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What are the Causes of Lower Back Pain?

Posted on December 13, 2011 by pmruser

Lower back pain (also called lumbago) is pain in the lumbar region of the back, which is located just above the tailbone area.  Most Americans will experience pain in the lower back at some point in their lives, so this is a fairly common ailment.

In 99% of these cases, the lower back pain cause is attributed to muscle strain, and it is referred to as non-specific low back pain.  The onset of this type of pain is usually sudden, and can be caused by something as simple as heavy lifting.

The other 1% of lower back pain causes are attributed to a wide variety of factors and illnesses.  Listed below are three of the most common lower back pain causes of the 1%:

Slipped Disc

A spinal disc herniation, or “slipped disc,” can cause mild to severe pain in the lower back, depending on how much damage is done.  When a disc “slips,” it means that the soft tissue has torn, and then swelling occurs.  If the tear is the only damage that is done, then the pain may be mild.

However, if the swelling causes irritation to a nerve, or pinches a nerve, then the pain may be more severe.  This condition is typically brought on by lifting something that is too heavy for you or by spending too much time during the day just sitting around.  Although painful, this lower back pain cause, if mild, will heal itself in about six weeks; in rarer cases, surgery may be required.

Degenerative Arthritis

This common form of arthritis, also known as Osteoarthritis, can be a lower back pain cause, too.  Degenerative arthritis causes pain in the lower back by affecting, and degrading, the joints in the spine.  The result is a dull ache that may feel as if it is coming from the muscles in your lower back; however, without treatment the pain may become more severe.  Although there is no cure for arthritis, some lifestyle changes, as well as anti-inflammatory medication can manage this lower back pain cause.

Oxygen Deprivation

This condition is also known as Asphyxia, and typically is a lower back pain cause for scuba divers or others who engage in deep diving activities.  Of course, oxygen deprivation can occur in a variety of individuals for a variety of reasons, such as having the wind knocked out of you; the onset of symptoms may not be as sudden as the lower back pain cause, however, and it may take up to 2 days to detect the first sign of pain.

Without oxygen, your body’s cells cannot function properly, and this interruption of their normal processes can result in a dull pain, located throughout various places in your body.  This lower back pain cause can be treated with oxygen therapy, and in many cases it may be prevented through conscientiousness on your part.

Final Notes on Lower Back Pain

If the pain in your lower back:

  1. Increases with time
  2. Persists steadily over a long period of time
  3. Is just generally worrying you

Please do not hesitate to consult with a medical professional.  Even though in most cases your lower back pain cause may be attributed to muscle strain, it should never be taken too lightly.

Go easy on yourself until the pain disappears, or if you have seen a professional for your lower back pain cause, make sure to follow their directions and regimen to the tee.  This will typically result in a speedy, and less painful, recovery period.