Most of us have experienced that dreadful moment when you feel a sudden tweak in your lower back and end up on the couch with an ice pack for a few days. The reality is, a majority of individuals will suffer lower back pain at some point in their lives. In fact, among adults, back pain is the single leading cause of disability in the entire world.
Lower back pain can be acute or chronic. Understanding the cause of your back pain is an important component to developing the right treatment plan to get you back on your feet. Take a look at some of the most common causes of back pain below to see if one may be the culprit behind your symptoms.
In most cases, lower back pain is a result of overworking or moving your back the wrong way. Repetitive stress or even just one instance of sudden or awkward movement, such as bending, twisting, or lifting, can stretch or tear the muscles and ligaments in your back. Poor posture, lifting or carrying something heavy, working out, standing or sitting for extended periods, and similar motions and activities are common causes of lower back muscle strain.
2) Disc Injury
In between the bones (vertebrae) of your spine, there are pieces of connective tissue called discs keeping them in place. These discs can slip, rupture, bulge out (herniate), tear, etc. and put pressure on surrounding nerves, causing moderate to intense pain. Discs can be damaged from injury, age, or chronic conditions like degenerative disc disease. Sciatica is an example of a condition that results from disc problems, in this case a herniated disc pressing on the sciatic nerve, and causes long-term lower back pain.
3) Joint Inflammation
Conditions that inflame joints can be a cause of lower back pain. Over time, this chronic inflammation can wear your joints down and weaken the cartilage cushioning your bones. Osteoarthritis, spondylitis, and fibromyalgia are all examples of diseases that can inflame and damage your joints. Most of these conditions are simply a product of age. Back pain from joint issues can come and go in flare ups or be felt constantly.
4) Alignment Issues
When your spine is not correctly aligned, it’s difficult to maintain good posture. As time goes on, poor posture puts pressure on the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and vertebrae in your back, resulting in pain. The most well-known example of spine misalignment is scoliosis, when the spine curves abnormally to the side or in an “S” shape. Similar examples include kyphosis (spine curves outward), lordosis (spine curves inward), and degenerative spondylolisthesis (ligaments wear down causing vertebrae to slip out of place). Many of these conditions are diagnosed in childhood.
Osteoporosis is a disease that impacts the density and strength of your bones. As your vertebrae become more fragile, your spine becomes more susceptible to painful compression fractures from the lack of support. Osteoporosis is more common in individuals over the age of 50. If you’re older and concerned that this may be causing your lower back pain, ask your doctor about a bone density test.
If there’s one thing that can be said about lower back pain, no matter the cause, it’s that it is inconvenient, frustrating, and often debilitating. The good news is that there are solutions that can help lessen your pain and give you back control of your life. At BEK Medical, we carry a wide selection of orthopedic products that are affordable and easy to use. From back braces to lumbar support belts to posture control products, we have the supplies you need to find relief.
Browse, find information, and order top-quality orthopedic products from our online store today!