What Causes Lower Back Pain


What Causes Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain is a troublesome affliction that plagues many individuals. Unfortunately, many people accept this pain as a normal part of the aging process.

However, there are many ways to relieve the discomfort brought on by lower back pain, which can be best understood through the illumination of its causes.

It is important that anyone with back pain of any type first be evaluated by a physician. There are a number of rather serious, but treatable, conditions that may manifest through this symptom and the earlier treatment can begin, the better one’s prognosis will be. In terms of lower back pain in particular, it can be caused by stress on certain organs, namely the kidneys – which is also something that is very important to rule out before progressing to self-treatment of lower back pain.

The primarily physiological cause of lower back pain is, of course, excessive stress on the spinal column. Diagnosable causes of lower back pain include herniated discs (when the disks that allow movement of the vertebral column become unbalanced and rupture), osteoarthritis (joint degeneration that is more commonly associated with age than physical strain), and spinal stenosis (narrowing of the vertebral canal). These conditions are best treated with medical interventions, as they commonly require medication and possibly even surgery.

In many cases, however, lower back pain cannot be traced to a specific cause. It is the result of excessive strain being placed upon the muscles and ligaments of the lumbar region of the spine. In some cases, this is due to excessive lifting, or perhaps improper lifting. When lifting heavy items, it is essential to maintain upright posture from the waist, and to bend only in the legs – using the momentum from the straightening of the legs and their subsequent movements to support the heavy item (rather than the upper extremities and back.)

Likewise, it is important for individuals who spend a lot of time in front of computers or completing office tasks to make sure they maintain proper posture throughout the day. It is also important to select a chair that offers adequate lumber (the lower curve of the spine, i.e. “lower back”) support.

There are many physiological as well as physical causes of lower back pain. Whilst we tend not to have a great deal of control over physiological pathologies, we can control the physical contributions to lower back pain. Being sure to use proper posture (i.e. straight back with neck in alignment with shoulders) when bending, and to minimize tasks that place unnecessary stress on the lower back can have significant effects in improving lower back pain.

Furthermore, for individuals who do have to engage in potentially damaging tasks, it is a wise idea to partake in a course that covers specific positions for different types of tasks in one’s industry, or even to take a class such as yoga to become more aware of body alignment. A greater awareness of the seemingly small things that contribute to lower back pain can help reduce symptoms and perhaps conquer this menacing problem permanently.


This article was written for Insights-on-Health.com by Nicole D T, a freelance writer who researches and writes on various topics.

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