What causes lower back pain?

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Lower back pain is one of the most common causes for a visit to the doctor, and whilst it is not always caused by anything serious and tends to subside over time, there are cases in which it can develop into something more long-lasting.

Lower back pain can be triggered by many different factors and can vary hugely for both men and women – in this blog post, we’ll look at the main causes of lower back pain and the common triggers for it in women and men alike.

Identifying a specific cause for lower back pain can be tricky as it depends mostly on the type of pain one experiences. Back pain is sometimes categorised into “non-specific” pain (meaning there is no one obvious cause) and mechanical – meaning it originates from the joints, bones or soft tissues found around the spine.

Common causes of lower back pain can include (but is not limited to):

  • Strains – muscles and ligaments in the lower back can stretch and even tear due to excess activity, resulting in pain, stiffness and even muscle spasms in the lower back
  • Disc injury – discs in the back are prone to injury especially as we age, and can slip or rupture (otherwise known as a herniated disc). Herniated discs can lead to compressed nerves which results in long lasting pain.
  • Sciatica – sciatic nerve pain is a common condition that causes chronic back pain for many and can occur with a herniated disc too.
  • Spinal stenosis – this is when the spinal column narrows and puts pressure on the spinal cord and nerves, leading to numbness, cramping, weakness and pain
  • Abnormal spine curvatures – conditions such as scoliosis, kyphosis and lordosis that cause abnormal curvatures in the spine can also cause lower back pain in many

Conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, spondylitis, spondylosis etc can also cause lower back pain

Aside from these conditions, everyday lower back pain can also occur after heavy lifting, poor posture, strains due to sudden movements, and other temporary strains on the body.


What can cause lower back pain in women?

Many women sometimes suffer from conditions that are specific to them that can cause lower back pain in addition to the above factors. This can include PMS (premenstrual syndrome), endometriosis (which is when tissue that usually lines the uterus begins to grow outside of it instead), dysmenorrhea (very painful menstruation), and pregnancy.


What can cause lower back pain in men?

Back pain in men can be triggered by the factors mentioned earlier in this post, but there are some instances in which it can flare up specifically in the male body. These can include tight hips that result after sitting for at least 8 hours a day at a desk job (which creates a pelvic tilt that puts a strain on your back), sciatica and piriformis syndrome which both involve muscles compressing the SI joint, sleeping on your back like many guys do and even stress – which can sometimes be worse for men in the sense that they respond to stress by shutting down both mentally and physically.


What organs are linked to lower back pain?

Whilst lower back pain is mostly associated with the spine, other internal organs can play a role in lower back pain, such as the kidney, pancreas, appendix, and even the large intestine. Conditions and illnesses that affect these specific organs such as kidney stones, appendicitis, and organ inflammation can all cause lower back pain.


When should I see a doctor about lower back pain?

If you’re experiencing severe back pain that has lasted longer than a few days and is not subsiding or improving in any way, it would be best to see a doctor. Here at Ramsay Healthcare, we offer a range of treatments for both upper and lower back pain including injection therapies and spinal surgeries. Our trained consultants will take the time to understand your specific situation and tend to your needs accordingly – get in touch today to make your appointment.

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