme cases, surgery may be recommended to make more space for the spinal cord and nerves.


Radiculopathy is a condition caused by the inflammation, compression and/or injury of a spinal nerve root. This causes pressure to be placed on the nerve root, resulting in pain, numbness, or a tingling sensation that radiates to other parts of the body that are related to that nerve, a condition known as referred pain.


A specific form of radiculopathy, sciatica is the compression of the sciatic nerve which extends from the buttocks all the way down the back of the leg. Compressing the sciatic nerve can cause burning or sharp pains in the lower back, as well as other areas of the body related to the sciatic nerve. In severe cases when the nerve is pinched, symptoms can also include numbness and muscular weakness in the leg due to the nerve signaling being disrupted.

Severe Injuries

Being involved in a serious injury from sports, a car crash or an accident like falling can potentially damage your ligaments, muscles and/or tendons resulting in lower back pain. This will generally be the cause of a herniated disc or spinal stenosis.

Knowing how lower back pain is caused can also allow you to take precautions to prevent it from happening in certain circumstances.

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