Lower back pain: Causes and Symptoms
The lower back of the body is an intricate structure of interconnected and overlapping elements that include tendons & muscles, sensitive nerves & nerve roots, small & complex joints and spinal discs. Trauma or irritation in any of these elements, can cause lower back pain. This pain is quite common but the symptoms and severity can vary.
3 common types of lower back pain and the causes
Symptom 1: Lower back pain and stiffness in the morning and evening Cause: Facet joint osteoarthritis It is a degenerative condition that is caused by the breakdown of the cartilage between the facet joints in the spine.
Symptom 2: Leg pain while walking and standing upright Cause: Lumbar spinal stenosis or degenerative spondylolisthesis These conditions can happen when there is pressure on the nerves at the point of exit on the spine.
Symptom 3: Sudden back pain, decreased flexibility, height loss Cause: Compression fracture from osteoporosis When a person suffers from osteoporosis, even a small amount of force put on the spine, such as a sneeze, can cause a compression fracture.
Other lesser known causes of lower back pain
- Sacroiliac joint dysfunction
- Piriformis syndrome
- Spinal tumor
- Ankylosing spondylitis
Lower Back Pain: Younger adult VS Older adults
Younger adults (30 to 60 years) usually experience pain from the disc space or from a back muscle strain or other soft tissue strain. Whereas older adults (over 60 years) are more likely to get affected by pain related to joint degeneration (e.g. osteoarthritis or spinal stenosis) or from a compression fracture.
Lower back pain can be accompanied by:
- Fever and chills
- Sudden weight loss due to trauma
- Weakness in leg
- Inconsistency in bowel and/or bladder movement
- Severe abdominal pain
The treatment for lower back varies with each individual patient’s history, type and the intensity of pain. If you are experiencing back pain too, consult a doctor at the earliest.