How Common are Low Back Pains?

Low Back Pains

Four out of every five people will have low back pain at some point. Various injuries or diseases can cause low back pain, the most common of which is an injury to the back’s muscles or tendons. The intensity of pain can vary from mild to chronic. In some cases, pain makes it difficult or impossible to walk, sleep, work, or perform daily tasks. Lower back pain usually improves with rest, pain relievers, and physical therapy (PT). Cortisol injections and hands-on treatments (such as osteopathic or chiropractic manipulation) can alleviate pain and aid in the healing process. Some low back conditions Edison may require surgical intervention. Your doctor may order imaging studies to check for broken bones or other damage. These examinations will allow your doctor to see detailed images of your vertebrae, discs, muscles, ligaments, and tendons.

Causes of low back pains

Spinal arthritis

One of the most prevalent causes of lower back pain is spinal arthritis, which is the slow deterioration of the spinal joints. As we age, we all undergo wear and tear, and it is natural for your lower back to begin acting up. As the cartilage between the spinal joints deteriorates, the surrounding tissues may become swollen and painful. Cartilage thinning and inflammation increase friction in the joints, which can cause lower back pain.

Back injuries

A bad fall or a car accident can result in a lower back injury. Conversely, handling a laundry bag up the stairs can be exhausting. Some back problems are severe and unexpected, while others develop slowly over time. You might believe that athletes and active people are the most likely to be injured due to their busy lifestyles. However, this is not always the case. Bending over to grab a handkerchief from under the bed is likely to cause back pain. Basic tasks, including carrying a child, can also result in back injuries if done incorrectly.

Disc issues

The vertebrae are cushioned by discs which are small spinal bones. Because of their position in the spine, discs can bulge and press on a nerve. They can also cause tears (herniated disc). Discs can flatten and provide less protection (degenerative disc disease) as you age.

Fractures

The bones in the spine can tear in an accident, such as a car accident or a fall. Fractures are more likely in people with specific conditions, like spondylolysis or osteoporosis.

Scoliosis

When viewed from the side, your spine has a normal curvature that looks like an ‘S,’ with your upper back curving backwards and your lower back bending forward. Scoliosis is a vertebral malformation that can cause back pain if your spine turns sideways when viewed from behind.

Low back pain affects millions of individuals. Stiffness, pain, and restricted movement can all have a negative impact on one’s quality of life. However, by sustaining a healthy weight and staying active, you may be able to avoid lower back pain. Call Jeff Pan, MD, or book an appointment to learn more about low back problems.

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