Fortunately for many sufferers of low back pain or lumbago there is often no underlying cause of the back ache or discomfort. Back pain may occur as a result of damage, tension or inflammation arising at any point of the spine from the coccyx or tail bone up to the cervical joints of the neck. The lower part of the spine, sometimes known as the lumbar region or lumbar spine is often the location of back pain as this area is under constant pressure as a result of providing support for all your body weight above this point. It’s also often at risk of further injury maybe whilst lifting heavy objects or during twisting movements encountered during routine activities at work, or as in recreational activities such as gardening or sports.
Usually, back problems ease after a few days and completely over time, generally by avoiding further aggravation to the low back. However, if the symptoms of the back pain continues for longer than a week then it’s prudent to see a GP for advice on an effective back pain therapy regime, but also to get reassurance that there is not a more serious (although infrequent) underlying cause for the pain such as:-
Ankylosing Spondylitis This disease is characterized by inflammation or stiffness and pain in the spinal joints
Arthritis– is a degenerative condition where the protective cartilage cushioning the tops of the bones erodes causing stiffness or pain.
Chronic Pain – Back pain that lasts longer 6 months is considered unlikely to heal on its own and different treatment strategies are considered to get pain relief
Degenerative disc disease – where the discs in the spine gradually wear down over time. Most people with degenerative disc disease will experience low-level but often continuous back pain that occasionally intensifies and may become severe
Depression– Clinical depression often accompanies chronic back pain, or it can lead to increased back pain, and should be considered as part of an overall treatment strategy
Fibromyalgia– this is a chronic muscular pain syndrome, which can often first appear as back pain
Fractures– maybe as the result of a fall or injury. Most fractures in the spine are caused by osteoporosis, where the bones lose structural integrity over time
Herniated disc– A herniated disc occurs when the inner fluid in the disc leaks out and puts pressure upon a spinal nerve, often leading to discomfort or pain
Leg Pain – This can occur when the nerves exiting the spine in the lumbar region are itrapped or mpinged, this pain can transmit down the leg as a general pain, tingling, numbness, or weakness.
Neck pain– where it can be afflicted with muscle strain, spinal stenosis, herniated disc, osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease, and also by traumas such as whiplash.
Osteoarthritis–A breakdown of the cartilage of the joints and discs in the lumbar region. Occasionally, this can cause spurs that put pressure on the nerves leaving the spinal column, leading to weakness and pain in the legs.
Osteoparosis– Over time the spinal can bones lose density causing them to become weak, brittle and more susceptible to fractures or breaks.
Pregnancy– Bodily changes during pregnancy often make back pain a common occurrence. Certain treatments are advised for most pregnant women to prevent or reduce back pain
Rheumatoid arthritis– brought about by an inflammatory condition of the immune system which can lead to inflammation of the joint linings of the back and their surrounding structures
Slipped disc– another name for a prolapsed or herniated disc where the disc bulges to the point that it puts pressure on the spinal nerves
Spinal stenosis – Here the spaces in the spine narrow thereby restricting the nerves
Spondylolithesis –where one of the spinal bones slips out of position or alignment
Sacroilliac joint dysfunction – the joint between the base of the spine and the hip does not generally exhibit movement, but any change in the joint may cause lumbar or leg pain.
Sciatica– If a lower back problem affects the sciatic nerve where it exits the lumbar spine and carries information between the brain and the legs, this can cause pain to radiate down the leg
Scoliosis– Describes abnormal side-to-side curvature of the spine, which, develops mainly in adolescents, but can also be as a symptom of aging and arthritis
Spinal deformities – As well as scoliosis, there may be other conditions which can effect a change in the normal structure of the spine
Spinal stenosis– This is a condition in which parts of the spine can narrow, leading to compression of a spinal nerve.
Spinal Tumors – A tumor in the spine can cause pressure on the nerves displaying symptoms similar to other spinal conditions,.
Spondylolisthesis– This can occur where a single vertebra in the spine moves forward over the one below it, triggering lower back or leg pain.. It generally occurs in the lower area of the spine.
Sports injury– Certain sports and activities are likely to cause or worsen back pain due to repetitive motions and added strain on the spine
Upper back pain – Pain from the thoracic spine is less common than from the cervical spine (neck) or lumbar spine (lower back). Muscular issues and joint dysfunctions are usually the most common problems in upper back