Lower Back Pain Causes
Lower back pain is a common condition that affects about 80% of the population. Pain may vary from a dull aching to a sharp shooting pain. The onset of pain may be sudden or acute.
Lower back pain can occur from lifting a heavy object, following a sports injury, or could result from prolonged or repeated stress on the lower back. It may also result from trauma, wear-and-tear due to increased age, inactivity, poor posture or tumors. Some conditions can also lead to back pain:
- Sprain or strain of the muscles of the lower back
- Degeneration (arthritis) or inflammation (spondylitis) of the joints between the vertebral bones
- Degeneration, rupture or herniation of the intervertebral discs
- Slipping of a vertebral bone out of position (spondylolisthesis)
- Thickening of the ligaments that connect the vertebral bones (spinal stenosis)
Most of these conditions cause pain by compressing spinal nerves that pass through and exit from the spine in the lower back. Lower back pain may sometimes be accompanied by pain, numbness or weakness in the legs.
Most cases of lower back pain resolve with time, but if it lasts for more than 3 months, it is considered chronic. You should visit your doctor if your lower back pain is severe or lasts more than 72 hours.