Getting Through the Day With Low Back Pain
Almost everyone experiences low back pain every now and then. Whether mild or severe, short-term or long-term, low back pain can greatly affect your daily life.
Causes of Low Back Pain
Many factors can contribute to low back pain — from strained muscles to strained “nerves” An acute injury — lifting and twisting a heavy load, for example — can lead to low back pain. And, over time, aging causes degenerative spinal changes starting as early as the 30s or earlier.
Here’s a quick overview of low back pain causes:
Overuse of muscles and ligaments, caused by a competitive tennis match or an ambitious day in the garden
Disk injury, tears or other damage to the “shock absorbers” between the spinal bones (vertebrae)
Disk degeneration, the wear and tear, shrinking, and collapse of disks that can be more common with age
Degenerative spondylolisthesis, changes to spinal structures, which allows a vertebra to slip forward from the next vertebra
Spinal stenosis, narrowing of the space around the spinal cord, which puts pressure on nerve roots
Scoliosis, an abnormal curvature of the spine that may cause pain for some people
Low Back Pain Symptoms
If you have any of the above diagnoses or these symptoms you should seek the care and treatment of a physician, Your pain may be dull or sharp. It may come and go. And depending upon its source, pain may get worse with standing, sitting, bending, or walking. Pain can even extend into your buttock or leg. Along with this shooting pain may come feelings of numbness, tingling, or weakness down your leg. Called sciatica, these symptoms may be a common result of a herniated disk in the lower back, where the disk bulges out toward the spinal canal.